German Court Convicts 93-Year-Old Nazi Concentration Camp Guard

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The Hamburg Juvenile Court convicted Bruno Dey for being accessory to murder. This was at the Stutthof concentration camp. He has a total conviction of 5,232 counts of accessory murder during his service between 1944 and 1945.

Background

Bruno Dey was stationed at the Stutthof concentration camp in German-occupied Poland. His job was to prevent escape and revolt by the prisoners. He was 17 at the time of the crime, so the juvenile court tried him. The investigation on Bruno Dey was a part of the several investigations. Investigations instituted by the German authorities. The accused was previously charged in 1985 but it dropped on lack of evidence. The two landmark rulings snowballed into other convictions. These were against John Demjanjuk and Oskar Groning. The case of Dey is a paramount case. Regarded to be one of the last verdicts to hand down to the perpetrators of the mass crimes of the Nazi-era.

Arguments of the Parties 

The prosecutors argued that Mr Dey was a small part in the extensive machinery of the holocaust. But he aided in the process, and the Court cannot overlook that. They asked for a three year sentence whereas the defense contented for acquittal. The prosecutors argued that many of the prisoners were shot in the back of the head or gassed with the Zyklon B gas. The Zyklon B gas is a lethal gas which the Nazis used in concentration camps. The prosecution has a single aim of bringing justice to the family members of the victims. Mr Dey took the defense that he never used his own weapon by will but only stood a guard. The defendants took the course of Dey’s bad health, limiting the sessions to two hours per day.

Court’s Opinion

Judge Anne Meier-Goering made a powerful statement. It was regarding human dignity during the conviction. She stated that “respecting human dignity at all cost- even if the price is your own safety” is the message that this sentence sends to the masses.

Court’s Decision

The Court convicted the accused for being an accessory to murder and gave the accused a two-year suspended sentence.


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