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Concentration camp guards  

18 members have voted

  1. 1. Should they face trial?

    • Yes
      12
    • No
      5
    • Undecided
      1


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I voted no.

It's all very well saying you'd be the brave hero standing up for what's right but actually you might just be the confused guy desperate to take a pay cheque home.

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I voted no.

It's all very well saying you'd be the brave hero standing up for what's right but actually you might just be the confused guy desperate to take a pay cheque home.

I've thought about this often over the years, i didnt think so much "pay check" but staying alive during a time of utter continent wide carnage. I voted yes though.

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I thought the Auschwitz guards were chosen specifically for their "qualities". I don't believe they were your typical drafted Wehrmacht soldiers.

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Yes.

As a history teacher who extensively teaches and researches the Holocaust every year with A level students, each of these guards were much more than indifferent to the sufferings of the victims.

Leaving aside Daniel Goldhagen's controversial works, even if you do support the structuralist viewpoint on the Holocaust, you cannot absolve these people of what they did.

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Even after all these years, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and other agencies like Pallorium are still turning up war criminals. They do seem to live to ripe old ages.

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Yes.

As a history teacher who extensively teaches and researches the Holocaust every year with A level students, each of these guards were much more than indifferent to the sufferings of the victims.

Leaving aside Daniel Goldhagen's controversial works, even if you do support the structuralist viewpoint on the Holocaust, you cannot absolve these people of what they did.

Is Goldhagen still controversial? I was under the impression that he was completely discredited.

 

As to the poll, I'd probably not try them. It's a political event not a legal one.

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History is written by the winners.

 

If a conscripted soldiers with families were serving at Auschwitz and the alternative was requesting a transfer, and likely being sent to a horrific warzone such as the Western Front, you couldn't blame them for staying put.

 

 

If the Jews wish to continue hunting down and locking up octogenarians that's their right, but we probably have many British octogenarians who did horrible war crimes and have not / will not be chased down.

 

The Israelis probably have many men aged between 20 and 90  who did horrible war crimes against arabs and have not / will not be chased down

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Hard call,

 

"Yes" because they had the knowledge of what was going on was wrong.

 

"No" simply because they where witnessing how little their superiors put on the price of life and would have known any refusal would have most likely resulted in their own death.

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Is Goldhagen still controversial? I was under the impression that he was completely discredited.

 

As to the poll, I'd probably not try them. It's a political event not a legal one.

Goldhagen has been discredited on many counts, it doesn't mean that in a historiographical sense he isn't controversial, certainly when only being studied by A level students. :)

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I voted no but it is a very hard call.

 

It's hard to punish people for following orders in an entirely different circumstance than we live in.

 

For instance, some would call the bombing of Dresden a war crime. I don't want to open the debate on whether it is or it isn't but if it is would that make the ordinary British bombers, people who were following orders, war criminals?

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I voted no but it is a very hard call.

 

It's hard to punish people for following orders in an entirely different circumstance than we live in.

 

For instance, some would call the bombing of Dresden a war crime. I don't want to open the debate on whether it is or it isn't but if it is would that make the ordinary British bombers, people who were following orders, war criminals?

 

 

Strictly speaking yes it would. The law (domestic and international) does not recognise "I was carrying out orders" as an excuse or mitigation.

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I voted no.

I'm not denying what they did was wrong, but it's completely different circumstances to how it is now.

The question I ask is if they refused to do what they did would it of made a difference? In my opinion it wouldnt of. They would of just died themselves and someone else would of done the job.

If there is clear evidence that they wanted to kill people, I'd say yes prosecute them. But I think they are more than likely to have been following orders to prevent their wife's becoming widows.

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When visiting Belgium, I was told that the locals still won't tend to German war graves, which is left to visiting Germans. Also, visiting Auschwitz left me feeling a sense of shame that human beings were treated so appallingly, and still going on today in many parts of the world. 

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Parliamentary Debate on Syria:

 

http://www.palestinecampaign.org/pu290813/

 

 

 

Gerald Kaufman:  i.a.: “Israel used white phosphorous in its attack in Gaza in Operation Cast Lead—I saw the consequences for myself when I went there—but Israel gets away with it because it is on the right side of what is regarded as civilised opinion.”

 

 Sarah Wollaston: Without reference to Gaza or Palestinians, describes the horrific nature of white phosphorus.

 

- Paul Flynn: Refers again to Israeli use of phosphorus bombs. “We stood by then—we did not do anything.”

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History is written by the winners.

 

If a conscripted soldiers with families were serving at Auschwitz and the alternative was requesting a transfer, and likely being sent to a horrific warzone such as the Western Front, you couldn't blame them for staying put.

 

 

 

They weren't conscripted soldiers, they were SS - volunteers.  There were however conscripts in the Einsaztgruppen - who when Germany invaded Russia rounded up Jews and shot them.

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I'm just reading a book now called THE KINDLY ONES by Jonathan Littell.Its about a novel,but it goes through all the actual events and atrocities.Its about a former Nazi officer who escaped and reinvented himself as a middle class intellectual who is now telling his story.Its over 900 pages and ive only got to 160,he is telling how he was against the special actions by Einsazigruppen because of the effect it had on his men who had families!I think its getting to the part where they changed to using the death camps as a way of doing it,"better for the health and moral"of his men.He could have got at that time a job away from all this back in Berlin,but he chose to stay among all this to "improve things".

Its a fictional account of of this Nazi's memoires

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I thought the Auschwitz guards were chosen specifically for their "qualities". I don't believe they were your typical drafted Wehrmacht soldiers.

 

I used to work with a guy who's father in-law was in Auschwitz, he told me that his father in-law had told him about guards, at very great risk to themselves, dropping cigarettes and bread sneakily onto the ground for the prisoners as they walked about the camp. Steve was quite surprised when his father in-law had said they all weren't barstewards and some had put themselves at risk to try and ease their suffering. The guy was lucky enough to be saved when the camp was liberated by the allies.

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