View Full Version : WW II ongoing criminal trials.

14th Apr 2009, 19:25
Just watching the news of some old (89) incontinent wheel chair bound murdering old prison guard getting shipped back to Germany for a court case.

How many of these auld duffers are there still out there?
And if the case is proven what do they do with them?

I don't want for this to go down the route about if they should still be hunting these people down. And the ethical considerations of shipping these people around the world in the likely event they are going to be dead either on route or before the case is concluded.

14th Apr 2009, 19:33
Which one was WWW II? :hmm:

14th Apr 2009, 19:37
The one which you learn't to fly in and lost your virginity. :p

Sorry over zealous with the w key I meant World War number 2

14th Apr 2009, 19:51
I don't want for this to go down the route about if they should still be hunting these people down. And the ethical considerations of shipping these people around the world in the likely event they are going to be dead either on route or before the case is concluded.

Then why did you start this thread?

14th Apr 2009, 19:58
"I don't want for this to go down the route about if they should still be hunting these people down."

What you're saying, then, is that you'd like there to be a statute of limitations on genocide and other crimes against humanity? If that's your intention, I'm sure your explanation is a fascinating one.

John Demjanjuk, to whom you are referring, has a long and interesting international legal history. Here is a link to a summary of it:

John Demjanjuk - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Demjanjuk)

I'm happy not to have the United States be seen as a haven for such people to live out the balance of their lives in comfort.

14th Apr 2009, 20:09
No the questions I asked was.

1. how many of these old bastards are still alive and under investigation.

2. What the hell do you do with an old demented incontinent wheel chair bound prisoner to remove their freedom?

green granite
14th Apr 2009, 20:45
What concerns me is the ability, after all these years, to have a fair trial. 60+ years is a very long time and peoples (witnesses) perceptions of events tend to change over time especially if they hear other peoples stories, their stories tend to get modified to fit what the majority are saying.

Not that I'm saying that the deeds should be forgotten about.

14th Apr 2009, 21:26
But if you go down the road of bringing up the WW2 happenings, then you have to swallow the apparent ridiculousness of having a court of reconciliation in South Africa. To this, you can add the line drawn under the IRA happenings in Ulster or the Mau-mau in Kenya, EOKA in Cyprus and certainly the genocidal attempts of the Irgun, Haganah and Stern Gang in Palestine. The actions of the Rhodesian Patriotic Front, i.e. Zanu PF, are just as questionable, but no-one suggests trials of them.

So it appears to be one law for those accused of being Nazis and another for those who are so called 'freedom fighters' - i.e. terrorist genocidal murderers yesterday and rulers of a country today - especially if we want the minerals/ agricultural or industrial produce/military or security intelligence from them today.

At the end of the day, I seriously question whether 'public interest' is really served by these trials. It might be if the other perpetrators were tried for their crimes.

14th Apr 2009, 23:06
Radeng, I think the major difference is that we won WWII whilst the others you mentioned are really only ended through political negotiation which usually involves some form of promise to let bygones be bygones.

As for how many are there? Well there are probably still a few hundred out there somewhere living free, fat and happy and not aware that the Simon Wiesenthal Centre is about to knock on their door.

How can we remove their freedom? Easy. Put a club lock on their wheelchair. :E Probably a bit too flippant but I have no real idea

15th Apr 2009, 01:57
Here is one who deserved everything he got. Still a threat in his 90's, the only prisoner in that jail, after trying to negotiate peace. Serves him right.

Rudolf Walter Richard Hess (Heß in German (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_language)) (26 April 1894 – 17 August 1987) was a prominent figure in Nazi Germany (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_Germany), acting as Adolf Hitler (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler)'s Deputy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deputy_F%C3%BChrer) in the Nazi Party (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_Party). On the eve of war with the Soviet Union (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_Union), he flew solo to Scotland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotland) in an attempt to negotiate peace with the United Kingdom (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom), but instead was arrested. He was tried at Nuremberg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_Trials) and sentenced to life in prison (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_in_prison) at Spandau Prison (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spandau_Prison), where he died in 1987.
Hess's attempt to negotiate peace and subsequent lifelong imprisonment have given rise to many theories about his motivation for flying to Scotland, and conspiracy theories (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_theory) about why he remained imprisoned alone at Spandau, long after all other convicts had been released. On 27 September and 28 September 2007, numerous British (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom) news services published descriptions of conflict between his Western (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Allies) and Soviet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet) captors over his treatment and how the Soviet captors were steadfast in denying repeated entreaties for his release on humanitarian grounds during his last years.

