Today, I read an old news story here about the trial of Oskar Groening, a former German SS man, who was prosecuted as a war criminal because he had formerly served as an accountant at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.
This quote is from the news story:
Though he [Groening] was more regularly assigned to the camp’s Auschwitz I section, he said he guarded the Birkenau ramp three times, including one busy 24-hour shift. The main gas chambers were located at Birkenau.
“The capacity of the gas chambers and the capacity of the crematoria were quite limited. Someone said that 5,000 people were processed in 24 hours but I didn’t verify this. I didn’t know,” he said. “For the sake of order we waited until train 1 was entirely processed and finished.”
Auschwitz survivors describe their arrival as chaotic, with Nazi guards yelling orders, dogs barking and families being ripped apart.
But Groening, 93, maintained the opposite, saying “it was very orderly and not as strenuous” on the ramp at Birkenau.
“The process was the same as Auschwitz I. The only difference was that there were no trucks,” he said during the second day of his trial. “They all walked – some in one direction some, in another direction … to where the crematoria and gas chambers were.”
Wait a minute! Where were the crematoria? The gas chamber buildings at Birkenau, and in the main Auschwitz camp, did not have a crematorium. The room, which would normally have been a crematorium, was instead an undressing room. Everyone knows that!
Note that Groening worked at the ramp, where selections for the gas chamber were made, only 3 times. Yet he was sentenced to 4 years in prison. I don’t think that this was a fair sentence. Groening should have been sentenced to only THREE YEARS in prison, one year for each time when he was at the ramp, collecting money from the luggage.
Groening had nothing to do with the prisoners being gassed, but he was THERE, so he is guilty of a war crime. This is according to the ex-post-facto law, known as “common plan.”
Groening committed his crime BEFORE the common plan law was created by the Allies after the war.