Oscar Groening liar?

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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Nessie » Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:16 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Nessie wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Nessie wrote:If Groening was in part responsible for everything that took place at Auschwitz, then every soldier who worked at Guantanamo Bay is responsible for everything that happened there.

Who wins or loses, who has the power decides who gets prosecuted.


Yet US soldiers were prosecuted and convicted for the crimes committed there, Nessie. Rightfully so.


Not all of them, only those directly involved in abuse. The guy responsible for prisoner property in the office was not prosecuted.



Nessie, keep in mind that the German state prosecuted Groening, not someone from the outside. The US, British, French, etc. didn’t pressure them to do so (AFAIK).


Israel has lobbied for prosecutions and

http://www.jpost.com/Jerusalem-Report/B ... ice-533371

"Under intensive lobbying from the Americans, it was the Germans who found a solution to the problem, which ultimately paved the way for numerous additional trials of Nazi war criminals in Germany, who otherwise would never have been prosecuted."

My point stands, Groening processed property, so why not prosecute the guy who processed property at Guantanamo?
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:36 pm

Nessie wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Nessie wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Nessie wrote:If Groening was in part responsible for everything that took place at Auschwitz, then every soldier who worked at Guantanamo Bay is responsible for everything that happened there.

Who wins or loses, who has the power decides who gets prosecuted.


Yet US soldiers were prosecuted and convicted for the crimes committed there, Nessie. Rightfully so.


Not all of them, only those directly involved in abuse. The guy responsible for prisoner property in the office was not prosecuted.



Nessie, keep in mind that the German state prosecuted Groening, not someone from the outside. The US, British, French, etc. didn’t pressure them to do so (AFAIK).


Israel has lobbied for prosecutions and

http://www.jpost.com/Jerusalem-Report/B ... ice-533371

"Under intensive lobbying from the Americans, it was the Germans who found a solution to the problem, which ultimately paved the way for numerous additional trials of Nazi war criminals in Germany, who otherwise would never have been prosecuted."

My point stands, Groening processed property, so why not prosecute the guy who processed property at Guantanamo?


The German cases are very specifically related to camps designated as extermination camps or camps that participated in the Final Solution:

The search for suspects has, moreover, been extended beyond the six major death camps (Auschwitz, Treblinka, Belzec, Chelmno, Sobibor and Majdanek) to include Stutthof, where the Nazis built a gas chamber in 1943 to assist in implementing the Final Solution, as well as to Mauthausen, and Ravensbruck, for the same reason, and Buchenwald.


The stated purpose of places of places like Guantánamo Bay was not “places where we are going to place prisoners so we can torture and humiliate them” but as detention centers. Semantics, I know, but still important. Don’t get me wrong, it disgusts me that the US government allowed and condoned the torture of inmates. If I had my way Bush on down would be prosecuted for war crimes.
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Nessie » Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:55 pm

I would not prosecute Groening or the guy at Guantanamo bay who dealt with the property. They were not involved enough to be held responsible. I would look to both to spill the beans on what others got up to.
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Jeff_36 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:34 pm

Balmoral95 wrote:
Nessie wrote:I am sure they do, but in the fight against deniers, the more admissions from those who were there that mass gassing etc took place, the better. After what happened to Groening, there will be no person who will come forward and help the fight against deniers.


Honestly, so what? Actuarially speaking one is only talking about a handful of people whose number shrinks every year. Besides, what exactly are they supposed to contribute to the body of facts already in evidence and why is any denier going to believe them?


At this point fighting denial is more important than anything else. With the number of young men intridyced to the alt right in the past few years its only a matter of time until they find their way to more serious hd. I predict a massive upswing in denial in the next decade.

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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Jeff_36 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:37 pm

Sergey_Romanov wrote:
Jeff_36 wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:It’s the thing I feel is the one positive, his speaking about it and his repudiation of deniers.


He redeemed himself through that. The poor man. I feel terrible for him. It's good that they never got the chance to imprison him.


What happened might not have been optimal, but I fail to feel sorry for him.

He entered the SS. He knowingly served in a literal slaughterhouse for people, no matter in what capacity. One could discuss legal fairness etc., but the poor man would have to stand a long time in the line of people whom I would dispense my limited reserves of pity.


Had he been like Damanjuk I would agree. But he redeemed himself by speaking out against denial. That is the key for me here. Without his participation in Rees's project I may have felt the same as you.

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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:39 pm

What an odd and unwarranted assumption, that those who served the machinery of mass murder are to be expected to “spill the beans” about it: “It has occurred to you that even in the most benign environment these guys just might want to let sleeping dogs lie?” Or worse.

Funny thing, though, Gröning himself said at his trial that his role and actions at Auschwitz made him “morally complicit” in what occurred at the camp: “It is beyond question that I am morally complicit. This moral guilt I acknowledge here, before the victims, with regret and humility.”

Only by the most tortured reasoning IMO can one disconnect the processing of what was stolen from the murder victims from the overall process of genocide. At his trial Gröning told the court of his role at Auschwitz (quoting NYT) that he was “responsible for collecting cash belonging to arriving prisoners at Auschwitz, as state prosecutors have charged, but that he also witnessed atrocities,” in short, he knew what was occurring.

But there's more we know: In 2005 Gröning described the money he managed as “money without owners.” That is, the cash stolen from Jews bought to the camp. In fact, Gröning also explained at that time more about his motivations and role, in the words of Spiegel:
Gröning is taken to an office the next morning where he informs the superior officer their that he has been trained in banking. He is assigned to "Inmate Money Administration." An aide instructs him on his new duties and informs him that the Jews are required to surrender their money when they arrive in the camp. It is placed into a wooden box, and Gröning's job will be to sort it and, from time to time, deliver it to the main administrative office for Berlin.

He also learns that most Jews are sent to the gas chambers. The next day, Oskar Gröning begins counting money.

He believes in Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels. He believes that it is the Germans' duty to destroy global Judaism. He believes that Germany lost World War I because of the Jews. And he wants Germany to win this war.

He eats well, works diligently and sleeps well. The men in the SS sleep in comfortable beds covered with soft, checkered quilts. They once belonged to the Jews.

After two months in the camp, Gröning is given an additional task. More and more trains are now arriving at the ramp, and someone has to stand guard to make sure none of the luggage is stolen. It is on the first day of his new assignment that he witnesses the baby's head being smashed into the truck.

At about this time, now involved directly with “the things that everyone was cheering about” and seeing how these thing “were actually happening,” Gröning developed qualms and made his first, he said, request for a transfer.

Further:
What did you think when you found out that Jews were being gassed in Auschwitz?

"That it was a tool of waging war. A war with advanced methods."

But you weren't in the war. You were in a factory where systematic murder was being committed.

