The Indictment of the Auschwitz Guard, Law Essay Sample

Published: 2022-02-23
The Indictment of the Auschwitz Guard, Law Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Critical thinking
Categories:  Law Genocide Concentration camps Holocaust
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 596 words
5 min read

We are going to deal with the indictment of a 94-year-old man and later sentencing of the same in today's paper, it has been more than seventy years that the German prosecution team has found it fit to prosecute Reinhold Hanning because of being an SS guard back in the 1940s. It has left debate in the public forum about the 'Holocaust' and how to assign blame for the act. There was a historic shift in the German justice system when they charged Hanning at his particular age as an accessory in the line of former SS guards and war criminals as a whole. We are going to look at the moral implications of convicting former SS soldiers or guards who contributed to the events of the Holocaust during the reign of Adolf Hitler in Germany during the second world war.

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Last Chance for Justice

In a courtroom in Detmold, a small city in Germany Irene Weiss patiently waited as she had come a long way from Virginia her home here to testify in the trial of Hanning Reinhold. They were delays before the actual trial started because apparently, Hanning at 94 had to wait for a wheelchair to bring him to court. Due to his age and health, the hearing was restricted to two hours a day, two days per week, and this delay meant that Irene Weiss an 85-year-old woman had to stay in Detmold Germany for longer than she had planned plus this moment was the day she had been waiting for her whole life.

Like in July 2015 Oskar Groning also 94 years of age (like Hanning) at the time was found guilty for aiding in the killing of Jews who were nearly 300000 at Auschwitz, he was SS officer an accountant working in Auschwitz, the confiscation of valuables and money from the prisoners was his responsibility. In Groning's defense, he never committed the killings directly but he was found guilty anyway because he was part of the functioning of the camp. During this particular trial, it was observed that the German courts did not want to prosecute, even as during the actual Holocaust the ordinary German citizens had just looked away and later on those who had carried the act they looked away as they went on unpunished by the system.

Different Views on the Trials

Some critics called out the hypocrisy by the German government who are now trying to relieve themselves of the guilt by putting men with a few years left to live on trial and it can be even said to be too little too late. This is a very touchy subject matter an emotional as well, and to be objective can be a bit difficult but first we have to ask ourselves different questions first we need to ask these defendants whether they need any of our mercy today because at the time of the incidence they had no compassion at all. Also what their motivation was by sitting by and joining in or just looking when millions of people were slaughtered.


Hanning who was found guilty and sentenced to five years in jail for being an accessory to 170000 killings and he died a year later of the time he was convicted in the year 2017 at 95-years-old. In conclusion, as all this was going on they had done nothing to stop it but now they crying to us to appeal their cases for them to released or acquitted in the eyes of the law like in the case of Groning who was sentenced for four years back in 2015.

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