Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

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Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Oozy_Substance » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:32 am

Deniers often claim confessions by Rudolf Hess and the like were extorted by torture.
I came to wonder, are there known confessions by "common" people who were not in the high chain command? I know of Oskar Gröning, but that's it.
I wonder if there is a confession by a gas-chamber operator or a mass-shooter who was not put to trial and therefore could not possibly have been put to torture. That would be a hard bone for deniers to chew.

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Denying-History » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:48 am

« The Terror here is a horrifying fact. There is a fear that reaches down and haunts all sections of the community. No household, however humble, apparently but what lives in constant fear of nocturnal raid by the secret police. . .This particular purge is undoubtedly political. . . It is deliberately projected by the party leaders, who themselves regretted the necessity for it. »
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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:10 pm

Oozy_Substance wrote:Deniers often claim confessions by Rudolf Hess and the like were extorted by torture.
I came to wonder, are there known confessions by "common" people who were not in the high chain command? I know of Oskar Gröning, but that's it.
I wonder if there is a confession by a gas-chamber operator or a mass-shooter who was not put to trial and therefore could not possibly have been put to torture. That would be a hard bone for deniers to chew.
In the Nuremberg successor trial of Einsatzgruppen officers, the prosecution in the presentation of its case called IIRC two witnesses - one was Kurt Lindow, an RSHA officer stationed in Berlin who testified on the authenticity of the reports, the other was an officer of the French navy medical corps (he gave expert testimony on handwriting). The defendants themselves were not called as witnesses by the prosecution. The prosecution based nearly its entire case, and all of its presentation save the two witnesses called, on the written reports we know as the "Einsatzgruppen reports" or Ereignismeldungen. As far as the prosecution was concerned, the case was over and done with once the EG reports were in evidence and authenticated.

However, the defense called the defendants to testify, and the judge allowed a broad scope for what the men said (the Penguin rule). Since the officers were not called by the prosecution, coerced testimony is a non-issue (IIRC there is evidence that early on that, when the defendants were first taken into custody for pre-trial questioning, one of them was struck by an interrogator - nothing more). These officers were in this sense hostile, not cooperating, witnesses. Because the defense called defendants to the stand to testify on their own behalf, by far most of the trial time was taken up with the defense's case including examination and cross-examination of the officers. Now this is the thing: not that the officers exactly "confessed" but in various ways most of them confirmed the mass murders - many of them trying to justify the mass killings as legal on account of a Führer order, anti-partisan measures, Judeo-Bolshevism, preventive self-defense (counter-insurgency), etc. In some cases the defendants (e.g., Ohlendorf) argued that they had exaggerated numbers killed in their reports. But by and large their testimony confirmed mass killings of Jews on a very large scale across swaths of the occupied USSR. As part of their own defense!

Bribes, coercion, or promises of leniency don't come into play, either, as the defendants were not friendly witnesses and no deals with the prosecution were made in exchange for their testimony. Also, as for their seeking leniency by testifying to the murders (another denier claim), the tribunal handed down death sentences for 14 of the 22 defendants.
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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:18 pm

Btw this is an easy bone for deniers to chew as we saw with Monstrous and Mary Q Contrary who, when presented with details about the testimony of the EG officers, simply repeated general and unsubstantiated charges about torture, coercion and bribes, quoting what Butz wrote about different situations.
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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Sergey_Romanov » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:03 pm

Hans Stark took the investigators by surprise, confessing, unprompted, to having had personally poured ZB into Krema 1. He was an accused etc. but that's secondary.

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Aaron Richards » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:41 pm

Oozy, have you watched Claude Lanzmann's interview of Franz Suchomel (Treblinka II) on youtube yet?
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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Hans » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:58 pm

Oozy_Substance wrote:Deniers often claim confessions by Rudolf Hess and the like were extorted by torture.
I came to wonder, are there known confessions by "common" people who were not in the high chain command? I know of Oskar Gröning, but that's it.
I wonder if there is a confession by a gas-chamber operator or a mass-shooter who was not put to trial and therefore could not possibly have been put to torture. That would be a hard bone for deniers to chew.
Not exactly what you mean, but those guys testified after they had been already put on trial and sentenced to prison:

Auschwitz SS Men Confessing on Tape

Richard Böck testified on Auschwitz gassings in a BBC documentary (and was not put on trial). I did not manage to include him in this series yet.

