Nazi concentration camp secretary trial

Carolina Red

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Trials restarting in 2016 is nothing to be chuffed about how much better we are than people 80 years ago. It's very much those in political power TODAY that waited until it's far too late to bring to justice anyone more senior than a random teenage typist.
You ever considered that it’s been so long since Nazis went on trial because people kept making excuses for them / believing their bullshit?
 

calodo2003

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Trials restarting in 2016 is nothing to be chuffed about how much better we are than people 80 years ago. It's very much those in political power TODAY that waited until it's far too late to bring to justice anyone more senior than a random teenage typist.
Do you think that she should be put on trial?
 

markhughes

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Seems pointless to me, an 18 year old secretary at the time and now 96 years of age, not really sure it's worthwhile.

All those folks up in arms on here would likely have done the same in her shoes/environment. History isn't as clear cut as we like to make it sometimes. Are we the baddies?
 

antohan

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You ever considered that it’s been so long since Nazis went on trial because people kept making excuses for them / believing their bullshit?
You think? Seems to me it went far beyond that.

2016 FFS, the only reason we are even having this discussion is a teenage typist managed to live up to 96 years of age.

It's bullshit pandering to the masses once there's feck all at stake. How can you be chuffed and not outraged?
 

Carolina Red

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You think? Seems to me it went far beyond that.

2016 FFS, the only reason we are even having this discussion is a teenage typist managed to live up to 96 years of age.

It's bullshit pandering to the masses once there's feck all at stake. How can you be chuffed and not outraged?
Outraged at what? That she’s being put on trial or that more trials didn’t happen?
 

NotThatSoph

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Seems pointless to me, an 18 year old secretary at the time and now 96 years of age, not really sure it's worthwhile.

All those folks up in arms on here would likely have done the same in her shoes/environment. History isn't as clear cut as we like to make it sometimes. Are we the baddies?
Most of the German 18 year olds didn't voluntarily go work in concentration camps where tens of thousands of people were killed, why you think most Redcafe users would have been more nazi than the people in nazi Germany? That's a pretty low view of your fellow posters.
 

markhughes

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Most of the German 18 year olds didn't voluntarily go work in concentration camps where tens of thousands of people were killed, why you think most Redcafe users would have been more nazi than the people in nazi Germany? That's a pretty low view of your fellow posters.
I didn't say they would be more Nazi? Not sure where you got that from my post...
 

antohan

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You should read the article.
I have. They have managed to go after a random assortment of very old people who were teenagers at the time and most of which die before even going to jail.

I don't dispute they should be confronted with the consequences of their actions, just don't agree with this self-congratulating "better late than never" notion. It was left too late and it's pretty damn clear that deliberately so.
 

Peter van der Gea

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That and the one guard that expressed remorse and didn't appeal are the positives from the exercise, sure.
To show that unlike previous generations, we will pursue and prosecute evil. Though it hardly does, seeing as Saville (and Maradona as you mentioned), only get castigated after they are dead.
 

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Really weird how hard it is for people to grasp that you don't have to be Sophie Scholl to not work at a concentration camp. No one is putting the moral bar just below the Scholl siblings or Georg Elser. There was a vast amount of people who simply refused to work for the Nazis in relevant positions or avoided to participate in inhuman practices - but let's just ignore them and give everyone a free pass who actively participated in a fascist ideology because they had their career at interest or didn't care what their involvement meant. You didn't get executed for not applying to work as a secretary of a concentration camp.
 

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To show that unlike previous generations, we will pursue and prosecute evil. Though it hardly does, seeing as Saville (and Maradona as you mentioned), only get castigated after they are dead.
Such as prosecuting those who droned those Afghan civilians? Sorry, couldn't help myself.
 

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That and the one guard that expressed remorse and didn't appeal are the positives from the exercise, sure.
I think the guard appealed, but died before it went to a decision.
 

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I can see where @antohan is coming from. With all due respect to this woman, she could have died at her current age or in the last few years and would have lived a perfectly long life - longer than most and without facing any prosecution for what she did for all these decades. While she should obviously be put on trial now and we can say 'better late than never', even if she gets charged from this trial the people who were primarily impacted by her actions wouldn't really feel 'justice was done', when you let the criminal live their entire life in peace and try to convict them when they are 96 years old.

