Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

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Balsamo
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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Balsamo » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:47 am



A summary in twitter language would be appreciated...But i will extend it to 300 characters, just for you... ;)
This was a good one... :lol:
{!#%@} i am laughing loud !!!

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Balsamo » Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:25 am

Balmoral,
thanks to your link i found the corner stone of all this mess:

"by destroying, damaging, removing, altering or rendering unusable an object used in its operation or taps electrical power intended for its operation shall be liable to imprisonment not exceeding five years or a fine."

From now on, we should all just shut up and wait for the verdict. ;)

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Balsamo » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:52 pm

Statmec:

Germany eliminated the statute of limitations for murder in 1979 for a reason.


Just to mention that the statute of limitation has only been eliminated as far as Nazi crimes are concerned, that is actually, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

As far as "normal crimes" are concerned, there is still a limitation of 30 years, except if there are aggravating circumstances like sadism, personal satisfaction (including sexual) while committing the murder.

I have read again your posts, and it seems to me that you base your opinion on a kind of "best case scenario", that new evidence will show the direct implication of the suspect which will prove his personal implication into the operation "Erntefest".
So maybe, this is what is going to happen.

But then, back to the Groening's trial? Were new evidence brought to established that Groening had a personal link to the murder? Did we actually learn something knew from the trial?
I don't think so.

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:11 am

I feel I should clarify a few points.

It was posted that the "200 surviving guards that have served at Majdanek" who were recently identified haven't been prosecuted. This figure is not correct: the Tablet article I linked to said "In the latest German probe into Nazi concentration camp guards, investigators have identified 20 suspected former guards at Majdanek who are still alive and living in Germany." That is, 1/10 as many Majdanek guards have been identified by investigators.

The question was asked why these 200 (s/b 20) were not prosecuted years ago. I don't know. In fact, I asked those who think the impending prosecution is madness the same question - and got no reply. The Tablet article suggests that in 2014 there was insufficient evidence concerning the individuals identified, according to the German war crimes office. Since the 1980s - as that decade was mentioned as an appropriate time for trial - the law has been clarified (the Demjanjuk case, below), but I don't know if that is relevant in this case or not - I don't know if this suspect is one of the 20 for whom the war crimes office said sufficient evidence for prosecution was lacking.

It was also asked how it could be possible to think that someone on tower duty would "knowingly and willingly" contribute to the murder action "downstairs." This involves a mistaken assumption (the unnamed Majdanek Deaths Head man was not only assigned tower duty but, according to JTA news brief, also "is alleged to have worked as a perimeter guard"; from the brief news items we do not know if he had other assignments or roles during Erntefest but we are told that he "contributed" to the murder action willingly by carrying out his perimeter and tower guard duties) and a fallacy (because the man may have worked in the chain of guards - Newshub - or in a tower does not imply that he was not briefed beforehand on the nature of the actions that would be carried out on 3 November 1943 - and even told about special concerns for that day's duty). There is no mystery here - only inadequate information on which to declare the prosecution madness or to be certain it is warranted.

I wrote, "Whether this prosecution is based on the Demjanjuk standard or not, what we can read about it indicates that it differs to some of the other recent cases in that the man participated in the murder action, with knowledge he was doing so, whilst he did not serve directly in the SD execution Kommando." It was then asked, "Why 'whether'? This is the whole point!" I used the word "whether" here because I don't know, which I've reiterated above in this post, whether this trial involves the Demjanjuk standard - but whether it does or not, the facts seem to differ from cases like Gröning's. In this case, the brief points quoted in the news reports from the prosecutor's statement indicate that the man "contributed" to the Erntefest murders "knowingly and willingly." The formation of perimeter chains and the watch over the camp on the day of Erntefest were necessary elements of carrying out the murder; such duties were not ancillary in the sense of making soup, for example (although I should add that in 1950 a German court found defendant Klier, a cook at Sobibór, to have contributed to the killings by engaging in actions - baking as well as overseeing clothes sorting - "linked to a single process whose sole purpose was the killing of Jews," Douglas, The Right Wrong Man, p 155). We don't know more about the nature of the unnamed man's role in Majdanek than the little we can read in a few brief news articles.

It was said that given the seriousness of charge and age of the suspect, the unnamed man deserves a more detailed explanation of the charges. I don't know the basis for assuming that he has not received such an explanation and/or that more details were not be forthcoming; we have only seen very brief items in the news media, which, in fact, is partly why I reacted negatively to calling this "madness." It is entirely possible that the various news media chose to minimize its quotations from and summary of the prosecutor's statement in order to appeal to a general readership. We don't know. Assuming that a detailed explanation is not available or has not been provided is an unwarranted leap. It's possible - but it is more likely that detailed information exists and has been provided to the unnamed former Camp guard.

It was asked what the charge against the unnamed man is. There has been speculation about war crimes and crimes against humanity. The unnamed Majdanek guard is not, according to news reports, charged with war crimes or crimes against humanity under the Code of International Criminal Law but as with being an accessory to murder, I assume under German law:
A former guard at the Majdanek Nazi death camp has been charged in Germany with being an accessory to murder.

The Frankfurt resident, 96, whose name has not been released due to the country’s privacy laws, was charged by the city prosecutor on Friday for being an accessory to murder during his service between August 1943 and January 1944, when at least 17,000 Jews were killed at the camp located near the Polish city of Lublin.

He is alleged to have worked as a perimeter guard and in the guard towers as a member of the SS’s Death’s Head division. He was 22 at the time.

I am not sure where the mystery about the specific charge against the unnamed former camp guard arises in that the JTA news brief, the WaPo article, and the Newshub article which Jeff_36 linked to all stated the charge, accessory to murder.

We were asked to think of implications of this case for a case like Abu Ghraib; if the torture at Abu Ghraib was done according to policy and orders, then, of course, the personnel who participated, including officers and other leadership, should be subject to prosecution. In fact, recently I've been reading about complicity of members of the American Psychological Association in helping develop torture methods for the war on terror and wondering about their legal guilt. Also, I feel certain that members of the Bush administration should have been prosecuted for crimes - and that Obama and Trump passed this by doesn't imply that these individuals should not someday be brought to justice. I have to say that I don't really grasp the relevance of the war on terror or the case of Abu Ghraib to Erntefest and this case.

In relation to the charge against the unnamed Majdanek guard, it was asked if the charge wasn't simply that he had been a guard at Majdanek. No, the charge was accessory to murder, willfully and knowingly. According to the Tablet article, there are perhaps 20 living Majdanek guards, at least 19 of whom have not been charged. One can deduce that these others have not (yet) been charged, in the words of the war crimes office, “because the proof is too thin” but that for this individual the proof is not too thin. Again, that's based on limited information. What we do not have is information that says that the charges are "madness" in this case.

I will quote something else that's been posted: "It is possible that the prosecution HAS some ground breaking evidence that the suspect is guilty of crimes against Humanity, but it did not help by saying it was on guard duty." To be clear, as far as I know, the former guard wasn't charged with crimes against humanity, he was charged as an accessory to murder - see above - and the prosecutor said that the man contributed to the murder of the victims by carrying out his duties. It is possible, if not likely, from what we have read that this man's job was nothing other than, at times, serving as what he is charged with - as an accessory to murder.

It was also stated in one post that the Bundestag's lifting of the statute of limitations pertained only to war crimes and crimes against humanity: I have not read that. In the Federal Republic, prosecutions were not for war crimes/crimes against humanity laws (these were deemed ex post facto law, Douglas, The Right Wrong Man, p 12) so German prosecutions took place under German criminal law, with the result that prosecutions have been for Mord, accessory, etc (see more below) - also I have read that the statute of limitations was removed for murder, no matter in what context and not only for crimes of the Third Reich, along with crimes against humanity and genocide (see Heberer & Matthäus, Atrocities on Trial, p 242; also here, here, and here). As the unnamed individual is charged with accessory to murder, not war crimes and not crimes against humanity, this was possible at this time only because the statue of limitations was finally done away with in 1979.

Finally, Douglas shows that "functional participation" - doing one's duty as a cog in the machine - was a basis in German courts for both acquittals (Frankfurt Auschwitz case) and convictions (e.g., in a Chelmno case, the 1950 Sobibór case mentioned above, and in the Hagen Sobibór trial). Douglas explains that functional participation however did not "take hold" in German law until the Demjanjuk conviction and thus the Demjanjuk case was a "legal breakthrough," albeit "late in coming."
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:01 am

more food for thought: http://www.spiegel.de/international/ger ... 54897.html (thanks to the reader who sent me this link)
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Jeff_36 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:29 am

I have revised my opinion on this particular prosecution, after re-reading what I have currently on Erntfest - while the primary prepetrators of the massacre were HSSPF Lublin, PB 101, and auxiliaries trucked in from other districts, the camp SS at KL Lublin played a small role in their area.

I admit to not even reading the article that I linked - I assumed that most primary perpetrators (The Kurt Franz's and Josef Eberl's of the world) had been tried already in the 1960's and 1970's and that by logical extension all that was left were bottom-rung types who really were just there. While I despise all perpetrators, I based my initial outrage on partially on the extremely poor optics of hauling in a 96 year old who I assumed had a marginal role to stand trial. However, it seems that this man might have been a front line perpetrator.

As a result, I have no opinion on this particular trial. I will revise it accordingly when more information comes out about his actions, if any, and to what extent he played a role at Erntfest.

I remain opposed to hauling in minor functionaries - especially poor old Oskar Groning, who I feel was stabbed in the back after the good work he had done against Holocaust denial. And I do still think the optics are bad and that a much more worthwhile course of action would be the collection of perpetrator testimonies to disprove denial. However, considering the possible severity of this mans actions, I will take no position on the trial for now.

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Balmoral95 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:06 am

Jeff_36 wrote:I have revised my opinion on this particular prosecution, after re-reading what I have currently on Erntfest - while the primary prepetrators of the massacre were HSSPF Lublin, PB 101, and auxiliaries trucked in from other districts, the camp SS at KL Lublin played a small role in their area.

I admit to not even reading the article that I linked - I assumed that most primary perpetrators (The Kurt Franz's and Josef Eberl's of the world) had been tried already in the 1960's and 1970's and that by logical extension all that was left were bottom-rung types who really were just there. While I despise all perpetrators, I based my initial outrage on partially on the extremely poor optics of hauling in a 96 year old who I assumed had a marginal role to stand trial. However, it seems that this man might have been a front line perpetrator.

As a result, I have no opinion on this particular trial. I will revise it accordingly when more information comes out about his actions, if any, and to what extent he played a role at Erntfest.

I remain opposed to hauling in minor functionaries - especially poor old Oskar Groning, who I feel was stabbed in the back after the good work he had done against Holocaust denial. And I do still think the optics are bad and that a much more worthwhile course of action would be the collection of perpetrator testimonies to disprove denial. However, considering the possible severity of this mans actions, I will take no position on the trial for now.



All of which makes you sound like a god-emperor pronouncing from on high. Go sleep it off and get back to us peasants in the morning, Your Whiskeyness.

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Balsamo » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:26 pm

Statmec:

The question was asked why these 200 (s/b 20) were not prosecuted years ago. I don't know. In fact, I asked those who think the impending prosecution is madness the same question - and got no reply.


Sorry i thought i did.
Because previously it was needed to make a link, a personal guilt, between the suspect and the charge, to establish a personal involvement. If the charge was murder, you had to prove that the suspect actually killed someone. So the Courts would have refused cases not supported by evidence.

Actually, the German office for Nazi crimes can propose indictment, it was/is up to the Court to follow it or not.

Now one may disprove this attitude when it comes to Nazi crimes, but in the case of Germany there are no "special courts for Nazi crimes", so in the end, it is a normal court that judge the case.
And i think that we should be quite happy that the logic that seems to have been adopted regarding Nazi criminals is not extended to "normal /usual" murder cases.

This was the reason behind my "warning", those jurisprudence being made through the Nazi trial might very well become valid for every murder cases. And this is why i consider we should be vigilent.

