91 year old WWII concentration camp guard sentenced to five years jail

Poll: Do you agree or disagree with the ruling?
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View poll results: Do you agree or disagree with the ruling?
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37 22%
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94 55%
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Voters: 170.
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#1
(CNN) -- John Demjanjuk was found guilty Thursday of involvement in the murder of tens of thousands of Jews by a court in Germany, capping a 30-year international legal saga over whether he was a Nazi camp guard during World War II.

He was sentenced to five years in prison, the court told CNN. But he was freed soon after, pending appeal, a source close to the court told CNN. The court did not consider him a flight risk because he is not a citizen of any country and cannot leave Germany, the source said.
Article

Agree or disagree with the outcome?

I understand the need for families of those who died in the Nazi concentration camps to see justice done, but you also can't deny that a large number of guards were simply following orders.

On that last point, I would recommend reading up on two studies: Milgram (1974) and Zimbardo (et al., 1973) before undermining the "following orders" defense.

EDIT: removed redundancy
Last edited by zdh at May 12, 2011,
#3
Quote by Todd Hart
What's the point?

No one should get away with that kind of stuff, that's the point.
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#4
You're trying to justify it under "following orders"?

The guy is a piece of shit who deserves to spend the rest of his life in a hole.
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#6
Honestly I don't believe that Milgram's study can be compared to the Nazis claiming to have done what they did because they were told to - completely different circumstances, and being constantly egged on by a supposed expert is wholly different to being involved in the routine slaughter of millions. And doing so WITHOUT constant pushing.

Amazing that this pathetic creature has never been sentenced prior to this.
#8
Why!? He was following orders, didn't have much of a choice in it. If he was just a guard, like the article says, I wouldn't imagine he would have actually killed tortured any one. And he's an old man now. He doesn't deserve to be put in prison IMHO.
#9
But his health doesn't seem sufficient at all. Also, his choise was either to follow order or die, though. Every selfish man would've chosen the latter, 'cause who wants to die?

He deserves punishment for what he has done, however.
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#10
Quote by Mazzakazza
Honestly I don't believe that Milgram's study can be compared to the Nazis claiming to have done what they did because they were told to - completely different circumstances, and being constantly egged on by a supposed expert is wholly different to being involved in the routine slaughter of millions. And doing so WITHOUT constant pushing.

Amazing that this pathetic creature has never been sentenced prior to this.


war is the circumstance and a gun to their head is the expert.
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#11
Quote by Colgate Total
You're trying to justify it under "following orders"?

The guy is a piece of shit who deserves to spend the rest of his life in a hole.

He was born in the Ukraine and fought in the Soviet army. The Nazis captured him and put him to work in the camp.
#12
Quote by Kensai
No one should get away with that kind of stuff, that's the point.


So why wait till now?

And wasn't he forced into that position anyway?

^ That.
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#13
If they send him to prison, they might as well also do the same to every German soldier that fought in the war.
#14
If I were in his position, I would have followed orders too. And I wouldn't be able to sleep for the rest of my life due to the horrors I helped with and I would torture myself my whole life, even though I had no choice.

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#15
I have no problem with putting him on trial and convicting him because of the principle behind it, but the jail time seems a bit unnecessary when he's 91 years old.


He's clearly not a threat to anyone.
#16
Quote by Mazzakazza
Amazing that this pathetic creature has never been sentenced prior to this.

The accusations against Demjanjuk date to the late 1970s, when the U.S. Justice Department accused him of being a Nazi guard known as "Ivan the Terrible." His U.S. citizenship was revoked in 1981, and he was extradited to Israel in 1986.

Demjanjuk was convicted in an Israeli court in 1988 and sentenced to death, but that conviction was overturned in 1993 amid evidence that someone else was "Ivan the Terrible."

A U.S. federal court restored Demjanjuk's citizenship, ruling the government withheld evidence supporting his case.

But his citizenship was revoked again in 2002 after a federal judge ruled that his 1952 entry into the United States was illegal because he hid his past as a Nazi guard.
..
#17
Quote by sticksause
If they send him to prison, they might as well also do the same to every German soldier that fought in the war.


Or, every soldier that has ever fought in any war, ever.
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#18
Quote by Colgate Total
You're trying to justify it under "following orders"?

The guy is a piece of shit who deserves to spend the rest of his life in a hole.

You're an idiot. If you were told to shoot a prisoner, or be shot yourself - you would shoot the prisoner and don't tell me any different. Because you right now are the age that guy was at the time of his service. Scared kids in a time of war. That's all.

The ones who deserve to be punished are the officers. The people who ran these camps, because they could have made it nice (well nice for POWs) for them, but they chose to be hardasses and kill them and starve them, etc.


And also this kind of shit still happens today in EVERY military. Everyone just hates Nazi's so they don't give any of them a chance. Most solders of Germany at that time didn't even believe in Hitlers ideals, they just followed orders in order to live.
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#20
The choice here is KILL or BE KILLED. I don't think it's as simple as you might think.

Besides, he's 91. He is probably waiting to die. What is the point of wasting time and money on someone who isn't a threat and could easily kick the bucket tomorrow. HE'S NINETY ONE. He's experienced some f**ked up sh*t. I don't think he really wanted to do it. Do you? Nazis captured him ffs.
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#21
Every Nazi was not evil. He was probably brought into the army against his own will, since the article says he fought for the Soviets. And he was just a guard, I don't think they really tutored anyone.