Then there are numerous (perhaps like hundreds?) of testimonies by perpetrators and German bystanders obtained during the various war crime and criminal investigations.

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Hans » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:19 pm

Hans wrote: Then there are numerous (perhaps like hundreds?) of testimonies by perpetrators and German bystanders obtained during the various war crime and criminal investigations.
E.g. in this footnote I cite 26 perpetrators alone on Chelmno extermination camp and even this figure is incomplete as I found some more since then. Here are cited 34 accounts just on gas vans in Simferopol. Here I mentioned there are 25 accounts on a gas van of the secret field police in Mogilev. And it goes on like this if you look on the various killing sites and the commandos operating there.

Apart from the bogus arguments and distortions by deniers, once you know how much evidence on the Holocaust and related atrocities there are actually is, at a certain point its denial appears only insane.

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:48 pm

IIRC ordinary killers (as well as eyewitnesses) are interviewed (some secretly) in this documentary, "Einsatzgruppen: The Death Brigades [Les Commandos de la Mort]"
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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Sergey_Romanov » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:10 pm

More interesting is perhaps Kurt Franz's interview already after his verdict.

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Oozy_Substance » Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:39 am

Sergey_Romanov wrote:More interesting is perhaps Kurt Franz's interview already after his verdict.
Kurt Franz was released in 1993 and died in 1998. I wonder if there is an interview with him during these years?

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Denying-History » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:06 pm

Oozy_Substance wrote:
Sergey_Romanov wrote:More interesting is perhaps Kurt Franz's interview already after his verdict.
Kurt Franz was released in 1993 and died in 1998. I wonder if there is an interview with him during these years?
It may be possible that no one did. I don't know of any, but some important figures such as Richard Korherr went quiet for extended periods of time giving no testimony or interviews.
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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Balmoral95 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:29 pm

Stangl interview with Sereny.

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Sergey_Romanov » Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:12 pm

Oozy_Substance wrote:
Sergey_Romanov wrote:More interesting is perhaps Kurt Franz's interview already after his verdict.
Kurt Franz was released in 1993 and died in 1998. I wonder if there is an interview with him during these years?
Presumably he was released due to being unfit (though we know how that went in Germany sometimes...) so I wouldn't expect anything. In the prison interview he seems fit and lively.

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Oozy_Substance » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:03 am

From the Sereny interview :
Franz Stangl wrote: Cargo. They were cargo. I think it started the day I first saw the Totenlager in Treblinka. I remember Wirth standing there, next to the pits full of blue-black corpses. It had nothing to do with humanity-it couldn't have; it was a mass-a mass of rotting flesh. Wirth said, 'What shall we do with this garbage?' I think unconsciously that started me thinking of them as cargo.
Amazing quote. I gonna shove it in the deniers face from now on each time I meet one.

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Oozy_Substance » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:18 am

Aaron Richards wrote:Oozy, have you watched Claude Lanzmann's interview of Franz Suchomel (Treblinka II) on youtube yet?
Is it this one?

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:22 am

Oozy_Substance wrote:
Aaron Richards wrote:Oozy, have you watched Claude Lanzmann's interview of Franz Suchomel (Treblinka II) on youtube yet?
Is it this one?
I’ve shown that to deniers. They moan and piss about it.

I looked around for another one I saw recently on a documentary. Same sort of situation, the interviewer used a hidden camera.
“I noticed this morning that a group of our Landsberg friends have been given their freedom this morning. These include...Schubert, Jost and Nosske. Schubert confessed to...supervising the execution of about 800 Jews...(referring to the order to clean up Simferopol)...Schubert managed to kill all the Jews (by Christmas 1941). Nosske was the one the other defendants called the biggest bloodhound....
Noel, Noel, what the hell.”
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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Balmoral95 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:14 pm