"If you are convinced that the destruction of Judaism is necessary, then it no longer matters how the killing takes place. As early as 1939, Hitler said in speech that if the Jews were to force a new war on the Germans, it would mean the end of Judaism in Europe."

http://www.spiegel.de/international/spi ... 188-2.html
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:44 pm

Jeff_36 wrote:Had he been like Damanjuk I would agree. But he redeemed himself by speaking out against denial. That is the key for me here. Without his participation in Rees's project I may have felt the same as you.

His individual case has to be seen in a broader context - and that context should embrace what we know about how genocides happen IMO.
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:16 pm

Jeff_36 wrote:
Balmoral95 wrote:
Nessie wrote:I am sure they do, but in the fight against deniers, the more admissions from those who were there that mass gassing etc took place, the better. After what happened to Groening, there will be no person who will come forward and help the fight against deniers.


Honestly, so what? Actuarially speaking one is only talking about a handful of people whose number shrinks every year. Besides, what exactly are they supposed to contribute to the body of facts already in evidence and why is any denier going to believe them?


At this point fighting denial is more important than anything else. With the number of young men intridyced to the alt right in the past few years its only a matter of time until they find their way to more serious hd. I predict a massive upswing in denial in the next decade.

From this POV it was great that he was prosecuted - it cannot be argued that quid pro quo took place.

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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Nessie » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:42 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:What an odd and unwarranted assumption, that those who served the machinery of mass murder are to be expected to “spill the beans” about it: “It has occurred to you that even in the most benign environment these guys just might want to let sleeping dogs lie?” Or worse.


Who is making that assumption?

Funny thing, though, Gröning himself said at his trial that his role and actions at Auschwitz made him “morally complicit” in what occurred at the camp: “It is beyond question that I am morally complicit. This moral guilt I acknowledge here, before the victims, with regret and humility.”


He does not get to decide on his guilt. He (and/or his lawyer) does understand admissions help reduce sentences.

Only by the most tortured reasoning IMO can one disconnect the processing of what was stolen from the murder victims from the overall process of genocide. At his trial Gröning told the court of his role at Auschwitz (quoting NYT) that he was “responsible for collecting cash belonging to arriving prisoners at Auschwitz, as state prosecutors have charged, but that he also witnessed atrocities,” in short, he knew what was occurring.


No one is disconnecting his role from the overall process.

My argument is that prosecuting now for minor roles means we have pretty much guaranteed no more evidence of mass gassings from anyone still alive who was there and we need to make sure we are always on the winning side or else we could find our soldiers being prosecuted in the future, for similar minor roles.

But there's more we know: In 2005 Gröning described the money he managed as “money without owners.” That is, the cash stolen from Jews bought to the camp. In fact, Gröning also explained at that time more about his motivations and role, in the words of Spiegel:
Gröning is taken to an office the next morning where he informs the superior officer their that he has been trained in banking. He is assigned to "Inmate Money Administration." An aide instructs him on his new duties and informs him that the Jews are required to surrender their money when they arrive in the camp. It is placed into a wooden box, and Gröning's job will be to sort it and, from time to time, deliver it to the main administrative office for Berlin.

He also learns that most Jews are sent to the gas chambers. The next day, Oskar Gröning begins counting money.

He believes in Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels. He believes that it is the Germans' duty to destroy global Judaism. He believes that Germany lost World War I because of the Jews. And he wants Germany to win this war.

He eats well, works diligently and sleeps well. The men in the SS sleep in comfortable beds covered with soft, checkered quilts. They once belonged to the Jews.

After two months in the camp, Gröning is given an additional task. More and more trains are now arriving at the ramp, and someone has to stand guard to make sure none of the luggage is stolen. It is on the first day of his new assignment that he witnesses the baby's head being smashed into the truck.

At about this time, now involved directly with “the things that everyone was cheering about” and seeing how these thing “were actually happening,” Gröning developed qualms and made his first, he said, request for a transfer.

Further:
What did you think when you found out that Jews were being gassed in Auschwitz?

"That it was a tool of waging war. A war with advanced methods."

But you weren't in the war. You were in a factory where systematic murder was being committed.

"If you are convinced that the destruction of Judaism is necessary, then it no longer matters how the killing takes place. As early as 1939, Hitler said in speech that if the Jews were to force a new war on the Germans, it would mean the end of Judaism in Europe."

http://www.spiegel.de/international/spi ... 188-2.html


Would you prosecute a camp cook?
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:03 pm

Nessie wrote:Who is making that assumption?

You seemed to, using Gröning and staff at Guantanamo as cases.

Nessie wrote:He does not get to decide on his guilt.

He freely admitted it. Before and after trial.

Nessie wrote:No one is disconnecting his role from the overall process.

You wrote, among other things, "anyone who works at a camp where there is any sort of abuse is now responsible." This is a misunderstanding of Gröning's role, how he saw his role, and the operations involved at a camp like Auschwitz.

Nessie wrote:My argument is that prosecuting now

Timeliness is a different argument to the one you were making, so I didn't reply to it.

Nessie wrote:we have pretty much guaranteed no more evidence of mass gassings from anyone still alive who was there and we need to make sure we are always on the winning side or else we could find our soldiers being prosecuted in the future, for similar minor roles.

I really can't follow what you mean by ensuring that "we" are on "the winning side": as to testimony 7+ decades from the war years, we don't need it, we have massive amounts of evidence. The implication of what you've written is against prosecuting criminal suspects because doing so will chill speech, which strikes me as very odd. Especially since we don't "need" more evidence of this sort about the mass killings.

Nessie wrote:Would you prosecute a camp cook?

For what? Accessory to murder? What charges? The standard I'd use is knowledge of what was going on and performance of a role that enabled the crimes to be committed. There are shades of grey here, but I look at it in terms of what roles enabled the murder process - rather than whether an individual was directly responsible for putting people to death. OTOH I find it hard to see how SS servicemen at an Einsatz Reinhard camp shouldn't have been criminal. An SS-man serving in a Reinhard camp as a cook or in another support role deserves to be charged in some way (I'm not a lawyer) with participation in the criminal operation carried out there. A cook like Franz, that's a different story . . .

In favor of generalizations, this discussion has left out a lot that is IMO of relevance. Now, Gröning wasn't a camp cook. But we're discussing Gröning. And Auschwitz. Not camp cooks. Also, the Spiegel interviews give a very different picture of Gröning from the generalizations - bringing up camp cooks doesn't help understand the Gröning case.
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Balmoral95 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:42 am

At this point fighting denial is more important than anything else


It is? And here I've labored under the misapprehension the world had all sorts of very serious issues.

