Thursday, September 18, 2014

93 Year Old Man Charged With 300,000 Counts of Accessory to Murder

If you are anything like me, when you read the line 93 year old man charged with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder, you immediately thought there is a typo in the story.  But as I continued reading the story, I realized it wasn’t a mistake. The gentleman was an accountant at the concentration camp Auschwitz.

As I read the story, I was surprised at reactions to it. There were some individuals who stated that it has been too long since the events occurred for a trial to have significance. There were others that stated on message boards that the gentleman was too old what good would it do? There were others who stated on message boards and comment areas, that he was an account and could do nothing to stop the murders. There were others who commented that so many of the original perpetrators of the crimes went into hiding and could never be found.

After reading the comments, I found myself asking more questions about this individual than when I first read the story. I looked up a little more information about the gentleman, and it seems as though he was initially charged in 1985 with crimes. But the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence. But what I found more surprising is that he has actively addressed the issue of Holocaust denial. He has gone public with the things he saw, but he has always stated that he was innocent of committing crimes.

Now this man did not operate the gas chambers, but he did help with processing the money from the victims. He claims to have seen things, and knew about the gas chambers according to reports. I guess the final question about this gentleman for me is did this gentleman do anything to help any of the victims while he worked at Auschwitz? I don’t believe that he could have stopped the machine, but did he have the courage or ability to save one person’s life? Did he try to make a difference to someone or did he simply say there is nothing I could do?

What do you think about the story? Should the man be prosecuted or is it better to just let it go?


  1. Absolutely he should be prosecuted! Although he didn't commit crimes against humanity directly by operating the machinery or harming people, he was guilty in working at Auschwitz and knowing what went on.

    Great post.

    (thanks for your comment to my blog recently!)

  2. You might find the book In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson interesting. He shows the pre-WWII Germany from the perspective of the American Ambassador. The story is told through diaries, documents and letters. It gives a vivid picture of what Germany was like during Hitler's rise to power and what the everyday people thought of it.

    After reading this book, I believe that accountant could do nothing. When people are beat on the street in front of police for not doing the 'heil Hitler' salute, that shows what a savage place Germany could be if you spoke out.