Oozy_Substance wrote:From the Sereny interview :
Franz Stangl wrote: Cargo. They were cargo. I think it started the day I first saw the Totenlager in Treblinka. I remember Wirth standing there, next to the pits full of blue-black corpses. It had nothing to do with humanity-it couldn't have; it was a mass-a mass of rotting flesh. Wirth said, 'What shall we do with this garbage?' I think unconsciously that started me thinking of them as cargo.
Amazing quote. I gonna shove it in the deniers face from now on each time I meet one.
It's an oldie but a goodie: Guaranteed to turn Berg "cherry red" within 5 seconds. :mrgreen:

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Sergey_Romanov » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:52 pm

Oozy_Substance wrote:From the Sereny interview :
Franz Stangl wrote: Cargo. They were cargo. I think it started the day I first saw the Totenlager in Treblinka. I remember Wirth standing there, next to the pits full of blue-black corpses. It had nothing to do with humanity-it couldn't have; it was a mass-a mass of rotting flesh. Wirth said, 'What shall we do with this garbage?' I think unconsciously that started me thinking of them as cargo.
Amazing quote. I gonna shove it in the deniers face from now on each time I meet one.
So that they can claim that this proves he was lying?

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Oozy_Substance » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:28 pm

Sergey_Romanov wrote:
Oozy_Substance wrote:From the Sereny interview :
Franz Stangl wrote: Cargo. They were cargo. I think it started the day I first saw the Totenlager in Treblinka. I remember Wirth standing there, next to the pits full of blue-black corpses. It had nothing to do with humanity-it couldn't have; it was a mass-a mass of rotting flesh. Wirth said, 'What shall we do with this garbage?' I think unconsciously that started me thinking of them as cargo.
Amazing quote. I gonna shove it in the deniers face from now on each time I meet one.
So that they can claim that this proves he was lying?
How come? What's the argument?

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:20 pm

Oozy_Substance wrote:
Sergey_Romanov wrote:
Oozy_Substance wrote:From the Sereny interview :
Franz Stangl wrote: Cargo. They were cargo. I think it started the day I first saw the Totenlager in Treblinka. I remember Wirth standing there, next to the pits full of blue-black corpses. It had nothing to do with humanity-it couldn't have; it was a mass-a mass of rotting flesh. Wirth said, 'What shall we do with this garbage?' I think unconsciously that started me thinking of them as cargo.
Amazing quote. I gonna shove it in the deniers face from now on each time I meet one.
So that they can claim that this proves he was lying?
How come? What's the argument?

The color of the corpses, according to deniers if the victims were killed by Carbon Monoxide poisoning they would be cherry red. It’s a Fritz Berg specialty.

The thing they miss is that Stangl specifically mentions the bodies were rotting and not right out of the gas chamber.

Another is the timetable, Stangl transferred to Treblinka to clean up the mess after the camp was overloaded. The camp was closed to cleanup the bodies laying around. It’s likely that he saw victims that were dead for days in the July/August heat. Many of those victims died from being shut up in cattle cars and from gunshot wounds.
“I noticed this morning that a group of our Landsberg friends have been given their freedom this morning. These include...Schubert, Jost and Nosske. Schubert confessed to...supervising the execution of about 800 Jews...(referring to the order to clean up Simferopol)...Schubert managed to kill all the Jews (by Christmas 1941). Nosske was the one the other defendants called the biggest bloodhound....
Noel, Noel, what the hell.”
Benjamin Ferencz in a letter to Telford Taylor, December 1951

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:23 pm

This description is from right after his transfer. I recommend you read the book “Into that Darkness.”
“I noticed this morning that a group of our Landsberg friends have been given their freedom this morning. These include...Schubert, Jost and Nosske. Schubert confessed to...supervising the execution of about 800 Jews...(referring to the order to clean up Simferopol)...Schubert managed to kill all the Jews (by Christmas 1941). Nosske was the one the other defendants called the biggest bloodhound....
Noel, Noel, what the hell.”
Benjamin Ferencz in a letter to Telford Taylor, December 1951

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:23 pm

I really need to branch out with my reading choices.....
“I noticed this morning that a group of our Landsberg friends have been given their freedom this morning. These include...Schubert, Jost and Nosske. Schubert confessed to...supervising the execution of about 800 Jews...(referring to the order to clean up Simferopol)...Schubert managed to kill all the Jews (by Christmas 1941). Nosske was the one the other defendants called the biggest bloodhound....
Noel, Noel, what the hell.”
Benjamin Ferencz in a letter to Telford Taylor, December 1951

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Balmoral95 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:35 am

Jeffk 1970 wrote:This description is from right after his transfer. I recommend you read the book “Into that Darkness.”
There is, of course, an issue with this for certain folk..