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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:52 am

Jeff_36 wrote:
Balmoral95 wrote:
Nessie wrote:I am sure they do, but in the fight against deniers, the more admissions from those who were there that mass gassing etc took place, the better. After what happened to Groening, there will be no person who will come forward and help the fight against deniers.


Honestly, so what? Actuarially speaking one is only talking about a handful of people whose number shrinks every year. Besides, what exactly are they supposed to contribute to the body of facts already in evidence and why is any denier going to believe them?


At this point fighting denial is more important than anything else. With the number of young men intridyced to the alt right in the past few years its only a matter of time until they find their way to more serious hd. I predict a massive upswing in denial in the next decade.


Jeff, I disagree with you. I don’t know how much denial is going to grow in the next decade but with the old guard crapping out, the ones who actually know how to read, we’ll be left with morons who rely on Twitter and YouTube (or whatever takes their place). Denial is a side show, it’s only one facet of the race and religion-baiting, the uber nationalism, the attacks on Democracy. It’s a very small part.
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Balmoral95 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:07 am

>"we need to make sure we are always on the winning side or else we could find our soldiers being prosecuted in the future, for similar minor roles."

1) Clearly you have no idea how badly that reads.

2) It seems to presuppose that "our soldiers" will engage in prosecutable war crimes and therefore "winning" is the way to avoid accountability for the less directly involved. I think it a gross generalization and insult.

3) We're not speaking here about the here and now, neither the Bush admin. Let's get back to topic.

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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Balmoral95 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:20 am

And, getting back to very basics when you're done up there on the Mount, who is "we"...?

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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:14 pm

Balmoral95 wrote:And, getting back to very basics when you're done up there on the Mount, who is "we"...?

Yeah, that put me in mind of the old joke about Tonto and the Lone Ranger . . .
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Nessie » Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:53 pm

Balmoral95 wrote:>"we need to make sure we are always on the winning side or else we could find our soldiers being prosecuted in the future, for similar minor roles."

1) Clearly you have no idea how badly that reads.


In what way?

2) It seems to presuppose that "our soldiers" will engage in prosecutable war crimes and therefore "winning" is the way to avoid accountability for the less directly involved. I think it a gross generalization and insult.


Until Groening was prosecuted, is there any case of a soldier being also held responsible for war crimes, whose job it was to collate property?

3) We're not speaking here about the here and now, neither the Bush admin. Let's get back to topic.


That Groening is being held responsible for war crimes means any soldier who works at a camp where there are war crimes needs to be aware, they can be held as also responsible.

To prosecute the last Nazis, the goalposts have been moved to a point where all soldiers should be aware, even in the 90s, there might be a knock on the door.
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby nickterry » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:46 pm

Nessie wrote:Until Groening was prosecuted, is there any case of a soldier being also held responsible for war crimes, whose job it was to collate property?


Yes, there have been such prosecutions - though specifying 'soldier' seems specious, since Groening wasn't one. Property plunder was a component part of a number of prosecutions at the Nuremberg trials, while officers and enlisted men of the Auschwitz administration section, i.e. Groening's department, were routinely convicted by the Poles in the 1940s. Karl Moeckel, Groening's ultimate boss in Abt. IV, was executed, albeit not just for property-plunder.

The German prosecution theory regarding service at Auschwitz-Birkenau is that in 1944, essentially everyone was drafted onto ramp duty, which was certainly the case for many sub-sections of the administration section. Performing a supporting role in a selection for mass extermination clearly meets western legal definitions of 'accessory to' murder. Historical complicity, moral complicity and legal complicity are all proven beyond reasonable doubt; the debatable part is the appropriate sentence to levy in such cases, and whether to suspend such a sentence.

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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:11 pm

Nessie wrote:That Groening is being held responsible for war crimes means any soldier who works at a camp where there are war crimes needs to be aware, they can be held as also responsible.

That is not, again, the standard in the Demjanjuk or Gröning case. Nick Terry explained it above.

(Walther Funk and I believe Bruno Melmer are two more whose convictions involved handling of property stolen from the victims of genocide. In Funk's case, the IMT found that "Funk was not one of the leading figures in originating the Nazi plans for aggressive war" and that his conviction was instead based on chiefly on count two, which prominently included Funk's handling as banking transactions, in agreement with Himmler, "the personal belongings taken from the victims who had been exterminated in the concentration camps"; the stolen gold handled by the Reichsbank under Funk was known as Melmer-Gold after the less senior SS-man Bruno Melmer.)

As to Nick Terry's point about ramp duty, it should be borne in mind that Gröning had this to say about that: "A new shipment had arrived. I had been assigned to ramp duty, and it was my job to guard the luggage. The Jews had already been taken away. The ground in front of me was littered with junk, left-over belongings. Suddenly I heard a baby crying. The child was lying on the ramp, wrapped in rags. A mother had left it behind, perhaps because she knew that women with infants were sent to the gas chambers immediately. I saw another SS soldier grab the baby by the legs. The crying had bothered him. He smashed the baby's head against the iron side of a truck until it was silent."

Recent work on genocide, further, highlights the critical role of dispossession of the victims and robbing them of their property as a core element of genocidal actions.

Personally, I think it a good thing for courts to give ordinary people and senior perpetrators something to think about in performing jobs in camps whose purpose is extermination or terrorization of innocent victim groups.
Last edited by Statistical Mechanic on Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:02 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Nessie » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:14 pm

nickterry wrote:
Nessie wrote:Until Groening was prosecuted, is there any case of a soldier being also held responsible for war crimes, whose job it was to collate property?


Yes, there have been such prosecutions - though specifying 'soldier' seems specious, since Groening wasn't one. Property plunder was a component part of a number of prosecutions at the Nuremberg trials, while officers and enlisted men of the Auschwitz administration section, i.e. Groening's department, were routinely convicted by the Poles in the 1940s. Karl Moeckel, Groening's ultimate boss in Abt. IV, was executed, albeit not just for property-plunder.


In that case he should be convicted of theft. His whole involvement was to do with property.

The German prosecution theory regarding service at Auschwitz-Birkenau is that in 1944, essentially everyone was drafted onto ramp duty, which was certainly the case for many sub-sections of the administration section. Performing a supporting role in a selection for mass extermination clearly meets western legal definitions of 'accessory to' murder. Historical complicity, moral complicity and legal complicity are all proven beyond reasonable doubt; the debatable part is the appropriate sentence to levy in such cases, and whether to suspend such a sentence.


I just think that since he came forward with the purpose of tackling denial, since the goalposts keep on moving (the Belzec trial where most were acquitted is a prime example) depending on who runs the court, where and when and the passage of time means it was wrong to convict Groening.
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:24 pm

Nessie wrote:In that case he should be convicted of theft. His whole involvement was to do with property.