15th Apr 2009, 03:09
I used to go to school with the son of one of these alleged war criminals (my only claim to fame!), who the last time I looked was still being hounded by various factions.
There appear to be double standards in many cases, depending on which era the alleged crimes took place. The old adages of "One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter" and "the winners write the history" could be relevant, but personal opinion is that the "he who screams loudest, screams longest"
Did they commit atrocities? Difficult to prove
Should they be punished? Yes, but again what is just punishment.
Will some groups ever give up? No, probably not

15th Apr 2009, 05:43
Here in New York City, there is an avenue named after Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat arrested by the Soviets as they took control of Budapest from the Nazi's in 1945.

A firm truth about his fate after arrest by the Soviets has never been established, but the facts of his saving thousands of Jews from deportation to Nazi crematoria are indisputable.

I've held a Raoul Wallenberg-issued Swedish passport in my hands.

Some are looking not only for the criminals, but also for the heros. Here is a link to something about one:

Raoul Wallenberg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raoul_Wallenberg)

In a post above, a fellow PPRuNer asks why, after so many years so much effort is still put into finding and prosecuting Nazis, when the same effort seems to not be put into finding and prosecuting members of various freedom-fighting, criminal, terrorist or other organizations.

Perhaps the reason is that the Nazis designed a system of industrialized mass murder for profit that remains unprecedented in human history. A visit to any place where they carried out this business is life-changing.

15th Apr 2009, 09:22
Just to let you know AcroChik I have lived in Germany for a couple of years.

I have visited Dachau which will be my one and only trip to it. I wouldn't say it changed my life because I knew what happened was wrong and as humans we should never let that sort of thing happen again (I am not daft enough to think it won't though)

My local Bakery (which I was told not to use because the baker had informed where the Jews where hiding) had gun shot scars where they murdered 50 Jews on its side wall.

I can understand the emotion this generates.

As flippant as notmyC150v2 comment is about putting a crook bar on their wheelchair. There is not alot you can do to them at that stage of life which is any worse than they are in just now. In fact I suspect quite a few people would like to go to a free nursing home with 3 meals a day in a very safe environment with free medical facility's on-site. The old boy isn't going to be punished, his children and grandchildren will be emotionally, but it will save them a fortune in nursing home costs.

I must admit I do wonder what the UK also does with old geriatric prisoners as well.

15th Apr 2009, 13:19
Investigation and prosecution of recent vintage war crimes and crimes against humanity (cf. Bush, Cheney, Bashir, Lord's Resistance Army, West African arm choppers, Chinese torturers in Tibet and Sichuan, and yes, even some IDF officers) will do far more to deter in the present than those carried against geriatrics such as Demianiuk and Pinochet.

In fact one can argue that the proliferation of recent suspects that nobody is going after indicates that the near exclusive focus on the crimes of 60+ years past gives the recent crop of suspects good reason to believe that their misdeeds will remain below the radar:(

Or perhaps today's spin masters are more skilled: The most moral army in the world. Fact - Haaretz - Israel News (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1078410.html)

15th Apr 2009, 14:34
It appears some of you are trying to say that because the system isn't perfect and because some more recent events haven't been treated as war crimes in the same way. Then we should let bygones be bygones for old men who enthusiastically murdered people in the past? as Acrochik saidPerhaps the reason is that the Nazis designed a system of industrialized mass murder for profit that remains unprecedented in human history.

Other situations mentioned are not of the same scale or intent, many of those were ended by negotiation and in the interests of not starting them off again, people decided to take the pragmatic approach. The term war crime is bandied around quite a lot by people who have a less than perfect understanding of what it means.

Save your sympathy for the victims. That's what this is all about.

15th Apr 2009, 14:53
Meanwhile, the man currently about whom all this is about, is confined to a wheelchair, has a bone marrow disorder, kidney disease, anemia, kidney stones, arthritis, gout and spinal deterioration, and is apparently suffering great pain in even being moved.


"The Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center said it was undeterred.

"We remain confident that John Demjanjuk will be deported and finally face the bar of justice for the unspeakable crimes he committed during World War II, when he was a guard at the Sobibor death camp," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, Wiesenthal Center founder."

Now there's a set of statements really promising no prejudice in pre trial comments. One presumes the German juries will not be hearing those statements.

So you have to ask the following: Will he live long enough to face trial if deported? Will he even survive the journey? and What is the probability of a succesful prosecution?

I suspect the CPS would probably say that the answer to the last question could well be No, given the length of time that has elapsed. If the strain of the journey kills him, then given the knowledge of his medical condition, would the deportation be effectively a crime?

Interestingly, war crimes really only became such after WW2: a number of thing done in WW1 were pretty close to, if not actually war crimes, by todays standards.

15th Apr 2009, 15:23
It wasn't WWWII or even WWII but the Holocaust or Shoah that this fellow allegedly participated in. Try to get that right, at least, so that you can make a bit more sense, if you even care, of why he's being pursued in the name of justice after so many years.