As i said (or think i said) is that Groening for example would not have been prosecuted before the Demjanjuk case. Groening personally did not kill any inmates, he did not even help the victims enter the gas chamber.
Under the former logic, there was no way to charge him for murder, even less to declare him guilty.
Again one might disprove this logic when it comes to Nazi crimes, because indeed, it allowed many people who might have been guilty to escape Justice.
But one still need to look bigger, through a wider perspective, and think hard about the potential implication if this actual logic is extended to other Judicial cases.

Of course, the Demjanjuk case was kind of special, and i do not complain about the indictment and the verdict, but the problem of course is that Sobibor had some specifics that camps like Auschwitz or Majdanek have not. Sobibor was a pure killing center, while the two others were mixed camps. What can be argued in the case of Sobibor cannot in my opinion be extended to ALL the Nazi camps, even not to camps where people were executed. Not to mention the seize of the respective camps, Auschwitz and Majdanek were like cities when Sobibor was smaller than a village, etc.

Of course, my stance can seem offensive to some.
But when it comes to Justice and Judicial system, one need to think without passion or emotion, and to consider that Justice being equal for everyone, those logic can concern everyone. Just remove all reference to Nazism and genocide from the indictment, and see how it looks like.

Now, of course, all will come down to what this suspect really did. And this will or even should determine any final judgement.
But while Statmec, chose to focus on two words in what has been written concerning the indictment, after reading the German press, which gives a little bit more information, it still seems to me that the prosecution does not have concrete new evidence regarding the suspect, as most of the reasoning seems to be based on a " Demjanjuk" logic.

Just let's have a look at the introduction from another Speigle article:
Der damals 22 Jahre alte Beschuldigte verrichtete laut Anklage zwischen August 1943 und Januar 1944 als Angehöriger der fünften Kompanie des SS-Totenkopfsturmbanns regelmäßig Wachdienst in Majdanek. Dabei soll er mit der Sicherung des Lagers und der Bewachung der zur Tötung bestimmten Gefangenen befasst gewesen sein.

Basically what it says it that because he was a regular (or regularly on guard duty) guard at Majdaneck from August 43 to January 44, and because of that (Dabei) he - by securing the camp - he was involved in the murder of prisoner.

Another important premise is that:
Wie allen anderen SS-Angehörigen habe er um die „Grausamkeit der organisierten Massentötungen“ gewusst.

That like ALL SS employed in the camp, he KNEW the terrible reality of organized mass murders.

Those are the main points. We are not told exactly how he is supposed to have acted "willingly", and i am not sure the prosecution is certain itself, otherwise it would have insisted on his role instead of those two premises which are the expression of what resulted from the Demjanjuk trial, confirmed by the Groening judgment.

Thoses two premises can explain the wording.
He was a guard = he took part; and he knew so by agreeing in still being a guard, he acted "willingly and knowingly"...
Now i agree that we cannot have a complete knowledge based on what is reported, but the insistence on the two premises is what influences my perception on the case

As this is one very importrant aspect of this indictment, i agree that a final conclusion should be postponed.

It was said that given the seriousness of charge and age of the suspect, the unnamed man deserves a more detailed explanation of the charges.


The "IT" was me ( and it still not a crime to address me directly, you know) which is why you are not guilty for misinterpreting me...
What i meant is that we are dealing with charges of crimes against humanity, here, and that this crime implies that the evidence on which such an accusation is based should be solid. (again we don't know what those evidence are). The suspect and his lawyer certainly were informed in full, what i meant is that WE as citizens deserve to be explained better than those two premises when it comes to such charges.

My worry is indeed that another Groening scenario take place.
Groening was indeed sentenced for complicity to crime against humanity - for being accessory to the murder of 300.000 Hungarian Jews to be precise, and this based on two elements: He was there and he knew (and i think he could have pretended he did not know, btw, but he did acknowledge he knew because he felt it was his duty, and i agree with Jeff on that, i say "thank you" to him.
Did the prosecution provide any new element that would have substantiate this verdict? No, the judge apparently felt he did not need it. Again, he was there and knew...and that is enough. IRCC, the Judge even added that by joining the SS in 1940 (there were 850.000 SS members), he willingly agreed to what would happen next... This is clearly how everyone want to be judge...

It was asked what the charge against the unnamed man is. There has been speculation about war crimes and crimes against humanity. The unnamed Majdanek guard is not, according to news reports, charged with war crimes or crimes against humanity under the Code of International Criminal Law but as with being an accessory to murder, I assume under German law:


That IT would be me again. 8-)
Again, only crimes committed during the Nazi era are not under statute of limitation. This is because the UN had issued a directive that there should be no prescription for war crimes and crimes against humanity, during a debate in Germany on whether there should be a prescription on Nazi crimes or not. This was adopted by all European countries, but when it comes to "usual crimes" prescription (statute of limitations) still exists.
At first prescription applied only to crimes committed after 1945. then it was after 1951.
I am 90% sure about that. If the 10% win, i will bow low. :oops:

As a side note, most European countries adopted statute of limitations under the principle that the longer the time it would take to put someone on trial, the less "Judicial" certainty could be achieved, and therefore higher the risk to commit "judicial error".
Now i am fully aware that those statute of limitations are being reconsidered and in some cases abolished (like the Netherlands, the UK never had them), a tendency which i do not welcome
...But with all those terrorists, it seems much more acceptable than it would have been 10 years ago. (Here i think of France which just voted the extension, following Belgium not so long ago, etc.)

Actually if i am wrong on that, then i should have written my anger in 1979.
Imagine being arrested and the first question being: " Where were you and what did you do on the 5th of September 1982?" Insane, actually.

We were asked to think of implications of this case for a case like Abu Ghraib; if the torture at Abu Ghraib was done according to policy and orders, then, of course, the personnel who participated, including officers and other leadership, should be subject to prosecution.


WE not being IT, i might be right not remembering having written that.
Good example actually, as it is a war crimes (although not comparable to what was taking place at Majdanek)...
I guess we all agree that the officer and leadership is responsible, as well as the bastards who did it...But then, what about this one guard on duty on the other aisle, who might have heard the screams, and did not act? the cook who might have heard those bastards boasting and laughing about it at the mess, the cleaning team who had to wash the cells and said nothing?...Basically, all the personal that was working in this facility at that time, were there all accessory to the war crimes?
Is being weak - like most of the people according to scary statistics - or being in no position to alter whatsoever the course of things and therefore doing nothing - should those unfortunately too common attitudes be assimilated to murder, crimes against humanity or what ever war crimes, or accessory to them?

Again, I am not saying that this specific SS is one of these weak bystanders...that is up to the prosecution, but the logic, worse the judicial logic behind this action seems to look that way.

Again, your Spiegel article you linked said it all:
Although prosecutors could not prove direct involvement, a Munich regional court convicted Demjanjuk because it concluded that every guard at the Sobibór extermination camp performed duties that made them accessories to murder.


As i said, this logic can be defended because Sobibor had no other function than killing people...
But it seems to be enough for the prosecution to assimilate all the camps to Sobibor.

The article continue by stating the obvious:
Previously, individual guilt had been seen as a necessity for any conviction.


No kidding!
Sorry but from my humble point of view, it still should be a necessity for any conviction.
If i had to face justice, i would expect that my individual guilt to be proven before i get a sentence...Otherwise, i might end with a small sense of injustice.

But here, the mood seems to be " Hey, we no longer have to prove any individual guilt, all 6500 SS personnel who worked at Auschwitz are guilty, so let's try to locate them, maybe we can still find some fit enough for a trial".

And this is what happened to Groening, actually.
I stand by and firm with my opinion that Groening condemnation is an expression of judicial madness, and if the last following cases are similar, i will have a similar appreciation. Not because i pity the SS bastard, but because of the potential consequence of such thoughtless initiatives.
And madness also because of the sentence, if Groening is really guilty of having been accessory to the murder of 300.000 people, what is this 4 years sentence? A Joke?
But Madness essentially because what is OK for Nazi crimes, will sooner or later become OK in the future for whatever crime.

Think of that: A prosecution team happy not having to prove individual guilt" ! What a pleasure it must be to indict anyone without facing the risk to lose the case...and without having to really work for it.

Sorry, but my personal conviction leans toward the "right of the defense".

PS: quite important, the Court has still not yet decided if there will be a trial. In Germany, you have to be in good health to face Justice, otherwise you don't have to face it ( don't understand why Hitler was so much against smoking! )...another paradox...Anyway, it has not been decided yet. By precautionary measures, the prosecution will not be allowed to interrogate the suspect more than two hours a day, and no more than two times a week...So it might take a while...

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:37 pm

Balsamo wrote:Sorry i thought i did.
Because previously it was needed to make a link, a personal guilt, between the suspect and the charge, to establish a personal involvement. If the charge was murder, you had to prove that the suspect actually killed someone. So the Courts would have refused cases not supported by evidence.

Please provide at least a few specifics on these 20 men and what you say about them.

Balsamo wrote:And i think that we should be quite happy that the logic that seems to have been adopted regarding Nazi criminals is not extended to "normal /usual" murder cases.

Please show how this is the case.

Balsamo wrote:As i said (or think i said) is that Groening for example would not have been prosecuted before the Demjanjuk case. Groening personally did not kill any inmates, he did not even help the victims enter the gas chamber.
Under the former logic, there was no way to charge him for murder, even less to declare him guilty.

Douglas argues that this is not true (see above) but that the Demjanjuk case flipped the situation from where the "functional participation" standard was not the usual approach to where the law was clarified to make "functional participation" the standard.

Balsamo wrote:But one still need to look bigger, through a wider perspective, and think hard about the potential implication if this actual logic is extended to other Judicial cases.

Indeed, thank the Lord and hallelujah that cases aren't being tried under international law on genocide!

Balsamo wrote:Of course, the Demjanjuk case was kind of special, and i do not complain about the indictment and the verdict, but the problem of course is that Sobibor had some specifics that camps like Auschwitz or Majdanek have not. Sobibor was a pure killing center, while the two others were mixed camps. What can be argued in the case of Sobibor cannot in my opinion be extended to ALL the Nazi camps, even not to camps where people were executed. Not to mention the seize of the respective camps, Auschwitz and Majdanek were like cities when Sobibor was smaller than a village, etc.

But I do not know - and it has not been shown - that this case is identical to Demjanjuk's or that the Demjanjuk decision is the only basis for bringing it.

Balsamo wrote:Of course, my stance can seem offensive to some.
But when it comes to Justice and Judicial system, one need to think without passion or emotion, and to consider that Justice being equal for everyone, those logic can concern everyone. Just remove all reference to Nazism and genocide from the indictment, and see how it looks like.

You mean that there should be standards of justice and an equal application of the law? What a novel idea.

Balsamo wrote:Now, of course, all will come down to what this suspect really did. And this will or even should determine any final judgement.

Which is why calling this case "madness" at this point, based on what we know of the case, strikes me as premature, to say the least.

Balsamo wrote:But while Statmec, chose to focus on two words in what has been written concerning the indictment, after reading the German press, which gives a little bit more information, it still seems to me that the prosecution does not have concrete new evidence regarding the suspect, as most of the reasoning seems to be based on a " Demjanjuk" logic.

Just let's have a look at the introduction from another Speigle article:
Der damals 22 Jahre alte Beschuldigte verrichtete laut Anklage zwischen August 1943 und Januar 1944 als Angehöriger der fünften Kompanie des SS-Totenkopfsturmbanns regelmäßig Wachdienst in Majdanek. Dabei soll er mit der Sicherung des Lagers und der Bewachung der zur Tötung bestimmten Gefangenen befasst gewesen sein.

Basically what it says it that because he was a regular (or regularly on guard duty) guard at Majdaneck from August 43 to January 44, and because of that (Dabei) he - by securing the camp - he was involved in the murder of prisoner.