Theft was part of the process of the murder of the victims at Auschwitz. At the camps where Jews were exterminated, and at the shooting sites, the SS oversaw and helped carry out a process, with a number of elements, including theft, that resulted in murder of the victims. It's not like Gröning came upon "property without owners" after the fact and simply swiped it, fss.

Nessie wrote:the goalposts keep on moving (the Belzec trial where most were acquitted is a prime example) depending on who runs the court, where and when and the passage of time means it was wrong to convict Groening.

The Belzec trial was not a model, by any means. Who is moving "the goalposts"? You write as though there's an entity in charge of all the trials of Nazi perpetrators ever held rather than a zigzagging process across jurisdictions and time.

If the better legal principle is some version of an enterprise view, then the right thing to do is prosecute to establish that standard and then to look at Gröning's individual circumstances in deciding the sentence. An "enterprise view" was btw articulated as early as
1950 [when] 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

Speaking of cooks . . .
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby nickterry » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:38 pm

Nessie wrote:
nickterry wrote:
Nessie wrote:Until Groening was prosecuted, is there any case of a soldier being also held responsible for war crimes, whose job it was to collate property?


Yes, there have been such prosecutions - though specifying 'soldier' seems specious, since Groening wasn't one. Property plunder was a component part of a number of prosecutions at the Nuremberg trials, while officers and enlisted men of the Auschwitz administration section, i.e. Groening's department, were routinely convicted by the Poles in the 1940s. Karl Moeckel, Groening's ultimate boss in Abt. IV, was executed, albeit not just for property-plunder.


In that case he should be convicted of theft. His whole involvement was to do with property.

The German prosecution theory regarding service at Auschwitz-Birkenau is that in 1944, essentially everyone was drafted onto ramp duty, which was certainly the case for many sub-sections of the administration section. Performing a supporting role in a selection for mass extermination clearly meets western legal definitions of 'accessory to' murder. Historical complicity, moral complicity and legal complicity are all proven beyond reasonable doubt; the debatable part is the appropriate sentence to levy in such cases, and whether to suspend such a sentence.


I just think that since he came forward with the purpose of tackling denial, since the goalposts keep on moving (the Belzec trial where most were acquitted is a prime example) depending on who runs the court, where and when and the passage of time means it was wrong to convict Groening.


Nessie, someone who is an accessory to homicide that is also a robbery who was most involved in the robbery part is still an accessory to homicide, just as the getaway driver is also an accessory to homicide, as is the acquaintance who helped cover up the homicide. You seem not to have grasped what 'accessory' (Beihilfe) means.

A whole range of Auschwitz SS have been indicted or put on trial since the Demjanjuk verdict, on the basis of the legal reasoning of the Demjanjuk verdict, not just Groening. He wasn't the first to be indicted in the post-Demjanjuk wave, and obviously prosecutors in 2010s Germany weren't going to show him favouritism just because he happened to have been interviewed for a *British* TV documentary a decade earlier. Hans Lipschis, one of the other indictees, was incidentally primarily a cook - but his complicity like Groening's was reasoned on the basis of collective involvement via rota in ramp duty in 1944, since there is evidence that things really were all-hands-on-deck at this time.

1960s investigators pursued literally everyone who could potentially be deemed an accessory/accomplice - the legal verdicts in the first wave of cases, followed by supreme court rulings through to 1968, meant that few such accessories were indicted. Here I am speaking of those involved in organising transports (railway officials), civil administration officials who lent support of various kinds, civil servants, etc - pretty much everyone who was tangentially involved was considered for prosecution.

The actual killers were more often than not indicted as "accessories" if they were in subordinate positions, whereas they had in fact participated in murder by the standards of Anglo-American jurisprudence, since murder under German law needs to be distinguished from lesser charges by proof of intent, a more severe leap than first degree vs second degree murder in US law. Most commentators would regard the Belzec verdict, where self-admitted accessories to mass murder were acquitted, as entirely perverse.

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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:47 pm

nickterry wrote:. Most commentators would regard the Belzec verdict, where self-admitted accessories to mass murder were acquitted, as entirely perverse.

Indeed.

Excepting Oberhauser IIRC, the defendants attempted making exculpatory statements based on duress/superior orders; surprisingly, the court accepted these statements on face value, which is not how such statements (duress, superior orders) were treated even at the earlier IMT or NMT. Some of the acquittals were based on a flawed view that the men's lives were in imminent jeopardy if they tried to evade the orders, others on self-justifying testimony that transfers had been sought and denied - and any further opting out on the part of these men would have been fatal to them. I will check Bryant later but that is what I recall from his book, along with his verdict that these verdicts were, well, entirely perverse.

What Nessie thinks the Belzec trial is a prime example of, other than justice denied, is beyond me.
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Balmoral95 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:21 am

>"That Groening is being held responsible for war crimes means any soldier who works at a camp where there are war crimes needs to be aware, they can be held as also responsible.

To prosecute the last Nazis, the goalposts have been moved to a point where all soldiers should be aware, even in the 90s, there might be a knock on the door."

Kneejerk, panicked, irrelevant BS. Someone coming to knock on your door, Nessie? Eh?

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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Nessie » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:17 am

nickterry wrote:.....
Nessie, someone who is an accessory to homicide that is also a robbery who was most involved in the robbery part is still an accessory to homicide, just as the getaway driver is also an accessory to homicide, as is the acquaintance who helped cover up the homicide. You seem not to have grasped what 'accessory' (Beihilfe) means.


I have not denied he was an accessory.

A whole range of Auschwitz SS have been indicted or put on trial since the Demjanjuk verdict, on the basis of the legal reasoning of the Demjanjuk verdict, not just Groening. He wasn't the first to be indicted in the post-Demjanjuk wave, and obviously prosecutors in 2010s Germany weren't going to show him favouritism just because he happened to have been interviewed for a *British* TV documentary a decade earlier. Hans Lipschis, one of the other indictees, was incidentally primarily a cook - but his complicity like Groening's was reasoned on the basis of collective involvement via rota in ramp duty in 1944, since there is evidence that things really were all-hands-on-deck at this time.

1960s investigators pursued literally everyone who could potentially be deemed an accessory/accomplice - the legal verdicts in the first wave of cases, followed by supreme court rulings through to 1968, meant that few such accessories were indicted. Here I am speaking of those involved in organising transports (railway officials), civil administration officials who lent support of various kinds, civil servants, etc - pretty much everyone who was tangentially involved was considered for prosecution.


I have been pointing out that there has been a shift as more and more people have been held responsible for what took place.