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Darren Wilshak » Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:16 am

That would be the same ones who claimed that Sereny poisoned Stangl by bringing him soup into the prison...

Dr. Eberl before Stangl was put in had apparently wanted to be the kommandant that processed the most 'cargo.'

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:23 am

Darren Wilshak wrote:That would be the same ones who claimed that Sereny poisoned Stangl by bringing him soup into the prison...

'
LOL, I remember hermie claiming that on FG’s blog....
“I noticed this morning that a group of our Landsberg friends have been given their freedom this morning. These include...Schubert, Jost and Nosske. Schubert confessed to...supervising the execution of about 800 Jews...(referring to the order to clean up Simferopol)...Schubert managed to kill all the Jews (by Christmas 1941). Nosske was the one the other defendants called the biggest bloodhound....
Noel, Noel, what the hell.”
Benjamin Ferencz in a letter to Telford Taylor, December 1951

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Balmoral95 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:55 am

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Darren Wilshak wrote:That would be the same ones who claimed that Sereny poisoned Stangl by bringing him soup into the prison...

'
LOL, I remember hermie claiming that on FG’s blog....
Stangl poisoned, another oldie but goodie.... yup, that and Sereny not publicly sharing her interview notes (and therefore made the whole thing up) were staples at RODOH 1.

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Oozy_Substance » Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:01 pm

I got good answers but I'll ask again. I wonder if there is a confession from a low-rank officer or a private or even a common civilian that operated a gas-chamber or maybe shot Jews.

For instance, perhaps one of the Ukrainian wardens in Treblinka.

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Balmoral95 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:48 pm

Oozy_Substance wrote:I got good answers but I'll ask again. I wonder if there is a confession from a low-rank officer or a private or even a common civilian that operated a gas-chamber or maybe shot Jews.

For instance, perhaps one of the Ukrainian wardens in Treblinka.
The example of Kurt Franz (see above) is an example of a "low ranking officer" (SS-Untersturmfuhrer, ie, lieutenant).

Not sure what you mean by "operate a gas chamber".

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Sergey_Romanov » Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:18 pm

Oozy_Substance wrote:I got good answers but I'll ask again. I wonder if there is a confession from a low-rank officer or a private or even a common civilian that operated a gas-chamber or maybe shot Jews.

For instance, perhaps one of the Ukrainian wardens in Treblinka.
Fedorenko freely admitted to have known about the gassings during his US deportation hearings. From Demjanjuk's example we know such people are not tortured or bribed into confessing such details :lol:

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:33 pm

To take another individual, Gustav Münzberger, a former T-4 worker and eventually an SS Unterscharführer, who oversaw the entry of victims into the Treblinka gas chambers. Münzberger would stand trial in 1965 in Düsseldorf for his crimes at Treblinka.

The Düsseldorf court’s judgment (https://phdn.org/archives/holocaust-his ... teil.shtml) said of defendant Münzberger that
Soweit der Angeklagte Münzberger darlegt, er habe versucht bei der Erfüllung seiner Aufgaben am Eingang zum grossen Gashaus in einem gewissen Umfange auch menschlich zu handeln, so vermag sich das Schwurgericht dem nicht anzuschliessen; denn die Zeugen Ros., Li. und Hell. haben übereinstimmend erklärt, dass Münzberger menschliche Regungen gegenüber den Opfern fremd waren und dass er ohne Rücksicht darauf, ob es sich um Männer oder um Frauen und Kinder handelte, von seiner Peitsche rücksichtslos Gebrauch machte, um die Gaskammern bis auf den letzten Platz zu füllen. . . . Unrichtig ist auch die Darlegung des Angeklagten Münzberger, er könne nichts dafür, wenn die Ukrainer bei dem Hereintreiben der Juden in die Gaskammern besonders grausam gewesen seien. Es ist zwar richtig, dass die Ukrainer in erster Linie dem Angeklagten Franz unterstanden, der ihnen jeweils die in Betracht kommenden Aufgaben bei der Ankunft und der Abfertigung von Transporten zuwies. Vor dem Vorhang war jedoch Münzberger der massgebende Mann.
Here the court has cited in its judgment Münzberger’s attempted exculpatory statements that his duties in the gas chambers were discharged humanely and that the Ukrainians (whom he oversaw) were responsible for any cruelties.