Google Translate gives for "Dabei soll er mit der Sicherung des Lagers und der Bewachung der zur Tötung bestimmten Gefangenen befasst gewesen sein" the following: "He was said to have been involved in the security of the camp and the guarding of the prisoners intended for killing." I will ask a German speaking friend to translate, but it kind of doesn't matter. Again, condemning this potential prosecution on that basis of these media reports is in itself problematic. No matter what Spiegel's gloss is it doesn't substitute for detailed charges.

Balsamo wrote:Another important premise is that:
Wie allen anderen SS-Angehörigen habe er um die „Grausamkeit der organisierten Massentötungen“ gewusst.

That like ALL SS employed in the camp, he KNEW the terrible reality of organized mass murders.

That was reported in the other articles linked to and cited. Nothing new.

Balsamo wrote:Those are the main points.

What happened to Erntefest?

Balsamo wrote:We are not told exactly how he is supposed to have acted "willingly", and i am not sure the prosecution is certain itself, otherwise it would have insisted on his role instead of those two premises which are the expression of what resulted from the Demjanjuk trial, confirmed by the Groening judgment.

You don't know this. What you know is what various media outlets chose to publish and how they presented the prosecutor's statement.

Balsamo wrote:Thoses two premises can explain the wording.
He was a guard = he took part; and he knew so by agreeing in still being a guard, he acted "willingly and knowingly"...
Now i agree that we cannot have a complete knowledge based on what is reported, but the insistence on the two premises is what influences my perception on the case

So on the basis of admittedly not knowing much you feel it is right to dismiss the case as "madness." You have just announced your bias.

Balsamo wrote:What i meant is that we are dealing with charges of crimes against humanity, here, and that this crime implies that the evidence on which such an accusation is based should be solid.

That - a crime against humanity - is not the charge against this man; the charge - assuming the media accounts are accurate - is accessory to murder. The prosecution has to prove this, not what you want it to have to prove.

Balsamo wrote:what i meant is that WE as citizens deserve to be explained better than those two premises when it comes to such charges.

Complain to Spiegel, JTA, WaPo, etc.

Balsamo wrote:That IT would be me again.

That is not how the passive voice works. I began the post trying to cover the various points made, without getting into personal back and forth - thus the passive. By the end I think I dealt with only points you'd raised. The intent stands, nonetheless.

Balsamo wrote:Again, only crimes committed during the Nazi era are not under statute of limitation.

I gave citations that disagree with this assertion. Please provide a citation.

Balsamo wrote:This is because the UN had issued a directive that there should be no prescription for war crimes and crimes against humanity, during a debate in Germany on whether there should be a prescription on Nazi crimes or not. This was adopted by all European countries, but when it comes to "usual crimes" prescription (statute of limitations) still exists.
At first prescription applied only to crimes committed after 1945. then it was after 1951.
I am 90% sure about that. If the 10% win, i will bow low. :oops:

That is not pertinent to the successive debates on the German statute of limitations on Mord, and extensions and finally elimination, which I've read, and which I cited.

Balsamo wrote:Actually if i am wrong on that

The only way to know is for you actually to cite a source instead of wandering around and restating claims - and to show where the sources I cited are mistaken.

Balsamo wrote:
We were asked to think of implications of this case for a case like Abu Ghraib; if the torture at Abu Ghraib was done according to policy and orders, then, of course, the personnel who participated, including officers and other leadership, should be subject to prosecution.


WE not being IT, i might be right not remembering having written that.

You wrote that one ("Imagine how a case like Abu Graib could be treated following this new logic, and the list of potential indictments that could be listed").

Balsamo wrote:Good example actually, as it is a war crimes (although not comparable to what was taking place at Majdanek)...
I guess we all agree that the officer and leadership is responsible, as well as the bastards who did it...But then, what about this one guard on duty on the other aisle, who might have heard the screams, and did not act? the cook who might have heard those bastards boasting and laughing about it at the mess, the cleaning team who had to wash the cells and said nothing?...Basically, all the personal that was working in this facility at that time, were there all accessory to the war crimes?
Is being weak - like most of the people according to scary statistics - or being in no position to alter whatsoever the course of things and therefore doing nothing - should those unfortunately too common attitudes be assimilated to murder, crimes against humanity or what ever war crimes, or accessory to them?

My mind is drifting off like the discussion - but it strikes me that you want to convict the SKs and exonerate men of the Deaths Head - before you have the facts. Or at least in the cases of the men of the Deaths Head poison the well before the fact.

Balsamo wrote:Again, I am not saying that this specific SS is one of these weak bystanders...that is up to the prosecution, but the logic, worse the judicial logic behind this action seems to look that way.

You are confusing the hell out of me: are you agreeing with the "madness" post that started this discussion - or not? I took when you wrote "i stand with both Jeff's: it is madness" that you had, despite many caveats and much wandering about, an opinion that the prosecution is "madness."

Balsamo wrote:Again, your Spiegel article you linked said it all:
Although prosecutors could not prove direct involvement, a Munich regional court convicted Demjanjuk because it concluded that every guard at the Sobibór extermination camp performed duties that made them accessories to murder.


As i said, this logic can be defended because Sobibor had no other function than killing people...
But it seems to be enough for the prosecution to assimilate all the camps to Sobibor.

That is simply silly: by extrapolation, men who performed duties to make mass murder happen in other instances can fall under the Demjanjuk ruling. There's a fine line here: a narrow interpretation of the criminal law means that men who played necessary roles in the murder but did not shoot, for example, will escape justice and too broad an interpretation will take in practically everyone. That there are grey areas and fine lines to resolve is not madness but a problem that the courts have been working through.

Balsamo wrote:The article continue by stating the obvious:
Previously, individual guilt had been seen as a necessity for any conviction.


No kidding!
Sorry but from my humble point of view, it still should be a necessity for any conviction.
If i had to face justice, i would expect that my individual guilt to be proven before i get a sentence...Otherwise, i might end with a small sense of injustice.

But here, the mood seems to be " Hey, we no longer have to prove any individual guilt, all 6500 SS personnel who worked at Auschwitz are guilty, so let's try to locate them, maybe we can still find some fit enough for a trial".

I haven't come close to arguing that. No one here has.

Balsamo wrote:And this is what happened to Groening, actually.
I stand by and firm with my opinion that Groening condemnation is an expression of judicial madness, and if the last following cases are similar, i will have a similar appreciation. Not because i pity the SS bastard, but because of the potential consequence of such thoughtless initiatives.
And madness also because of the sentence, if Groening is really guilty of having been accessory to the murder of 300.000 people, what is this 4 years sentence? A Joke?
But Madness essentially because what is OK for Nazi crimes, will sooner or later become OK in the future for whatever crime.

Think of that: A prosecution team happy not having to prove individual guilt" ! What a pleasure it must be to indict anyone without facing the risk to lose the case...and without having to really work for it.

Sorry, but my personal conviction leans toward the "right of the defense".

Accessory:
An accessory before the fact is one who aids, abets, assists, incites, or encourages another person in the commission of the crime (such as one who prepares a weapon for an assault or provides the matches for arson). An accessory after the fact is someone who shelters, relieves, or assists a felon after a crime has already been committed (such as the driver of a getaway car). Assistance can take the form of financial, material, or even emotional support of the principal actor.

(Wex Legal Dictionary) If this man guarded people so they could be killed - which the media statements report that the prosecutor claims - because in his duties he knew that some of those under his guard were to be murdered, and did so willingly, as the prosecutor claims, he fits a classic criminal law definition of accessory. (I have a note that German law says "whoever has intentionally aided another to commit an unlawful act perpetrated with intent" is an accessory. This is what the prosecutor's statement says the unnamed suspect did.)

We have expended far too many words saying that it is premature, based on our knowledge, for us to describe this prosecution as madness.
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Balmoral95 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:09 am

Excellent analysis, SM.

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:35 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Balsamo wrote:But while Statmec, chose to focus on two words in what has been written concerning the indictment, after reading the German press, which gives a little bit more information, it still seems to me that the prosecution does not have concrete new evidence regarding the suspect, as most of the reasoning seems to be based on a " Demjanjuk" logic.

Just let's have a look at the introduction from another Speigle article:
Der damals 22 Jahre alte Beschuldigte verrichtete laut Anklage zwischen August 1943 und Januar 1944 als Angehöriger der fünften Kompanie des SS-Totenkopfsturmbanns regelmäßig Wachdienst in Majdanek. Dabei soll er mit der Sicherung des Lagers und der Bewachung der zur Tötung bestimmten Gefangenen befasst gewesen sein.

Basically what it says it that because he was a regular (or regularly on guard duty) guard at Majdaneck from August 43 to January 44, and because of that (Dabei) he - by securing the camp - he was involved in the murder of prisoner.

Google Translate gives for "Dabei soll er mit der Sicherung des Lagers und der Bewachung der zur Tötung bestimmten Gefangenen befasst gewesen sein" the following: "He was said to have been involved in the security of the camp and the guarding of the prisoners intended for killing." I will ask a German speaking friend to translate, but it kind of doesn't matter. Again, condemning this potential prosecution on that basis of these media reports is in itself problematic. No matter what Spiegel's gloss is it doesn't substitute for detailed charges.

My native-German speaking friend (I sent just the one sentence) translates "Dabei soll er mit der Sicherung des Lagers und der Bewachung der zur Tötung bestimmten Gefangenen befasst gewesen sein" as "In that he was (supposedly) involved/occupied with camp security and guarding of inmates chosen/selected for killing," which is surprisingly close to what Google gave. With this, Spiegel doesn't seem to come close to implying the Demjanjuk standard or that the charged former guard became involved in killing a prisoner merely by securing the camp. Again, there are differing plausible understandings of what Spiegel says - none of which seem to me to be "madness."
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Balsamo » Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:36 am

Statmec:

Please provide at least a few specifics on these 20 men and what you say about them.


My reflection is only based on what is known.
All that is said about those 20 men is that they are among 250 SS guards having served at Majdanek that had been identified. Only 30 of them have been located in Germany, and among them 20 are still alive.
It seems now that one of them has now been formally charged. So i can only comment and give my appreciation to this specific case based on what has been written regarding the charges.

I was actually responding to question of why they/or in this case he had not been charged before. Actually, the same answer was also given by the Spiegel article you linked to. The principles of having to make a link between the suspect and the crime he is supposed to have committed ruled all the former Trials. Because of that the prosecutors were reluctant to launch a trial without substantial evidence, or face a defeat at the trial.

I said, and it is confirmed by the same article, that the Munich Trial changed this rule, given that it had been accepted that working at the camp was a sufficient proof of complicity.

This is of course a relieve for the prosecution who can now charge whatever guard can be identified, located, and in sufficient good health.

Please show how this is the case.


Well, thanks to the link provided by Balmoral, We can read that under German law, that when it comes to accomplices:
Each accomplice shall be liable according to the measure of his own guilt and irrespective of the guilt of the others.
(Section 29)

Section 27 describes what is "aiding" a crime:
Any person who intentionally assists another in the intentional commission of an unlawful act shall be convicted and sentenced as an aider.


Those principles are not obvious in the judgment given to Groening. I admit that i have not read the whole judgment - i am searching for it - as i would be very curious to see how the Court manage to prove that Groening intentionally assisted others to commit the murder of 300.000 people and how his own guilt has been established, irrespectivelly of the guilt of others, given that he was a book keeper.

I know i should find a German criminal case, but then i have too little time, but a quite awful case just ended in Belgium. It was a case of conspiracy to commit torture and murder on two victims who had been trapped, beaten up, and thrown alive in the canal.
9 people were charged, three with the charges of torture as well as murder, 3 with murder, 1 with complicity, and two for not having assisted persons in danger.

The last two were present when the two victims were brought in one of the criminal's home, they knew the criminals, should / could have known what they were about to do, and chose to leave the crime scene allegedly before the torture began. They left, but of course did not call the cops.
Nevertheless, he was therefore NOT charged of torture or/and murder, not even of complicity, but only for "failure to assist a person in danger".
As no links could be made between those two suspects and the actual acts of torture and murder.
This is a typical European (western continental) way to apply justice.