The actual killers were more often than not indicted as "accessories" if they were in subordinate positions, whereas they had in fact participated in murder by the standards of Anglo-American jurisprudence, since murder under German law needs to be distinguished from lesser charges by proof of intent, a more severe leap than first degree vs second degree murder in US law. Most commentators would regard the Belzec verdict, where self-admitted accessories to mass murder were acquitted, as entirely perverse.


I have been pointing out that there has been no consistency in dealing with those involved over the years.

My actual points, which are being missed, are

1 - that now the precedent has been set that all those who worked at a camp are guilty of war crimes, there is no chance anyone will volunteer anymore information or evidence as to what happened. I do not think anyone disagrees with that. The disagreement is whether or not at this late stage, is evidence gathering or punishing more important? I would also add I prefer forgiveness and reconciliation as the way forward, rather than punishment for someone with a minor role who came forward for a very good reason and showed contrition. If Groening had been a senior camp official who had been the one doing the actual selections and who had killed people, I would not have a problem with a conviction at this late stage.

2 - by setting the precedent that anyone who works in a prison camp is also responsible for what happened there, those who worked at Guantanamo Bay should be worried that even if they live to 90 years old, they could find themselves being held to account and put on trial. I do not know what peoples opinion of that is. Personally I take a the view those at the bottom of the food chain whose role is things like securing property and cooking are better used as evidence and witnesses, so as to prosecute those who actually ran the place.
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Nessie » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:22 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
nickterry wrote:. Most commentators would regard the Belzec verdict, where self-admitted accessories to mass murder were acquitted, as entirely perverse.

Indeed.

Excepting Oberhauser IIRC, the defendants attempted making exculpatory statements based on duress/superior orders; surprisingly, the court accepted these statements on face value, which is not how such statements (duress, superior orders) were treated even at the earlier IMT or NMT. Some of the acquittals were based on a flawed view that the men's lives were in imminent jeopardy if they tried to evade the orders, others on self-justifying testimony that transfers had been sought and denied - and any further opting out on the part of these men would have been fatal to them. I will check Bryant later but that is what I recall from his book, along with his verdict that these verdicts were, well, entirely perverse.

What Nessie thinks the Belzec trial is a prime example of, other than justice denied, is beyond me.


You often struggle to get my point. I will make it as simple as possible for you;

Belzec is a prime example of how those who worked at the camps have been treated differently in different courts, in different countries, over the years.
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby nickterry » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:05 am

Nessie wrote:
nickterry wrote:.....
Nessie, someone who is an accessory to homicide that is also a robbery who was most involved in the robbery part is still an accessory to homicide, just as the getaway driver is also an accessory to homicide, as is the acquaintance who helped cover up the homicide. You seem not to have grasped what 'accessory' (Beihilfe) means.


I have not denied he was an accessory.

A whole range of Auschwitz SS have been indicted or put on trial since the Demjanjuk verdict, on the basis of the legal reasoning of the Demjanjuk verdict, not just Groening. He wasn't the first to be indicted in the post-Demjanjuk wave, and obviously prosecutors in 2010s Germany weren't going to show him favouritism just because he happened to have been interviewed for a *British* TV documentary a decade earlier. Hans Lipschis, one of the other indictees, was incidentally primarily a cook - but his complicity like Groening's was reasoned on the basis of collective involvement via rota in ramp duty in 1944, since there is evidence that things really were all-hands-on-deck at this time.

1960s investigators pursued literally everyone who could potentially be deemed an accessory/accomplice - the legal verdicts in the first wave of cases, followed by supreme court rulings through to 1968, meant that few such accessories were indicted. Here I am speaking of those involved in organising transports (railway officials), civil administration officials who lent support of various kinds, civil servants, etc - pretty much everyone who was tangentially involved was considered for prosecution.


I have been pointing out that there has been a shift as more and more people have been held responsible for what took place.

The actual killers were more often than not indicted as "accessories" if they were in subordinate positions, whereas they had in fact participated in murder by the standards of Anglo-American jurisprudence, since murder under German law needs to be distinguished from lesser charges by proof of intent, a more severe leap than first degree vs second degree murder in US law. Most commentators would regard the Belzec verdict, where self-admitted accessories to mass murder were acquitted, as entirely perverse.


I have been pointing out that there has been no consistency in dealing with those involved over the years.

My actual points, which are being missed, are

1 - that now the precedent has been set that all those who worked at a camp are guilty of war crimes, there is no chance anyone will volunteer anymore information or evidence as to what happened. I do not think anyone disagrees with that. The disagreement is whether or not at this late stage, is evidence gathering or punishing more important? I would also add I prefer forgiveness and reconciliation as the way forward, rather than punishment for someone with a minor role who came forward for a very good reason and showed contrition. If Groening had been a senior camp official who had been the one doing the actual selections and who had killed people, I would not have a problem with a conviction at this late stage.

2 - by setting the precedent that anyone who works in a prison camp is also responsible for what happened there, those who worked at Guantanamo Bay should be worried that even if they live to 90 years old, they could find themselves being held to account and put on trial. I do not know what peoples opinion of that is. Personally I take a the view those at the bottom of the food chain whose role is things like securing property and cooking are better used as evidence and witnesses, so as to prosecute those who actually ran the place.


Why should a precedent set in German case law necessarily influence US case law, Nessie? The legal systems are entirely different, as are the nature of the charges. Murder in German law is not judged the same as murder in US law.

You also need to pick better comparisons, genocide to genocide - because genocide is not subject to statutes of limitations in nearly every legal system there is, and certainly within international law, much as there is usually no statute of limitations on murder, whereas other offences tend to be subjected to statutes of limitations. The extent and scale of the crime needs to be taken into consideration. Guantanamo vs Auschwitz is virtually a textbook example of an asymmetric comparison.

As for your point #1, pretty much everyone disagrees with you, as does the historical record comparing the willingness of perpetrators to talk about their involvement in war crimes or genocide. In 1960s investigations, when enlisted men understood they had essentially no chance of being indicted unless there was evidence of 'excessive' violence committed personally by them, they would still frequently deny all knowledge in many cases. The patterns of willingness to talk varied from unit to unit for other reasons than the likelihood of legal punishment. Waffen-SS units followed 'omerta' to a far greater extent than Ordnungspolizei or Einsatzgruppen units, for example.

The small staffs of Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka and Chelmno almost unanimously admitted knowledge, whereas the much larger Auschwitz SS garrison displayed a mixed pattern of willingness to admit knowledge and give evidence. Since the Auschwitz complex was large and not every guard company was directly involved in selections, not every guard at Auschwitz had detailed knowledge anyway, while denying involvement could well be interpreted as an indirect admission of guilt for participating in selections on the ramp by rota, if the member of staff or guard had anything to do with Birkenau. And it's *only* those connected with Birkenau, not the main camp or Monowitz, who were investigated or indicted after the Demjanjuk ruling.