In acknowledging his role in the gassing process, Münzberger offered the following defenses: he maintained peace and order for those being brought to the gas chambers, he did not use blows on the Jews who first entered the gas chambers but was sometimes compelled to for later groups who by then guessed at their fate, he tried to shield later groups from the cries of those who first were gassed, when it was winter he worked particularly hard to speed the process so that the victims didn’t have to wait long in the cold, the brutality and cruelty of the Ukrainian guards couldn’t be blamed on him because they were under Franz’s command, and he hadn’t brutalized the corpse Jews as they worked quickly on their own.

Münzberger's entire line of defense was to admit to legal gassings and attempt to exonerate himself for participating in the mass murder in exemplary fashion.

(Despite Munzberger’s explanations, the court found, witnesses consistently testified that Munzberger was brutal, ruthlessly whipping those being sent into the gas chambers as well as Jews working in the corpse detail; his fellow SS co-defendants described Munzberger also as brutal and a heavy drinker. Münzberger, the judgment also noted, made the following arguments – that he didn’t consider the extermination right, that he was in a position in which the victims should have felt sorry for him, he carried out his duties in fear of punishment should he not do so, he could not escape the camp, and he had asked Wirth for a transfer to the Waffen SS and been denied; the court rejected these pleadings in part on the basis of testimony from Münzberger’s co-defendants – and found that not only was Münzberger zealous in his gas chamber duties but that there was no evidence of anything other than his cruelty toward the Jews.)

Bryant (in whose book you will find other, similar cases) says of Münzberger’s courtroom statements concerning a charge that he’d shot a woman and her children that “Münzberger admitted assisting with gassing operations within the upper camp but denied shooting the woman and her children, insisting that all the Jews killed during his assignment at the curtain were dispatched in the gas chambers, not in shooting operations outside the formal procedure.” (Eyewitness to Genocide, page 216)
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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Balmoral95 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:27 am

Was reading back and the OP has been more than amply answered... and yet seems still dissatisfied (although the concept of privates (in any military/paramilitary organization) being given leave to operate anything still baffles.

"Common" was the word he used, so let's step out from the military, paramilitary organizations to the "commonest" level, ie, civilians: I don't think one needs to look farther than the Lowry book to understand that she documents willing civilian participation in foul shooting murders, as well as other mayhem.

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Oozy_Substance » Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:01 am

Balmoral95 wrote:Was reading back and the OP has been more than amply answered... and yet seems still dissatisfied (although the concept of privates (in any military/paramilitary organization) being given leave to operate anything still baffles.

"Common" was the word he used, so let's step out from the military, paramilitary organizations to the "commonest" level, ie, civilians: I don't think one needs to look farther than the Lowry book to understand that she documents willing civilian participation in foul shooting murders, as well as other mayhem.
I just wonder how many people were responsible for the gassing. May it be in Treblinka or Auschwitz or other camps. Who threw the canisters or who turned on the tank engine? Is there a confession in the form of "I threw the canisters" or "I turned on the engine"?

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Sergey_Romanov » Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:21 am

Oozy_Substance wrote:
Balmoral95 wrote:Was reading back and the OP has been more than amply answered... and yet seems still dissatisfied (although the concept of privates (in any military/paramilitary organization) being given leave to operate anything still baffles.