Intention and personal guilt are still conditions to be consider accomplice, as you can see.

Concerning Douglas, i think his remarks were in relation with Sobibor. Again, i am not rejecting the approach when it comes to pure killing center, but as i said, nor Auschwitz nor Majdanek were pure killing centers. Being a cog in the system at TII is not the same as being a cog in a system in a camp that held over 100.000 inmates.

But I do not know - and it has not been shown - that this case is identical to Demjanjuk's or that the Demjanjuk decision is the only basis for bringing it.


Well it seems to have been the base for the Munich Trial against Groening and co.
We cannot at this point debate the trial of the mister X of Majdanek.

You mean that there should be standards of justice and an equal application of the law? What a novel idea.


Indeed it is, and most European system of Justice are something that European citizens can be proud of. This is why it is important that it does not change in the future.
9/11 and the "War against Terror" has already done some damage, and if those terrorist attacks continues, there will be further breach of this important value and principle.
This was by the way the thesis of my cousin's Ph.D, and it is already an unfortunate reality.

Which is why calling this case "madness" at this point, based on what we know of the case, strikes me as premature, to say the least.


Well yes, this is why i supported the "madness" accusation, based on the verdict of Groening.
I have agreed that it was too early to state that this Trial, if it takes place, will be a Groening-like trial or a brand new one with solid evidence.
But as i said, given how the charges have been presented in the press, and the German press especially, i am not as optimistic as you.

Google Translate gives for "Dabei soll er mit der Sicherung des Lagers und der Bewachung der zur Tötung bestimmten Gefangenen befasst gewesen sein" the following: "He was said to have been involved in the security of the camp and the guarding of the prisoners intended for killing." I will ask a German speaking friend to translate, but it kind of doesn't matter. Again, condemning this potential prosecution on that basis of these media reports is in itself problematic. No matter what Spiegel's gloss is it doesn't substitute for detailed charges.


But i am a "German speaking friend"... :D 8-)
Well, good idea, ask him. German is not easy to be translated into english ( and i have to go through French first, so i might have "bugs" as well)
. Dabei, in the context, really means "by doing so", but then it is also true that "Dabei sein" can also be translated by "being involved", but this is not how i read it...Not that it does not mean that he was involved, but i read it as "he was involved by his activity of securing"...I will ask third parties also.

By experience, i know that google translate can be influenced by terms used. Just to check, i have introducted the whole paragrah and he is what came out:
That is this one:
Der damals 22 Jahre alte Beschuldigte verrichtete laut Anklage zwischen August 1943 und Januar 1944 als Angehöriger der fünften Kompanie des SS-Totenkopfsturmbanns regelmäßig Wachdienst in Majdanek. Dabei soll er mit der Sicherung des Lagers und der Bewachung der zur Tötung bestimmten Gefangenen befasst gewesen sein.

=
The accused 22-year-old accused regularly between August 1943 and January 1944 as a member of the fifth company of the SS Totenkopfsturmbanns regular guard service in Majdanek. He was supposed to have been concerned with securing the camp and guarding the prisoners who had been killed.


So yes, third parties opinions are welcomed.

That was reported in the other articles linked to and cited. Nothing new.


I did not say it was new, i said it was an important part of the indictment as it has been explained.

What happened to Erntefest?


Don't really understand that question.
My perspective is the legal approach adopted by the prosecution based on what has been shared. As i said, it the point of the trial to determine what was mister X role during this killing operation. So for such specifics will just have to see.
I just have my doubts regarding the ability for the Justice to reach a reasonable degree of certainty in addressing this issue, given the time that has been wasted.
I have never contested the fact that you could be right and that ground breaking new evidence will be brought, and i would welcome this outcome, of course.
I am just skeptic, given the recent precedent.

You don't know this. What you know is what various media outlets chose to publish and how they presented the prosecutor's statement.


Again, i am basing my opinion and reactions to what is available. I have just notice that those two promises are to be found in every single German article i have read. I admit i can only presume that if the charges were more supported the prosecution would have insist on them, and that the press would have talked about.
Of course, maybe the prosecution has a nice christmas present for all of us, and clearly prove mister X participation to Erntefest. We both don't know at this stage.

But i noticed that it has not been the case during the Groening's trial. And that he has been condemned based on the two premises that are mentioned in all those articles, his willingness being, according to the Judge, proved by him joining the SS in 1940!
This WE know.

So on the basis of admittedly not knowing much you feel it is right to dismiss the case as "madness." You have just announced your bias.


Of course, why shouldn't I?
Should we, as poster on a comment forum, feel obliged to respect a sense of discretion unless we have all the elements of any case?
You feel fine deciding that we cannot consider the way the German acts as "madness" based on even less information as you don't seem to take into consideration the information provided by the Groening case...

I explained why i consider the verdict on Groening as a dangerous precedent, you have posted articles that confirms that the prosecution are no longer obliged to prove individual guilt in order to obtain a conviction - despite the fact that the German law still seems to require it - that ONE judge "intimate conviction" can be based on accepted premises instead of concrete evidence...even for charges like no less than being "accessory to the murder of 300.000 people"...
This we know.
And i base my reaction to this. And i feel perfectly find to qualify it as "madness", i would add, "dangerous irresponsible madness".

If this new "Last Nazi trial" proves different from the last "Last Nazi trial" i would have been wrong, and i would be very happy if proven wrong. And if evidence would prove that this 96 years old mister X has indeed actively participated to Erntefest, i would feel happy if he dies in the darkest prison cell available in Germany.

That - a crime against humanity - is not the charge against this man; the charge - assuming the media accounts are accurate - is accessory to murder. The prosecution has to prove this, not what you want it to have to prove.


If the charges are about his involvement in Erntefest, which is considered as a crime against humanity, i am not that wrong, if it is related to the Jews more broadly led to the gas chambers of Majdanek, during his duty, then the murder is also a crime against humanity.

I have sent an inquiry about this prescription thing, as in my book, in Germany all crimes punished by "life in prison" are still subject to a 30 years statute of limitations...Now, i am not aware of other crimes that sentence you to "life in prison" in Germany beside murder.
I hope i'll get an answer soon.

In this case, the murders (even in case they would be qualified as just "murder) are nevertheless related to crime against humanity, so the charges is about them.
As for my sources, here is one:
https://books.google.com.pa/books?id=V5ivCQAAQBAJ&pg=PA148&lpg=PA148&dq=crimes+imprescriptibles+en+Allemagne&source=bl&ots=1pzJnrUO3S&sig=H6UAp9x9Cm8hNNsVZvnmKZ3CdC8&hl=es-419&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=crimes%20imprescriptibles%20en%20Allemagne&f=false


Again, there was this debate about extending prescription in France, and it is an habit to always refers to the situation in Germany, so i could basically give a link to all French papers.


Complain to Spiegel, JTA, WaPo, etc.


I would not. The Media repeat what they have been told. If i had to complain, I would complain to the prosecutor's office. It is its job to provide us with proper information.

You wrote that one ("Imagine how a case like Abu Graib could be treated following this new logic, and the list of potential indictments that could be listed").


So that was me? Well at least i wrote it was a very good example... :lol: :lol:
So should all the personnel of the facility being indictment to have been accessory to what happened there?

My mind is drifting off like the discussion - but it strikes me that you want to convict the SKs and exonerate men of the Deaths Head - before you have the facts. Or at least in the cases of the men of the Deaths Head poison the well before the fact.


Well, in case you have not read it, i kind of change my mind regarding the SK, after many readings, but not to Grief's extend. But the remark is pertinent. You have argued that the SK were not guilty because they were not in a position of choice. Fair enough. I did disagree then, as i consider death as an alternative. The same way i would never exonerate anyone SS, foreign doctors, or whoever else, who have been directly involved in the Holocaust for reasons like "I obey orders"... I also insisted that my point was to bring those SK to Justice, i just do not share the conclusion that they were the "victims among the victims"...

In the context of this discussion, i repeated many times that i did not care about the fate of this SS man, that my worry is the potential impact of such "indulgence" regrading the burden of proof, as it was the case in the Groening trial, could have on our European Justice system.

And i assume completely that i prefer a imperfect system that allows some criminals to remains unpunished than a Judicial system that allows too many innocents being sent to prison.

Europe and the USA do not share the same judicial system, i do prefer the European one.
In Europe, The Prosecution has from the start a huge advantage versus the defense, not only is he not elected, but nominated for life, but it has the powers of the State, the means, the monopoly on the inquiry and investigation, the only thing left to the defense is the LAW and the principles that force the prosecution to actually prove a PERSONAL guilt, and NOT a guilt by association.

In the European model, there is a "instruction judge" (a judge of investigation) who has the complete control over the investigation. He is supposed to inquire at charge and at discharge, the defense cannot interferes with its Job, so no matter if you are billionaire, you cannot send hundreds of private investigators to contest the Police reports, no interferences). But this judge has to respect the rule, and if the defense can afterward prove that the judge has neglected an aspect of the case that could have been used to discharge the suspect, then the trial can be nullified during appeals.
In this perspective, procedures, respect of basic principles are essentials.

You know, Freissler called himself a judge and in his Nazi perspective he was rendering Justice, the Nazi Justice, it was as official as is our Justice. What Democracy brought were norms, democratic norms and values that had to be respected to ensure that justice is equal for all...Yeah, i know, old known stuff...nothing new, but things that are under threats anyway. The Nature of the crime should not have any influence on how Justice is done. I am not saying it is a perfect system, actually it is very vulnerable, because change one single norm, and it can bring the Justice system back to its dark age.
Now had all those Nazis been shot in 1945, i would not have shed a tear.
But the Western Allies did not chose that way. They chose the judicial way, and so did democracy after that. The result is not for the best in some cases, some are even a disgrace, but the path chosen was the good one.

So the Madness is not to want to put a SS on trial, the madness is how it is being done, the misuse of European judicial norm, the abandon of the necessity to prove individual guilt, to achieve what exactly?
If this bastard could not have been sentenced because his "individual guilt" could not be proven, then he should not be sentenced at all.

I understood Jeff's post that "This madness should stop", as a "Please, not another Groening trial", because the Groening trial is the only reference we have to appreciate such actions, actions that - and it has been confirmed by the article - would not have been possible before the precedent set by the Demjanjuk trial...This is precisely this extension of the Jurisprudence that bothers me.
Now, maybe i misunderstood his posts, but then i stand firm on my opinions. The pleasure to put a 96 years old Nazis in prison does not deserve to put our Judicial system at risk.
It is madness because it is a nonsense to pretend to be able to provide ground-breaking new evidence so long after the facts, hence my insistence of why the Statute of limitations had been put in place in the first place.
Now again, maybe this time the prosecution will be able to produce such evidence and that would change my mind, but my fear is that this guard will receive a sentence based on the same premises that were used for the Groening trial...so the future will tell us...

That is simply silly: by extrapolation, men who performed duties to make mass murder happen in other instances can fall under the Demjanjuk ruling. There's a fine line here: a narrow interpretation of the criminal law means that men who played necessary roles in the murder but did not shoot, for example, will escape justice and too broad an interpretation will take in practically everyone. That there are grey areas and fine lines to resolve is not madness but a problem that the courts have been working through.


Why is that silly...We agree that men performing duties within a camp whose sole purpose is to kill people can be assimilated to accessory to murder. But in camps who ALSO were just...well camps, even infamous ones, then yes there should be an established link between the cog working there and the crimes. Auschwitz had 6500 SS personnel guarding the camps and subcamps, should we conclude that there all worked there with the intention to help killing the Jews?
Had they caught Moll, do you think i would have expressed myself in this thread?