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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Nessie » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:22 am

nickterry wrote:....

Why should a precedent set in German case law necessarily influence US case law, Nessie? The legal systems are entirely different, as are the nature of the charges. Murder in German law is not judged the same as murder in US law.


I know and am not arguing against that. You are just arguing past me.

You also need to pick better comparisons, genocide to genocide - because genocide is not subject to statutes of limitations in nearly every legal system there is, and certainly within international law, much as there is usually no statute of limitations on murder, whereas other offences tend to be subjected to statutes of limitations. The extent and scale of the crime needs to be taken into consideration. Guantanamo vs Auschwitz is virtually a textbook example of an asymmetric comparison.


Misconduct amounting to torture, murder etc with a camp is independent of whether it is in the context of a genocide or not.

As for your point #1, pretty much everyone disagrees with you,


Do you say what happened to Groening will make others coming forward to say they saw a gassing at a camp more, or less likely ?

as does the historical record comparing the willingness of perpetrators to talk about their involvement in war crimes or genocide. In 1960s investigations, when enlisted men understood they had essentially no chance of being indicted unless there was evidence of 'excessive' violence committed personally by them, they would still frequently deny all knowledge in many cases. The patterns of willingness to talk varied from unit to unit for other reasons than the likelihood of legal punishment. Waffen-SS units followed 'omerta' to a far greater extent than Ordnungspolizei or Einsatzgruppen units, for example.

The small staffs of Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka and Chelmno almost unanimously admitted knowledge, whereas the much larger Auschwitz SS garrison displayed a mixed pattern of willingness to admit knowledge and give evidence. Since the Auschwitz complex was large and not every guard company was directly involved in selections, not every guard at Auschwitz had detailed knowledge anyway, while denying involvement could well be interpreted as an indirect admission of guilt for participating in selections on the ramp by rota, if the member of staff or guard had anything to do with Birkenau. And it's *only* those connected with Birkenau, not the main camp or Monowitz, who were investigated or indicted after the Demjanjuk ruling.


That is the past, I am only talking about now, post Groening verdict. Do you expect to see any more admissions from anyone alive who saw a gassing? yes or no?
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:21 am

Nessie wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
nickterry wrote:. Most commentators would regard the Belzec verdict, where self-admitted accessories to mass murder were acquitted, as entirely perverse.

Indeed.

Excepting Oberhauser IIRC, the defendants attempted making exculpatory statements based on duress/superior orders; surprisingly, the court accepted these statements on face value, which is not how such statements (duress, superior orders) were treated even at the earlier IMT or NMT. Some of the acquittals were based on a flawed view that the men's lives were in imminent jeopardy if they tried to evade the orders, others on self-justifying testimony that transfers had been sought and denied - and any further opting out on the part of these men would have been fatal to them. I will check Bryant later but that is what I recall from his book, along with his verdict that these verdicts were, well, entirely perverse.

What Nessie thinks the Belzec trial is a prime example of, other than justice denied, is beyond me.


You often struggle to get my point. I will make it as simple as possible for you;

Belzec is a prime example of how those who worked at the camps have been treated differently in different courts, in different countries, over the years.

I got your point and didn’t think much of it as I explained in a previous post. Because the Belzec trial was flawed, furthermore, is not a reason for other German trials to continue down that road.

What you failed to understand is that describing the complex evolution of court decisions - involving different laws, precedents, and evidence - as the logical fallacy “moving the goalposts” analogizes an evolving process involving many jurisdictions, individuals, and cases to an intentional strategy a dishonest person may use in a debate or argument. It’s not only a false analogy, it’s irrelevant.
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:42 am

Nessie wrote: have been pointing out that there has been no consistency in dealing with those involved over the years.

My actual points, which are being missed, are ...

Again, no one is missing this point. It’s bleeding obvious that legal interpretations change. Certainly, no one has missed this point with the Demjanjuk and Gröning cases, that’s what we’ve been discussing. What you try putting down to misunderstanding is, as Nick Terry says, simply pretty much everyone disagreeing with you.
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:59 am

Nessie wrote:Do you say what happened to Groening will make others coming forward to say they saw a gassing at a camp more, or less likely ?

Who cares?

Resorting to the Gerdesian yes/no doesn't say much for your argument.
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Balmoral95 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:48 pm

I can see why they threw him out of RODOH.

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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:51 pm

I think it’s important to understand what the courts have actually decided in these recent cases rather than relying on Nessie's misleading glosses. Just to tease out the issues here a bit more, I want to focus on this “new” standard, which German courts evolved to with the Demjanjuk and Gröning decisions and which Nessie keeps misstating as a “precedent that anyone who works in a prison camp is also responsible for what happened there,” by quoting at some length from Lawrence Douglas’ book on the Demjanjuk trial:
[T]he [Demjanjuk] verdict [w]as a crucial, if belated, rupture with existing German case law.

True, the breakthrough, as we have seen, was not without antecedents. . . . In [Professor] Nestler’s telling, the BGH’s Auschwitz-Frankfurt decision had led German jurists astray from more promising paths paved by earlier German courts. He quoted at length the judgment of the Hagen court in 1966, which had accepted the idea that SS men could be convicted based on their “functional participation” (funktionelle Mitwirkung) in the process of mass murder. For Nestler, the task facing the Munich [Demjanjuk] court had been to acknowledge the false turn taken by German legal doctrine and to resuscitate the promising doctrinal antecedents that had failed to take hold.

The writings of Frtiz Bauer supplied yet another antecedent. At the time of the Treblinka-Düsseldorf trial in 1965, Bauer had insisted that “whoever works on this machine of murder is guilty of contributing to murder, regardless of what he did.” . . . Bauer argued, “Anyone who belongs to a band of robbers . . . or to a group of gangsters like a Murder Inc. is certainly guilty of murder . . . regardless of whether as a ‘boss’ he gave the order to murder, whether he delivered the pistol, whether he cased the joint, or whether he did the shooting with his own hand.” . . .

To acknowledge precursors of the Munich verdict . . . is in no way to undercut the distinctiveness or importance of [Judge] Alt’s holding. . . . [T]here is the larger legal breakthrough. Those who argue that, because earlier courts had anticipated the theory of functional liability, the Demjanjuk ruling represented less a paradigm shift than a correction of doctrine that had wandered off in the wrong direction may be technically correct. Yet there is no denying that for decades, German jurists tortured history by pigeonholing Nazi doctrine into the conventional murder stature. In reviving a theory that had never properly taken hold in German case law, the Munich court found a way to grasp the essential logic of genocide while still working within available statutory structures. The result was a crucial reorientation. . . .

Certainly this reorientation was late in coming, a fact that can fuel skepticism. . . . Such a dismissive view . . . is too crudely deterministic to capture the complex workings of legal doctrine and the determined labors of jurists. . . .

