World War II ended roughly 70 years ago. Hitler supposedly killed himself in 1945, but even if that was faked, he has surely been dead for a very long time. He was 56 at the time he allegedly killed himself, so would have died at least 30 years ago if as hiding out in Paraguay. The point being, most everyone who was around back then is dead. Yer, the Germans have arrested three former Nazis on charges they were prison guards. Not just prison guards, but guards at Auschwitz.
German police on Thursday raided the homes of nine elderly men suspected of serving as SS guards at the Auschwitz death camp and arrested three of them on allegations of accessory to murder.
The arrests came five months after federal authorities announced they would investigate former guards at Auschwitz and other Nazi-era death camps. Their effort was inspired by the precedent-setting trial of former Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk, who died in 2012 in a Bavarian nursing home while appealing his conviction on charges he served at the Sobibor camp.
“This is a major step,” said Efraim Zuroff, the head Nazi hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, when told of the arrests. “Given the advanced age of the defendants, every effort should be made to expedite their prosecution.”
Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk was the first person convicted in Germany solely on the basis of serving as a camp guard, with no evidence of involvement in any specific killing.
Munich prosecutors successfully argued that anyone who was involved in operating a death camp was an accessory to murder. Demjanjuk maintained he had been mistaken for someone else and never served as a guard.
Reading the story, my only thought was about the ages of these guys. Simple math says the youngest camp guards are now well over 80 years old. Let’s say you were in a family of true believers that volunteered you at 15 and you got assigned to a death camp at the end of the war. That means you are 84 years old now. Since that’s unlikely, it means the youngest guards still alive are in their late 80’s. In other words, the only guys still around were conscripts at the end of the war who probably did very little.
The three men arrested, aged 88, 92 and 94, all live in state of Baden Wuerttemberg in southwest Germany. They were taken to a prison hospital, Stuttgart prosecutors’ spokeswoman Claudia Krauth said.
Krauth said officials had yet to uncover enough evidence to merit the arrests of three other suspects aged 94, 91 and 90.
She said authorities seized “diverse papers and documents from the Nazi era” from the suspects’ homes. She declined to provide details.
Five men made no statements, while the 88-year-old admitted being a guard at Auschwitz but denied committing any crimes, Krauth said.
Prosecutors in Frankfurt said more documents and photographs were seized during raids on the homes of two men aged 89 and 92 in the neighboring state of Hesse. A spokeswoman, Doris Mueller-Scheu, said neither suspect was arrested nor made statements.
In North Rhine-Westphalia, state police said they raided the apartment of a 92-year-old man who admitted being an Auschwitz guard but denied participating in any crimes. They found no incriminating material during the search.
I’m at a loss as the value of rounding up old men from nursing homes. Notice how the police “raided” the homes. There are some feisty nonagenarians, but merely being alive at that age is considered feisty. Even assuming they were monsters 70 years ago, this seems a bit excessive. Perhaps the argument is it prevents these guys from dying before their families know the truth about them. Regardless, we are running out of Nazis to hunt. At some point, the guys at the Simon Wiesenthal Center will need to find work.
Of course, keeping the Nazi bogeyman alive is central to the people in charge. That way they can excuse all of their excesses by claiming it is to keep Hitler from coming back and starting up the death camps again. That means when all the Nazis are dead, they will be rounding up their decedents and accusing them of having Nazi blood. That is, after all, how blood libels work. The West will be paying for the alleged crimes of the Nazis until the people of the West take back their countries and their history.