You see, all is in the perspective.
You say " men who performed duties to make mass murder happen ", i translate with the principle of a suspect being innocent before being proven guilty into " Men who performed duty while mass murder happen", under the German law, it should bot be enough to prove that he played a necessary role - for whatever that mean - actually (because then one should also have indicted the coal producers as without coal the crematorium could not have functioned) - well you have to prove that the guard intentionally participated to the execution, that might be by pushing the victims to the execution sites, that he was willingly part of the massacre - and not just because he was told in the morning to "stand there and make sure no one escape". But that is what a trial is and should stand for: to establish without doubt that X has intentionally and willingly contributed to the killing.
But yes, I agree with your observation, a too narrow interpretation of those norms are just as bad - and i am the first to be outraged by the verdicts given during the Auschwitz and Treblinka trials - as is a to wide one. And this is exactly the feeling i have, the German justice went from a way too restrictive to a way to large interpretation, to such extend that in my view it put the norms protecting the defense ( i mean in general) at risk.
From the start i agreed to the fact that if this "Last trial" been different, i would retract what i am writing.
But i am not optimistic because of my fundamental doubts to seriously judge a case 70 years after the crimes have been committed - reason why i support statute of limitations in the first place. (not that i am inflexible on that notion regarding crimes against humanity, of course, hence my seriousness when it comes to this charge)

I haven't come close to arguing that. No one here has.


Well, the again, you shoud because of the Groening Judgment be skeptic of what is going to happen to mister X during his trial.
Now you quoted the Wex Legal dictionay...
But Balmoral posted the German criminal code, and the definition is not exactly the same:
Regarding Abetting:
Any person who intentionally induces another to intentionally commit an unlawful act (abettor) shall be liable to be sentenced as if he were a principal.

You dictionary does not seem to insist on the "intention" to commit an unlawful cirme" while the German criminal code insists on it twice.
Regarding Aiding:
Any person who intentionally assists another in the intentional commission of an unlawful act shall be convicted and sentenced as an aider.

Again the intention or willingness, that seems to be absent from your dictionary. And i am aware that in Texas, accomplice are facing the same sentence as the principal criminal.
But this is one the main difference between the US Justice and the European one: It is not enough for someone who would have given shelter to a criminal to be convicted for being accomplice to the crime he had committed before, the prosecution would have to prove that the accomplice was aware and supportive of this crime, before sentencing as such. Hence, the insistence on the "intention" in the German criminal code.
This is why a European (including a German one) should translate the "If this man guarded people SO they would be killed" by "If this man guarded people WHILE they would be killed", and therefore prove that the man had the intention to participate in the killing, in other way that he was aware that he duty was meant to a killing operation. And this would then be the duty of the prosecution to prove this fact!

Now i think i said that there were two very different perspectives when it comes to Justice between the Anglo-Saxon and Continental European, and i am pretty sure that it is the roots of our disagreement.
I simply refuse the American system to spread to Europe. Actually, your dictionary would by itself prompt reactions and endless discussion from my part... ;)

So in your opinion, was Groening accessory to the murder of 300.000 people?, Yes, No?

The idea that i want to exonerate a SS guard is truly offensive, i must say, since you know very well what my family background is regarding to this. But if members of my family died under their hands, it was precisely because they were fighting for democracy. And a Democracy shows its strength when it treats the most evil individuals the same way as all other people answerable to the law.

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:48 am

Balsamo wrote:Statmec:

Please provide at least a few specifics on these 20 men and what you say about them.


My reflection is only based on what is known.
All that is said about those 20 men is that they are among 250 SS guards having served at Majdanek that had been identified. Only 30 of them have been located in Germany, and among them 20 are still alive.
It seems now that one of them has now been formally charged. So i can only comment and give my appreciation to this specific case based on what has been written regarding the charges.

I was actually responding to question of why they/or in this case he had not been charged before.

I was asking if you can tell us the history of the cases of these men in that you wrote, "previously it was needed to make a link, a personal guilt, between the suspect and the charge, to establish a personal involvement. If the charge was murder, you had to prove that the suspect actually killed someone. So the Courts would have refused cases not supported by evidence." It seems that you don't know why they haven't been charged, correct?

Balsamo wrote:Actually, the same answer was also given by the Spiegel article you linked to.

No, it wasn't. Because that article did not mention Majdanek or these men.

Balsamo wrote:The principles of having to make a link between the suspect and the crime he is supposed to have committed ruled all the former Trials.

First, that is not true. See above what Douglas has written. Second, that is not what I asked - I asked about the cases of these 20 men.

You could say, "I don't know."

Balsamo wrote:I said, and it is confirmed by the same article, that the Munich Trial changed this rule, given that it had been accepted that working at the camp was a sufficient proof of complicity.

Again, that article doesn't mention Majdanek. Yes, there are standards and principles, but not every individual case is the same. That's why I asked you to support your assertions in the Majdanek cases, not by referring to other cases but by telling us about the Majdanek cases.

Balsamo wrote:Well, thanks to the link provided by Balmoral, We can read that under German law, that when it comes to accomplices:
Each accomplice shall be liable according to the measure of his own guilt and irrespective of the guilt of the others.
(Section 29)

Section 27 describes what is "aiding" a crime:
Any person who intentionally assists another in the intentional commission of an unlawful act shall be convicted and sentenced as an aider.


Those principles are not obvious in the judgment given to Groening. < snip >

Irrelevant to what I asked. You claimed that the statute of limitations on Mord in Germany was eliminated only for war crimes and crimes against humanity; I asked you to support that.

Balsamo wrote:Intention and personal guilt are still conditions to be consider accomplice, as you can see.

I already posted about this. But for you to say that "personal guilt" is a condition of being "guilty" as an accomplice is simply a tautology.

Balsamo wrote:Concerning Douglas, i think his remarks were in relation with Sobibor.

Yes and no. Did you read my post?

Balsamo wrote:Again, i am not rejecting the approach when it comes to pure killing center, but as i said, nor Auschwitz nor Majdanek were pure killing centers. Being a cog in the system at TII is not the same as being a cog in a system in a camp that held over 100.000 inmates.

Already dealt with this misdirection. Being a cog in a process for killing, knowingly and willfully, whether in a pure extermination camp or in some other setting, is being a cog in a process for killing.

Balsamo wrote:
But I do not know - and it has not been shown - that this case is identical to Demjanjuk's or that the Demjanjuk decision is the only basis for bringing it.


Well it seems to have been the base for the Munich Trial against Groening and co.

Which is not what we were discussing.

Balsamo wrote:We cannot at this point debate the trial of the mister X of Majdanek.

Then we can't claim it is madness, either.

Balsamo wrote:
You mean that there should be standards of justice and an equal application of the law? What a novel idea.

Indeed it is

I was being sarcastic: the concept is not only "European" and it is hardly new to me or other readers here, I assume. In fact, in Europe, this concept has not always been honored.

Balsamo wrote:
Which is why calling this case "madness" at this point, based on what we know of the case, strikes me as premature, to say the least.

Well yes, this is why i supported the "madness" accusation, based on the verdict of Groening.

The madness here is your darting off to points not under discussion: Jeff_36's post was about the Majdanek case, not the Gröning case.

Balsamo wrote:i am not as optimistic as you.

I am neither optimistic nor pessimistic: my reaction was to you and the Jeffs calling this case "madness."

Balsamo wrote:
Google Translate gives for "Dabei soll er mit der Sicherung des Lagers und der Bewachung der zur Tötung bestimmten Gefangenen befasst gewesen sein" the following: "He was said to have been involved in the security of the camp and the guarding of the prisoners intended for killing." I will ask a German speaking friend to translate, but it kind of doesn't matter. Again, condemning this potential prosecution on that basis of these media reports is in itself problematic. No matter what Spiegel's gloss is it doesn't substitute for detailed charges.


But i am a "German speaking friend"... :D

Well, good idea, ask him. German is not easy to be translated into english ( and i have to go through French first, so i might have "bugs" as well)

The person I know is well aware of the issues and doesn't need a defensive reaction to help, as you will see from a later post I made.

Balsamo wrote:By experience, i know that google translate can be influenced by terms used.

What I got back from a native German speaker does not agree with your gloss. What can I say? I simply gave the person the sentence, without comment, and asked for a translation.

Balsamo wrote:
What happened to Erntefest?


Don't really understand that question.

You wrote, "Those are the main points." But you didn't mention Erntefest.

Most of the news items mention Erntefest. E.g., from Yahoo,
In particular, the indictment accuses the man of supporting the so-called Operation "Erntefest" — Operation Harvest Festival — on November 3, 1943.

On that day, at least 17,000 Jewish prisoners from the Majdanek camp and others who were being used as forced laborers in and around Lublin were shot in ditches just outside the camp. Music was blared from the Majdanek loudspeakers to mask the sound of the executions.

The Frankfurt resident charged Friday "contributed in his role as a perimeter guard and as a tower guard, and thus knowingly and deliberately aided" the killings, prosecutors said.

You neglected this but tried saying that your gloss contained the "main points." It didn't.

Balsamo wrote:My perspective is the legal approach adopted by the prosecution based on what has been shared.

No, your perspective is biased and ignores key parts of what has been reported.

Balsamo wrote:I have never contested the fact that you could be right

And I could be wrong. All I've been doing is presenting a plausible counter-scenario to the idea that this prosecution is "madness." If I could be right, indeed, it is pretty much by definition not "madness."

Balsamo wrote:if the charges were more supported the prosecution would have insist on them, and that the press would have talked about.

As I said, you don't know this.

Balsamo wrote:
So on the basis of admittedly not knowing much you feel it is right to dismiss the case as "madness." You have just announced your bias.

Of course, why shouldn't I?
Should we, as poster on a comment forum, feel obliged to respect a sense of discretion unless we have all the elements of any case?

I simply question why the rush to declare this madness - without tying the bits we have back to Majdanek and what we know about Erntefest.

Balsamo wrote:as you don't seem to take into consideration the information provided by the Groening case...

False. I took the Gröning case into account: I said it doesn't seem identical and that this case seems to have different elements. I didn't understand that we were simply rehashing Gröning's case, on which we likely disagree to some extent, but that's not what I was reacting to, and I explained that.

Balsamo wrote:And i feel perfectly find to qualify it as "madness", i would add, "dangerous irresponsible madness".

And I believe I've shown that this is madness.

Balsamo wrote:
That - a crime against humanity - is not the charge against this man; the charge - assuming the media accounts are accurate - is accessory to murder. The prosecution has to prove this, not what you want it to have to prove.

If the charges are about his involvement in Erntefest, which is considered as a crime against humanity, i am not that wrong,

You are wrong, plain and simple, if the news reports are correct and that the charge is accessory to murder.

Balsamo wrote:if it is related to the Jews more broadly led to the gas chambers of Majdanek, during his duty, then the murder is also a crime against humanity.

This is not what, according to news reports, he was charged with. No matter how many times you write this, you can't make it so unless you show that the news reports are incorrect.

Balsamo wrote:I have sent an inquiry about this prescription thing, as in my book, in Germany all crimes punished by "life in prison" are still subject to a 30 years statute of limitations...Now, i am not aware of other crimes that sentence you to "life in prison" in Germany beside murder.
I hope i'll get an answer soon.

Again, this is not what the sources I cited and linked to - and others I didn't post about - say.

Balsamo wrote:In this case, the murders (even in case they would be qualified as just "murder) are nevertheless related to crime against humanity, so the charges is about them.

There you go again.

Balsamo wrote:As for my sources, here is one:
https://books.google.com.pa/books?id=V5ivCQAAQBAJ&pg=PA148&lpg=PA148&dq=crimes+imprescriptibles+en+Allemagne&source=bl&ots=1pzJnrUO3S&sig=H6UAp9x9Cm8hNNsVZvnmKZ3CdC8&hl=es-419&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=crimes%20imprescriptibles%20en%20Allemagne&f=false

I get a blank page so I can't relate this link to what I've posted and read.

Balsamo wrote:Again, there was this debate about extending prescription in France, and it is an habit to always refers to the situation in Germany, so i could basically give a link to all French papers.

?????

Balsamo wrote:
Complain to Spiegel, JTA, WaPo, etc.

I would not. The Media repeat what they have been told. If i had to complain, I would complain to the prosecutor's office. It is its job to provide us with proper information.