The Gröning conviction would never have been possible without Demjanjuk’s conviction. . . . To use the Demjanjuk precedent against a former guard at a hybrid facility such as Auschwitz, it would be necessary to show that he had performed a task necessarily connected to the exterminatory process.

The case against Oskar Gröning satisfied these conditions. Gröning, a former SS Unterscharführer . . . , had served at Auschwitz for two years, during which time had had been responsible for sorting currency obtained from arriving Jews - thus his sobriquet “the book-keeper of Auschwitz.” The indictment . . . focused narrowly on how service during a two-month period, from May 16, 1942, until July 11, 1942 [typo alert: 1944] . . . During these weeks, some 137 trains carrying 425,000 Jews from Hungary arrived at Birkenau. . . . At least 300,000 of these Jews from Hungary were murdered, most gassed within hours of their arrival. . . . Gröning was stationed at Birkenau, where he was responsible for overseeing the removal of suitcases of the freshly arrived Jews, and then searching the suitcases for cash that would be counted and forwarded to Berlin. Because his tasks - which included Rampendienst (working the train platforms) - had directly and necessarily served the exterminatory process, Gröning, so the indictment reasoned, was an accessory to murder. . . . [T]he case enabled a German court to use the Demjanjuk precedent to condemn not a foreign auxiliary impressed into service, but a German SS volunteer, who, by his own lights, had been adolftreu (loyal to Hitler). . . . To convict only on proof of personal viciousness is to treat the crimes of the Holocaust as acts of garden-variety villainy. The courts in Munich and Lüneburg, by contrast, recognized the death camp as a site of organized destruction. Their verdicts understood that in judging state-sponsored atrocities, guilt is not to be measured in acts of cruelty of savagery alone; guilt follows function. Such was the simple, terrible and great insight of these courts.

It is this simple insight which Nessie keeps misstating, whether willfully or on account of insufficient understanding - and which “pretty much everyone” here has been patiently trying to explain. That's why so much of Douglas' explanation should sound familiar to readers of this thread.

Douglas, The Right Wrong Man, pp 254-260
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Nessie » Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:39 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:.....
I got your point and didn’t think much of it as I explained in a previous post. Because the Belzec trial was flawed, furthermore, is not a reason for other German trials to continue down that road.


I never said it was. Belzec was wrong, so was the Groening trial.

What you failed to understand is that describing the complex evolution of court decisions - involving different laws, precedents, and evidence - as the logical fallacy “moving the goalposts” analogizes an evolving process involving many jurisdictions, individuals, and cases to an intentional strategy a dishonest person may use in a debate or argument. It’s not only a false analogy, it’s irrelevant.


What you failed to understand, is that I was only commenting that the process has changed. You just don't like the way I worded it. So what, you have a history of attacking me no matter what I say.
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Nessie » Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:41 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Nessie wrote: have been pointing out that there has been no consistency in dealing with those involved over the years.

My actual points, which are being missed, are ...

Again, no one is missing this point. It’s bleeding obvious that legal interpretations change. Certainly, no one has missed this point with the Demjanjuk and Gröning cases, that’s what we’ve been discussing. What you try putting down to misunderstanding is, as Nick Terry says, simply pretty much everyone disagreeing with you.


The only disagreement is that I do not think Groening should have been prosecuted, others do. You have then expanded that disagreement to pretty much everything I have said, as if I have been disagreeing about everything.
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Nessie » Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:44 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Nessie wrote:Do you say what happened to Groening will make others coming forward to say they saw a gassing at a camp more, or less likely ?

Who cares?

Resorting to the Gerdesian yes/no doesn't say much for your argument.


I had to keep it simple because you keep missing the point. Dodging my point does not say much about you.
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:54 pm

Nessie wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:.....
I got your point and didn’t think much of it as I explained in a previous post. Because the Belzec trial was flawed, furthermore, is not a reason for other German trials to continue down that road.


I never said it was. Belzec was wrong, so was the Groening trial.

Never said "it was" what? You wrote that the Belzec decision was a case of goalposts being moved - a position that is not only wrong, it misapprehends the entire history.

The standard in the Demjanjuk and Gröning holdings, for the reasons I've explained and Douglas sets out, are IMO better than the earlier standards, let alone the badly ruled Belzec trial. You can't even state the Demjanjuk/Gröning standard correctly but instead keep caricaturing it.

Nessie wrote:What you failed to understand, is that I was only commenting that the process has changed.

LOL which is the whole point. Legal doctrine changes. We've been discussing some of those changes.

Nessie wrote:You just don't like the way I worded it.

No, not at all, I truly think what you're arguing is uninformed and silly.
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Nessie » Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:55 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:I think it’s important to understand what the courts have actually decided in these recent cases rather than relying on Nessie's misleading glosses. Just to tease out the issues here a bit more, I want to focus on this “new” standard, which German courts evolved to with the Demjanjuk and Gröning decisions and which Nessie keeps misstating as a “precedent that anyone who works in a prison camp is also responsible for what happened there,” by quoting at some length from Lawrence Douglas’ book on the Demjanjuk trial:
[T]he [Demjanjuk] verdict [w]as a crucial, if belated, rupture with existing German case law.

True, the breakthrough, as we have seen, was not without antecedents. . . . In [Professor] Nestler’s telling, the BGH’s Auschwitz-Frankfurt decision had led German jurists astray from more promising paths paved by earlier German courts. He quoted at length the judgment of the Hagen court in 1966, which had accepted the idea that SS men could be convicted based on their “functional participation” (funktionelle Mitwirkung) in the process of mass murder. For Nestler, the task facing the Munich [Demjanjuk] court had been to acknowledge the false turn taken by German legal doctrine and to resuscitate the promising doctrinal antecedents that had failed to take hold.

The writings of Frtiz Bauer supplied yet another antecedent. At the time of the Treblinka-Düsseldorf trial in 1965, Bauer had insisted that “whoever works on this machine of murder is guilty of contributing to murder, regardless of what he did.” . . . Bauer argued, “Anyone who belongs to a band of robbers . . . or to a group of gangsters like a Murder Inc. is certainly guilty of murder . . . regardless of whether as a ‘boss’ he gave the order to murder, whether he delivered the pistol, whether he cased the joint, or whether he did the shooting with his own hand.” . . .

To acknowledge precursors of the Munich verdict . . . is in no way to undercut the distinctiveness or importance of [Judge] Alt’s holding. . . . [T]here is the larger legal breakthrough. Those who argue that, because earlier courts had anticipated the theory of functional liability, the Demjanjuk ruling represented less a paradigm shift than a correction of doctrine that had wandered off in the wrong direction may be technically correct. Yet there is no denying that for decades, German jurists tortured history by pigeonholing Nazi doctrine into the conventional murder stature. In reviving a theory that had never properly taken hold in German case law, the Munich court found a way to grasp the essential logic of genocide while still working within available statutory structures. The result was a crucial reorientation. . . .