And of course the following discussion on how many such other participants would have lived their entire lives happily and died before anyone ever tried to convict them. Basically overall, while this trial is fine in itself, it surely highlights how incompetent the justice system has been for all these years/decades and for sure many similar participants guilty of similar crimes would have never been touched, with possibly a lot of them having bigger involvements.

Any discussion on whether this women should actually be put on trial is obviously rubbish - no question there.
 

antohan

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To show that unlike previous generations, we will pursue and prosecute evil. Though it hardly does, seeing as Saville (and Maradona as you mentioned), only get castigated after they are dead.
I think what they are doing is underscoring that is not the case. 20-30 years ago it would have been a strong message.

You are going to tell me it took until 2011 for a judge to reckon "following orders" was a shit excuse and until 2016 for that ruling to give way to a bunch of prosecutions?

It only happens now because it didn't get nipped in the bud this time around, all the Savilles were dead.
 

oates

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it surely highlights how incompetent the justice system has been for all these years/decades and for sure many similar participants guilty of similar crimes would have never been touched, with possibly a lot of them having bigger involvements.
It was only relatively recently that a judge gave the instruction to start going after the smaller 'cogs'. Who can tell why they didn't before?
 

Moby

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It was only relatively recently that a judge gave the instruction to start going after the smaller 'cogs'. Who can tell why they didn't before?
Yeah, we can only guess of course, but from what I've seen in a lot of cases, deliberating the course of justice is a valid tactic used to evade punishment which is routinely applied in many parts of the world, especially where the justice systems are genuinely broken and corrupt. I'd love to hear what genuine reason there could for waiting almost decades to start looking at these cases, and if it is a sheer coincidence that when it started the accused would either be dead or as old as this women here.

Having said that I completely agree with putting this trial in the news, as others have said here the notion that fascism/nazism should not be acceptable has to always be reminded and this is one way of doing it so surely there's some good that would come from it. Just that, it's definitely happened really late and we should not overlook that aspect either.
 

Denis79

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Seems pointless to me, an 18 year old secretary at the time and now 96 years of age, not really sure it's worthwhile.

All those folks up in arms on here would likely have done the same in her shoes/environment. History isn't as clear cut as we like to make it sometimes. Are we the baddies?
I can tell you with almost certainty that the majority of the German population during this time shared the Nazi ideology and believed in their racial supremacy. The Woman in question almost surely grew up in the Hitler Jugend and probably felt that all jews were sub-human that deserved a grim fate. So that she was young at the time is no excuse.

Recruitment for the "dirty work" was often made directly from the different Nazi movements because they wanted true believers. The woman was most likely proud to serve her Reich and her Fuhrer and probably believed that all jews deserved death. Germans working at these camps were not forced to be there, quite the contrary, for a true Nazi it would have been considered an honour to help the country with the "jew problem".

She's rightfully going to court just a shame it has come so late.
 

nickm

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Seems pointless to me, an 18 year old secretary at the time and now 96 years of age, not really sure it's worthwhile.

All those folks up in arms on here would likely have done the same in her shoes/environment. History isn't as clear cut as we like to make it sometimes. Are we the baddies?
Just come out and say you would have done the same, rather than suggest the rest of us might have. Have the courage of your convictions and leave the rest of us out of it.
 
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SalfordRed18

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Seems pointless to me, an 18 year old secretary at the time and now 96 years of age, not really sure it's worthwhile.

All those folks up in arms on here would likely have done the same in her shoes/environment. History isn't as clear cut as we like to make it sometimes. Are we the baddies?
Is this satire?
 

maniak

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I have. They have managed to go after a random assortment of very old people who were teenagers at the time and most of which die before even going to jail.

I don't dispute they should be confronted with the consequences of their actions, just don't agree with this self-congratulating "better late than never" notion. It was left too late and it's pretty damn clear that deliberately so.
So you don't think it's better late than never?

Others have pointed it out, just because justice systems have fecked up in the past, doesn't mean we have to keep fecking up.
 

antohan

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It was only relatively recently that a judge gave the instruction to start going after the smaller 'cogs'. Who can tell why they didn't before?
One early practical reason was how many people you can realistically put in jail in one go. Doesn't hold water for this long, mind.