Tendentious crap.

Sorry, I have lost interest at this point. Reading the rest of this I keep losing the thread. So my mind is drifting again. Too many tangents and too much emotion, too little that is pertinent to the question we started with, too few straight responses. Too much muddying of the waters. Enough. As I said, it should be easy IMO to say that it's premature to declare this prosecution madness without so much drama. And I don't understand why it is so hard to say that this man, based on the news briefs we’ve seen and on what we know of Majdanek, may well be guilty of heinous crimes.
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Balsamo » Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:08 am

Statmec:

You are wrong, plain and simple, if the news reports are correct and that the charge is accessory to murder.


Do you really believe that this men would be put on trial in 2017-2018 if the crime was a simple murder case - like during a bank robbery that took place in 1944, if it wasn't actually a Nazi crime of huge proportion? That all crime cases in Germany are treated this way?

The investigation was lead by an office who ONLY works on Nazi crimes - war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Any cases of offices of the Ministry of Justice dedicated to solving unresolved crimes that took place 70 years ago?

False. I took the Gröning case into account: I said it doesn't seem identical and that this case seems to have different elements. I didn't understand that we were simply rehashing Gröning's case, on which we likely disagree to some extent, but that's not what I was reacting to, and I explained that.


We cannot know if they will be identical or not.
I have also said that i will be happy to be proven wrong. Meanwhile, the Groening's trial is the only reference we have: Groening was investigated 30 years ago and the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence. He is indicted 30 years later - i am not aware that new evidence or new investigation had been led to reconsider the indictments - for being accessory for the murder of 300.000 people, and was found guilty!
Not because of new evidence, but of loosening of legal definition.

I understood Jeff's "madness" post as a fear that such a Trial will be repeated.
You chose to base your opinion on the fact that this case is a completely new one and should be perceived individually. Your choice, and as i said, there is a possibility that the future will give you right.

Why not accept that another perspective is possible, a more pessimistic one, i admit?
I personally doubt that a decent investigation can be made when only those who were 21 years old at that time can still be alive. But again, maybe the prosecution has brand new evidence, and i would welcome that. Right now, i am not convince at all.

Until an eventual trial clears up the question, i rely on what happened during the Groening's trial, and as i said, i feel fine to consider it as "madness".

You chose to restrict your perspective to this specific case to come, i don't call it madness or illusionary hope. It is your right to see it that way.

Statmec:
I get a blank page so I can't relate this link to what I've posted and read.


I just copy paste the link into google and the book came out.
Here the link:
https://books.google.com.pa/books?id=V5ivCQAAQBAJ&pg=PA148&lpg=PA148&dq=crimes+imprescriptibles+en+Allemagne&source=bl&ots=1pzJnrUO3S&sig=H6UAp9x9Cm8hNNsVZvnmKZ3CdC8&hl=es-419&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=crimes%20imprescriptibles%20en%20Allemagne&f=false

Sorry it is french. Page 150.
Still waiting for an answer.

Tendentious crap.


No it is not. Just another perception.

As I said, it should be easy IMO to say that it's premature to declare this prosecution madness without so much drama. And I don't understand why it is so hard to say that this man, based on the news briefs we’ve seen and on what we know of Majdanek, may well be guilty of heinous crimes.


As i said, i really hope you will be proven right.
The only difference i see is that I DO - and maybe this is also the reason why both Jeff's reacted the way it did - FEAR a repetition of the Groening's trial which i consider as a damage to the principle of "presumption of innocent" as it has weakened the burden of proof by the prosecution. And by saying that, i don't think of those specific Nazi criminals, but of the future suspect who might be judged under the same standard - without having committed a Nazi crime.
If a suspect cannot be directly linked to a murder case, and following the rules of the German criminal code, cannot be proven of having intentionally aided those who intentionally committed the murder, then this suspect should not be indicted in a murder case. Groening is obviously guilty of being part of the spoliation of the inmates. But his Job would have been the same, even in the case that those Jewish inmates had not been killed.

Actually, i just came upon another editorial about the Groening case:
Gröning, too, was under investigation for a long time, but charges were dropped 30 years ago due to a lack of evidence.
It was only in 2011, with the trial of SS guard John Demjanjuk from the Sobibor extermination camp, that the views of German judges changed. Since that decision, everyone who was ever employed by a camp can now be charged as an accessory to murder - even if he was only a cook.


This is exactly this new principle i do oppose! Sorry, but i see it as an abuse of Justice, which is contrary to the German criminal code which requires that individual guilt should be determined independently of the guilt of others. A dangerous precedent, hence my qualification of "madness". And i still fear that any future Nazi trial will be based in this principle, as i don't see how an alternative would even be possible at that stage.

Actually i could have expressed my view in much fewer lines.

You are right, i have the default to say too many things in order to defend one simple point, tangent is probably the right term, out of fear from not being well understood.


There is one good thing that came out of this discussion.
I am currently Douglas Book and it's kind of great. You see, sometimes, i can look at the bright side.

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Jeff_36 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:31 am

For the record I spoke mainly out of fear of bad optics, as well as an incorrect assumption that every former functionary brought to trial at this point would be like poor old Groning.

I am still of the opinion that collecting perpetrator testimonies to debunk and obliterate denial is a far more imortant venture than these trials. However I will remain undecided about this trial until the evidence of this mans involvment has surfaced.

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Balsamo » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:27 pm

Just the last details:
Here is the law regarding the statute of limitations:

§ 78 Verjährungsfrist

Die Verjährung schließt die Ahndung der Tat und die Anordnung von Maßnahmen (§ 11 Abs. 1 Nr. 8) aus. § 76a Absatz 2 bleibt unberührt.
(2) Verbrechen nach § 211 (Mord) verjähren nicht.
(3) Soweit die Verfolgung verjährt, beträgt die Verjährungsfrist
1.
dreißig Jahre bei Taten, die mit lebenslanger Freiheitsstrafe bedroht sind,
2.
zwanzig Jahre bei Taten, die im Höchstmaß mit Freiheitsstrafen von mehr als zehn Jahren bedroht sind,
3.
zehn Jahre bei Taten, die im Höchstmaß mit Freiheitsstrafen von mehr als fünf Jahren bis zu zehn Jahren bedroht sind,
4.
fünf Jahre bei Taten, die im Höchstmaß mit Freiheitsstrafen von mehr als einem Jahr bis zu fünf Jahren bedroht sind,
5.
drei Jahre bei den übrigen Taten.

We can see why it can be confusing.
1. states that crimes sentenced with "life in prison" are subject to a limitation of 30 years. BUT that crimes described in acticle 211 (Murder) are indeed not concerned. But here is the description of those crimes.

Here is the section in English:
Section 78
Limitation period

(1) The imposition of punishment and measures (section 11(1) No 8) shall be excluded on expiry of the limitation period. Section 76a(2) 1st sentence No 1 remains unaffected.

(2) Felonies under section 211 (murder under specific aggravating circumstances)are not subject to the statute of limitations.

(3) To the extent that prosecution is subject to the statute of limitations, the limitation period shall be

1. thirty years in the case of offences punishable by imprisonment for life;

2. twenty years in the case of offences punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of more than ten years;

3. ten years in the case of offences punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of more than five years but no more than ten years;

4. five years in the case of offences punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of more than one year but no more than five years;

5. three years in the case of other offences.






Section 211
Murder under specific aggravating circumstances
(1) Whosoever commits murder under the conditions of this provision shall be liable to imprisonment for life.
(2) A murderer under this provision is any person who kills a person for pleasure, for sexual gratification, out of greed or otherwise base motives, by stealth or cruelly or by means that pose a danger to the public or in order to facilitate or to cover up another offence.


The exception of statute of limitation therefore only applies to murders "under aggravating circumstances",

Note that Section 212 also deals with murder, here:


Section 212
Murder

(1) Whosoever kills a person without being a murderer under section 211 shall be convicted of murder and be liable to imprisonment of not less than five years.

(2) In especially serious cases the penalty shall be imprisonment for life.


I was wrong in the sense that i thought that war crimes and crimes against humanity had been included, like in most countries, in the German criminal code, which is not the case, such crimes seems to have been integrated in the existing code and qualified as "murder under specific aggravating circumstances".

I was still right in the sense that this exception does not concern ALL cases of murder, but only those defined in Section 211.
So clearly, "usual murder" which can also be punished with "life in prison" (212 (2)) is still subject to statute of limitation.

So stating that " that the statute of limitations was removed for murder, no matter in what context" is also wrong.

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby NathanC » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:03 am

Balsamo wrote:I was wrong in the sense that i thought that war crimes and crimes against humanity had been included, like in most countries, in the German criminal code, which is not the case, such crimes seems to have been integrated in the existing code and qualified as "murder under specific aggravating circumstances".


Yes. In the aftermath of WW2, the Germans complained that war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Nuremberg Trials, were ex post facto laws and unfair. Because the US needed West Germany's support against the USSR, they complied and did not pressure them into following the findings or statutes at the IMT. This allowed the Germans to try Nazi crimes under the German law, which was in effect when these crimes happened, which you cited, and came with the built in loophole that was all too easy to exploit.

Denier idiots don't know what they're talking about when they insist that the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial or other West German trials "were bound by the Nuremberg trials". The fact is that these trials happened and could happen because the German justice system was NOT bound by the Nuremberg trials.

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:32 am

NathanC wrote:
Balsamo wrote:I was wrong in the sense that i thought that war crimes and crimes against humanity had been included, like in most countries, in the German criminal code, which is not the case, such crimes seems to have been integrated in the existing code and qualified as "murder under specific aggravating circumstances".


Yes. In the aftermath of WW2, the Germans complained that war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Nuremberg Trials, were ex post facto laws and unfair. Because the US needed West Germany's support against the USSR, they complied and did not pressure them into following the findings or statutes at the IMT. This allowed the Germans to try Nazi crimes under the German law, which was in effect when these crimes happened, which you cited, and came with the built in loophole that was all too easy to exploit.

Denier idiots don't know what they're talking about when they insist that the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial or other West German trials "were bound by the Nuremberg trials". The fact is that these trials happened and could happen because the German justice system was NOT bound by the Nuremberg trials.

The problem isn't exactly an easy one, which is what I've been trying to say in this thread - and why I asked so many times for evidence for claims that Balsamo made about war crimes and crimes against humanity in German law. Indeed, it is well known that it was existing German criminal law which was in use in the Federal Republic for all Mord cases including "collective" crimes of the Third Reich (we've both pointed out the ex post facto concern). Application of the German Mord law, crafted for ordinary murder cases, not genocide, can and did lead to serious injustice in that genocide isn't really like a murder an individual or small group of individuals carries out - it relies on a very complex and broad division of labor. Germany rejected the "common plan" concept used at Nuremberg, which also has defects - one being that it can be biased towards an almost intentionalist approach and toward targeting high-level planners/perpetrators, again not really how genocide works.

The Demjanjuk standard - Douglas explains this well in his book The Right Wrong Man - was a (belated) response by the courts to make German law more relevant to the realities of genocidal projects. Douglas shows that the standard, which he calls "functional participation," has had spotty use in Germany since WWII. Questions about intention/knowledge in participation (leaving aside the time/age factor) don't go away with the Demjanjuk standard - but become better addressable. I don't think that the standard is the way it is caricatured - both in the media and in some posts in this thread - almost saying that anyone who rode his bicycle past a camp is a perpetrator; rather, the Demjanjuk standard opens up prosecutions in cases of real participation that the "Frankfurt" interpretation of the law of Mord nearly excluded.
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:23 pm

NathanC wrote:. . . This allowed the Germans to try Nazi crimes under the German law, which was in effect when these crimes happened, which you cited, and came with the built in loophole that was all too easy to exploit. . . .