Certainly this reorientation was late in coming, a fact that can fuel skepticism. . . . Such a dismissive view . . . is too crudely deterministic to capture the complex workings of legal doctrine and the determined labors of jurists. . . .

The Gröning conviction would never have been possible without Demjanjuk’s conviction. . . . To use the Demjanjuk precedent against a former guard at a hybrid facility such as Auschwitz, it would be necessary to show that he had performed a task necessarily connected to the exterminatory process.

The case against Oskar Gröning satisfied these conditions. Gröning, a former SS Unterscharführer . . . , had served at Auschwitz for two years, during which time had had been responsible for sorting currency obtained from arriving Jews - thus his sobriquet “the book-keeper of Auschwitz.” The indictment . . . focused narrowly on how service during a two-month period, from May 16, 1942, until July 11, 1942 [typo alert: 1944] . . . During these weeks, some 137 trains carrying 425,000 Jews from Hungary arrived at Birkenau. . . . At least 300,000 of these Jews from Hungary were murdered, most gassed within hours of their arrival. . . . Gröning was stationed at Birkenau, where he was responsible for overseeing the removal of suitcases of the freshly arrived Jews, and then searching the suitcases for cash that would be counted and forwarded to Berlin. Because his tasks - which included Rampendienst (working the train platforms) - had directly and necessarily served the exterminatory process, Gröning, so the indictment reasoned, was an accessory to murder. . . . [T]he case enabled a German court to use the Demjanjuk precedent to condemn not a foreign auxiliary impressed into service, but a German SS volunteer, who, by his own lights, had been adolftreu (loyal to Hitler). . . . To convict only on proof of personal viciousness is to treat the crimes of the Holocaust as acts of garden-variety villainy. The courts in Munich and Lüneburg, by contrast, recognized the death camp as a site of organized destruction. Their verdicts understood that in judging state-sponsored atrocities, guilt is not to be measured in acts of cruelty of savagery alone; guilt follows function. Such was the simple, terrible and great insight of these courts.

It is this simple insight which Nessie keeps misstating, whether willfully or on account of insufficient understanding - and which “pretty much everyone” here has been patiently trying to explain. That's why so much of Douglas' explanation should sound familiar to readers of this thread.

Douglas, The Right Wrong Man, pp 254-260


I get all of that. What you don't understand is that I disagree with it.

I still think that it would be better that people like Groening are encouraged to come forward and give testimony of what they saw, rather than they remain in hiding as they know they will be prosecuted.

I have said that someone who actually was part of the killing process should be prosecuted. I have said that those with lesser roles to play are better used as witnesses.

I have also said that those who work at camps were there are atrocities, torture etc, even those not directly involved, should now be aware the precedent has been set that even in the 90s, they could be held to account for what happened.

Say that happens with Guantanamo Bay and those who worked there. Say in 2070 it was decided to prosecute those involved, I would use the guy who dealt with the prisoners property, comes forward to say, yes there was torture, as a witness against those who did the torture.
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:58 pm

Nessie wrote:The only disagreement is that I do not think Groening should have been prosecuted, others do. You have then expanded that disagreement to pretty much everything I have said, as if I have been disagreeing about everything.

BS. You keep doing the been-there miscomprehension nonsense, you keep misstating the new standard, you keep repeating some false analogy about goalposts moving, you keep lamenting the non-issue of new testimonies being discouraged, you keep drawing false comparison.

The issue here has to do with the grounds for Gröning's indictment and legal doctrine emerging from it - something you seem profoundly disinterested in to the point of mangling these things horribly - it does not focus on the individual Oskar Gröning; you have shown yourself unable to state correctly the basis for the Demjanjuk and Gröning decisions. That's the key issue and you still don't get it.

Nessie wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Nessie wrote:Do you say what happened to Groening will make others coming forward to say they saw a gassing at a camp more, or less likely ?

Who cares?

Resorting to the Gerdesian yes/no doesn't say much for your argument.


I had to keep it simple because you keep missing the point. Dodging my point does not say much about you.

Take it to Rodoh, this crap bores people here.
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Nessie » Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:00 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Nessie wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:.....
I got your point and didn’t think much of it as I explained in a previous post. Because the Belzec trial was flawed, furthermore, is not a reason for other German trials to continue down that road.


I never said it was. Belzec was wrong, so was the Groening trial.

Never said "it was" what? You wrote that the Belzec decision was a case of goalposts being moved - a position that is not only wrong, it misapprehends the entire history.


I used a common metaphor to describe how circumstances changed.

The standard in the Demjanjuk and Gröning holdings, for the reasons I've explained and Douglas sets out, are IMO better than the earlier standards, let alone the badly ruled Belzec trial. You can't even state the Demjanjuk/Gröning standard correctly but instead keep caricaturing it.


I have disagreed with the standard rather than described it.

Nessie wrote:What you failed to understand, is that I was only commenting that the process has changed.

LOL which is the whole point. Legal doctrine changes. We've been discussing some of those changes.

Nessie wrote:You just don't like the way I worded it.

No, not at all, I truly think what you're arguing is uninformed and silly.


You still don't understand that I am expressing an opinion that Groening would have been better dealt with another way and my reasons why.
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Re: Oscar Groening liar?

Postby Nessie » Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:02 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Nessie wrote:The only disagreement is that I do not think Groening should have been prosecuted, others do. You have then expanded that disagreement to pretty much everything I have said, as if I have been disagreeing about everything.

BS. You keep doing the been-there miscomprehension nonsense, you keep misstating the new standard, you keep repeating some false analogy about goalposts moving, you keep lamenting the non-issue of new testimonies being discouraged, you keep drawing false comparison.

The issue here has to do with the grounds for Gröning's indictment and legal doctrine emerging from it - something you seem profoundly disinterested in to the point of mangling these things horribly - it does not focus on the individual Oskar Gröning; you have shown yourself unable to state correctly the basis for the Demjanjuk and Gröning decisions. That's the key issue and you still don't get it.


I disagree with the decision to prosecute Groening, not Demjanjuk.

Nessie wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Nessie wrote:Do you say what happened to Groening will make others coming forward to say they saw a gassing at a camp more, or less likely ?

Who cares?

Resorting to the Gerdesian yes/no doesn't say much for your argument.


I had to keep it simple because you keep missing the point. Dodging my point does not say much about you.

Take it to Rodoh, this crap bores people here.


Off you go then. Dodge my main point.
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