"Common" was the word he used, so let's step out from the military, paramilitary organizations to the "commonest" level, ie, civilians: I don't think one needs to look farther than the Lowry book to understand that she documents willing civilian participation in foul shooting murders, as well as other mayhem.
I just wonder how many people were responsible for the gassing. May it be in Treblinka or Auschwitz or other camps. Who threw the canisters or who turned on the tank engine? Is there a confession in the form of "I threw the canisters" or "I turned on the engine"?

I was under an impression you only needed a specific type of a confession as in the OP, not any confession in general. Of the latter there are many dozens, incl. those who served the gassing motors (e.g. Shalayev at Treblinka, who testified about a gasoline engine) or threw in Zyklon B (see Stark above).

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Oozy_Substance » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:25 am

Sergey_Romanov wrote:
Oozy_Substance wrote:
Balmoral95 wrote:Was reading back and the OP has been more than amply answered... and yet seems still dissatisfied (although the concept of privates (in any military/paramilitary organization) being given leave to operate anything still baffles.

"Common" was the word he used, so let's step out from the military, paramilitary organizations to the "commonest" level, ie, civilians: I don't think one needs to look farther than the Lowry book to understand that she documents willing civilian participation in foul shooting murders, as well as other mayhem.
I just wonder how many people were responsible for the gassing. May it be in Treblinka or Auschwitz or other camps. Who threw the canisters or who turned on the tank engine? Is there a confession in the form of "I threw the canisters" or "I turned on the engine"?

I was under an impression you only needed a specific type of a confession as in the OP, not any confession in general. Of the latter there are many dozens, incl. those who served the gassing motors (e.g. Shalayev at Treblinka, who testified about a gasoline engine) or threw in Zyklon B (see Stark above).
Thanks, I will read about Shalayev.

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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:37 am

Oozy_Substance wrote:Thanks, I will read about Shalayev.
https://archive.org/details/BelzecSobib ... .ACritique pp 286, 319ff (look also for discussion of other testimonies besides Shalayev's)
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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:04 pm

Sergey_Romanov wrote:
Oozy_Substance wrote:I got good answers but I'll ask again. I wonder if there is a confession from a low-rank officer or a private or even a common civilian that operated a gas-chamber or maybe shot Jews.

For instance, perhaps one of the Ukrainian wardens in Treblinka.
Fedorenko freely admitted to have known about the gassings during his US deportation hearings. From Demjanjuk's example we know such people are not tortured or bribed into confessing such details :lol:
I followed the Demjanjuk deportation case in detail as it unfolded in the US news media. Two things stood out: (1) As a US citizen, he was perfectly respectable and hadn't stepped out of line in over 40 years. (This makes me very uneasy, as it makes me wonder how much my own---exemplary, I assure you :D ---behavior would cross over to the Dark Side under certain conditions.) (2) He was, in a way, lucky in that the first Israeli trial of him misfired and his conviction was overturned on appeal, when his family mounted a massive public-relations campaign to show that the eyewitnesses had got the wrong man. He wasn't Ivan the Terrible, but he was a camp guard nevertheless, and that fact nearly got covered in a smoke screen.

On the first of these, I'm glad Günter Grass's conscience inspired him, close to the end of his life, to confess to joining the Waffen SS during the last few months of the war, but I don't think he ever said whether he knew about the camps. He was only 17 years old at the time, and again, I'm very uneasy about how I would have behaved at the age of 17 when my country was being invaded by foreign armies. Never mind that those armies were there because my country had launched a war of aggression. A 17-year-old may not be thinking clearly enough to see beyond the invasion. Does anybody know any more details about what Grass knew and didn't know? His "confession" (see the link) is notably long on details of the end of the war as seen through German eyes, but very short on details about what he knew. He artfully says the memory tortured him with guilt for decades, but he implies that it was collective guilt that he was not individually responsible for in any except a very general way. He confesses to nothing specific. Did the SS never talk about these things among themselves? Could he really have been ignorant?
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Re: Confessions of Nazi crimes by common people?

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:22 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:IIRC ordinary killers (as well as eyewitnesses) are interviewed (some secretly) in this documentary, "Einsatzgruppen: The Death Brigades [Les Commandos de la Mort]"
Oozy, Jeffk posted a clip of one of those interviewed in this movie here.
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