This is the main idea here, isn't it? So much energy in this thread about the Majdanek case - all full of lamentations and woe (for a case that may well be warranted) and almost nothing said about the injustices that occurred under earlier, pre-Demjanjuk interpretations of Mord. IMO you've put your finger on it: what we should be outraged by is the "loopholes" and how through the years they've been exploited. There, that's the big takeaway.
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby NathanC » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:51 pm

Well said

Statistical Mechanic wrote:almost nothing said about the injustices that occurred under earlier, pre-Demjanjuk interpretations of Mord


Pointing them out would undermine the narrative that the world "felt sorry" for those ungrateful Jews and gave them everything they wanted, in addition to undermining the denier fantasy that these trials were "show trials"

about this though

Statistical Mechanic wrote:Germany rejected the "common plan" concept used at Nuremberg, which also has defects - one being that it can be biased towards an almost intentionalist approach and toward targeting high-level planners/perpetrators, again not really how genocide works.


Isn't this pretty much what happened though? IIRC, this also played into the loophole used by most West German Defense attorneys. Following the "bathtub case" precedent - where the court figured that the woman who asked for the abortion, and not her sister who carried it out by drowning her niece in the bathtub, was guilty of mord- they figured that the ones guilty of Mord under section 211 and deserving the life sentences or whatever were the top level planners; Hitler, Himmler, Heydrich, etc, and everyone else were just accessories and could only be tried under 212 with the corresponding lighter sentence or could get off because of the statute of limitations, unless it could be demonstrated in killing this or that person that they displayed base motives.

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:57 pm

NathanC wrote:Isn't this pretty much what happened though?

In a word, yes.

(thanks for bringing up the Bathtub case, critical context)
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Balsamo » Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:53 pm

In my opinion, not having integrated new definition of crimes - that is war crimes and crime of genocide - is the original sin.
Even if we can at least "understand" the first reluctance of the new Federal Republic to adopt it, i think that changes would have been possible later, like in the 80's. But then the guilt is on the Politicians as they are supposed to make the law.

The Justice is supposed to be independent, but does not make the laws. That would be the responsibility of the "Bunderstag."
Like many, i really used to blame the German Justice for the leniency it showed toward Nazi criminals. But then - even if there were some former Nazi within its ranks - it actually had few options left to deal with those "special cases". It is obvious that the normal criminal code is not fit for those procedures, the legal definitions available just do not correspond to the nature of the crimes at stake.

In the German law, there is a fundamental principle: "Keine Strafe ohne Gesetz", " No penalty without Laws". It is the Code that defines the crimes and proposes the sentences according to the crimes. We have seen that in a murder case, the sentence starts as low as 5 years up to life in prison.
If one takes the decision to judge crimes that are "crimes against humanity" the same way as "common murder cases", then there are two options:
- You follow the criminal code and end up giving offensive lenient sentence. And that creates a "sentiment of injustice"
OR
- You adapt, up to cheating, with what is in the criminal code in order to secure indictment and conviction.and that creates a "sentiment of illegality"
There were / are no real other options, actually. I mean for the JUSTICE, as there were other options as far as the Legislators are concerned.

The problem i was trying to raise, is that the danger is that the criminal code applies for precisely all murder cases, so when you adapt/ reinterpret the Code - in my opinion in juristic dangerous way - it can later be applied to all the cases and creates in fine a "Juristic insecurity" which is prejudicial to all the citizens who will face this same Justice in the future.

For a long time, it seems that the Justice followed the first option, probably conscientious of the dangers i just mention (or maybe just among other reasons).
It seems today that it took the risk to follow the second path. And of course, the dangers are real.

As Sergey Romanov noted earlier in this thread:
Of course, by this logic one could indict almost every single wartime German adult, aside from those who were in the resistance. They were, after all, little cogs in the Nazi state.

I would add, one could even obtain convictions for all of them, by extending the logic to the extreme.
And worse, because this logic is applied within the common German criminal code, risks of future abuses may be a very real consequence.
The only reason of my protest.

I agree that the previous situation was as bad when it came to Nazi crimes, but i realized that it was not really the fault of the Justice which just chose to follow the criminal code, but that it was the German governments and Parliaments fault. They could and SHOULD have adapt the code, they could and SHOULD have changed the laws.

Spain, for example, is one country that despite its past, integrated crimes against humanity into its Code.
Germany never did, and for this it is to blame.

Today, the situation is even scarier because it is the Justice which by its action, actually "de facto" changes the laws and the criminal code while it is not in its constitutional competence to do so. Again, it is about time that the German politicians address the issue seriously.

Because, basically, the situation - the roots of the problem - remains the same. The German criminal code is not adapted to deal with such crimes, and given the principle "Keine Strafe ohne Gesetz", the degree of the reinterpretation of what is written in the law, makes ALL those trials highly contestable, when it should not.

In Both cases, the unpleasant situation remains.

EDIT:
PS: To Statmec: It has never been about the Majdanek case specifically, but on how the German Justice deals with Nazi crimes. We had two judgment based on the new standard: Demjanjuk and Groening, which i used to extrapolate about this latest indictments.

Statmec:
almost nothing said about the injustices that occurred under earlier, pre-Demjanjuk interpretations of Mord.


Well i hope that my last post (this one) clarify things a bit.
It is the criminal code that is supposed to define the crimes and the sentence. The qualification of what constitute "Mord" in the context (the one Mord that is not subject to statute of limitations is to be found in the section 211 of this code.
The same way, the Code defines what it is to be accessory to this specific Mord (211), in section 26,27,29, etc.)

It is important to understand that both American Justice and Continental European Justice do not follow the same logics, procedures, etc.
There is no such things as the Accusatory System in Europe.
So it is important to keep in mind that within the European Justice System, the defense has actually no right to participate to the investigation (which is secret, by the way) and that its sole strategy is to denounce any misuse of the Code during the investigation.
Had John Grisham been German, he would not have sold many books!!

PS2: I have just read that the defense in the Demjanuk case basically used my logic - which might makes me look bad - but the fact that it has been used proved nevertheless its juristic pertinence in the context of German Laws.

@NathanC: Exactly, the Bathtub exactly illustrate the logic of the German criminal code (which has been posted by Balmoral) ...It is obvious that the sister did not wake up that morning with the idea of killing her niece...The intention belonged to the mothers who requested it. (Now i do not know the details of this case, was this murder case under Section (211? or 212?).
you wrote:
and everyone else were just accessories and could only be tried under 212 with the corresponding lighter sentence or could get off because of the statute of limitations, unless it could be demonstrated in killing this or that person that they displayed base motives.

I am not sure this is correct. I don't know there is such things as one being found guilty of murder under 211 and a accessory to it being sentenced under 212. Those two sections, as i understand it, are meant to define the MURDER. So logically, if you help someone to commit a 211 murder, you cannot be consider as having participated to a 212 murder.
212 regroups all the murder cases which are not directly defined in section 211.
Was wrong on that, see next post...sorry

To give an example:
If Statmec and I meet in a restaurant and start talking...let's say about the SonderKommando...He got pissed and shoot me...well it will - i hope - be considered as a murder, but not under 211, unless it can be proven that he felt an almost sexual satisfaction doing so, and that it was him that actually started to speak about the SK with the idea that it would give him a motive - then it could be requalified in 211 murder. But that is quite unlikely, right? So let's assume that it would be a 212 murder.

Now if you actually arrange the meeting, and was present at the crime scene, you would face charge of being accessory to murder 212, and given that it was obvious - at least, i hope so - that you did not arrange the meeting with the shared intention of killing me, you would probably escape much of Stat sentence.
Unless it took place in Texas where you would share the murderer's fate! :cry:
:lol:

Seriously,
Do you have a link that would give more details? or Wasn't that in one of Browning's book on Trials? or was it in Bloxham? I don't remember. But this Bathtub case rings some bells...

It would be interesting to see if this judgment were a consequential of post-war Nazi trials or if the case was used as a precedent. In case, it preceded any Nazi trials, then it would illustrate that it is how German Justice is meant to work, whether one disproves or not.

In any case, it just confirms that the original sin - so to speak - was the decision to treat those "unconventional cases" using a code that was not adapted to the extreme character of those crimes. That does not mean that the actual criminal code is BAD. It is my opinion that usually, it is highly preferable to be judged by a German Court than by a Court in Texas...

It was and still is the responsibility of the Legislators to create new legislations adapted to the extraordinary nature of "crimes against humanity".
Those are in fine the ones to blame.
Had those Legislators done their Job (and their duty) there would not be such a discussion.
Last edited by Balsamo on Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Balsamo » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:20 pm

NathanC wrote:Well said

Statistical Mechanic wrote:almost nothing said about the injustices that occurred under earlier, pre-Demjanjuk interpretations of Mord


Pointing them out would undermine the narrative that the world "felt sorry" for those ungrateful Jews and gave them everything they wanted, in addition to undermining the denier fantasy that these trials were "show trials"

about this though

Statistical Mechanic wrote:Germany rejected the "common plan" concept used at Nuremberg, which also has defects - one being that it can be biased towards an almost intentionalist approach and toward targeting high-level planners/perpetrators, again not really how genocide works.


Isn't this pretty much what happened though? IIRC, this also played into the loophole used by most West German Defense attorneys. Following the "bathtub case" precedent - where the court figured that the woman who asked for the abortion, and not her sister who carried it out by drowning her niece in the bathtub, was guilty of mord- they figured that the ones guilty of Mord under section 211 and deserving the life sentences or whatever were the top level planners; Hitler, Himmler, Heydrich, etc, and everyone else were just accessories and could only be tried under 212 with the corresponding lighter sentence or could get off because of the statute of limitations, unless it could be demonstrated in killing this or that person that they displayed base motives.


Sorry, just to correct what i wrote above.
You are indeed correct, even if i misunderstood how you put it (my fault).

Yes, if someone is accessory to a 211 murder, but cannot be linked to the elements that characterize the 211 nature of the crime, in the sense exposed in section 27 or 28, that he was NOT willing and/or fully aware of 211 nature of what he was participating to, then, given that he still aided a murder, he will be judged under the 212 provisions, which by the way is perfectly understandable under normal circumstances, but not so when it comes to judge Nazi criminals.

Another example to outline the distinction between the planners and the executioner would be if i would hire a hit-man to get rid of a rival, enemy or just because i am evil. All the intentions, the will, the motives, that would have influenced the murder would be mines alone...It is logic that i bear the main guilt as the hit-man would not have killed the victim if i had not asked and pay first. The same way, i cannot pretend to just have "given the idea" but did not commit the murder. In this example, it would not mean that the hitman would be considered innocent, though, and 212 murders can also be punished by "life in prison". But it would probably not fall into 211, while i - as the planner - might.
Again, presented like this it is acceptable, while it would have been an outrage if such logic had applied to Hoess or Moll for example, but then it their cases, i doubt they would have escape the 211.

212 murders do not automatically imply a lighter sentence, it all depend on the case actually. 212 murders are punished by "life in prison" just the same, but yes they are like all other types of crimes subject to status of limitations.

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:13 pm

Dropping this here for historical context, showing that as early as December 1945 the issue of how to prosecute and adjudicate complex crimes utilizing a division of labor was contentious: in the first Dachau trial, during his closing comments prosecutor Denton explained the theory of "common design," which was a key element of the particulars of the case against the men on trial for violation of the laws and usages of war:
. . . I do not want the court to feel that it is necessary to establish individual acts of misconduct to show guilt or innocence. If he participated in this common design, as evidence has shown, it is sufficient to establish his guilt.

Defense counsel Bates, in his summation, argued that to be "honest," the court would have to
admit that common design found its way into the judgment [indictment?] for the simple expedient of trying forty defendants in one mass trial instead of having to try one each in forty trials. . . . If every one of the defendants is guilty of participating in that large common design, then it becomes necessary to hold responsible every member of the Nazi Party and every citizen of Germany who contributed to the waging of total war - and I submit that can't be done.