How you deal with "smaller cogs" is something we should get better at though as it doesn't just apply to Nazi Germany. Actually, read on not thinking about nazis but the hundreds of authoritarian regimes that have been in place across the world since. This is current stuff, not ancient history.

I disagree with the B&W statement "was part of the machine". In any situation were civil liberties are suspended/compromised you will have sadistic monsters rising to the top. Shit floats. Now, many regular people find themselves in the machine, surrounded by people they despise that are doing some horrible things. What do you do?

Most here are posting about how you willingly take part, nobody makes you do it, etc. Firstly, not everyone is cut out to be a freedom fighter both in temperament or whether they can be much use for any amount of time. Many will say they want out, risking getting a big target on their backs, but largely will go on to live a "normal" life with their conscience clear. Then there's those that fight from within. The more ballsy ones get to positions of influence and use that as cover to actually do good stuff unnoticed. For the most part though, you have people whose reasoning is that it's better for them to fulfill their role than some nasty fecker. They play along with a lot, they just have to, but occasionally can get a small win here and there.

I'm not saying that is the case here, very much the opposite. In the aftermath, these "small cogs" become really valuable sources of incriminating intel. From what I read this woman was twice in court as a witness 60-70 years ago and adhered to "didn't know what was going on". Should have wound up in jail there and then if you ask me, and that in turn would have made tonnes of cogs fess up and bring light to key information in a timely fashion.

It's a pretty key issue. You don't want impunity or passive acceptance of bullshit excuses. On the other hand, with "anyone that is part of is guilty" what you get going forward is even more monolithic machines with no sprinkled "good ones" driven by the occasional opportunity to make a small difference, which can be huge for AN Other, and certainly add up to a lot.
 

calodo2003

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Seems pointless to me, an 18 year old secretary at the time and now 96 years of age, not really sure it's worthwhile.

All those folks up in arms on here would likely have done the same in her shoes/environment. History isn't as clear cut as we like to make it sometimes. Are we the baddies?
Your usage of pronouns is weird. And telling.
 

nickm

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You don't want impunity or passive acceptance of bullshit excuses. On the other hand, with "anyone that is part of is guilty" what you get going forward is even more monolithic machines with no sprinkled "good ones" driven by the occasional opportunity to make a small difference, which can be huge for AN Other, and certainly add up to a lot.
All fair points, but I think you can draw the line at nazis working in death camps.
 

antohan

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Well yeah. You’re making an argument that nobody (I’ve seen on here) is on the other side of.
Doesn't look like that. I'm making the argument we should be questioning why it took so long and whether we are now "getting it right" or just being given scraps to be all happy with how things are now better.

E.g.
So you don't think it's better late than never?

Others have pointed it out, just because justice systems have fecked up in the past, doesn't mean we have to keep fecking up.
Nothing has changed. Same shit, different vintage.
 

antohan

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All fair points, but I think you can draw the line at nazis working in death camps.
That's why I said read on thinking about authoritarian regimes in general and not such a very specific case.

It's hard to imagine anyone having the stomach to put up with camps, but more so the Nazis not having vetted those with access very very thoroughly.
 

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Seems pointless to me, an 18 year old secretary at the time and now 96 years of age, not really sure it's worthwhile.

All those folks up in arms on here would likely have done the same in her shoes/environment. History isn't as clear cut as we like to make it sometimes. Are we the baddies?
You realize that the point of that sketch is that the Nazis were so obviously the baddies.
 

NotThatSoph

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I didn't say they would be more Nazi? Not sure where you got that from my post...
Very few Germans voluntarily worked in the concentration camps like this woman did, relative to the total population. If it's not because you think Redcafe posters are more nazi than the people in nazi Germany, why is it you think that we'd be so much more involved with killing tens of thousands of innocent people than the average citizen in nazi Germany were? Would we do it for fun?
 

Peter van der Gea

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There were 27 main camps, 1100 satellite camps.

She was first secretary to the Commandant of Stutthof, one of the 27.

Germany had a population of 86ish million.

Out of those 86 million Germans, she and only 26 others became first secretaries of the Commandant of the main concentration camps where they killed millions.

There is no way she didn't want to be there, not a chance.
 

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Seems pointless to me, an 18 year old secretary at the time and now 96 years of age, not really sure it's worthwhile.

