Posts Tagged ‘trial’

Oskar Groening trial: Auschwitz survivor subjected to Nazi medical experiments demands answers

April 23rd, 2015

Ms Kor gave a chilling account of her ordeal at the hands of Josef Mengele, the doctor dubbed the Angel of Death who experimented on humans in the notorious death camp.

She said she and her sister Miriam only survived because Mengele was particularly interested in twins, and that within minutes of arriving at Auschwitz the rest of her family were gassed.

She said Mengele and four other doctors came to see her one day after she had undergone a series of injections and was suffering from high fever.

“Mengele looked at my fever chart and laughed sarcastically and said: ‘Too bad. She is so young and she has only two weeks to live’,” Ms Kor told the court in the German town of Lueneburg.

“If I died they would have killed Miriam with an injection to the heart. Mengele would then have carried out a comparative autopsy,” said Ms Kor, who now lives in the US.

She somehow survived, as did her sister. But Miriam, who died in 1993, suffered from decades of kidney problems and later cancer which may have been linked to the Auschwitz experiments.

“I want to know what injections we were given,” Ms Kor told Groening, who impassively listened to her 40-minute address to the court.

It appeared to be a rhetorical question as Groening is not known to have participated in the medical experiments but was instead responsible for inspecting the luggage of arriving prisoners and sending any money found to Berlin to fund the Nazi war effort.

That job led the German media to dub him the “Bookkeeper of Auschwitz.”

On Wednesday he described in detail how cattle cars full of Jews were brought to Auschwitz-Birkenau, the people stripped of their belongings and then most led directly into gas chambers.

So many trains were arriving that often two would have to wait with closed doors as the first was “processed,” Groening said.

Thomas Walther, the lawyer representing several co-plaintiffs, told the Telegraph that three more Britons were now being represented by him, bringing the total of British co-plaintiffs to six.

The trial was moved to a larger venue after the local courtroom was deemed to small. It was adjourned at noon on Wednesday to clear the Ritterakademie venue for a play entitled Guter Sex ist Teuer (Good Sex is Expensive).


World War Two

Nazi Auschwitz camp officer, 93, to face trial over 300,000 deaths

February 3rd, 2015

For this reason, he was known as the “bookkeeper” of Auschwitz.

The accused also helped remove the luggage of victims so it was not seen by new arrivals, thus covering up the traces of mass killing, according to the prosecutors.

They said the defendant was aware that the predominantly Jewish prisoners deemed unfit to work “were murdered directly after their arrival in the gas chambers of Auschwitz”.

Groening told German daily Bild in 2005 that he regretted working at Auschwitz, saying he still heard the screams from the gas chamber decades later.

“I was ashamed for decades and I am still ashamed today,” said Groening, who was employed from the age of 21 at the camp, which was liberated 70 years ago last week.

“Not of my acts, because I never killed anyone. But I offered my aid. I was a cog in the killing machine that eliminated millions of innocent people.”

The German office investigating Nazi war crimes sent files on 30 former Auschwitz personnel to state prosecutors in 2013 with a recommendation to bring charges against them.

The renewed drive to bring to justice the last surviving perpetrators of the Holocaust follows a 2011 landmark court ruling.

For more than 60 years German courts had only prosecuted Nazi war criminals if evidence showed they had personally committed atrocities.

But in 2011 a Munich court sentenced John Demjanjuk to five years in prison for complicity in the extermination of Jews at the Sobibor camp, where he had served as a guard, establishing that all former camp guards can be tried.

About 1.1 million people, mostly European Jews, perished at Auschwitz-Birkenau, operated by the Nazis from 1940 until it was liberated by Soviet forces on January 27, 1945.


World War Two

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