It took the tribunal in the first Dachau case ninety minutes of deliberation to find all defendants guilty of all charges, speficially referencing common design in the sentencing (38 of the men received a penalty of death by hanging). One can debate whether this was a correct decision and whether the prosecution's methods were problematic (iwh and I have laid out our positions on this in another thread) but one cannot accurately say that the "functional participation" standard is a recent invention.
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Balsamo » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:31 pm

Correct or not, this was the path chosen by the military court as well as the IMT. It was their right to do so as they were not liable to a existent criminal code.
And that is the whole issue.

The German criminal code does not and should not be interpreted as allowing this approach. Simple as that.
Whether it is right or wrong is not the issue. The German parliament can pass new law that would "legalize" this strategy, but as far as i know, it did not.

There is currently a judicial scandal going on in France, which perfectly describes the issues.

A 28 years old man was caught having a "sexual relation" with a 11 years old girl. Of course, the parents made a complain and the prosecutor charged the pedophile with "rape".
A Judge supported by a Jury acquitted the child abuser for lack of evidence.

Sounds crazy and revolting, right? And currently emotion is quite high in France. How can a man abusing a 11 years old child be acquitted?

Well, because the prosecutor made a terrible mistake (and actually should be fired right away.
The Judge and Jury acquitted this bastard because they actually followed the Laws and the french criminal code which unfortunately very precise of what is "child abuse" and what is a "rape". All of a sudden, the French, as well as the all the politicians, discovered that contrary to many other European countries, France has no law assimilating sexual relations with a child automatically to a rape.

Currently, in France, there is a sexual maturity established at 15 years.
Any sexual relation between an adult and a minor younger that 15 is considered as a "sexual abuse" which is punished by 5 years in Jail.
The problem is that "Rape" is another crime, to be tried by a "Criminal Court" (Cour d'assises) and is clearly defined as involving "surprise, constraint, threats and violence", whether the rape concerns a child or an adult is here irrelevant as it is not specified in the criminal code.
By pressing charges of "Rape" instead of "child abuse", the prosecutor faced the obligation to actually prove that what took place between the man and the little girl implied "surprise, constraint, threats and violence", and unfortunately he could not.

The Jury had no other choice than to acquit this bastard!
Let's be clear, it is a disgusting situation, and it is "morally" unacceptable. But it is not the fault of the Justice, but of the politicians who never thought to adapt the French legislation.

Belgium has laws that automatically associates sexual relation with children with rape, considering that a child is in no position to take a decision regarding those matters, but France does not have such laws. Of course, the topic is now being addressed and a new law will be passed so that such insane situation does not take place in the future.

Actually, independently to the awful nature of the crime, the French Justice actually took the good decision to follow its criminal code instead of perverting it because that is how a democratic Justice is supposed to behave. The prosecution {!#%@} up, and had it charged this bastards with "child abuse", he would be sleeping in Jail tonight.
If one wants to associate child abuse with rape, then it should be added to the criminal code (and of course, it really should be added as fast as possible).

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:46 pm

Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Balsamo » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:58 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWtCittJyr0

zzzzzzzz


WAOUW!
Falling asleep listening to this great song is quite an achievement.

Sorry, but you last post clearly shows that you still don't get it.
You wrote:
one cannot accurately say that the "functional participation" standard is a recent invention.


Who ever said that?

The thing is that this concept of "functional participation" is not in the German criminal code, therefore should not be used, NOT THAT IT HAS NOT BEEN USED BEFORE.

It might be that you lack the knowledge about the European inquisitorial systems of justice and its fundamental difference with the American accusatory system to fully understand what is at stake. If that was the case, you would have realized that the inquisitorial system can only guarantee equal Justice IF played by the book. Its main default being that it is 100% State regulated, or to be more precise, the public, the people have no influence on it, judges, prosecutors, etc are not elected. The only guarantee is that they are supposed to be independent from the Executive Power.

No big deal, after all you are an American citizen. And it is obvious that most of the participants of this forum are if not American, at least Anglo-Saxon. So you probably don't fully realize that given its specificities, the European Justice can be turned against its people very easily. The Nazi did not reformed the codes, and didn't have to deploy huge effort to reform the judicial system to get what they wanted and turn it into a tool of oppression. Basically, all they did is to force the judges to adopt a new "stance", to allow them to interpret the code in a "nazi way" - the so called gesundes Volksempfinden - a terrifying concept asking the judge to be guided by the "sentiment of the people" when taking its final decision.
In the end, in the inquisitorial system, it all depends on the judges - nominated for life. If they have "democratic value", there will be a "democratic Justice", if they become (or allowed to become Nazi), it will be a "Nazi justice", etc.
The only way to prevent any deviation of how justice is done in Europe, is the obligation to stick with the codes and to refrain (and even forbid any perversion through any kind of "Volkempfinden". simple at that.
Now you don't see that or don't feel concerned, ok.

The same way i am not in a position to understand how the election of a Dummy as president can inspire close to 100.000 posts. You fear for you public liberties, worship the US constitution as the ultimate protection.
Well, we in Europe do not care about constitutions that much, they are regularly changed anyway.
What Europeans should fear is how Justice evolves, that is the biggest threat we face.

I am not judging your anger and fears due to trump, why you judge mines when it regards purely European and German matters is quite beyond me.

Ok, i let you sleep now.

PS: The famous "Bathtube case" was tried in 1940...just saying in case some would think that post war Germany would have changed its juridic approach after the war just to deal with the nazi crimes...

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:47 pm


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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:10 pm

Stutthof eh? I am not so well versed about that camp . . .
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:53 pm

Balsamo wrote:WAOUW! . . .

I get it: I'm an American - and Americans can't learn. It's clear now. And, when I next need a lecture on the history German law, and, despite my handicap, I do try to keep learning about this topic for sure, I will read another of your tangents on a recent criminal case in France, as recent cases in France are so much better for illustrating postwar German law than the sorts of things I've been studying - scholarly works on German law, the Third Reich, and postwar trials in Germany. I understand, I could read 100s of such works, and, because I'm American, it won't sink in. Glad we have that cleared up now.
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Balsamo » Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:14 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Balsamo wrote:WAOUW! . . .

I get it: I'm an American - and Americans can't learn. It's clear now. And, when I next need a lecture on the history German law, and, despite my handicap, I do try to keep learning about this topic for sure, I will read another of your tangents on a recent criminal case in France, as recent cases in France are so much better for illustrating postwar German law than the sorts of things I've been studying - scholarly works on German law, the Third Reich, and postwar trials in Germany. I understand, I could read 100s of such works, and, because I'm American, it won't sink in. Glad we have that cleared up now.



No, you still do not get it, sorry.
It is not because you are American, it is because you live in a world where Justice is rendered differently, with another logic.
I was once told that one should not judge other forms of Justice, as they are the expression of a culture, a history, and specific necessities.
Of course, you can learn, but then you should maybe at least read me without anger and prejudices.

The case i mention regarding this awful pedophile case, is the perfect illustration of how a European Justice should behave, even if the result is disgusting.
You keep pointing the wrong topic (that is the one i am debating), IT IS NOT ABOUT POSTWAR German Laws, It has ALWAYS been the LAWS.
The same way, i also read a great deal about "Post war trial in Germany", and i am probably as revolted by them as you are. But then i realize it was not really the JUSTICE fault, but the Legislators one. Such cases could not end up in front of some "Supreme court" that would have decided, "Judges, this is how those cases are to be treated".
In continental Europe, JUDGES CANNOT MAKE LAWS. (at actually, this is why i understand why a nomination of a Supreme Judge is so essential for you)

The same way, I had difficulties to really understand how the Fedorenko case was treated in the US ( i also read Douglas), and the astonishing conclusion of Judge Roettger. But as far as i understood, it is in fine the Supreme Court that officially changed how Laws should be understood, and pointed out the mistake of the former Nazi Judge.
But this is unthinkable in Europe, the procedure are completely different. And this is what you seem fail to fully comprehend.

A judge in Europe does not/ should not have the kind of liberty of interpretation as Judge Roettger (or Hoffmann) had, their duty is to follow the book (criminal CODE). Our Justice is not based on interpretation of former cases (or at least should not), Jurisprudence is only one side argument that can be taken into consideration, but barely.

In a European Trial, the role of the Judge is mainly to determine if the conclusion of the State prosecution (the prosecutor is not elected neither) are conformed with what the criminal code says, that is the crimes charged are backed by how the code defines the crime.
Hence, the role of the Judge is essential to a fair trial, because contrary to the US system, the defense has no power of investigation, has no right to interfere with the inquiry, ALL the defense can do is to stick on the code and eventually contest how the prosecutor interpreted it.
BUT, if the prosecution, the government, and the Judges backed each other that the code could be open to reinterpretion the way it pleases them, then the defense is defenseless...and there are no longer "fair trial".

Now, contrary to you, i understood you point. You have faith that the trial will hold its promises and that the prosecution will present NEW proofs, and that the defense will have the power to contest the prosecution job and propose another judicial narrative...
But we have already seen, of course, but that is not what happened at the Groening's trial. So why would it be different?

Just saw it is now Stutthof turn? Again, you really believe that NEW investigation dig up NEW evidence?
Again will see.

You still fail to grasp that my posts are not about the trial of former Nazis, and that is also obvious by reading your posts.
What you called tangents is only to make you understand that while the European way to do Justice has many advantages, it is also much more vulnerable to be perverted and used against the people, than the US ones.
And through your readings, you probably know that a German Judge named (for live) in 1932 could have retired peacefully in 1956, for the simple reason that given that a Judge does not make the laws and has no power on it, he was considered as basically doing his job.

Americans at least can focus on the composition of the Supreme Courts to evaluate if their civic rights are in danger, but we in Europe we cannot. So we have to focus on such cases to evaluate if our future civic rights are in danger or not. Because the liberties of interpretation taken by the judicial power (which are probably barely constitutional), acceptable when it concerns Nazis, can afterward be adopted (in case of no reactions) to other categories of future indicted.

You chose to focus on the nature of the ones convicted, i focus on how those trial are being done. Again, i don't care that old Nazis are being sent to Jail, i do care of how this is being done. And if this is being done in what you would call an "unconstitutional way", then yes, i do care and worry.

The Groening case has been Judge as if the trial had been held in New York, using the US system, allowing the Judge and the prosecution (who contrary to the US are usually quite partners for obvious reasons) a level of liberty of interpretation they are not supposed to have in the current situation.

This is why i made the comparison with the latest Judicial scandal in France. The Judges unfortunately did they Job, and the French government acted immediately to change the criminal code so such cases would not happen in the future.
It is not a tangent, it is what the German Government and the German Congress SHOULD have done a long time ago.

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Balmoral95 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:05 am

Dude, get a grip. Slow down, take a deep breath, a slug of booze and start again.

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Balmoral95 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:08 am

Very, very slowly.

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Balmoral95 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:12 am

And strictly about Germany and German law as it applies directly to this case.

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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Balmoral95 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:22 am


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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Balmoral95 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:26 am


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Re: Oskar Gröning Auschwitz trial

Postby Balsamo » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:14 pm

Balmoral95 wrote:Starting at the beginning:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_purpose


And?
Those are doctrine from common law which does not apply in Germany.
You would have noted that some aspects of it have been corrected by the Supreme Court of the UK, who contested its automatic application, reminding among other things that:

" The mental element for secondary liability is intention to assist or encourage the crime. (…)It is a question for the jury in every case whether the intention to assist or encourage is shown."
That is that the intention has to be proven, and the question asked to the Jury.

Regarding the felony murder - i am not well versed into common law, but it sometimes amazes me - the wiki article outlined how controversial this doctrine is:

"Critics of the felony murder rule argue that the rule is unjust because it requires no intent to kill"
"Some commentators regard the rule of transferred intent as a legal fiction whereby the law pretends that the person who intended one wrongful act, also intends all the consequences of that act, however unforeseen"

Note that the article writes that this doctrine has been abolished in the UK, has been held to be unconstitutional in Canada, etc... Precisely the kind of juridic norms I DON'T WANT to see being adopted by our Courts of Justice.

Fortunately, those kind of over interpretations, kind of result of insane intellectual judicial masturbation, is impossible on the European continent where Laws are codified.


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