A girl in my comp class had a grandfather who technically was a Nazi. He was taken from his family when he was 5 years old.

Some of the soldiers din't have a choice.
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#22
Quote by Colgate Total
You're trying to justify it under "following orders"?

The guy is a piece of shit who deserves to spend the rest of his life in a hole.


Wait... What does your sig say?
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#23
Quote by stueey
The choice here is KILL or BE KILLED. I don't think it's as simple as you might think.

And you have no idea what you're talking about if you think it was "kill or be killed" for every German soldier. Try reading "Hitler's Army."
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#24
they should of got him earlier.
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#26
Quote by bodyheatseeker

The trial will focus on whether Ukraine-born Demjanjuk, a Red Army soldier, acted of his own free will or was forced into the role of Nazi henchman. Prosecutors will argue that Demjanjuk could have chosen to leave the camp, either by escaping or by requesting to take on other duties.

"He could have fled the camp having had the possibility to do so when off-duty and during deployments outside the camp. He was also in possession of a gun, which would have simplified his possibilities of escape," the charge sheet reads.

Hm.
Quote by WCPhils
Every Nazi was not evil. He was probably brought into the army against his own will, since the article says he fought for the Soviets. And he was just a guard, I don't think they really tutored anyone.

*tortured
Instead, according to prosecutors, Demjanjuk readily took part in the process of driving Jews into the gas chambers into which engine fumes were pumped. "This resulted in a deadly mix of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide … which led to unconsciousness. It took the people 20 to 30 minutes to die," according to the charges.

Demjanjuk denies the charges. His lawyer, Günther Maull, says he was forced into working at the camp as a prisoner of war.
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#27
Quote by blue_strat
Hm.


Indeed.

What asshat of a lawyer uses a hypothetical situation in the prosecution's statement?
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#28
Quote by Beautiful
And you have no idea what you're talking about if you think it was "kill or be killed" for every German soldier. Try reading "Hitler's Army."


He wasn't a german soldier. He was captured.
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#29
Quote by stueey
He wasn't a german soldier. He was captured.


This just makes it worse for him...
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#31
Quote by naedauuf
You're an idiot. If you were told to shoot a prisoner, or be shot yourself - you would shoot the prisoner and don't tell me any different. Because you right now are the age that guy was at the time of his service. Scared kids in a time of war. That's all.

The ones who deserve to be punished are the officers. The people who ran these camps, because they could have made it nice (well nice for POWs) for them, but they chose to be hardasses and kill them and starve them, etc.


And also this kind of shit still happens today in EVERY military. Everyone just hates Nazi's so they don't give any of them a chance. Most solders of Germany at that time didn't even believe in Hitlers ideals, they just followed orders in order to live.

This. If you get told you need to follow orders to do this stuff or die, then you'd do the damn orders, we all would. Imagine having to live with that stuff too?


edit: if any of you think this man should be put in prison then answer me this, do you think the pilots who bombed berlin for the allies should be put in prison? That killed a lot of innocent people too you know.
Last edited by Zoot Allures at May 12, 2011,
#32
Quote by stueey
Besides, he's 91. He is probably waiting to die. What is the point of wasting time and money on someone who isn't a threat and could easily kick the bucket tomorrow. HE'S NINETY ONE. He's experienced some f**ked up sh*t. I don't think he really wanted to do it. Do you? Nazis captured him ffs.
I agree with this.
#33
I agree with the ruling assuming he was actually a Nazi camp guard responsible for the death of however many jews. I mean, that's sort of a crime.


The punishment aspect I disagree with, however, as it's pretty senseless at this point.
#34
To be fair, he was a soldier for the red army, and he had no choice in the matter. I can honestly say that I would have killed too if it came down to it, and I honestly believe that he was in that situation.

He's also an old man now. There's no point in wasting all of that money on the trial, imprisonment, food, and clothes when he's probably going to die in a few years anyway. Just let the man live out what's left of his life, I'm sure he feels terrible enough for the things that he had to do to survive.
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#35
Quote by daytripper75
I have no problem with putting him on trial and convicting him because of the principle behind it, but the jail time seems a bit unnecessary when he's 91 years old.


He's clearly not a threat to anyone.


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#36
Quote by Colgate Total
You're trying to justify it under "following orders"?

The guy is a piece of shit who deserves to spend the rest of his life in a hole.



Ya, nice signature man, trying to win 'Hypocrite of the Year' or summit?
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#37
Am I the only one who thinks that a fairly important question is being glossed over(Unless I missed it being answered)?

There were tens of millions of men on the eastern front over the course of the war, there were more definitely than a fair share of defectors. Do we know whether he was a POW or a defector? I know the defense said he was a POW, but a defense attorney's single statement is hardly conclusive evidence.
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#38
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Wait... What does your sig say?


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Ya, nice signature man, trying to win 'Hypocrite of the Year' or summit?


Two more idiots. Why don't you click the ****ing link and see what it is? Or is that too much for your brain to handle?
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#39
Quote by stueey
He wasn't a german soldier. He was captured.

Alright, read "Bloodlands" then...it explains the Soviet mass murder that was part of the precedent for the Nazi killings. Both sides were starving/shooting massive amounts of civilians.
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#40
Quote by Beautiful
Alright, read "Bloodlands" then...it explains the Soviet mass murder that was part of the precedent for the Nazi killings. Both sides were starving/shooting massive amounts of civilians.


On these grounds we would be locking up so many people that we'd have to reinstate death camps just to free up prison spaces.
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