All those folks up in arms on here would likely have done the same in her shoes/environment. History isn't as clear cut as we like to make it sometimes. Are we the baddies?
I don't think it's worthwhile to send her to prison. She is obviously not a danger to the public at this point.

I do think that a trial would be worthwhile. Expose what she did and aided in a rigorous court of law.

That said, a secretary feels a bit like we're scraping the barrel on Nazis still living.
 
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oates

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One early practical reason was how many people you can realistically put in jail in one go. Doesn't hold water for this long, mind.

How you deal with "smaller cogs" is something we should get better at though as it doesn't just apply to Nazi Germany. Actually, read on not thinking about nazis but the hundreds of authoritarian regimes that have been in place across the world since. This is current stuff, not ancient history.

I disagree with the B&W statement "was part of the machine". In any situation were civil liberties are suspended/compromised you will have sadistic monsters rising to the top. Shit floats. Now, many regular people find themselves in the machine, surrounded by people they despise that are doing some horrible things. What do you do?

Most here are posting about how you willingly take part, nobody makes you do it, etc. Firstly, not everyone is cut out to be a freedom fighter both in temperament or whether they can be much use for any amount of time. Many will say they want out, risking getting a big target on their backs, but largely will go on to live a "normal" life with their conscience clear. Then there's those that fight from within. The more ballsy ones get to positions of influence and use that as cover to actually do good stuff unnoticed. For the most part though, you have people whose reasoning is that it's better for them to fulfill their role than some nasty fecker. They play along with a lot, they just have to, but occasionally can get a small win here and there.

I'm not saying that is the case here, very much the opposite. In the aftermath, these "small cogs" become really valuable sources of incriminating intel. From what I read this woman was twice in court as a witness 60-70 years ago and adhered to "didn't know what was going on". Should have wound up in jail there and then if you ask me, and that in turn would have made tonnes of cogs fess up and bring light to key information in a timely fashion.

It's a pretty key issue. You don't want impunity or passive acceptance of bullshit excuses. On the other hand, with "anyone that is part of is guilty" what you get going forward is even more monolithic machines with no sprinkled "good ones" driven by the occasional opportunity to make a small difference, which can be huge for AN Other, and certainly add up to a lot.
I think what is generally accepted in war is that two sets or sets of allies fight each others combatants, there are collateral losses, those collaterals being intentional would be just as much war crimes but in general, combatants facing off, that is the machinery of war. Small cogs, big cogs engaged in what was just as much a business as it was the destruction by any means needed of an entire race, entirely innocent of any or all blame was quite another machinery, no German or their allies were forced to take on the job, they didn't need to fear execution, but big or small a vital part of that separate firm's activities. We'd like to see the big ones on tv on massive show trials sure and some were, many escaped through influence or wanted expertise but now we're down to the pool that should have been just as relevant all those years ago, for sure, they must have thought they'd gotten away with it but oh no, now their families know what daddy, mummy, grandad or grandma did during the war, their neighbours know, the assistants in the shops they bought their groceries from know, their bank manager knows and the tv and the media has their face, that person is still catching that national shame they thought they'd given a miss. Unfortunately it's not the time that matters so much anymore but a nation that was wronged and the nation that would like to move on and should be able to at some point can see that justice still matters. We shouldn't be able to give any cog a pass, we still need to remember the horror it seems.
 

markhughes

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Just come out and say you would have done the same, rather than suggest the rest of us might have. Have the courage of your convictions and leave the rest of us out of it.
Yeah it's possible I have done the same as an 18 year old if I were raised in the same place and time, hard to say really but plenty of pretty ordinary people did atrocious things and people mostly went along with it, we are simply products of our time and experiences.

You realize that the point of that sketch is that the Nazis were so obviously the baddies.
It's also the point that they were going along with things blindly, thinking what they were doing is on the side of righteousness until Mitchell points out the obvious of course. in reality it may not have been so obvious for all the soldiers and Germans involved in the war.

Very few Germans voluntarily worked in the concentration camps like this woman did, relative to the total population. If it's not because you think Redcafe posters are more nazi than the people in nazi Germany, why is it you think that we'd be so much more involved with killing tens of thousands of innocent people than the average citizen in nazi Germany were? Would we do it for fun?
I meant if you were a German born at that time rather than a siege of Redcafe Nazi Soldiers!