There are very few of these people left, of course, since we are speaking of events from at least 64 years ago. Some still think it worthwhile to chase them down and try to bring them to justice and you can read about that without very much trouble thanks to the wonders of the internet.

Every so often you can trip over some old Nazi here, some of whom are pretty interesting to talk to. Auntie So-and-so, telling us over cake and coffee that well, yes, they did have to leave the Netherlands in a bit of a hurry in 1945, having "made a few mistakes there," plus, of course, her brother had been in the Dutch SS! I was impressed!

I guess the main point in this is deterrence, if that even works. Or perhaps some sort of justice for all those who died at the hands of the Nazis, if that is even possible.

15th Apr 2009, 15:27
His deportation has been delayed by a Federal Court, he will remain under house arrest, with electrical monitoring. His age and state of health was said to be the reason for the delay. He was returned to his home eight hours after his removal.

eastern wiseguy
15th Apr 2009, 16:33
John Demjanjuk

Lived around the corner from my wife in Seven Hills Ohio!!! :eek::eek:

15th Apr 2009, 17:41
"1. how many of these old bastards are still alive and under investigation.

2. What the hell do you do with an old demented incontinent wheel chair bound prisoner to remove their freedom?"

1. Fewer and fewer. Which is why it is important to bring them to account alive.
2. You give the accused a fair trial. Age is irrelevant. If demented, let the court decide if the accused is fit to plead. If incontinent, let the court provide diapers. If wheel chair bound, let the accused arrive on a stretcher. Removal of freedom? Spare me..even shoplifters forfeit freedom during due process.

Let no murderer, let no mass murderer, let no genocidal murderer, by way of time or distance escape justice.

15th Apr 2009, 18:00
Let no murderer, let no mass murderer, let no genocidal murderer, by way of time or distance escape justice.
which is of course the point of taking these geriatrics to court, It's why the Khmer Rouge prison governor is currently on trial in Cambodia.

Jimmy Macintosh
15th Apr 2009, 19:26
I think it's a good question, how do you punish someone that old?

Death sentence? Surely death would be welcome.
Prison? (essentially a care home, allowing more human contact than they probably get anyway)
High security prison similar to the one in Colorado?
Remove all assets and dump on the street?
Prod with a stick?
Stake to the ground?

It's beyond me, even s. hussain said he'd lived a long time for someone from his region, death didn't really bother him. How can something be considered punishment if it doesn't punish someone?

15th Apr 2009, 20:17
Once somebody is elderly, sick and frail, he's essentially confined.

Criminal defendants in a state similar to Demianiuk's are generally left where they are. If they happen to recover to the point they can look after themselves, then they get prosecuted.

15th Apr 2009, 20:42
Sometimes it can simply be that documenting what someone got up to is worth doing, as with a trial in absentia when there might be little chance of getting hold of the perpetrator.

As the events of the Holocaust recede into the past they seem to diminish in importance and even significance (as here where the original poster is so unconcerned that he cannot even be bothered to correct the name for the Second World War or to take on board that Demjanjuk is not to be tried for his actions in that war but in a mass murder: he is not accused of war crimes) so that it might be worthwhile to try someone even if he's unlikely to be punished to any great extent beyond being tried.

There's a sort of modern attitude that greets so many things with an uninterested yawn (what they probably would call a disinterested yawn, being to lazy to learn the difference) as if that they do not evoke interest in the cloudy mind of today's audience must mean that they are devoid of meaning or significance.

I was dragged along to see this sub-Holocaust-themed movie, "The Reader," not long ago, which I found rather unsatisfactory on many levels. Authenticity Hollywood-style seemed to be Kate Winslet flaunting saggy boobs in the face of adolescent male full-frontal nudity but the movie really seemed devoid of any moral insights into something that raises some basic moral questions. Of course that might just be me; was it that if you have saggy boobs you might as well hang yourself?

15th Apr 2009, 21:05
Unfortunately I can't edit the title without deleting the thread.

And I freely admit that I don't know or have the same strength of feeling about the subject as yourself.

My Grandfather could never understand how I could have German friends. Those friends I might add are in the same boat as myself having grandparents who couldn't understand why they should be friends with an Island monkey who's country caused the fire storms which they still bare the scars of.

15th Apr 2009, 21:16
"Go for it!" is my advice. The thing is, if you just take a moment to think about it, J. "Ivan the Terrible" Demjanjuk is in a wee spot of bother for what he did (already tried and convicted in another court of law, so that we really do not need to stick "allegedly" in there) as an SS guard at Treblinka. He was not a soldier and he was not in a war so that to ask a question related to "WWWII" really is rather pointless.

As with Ms Winslet's contribution to our understanding of the mindset of a former SS guard now plagued with saggy boobs, stringy hair and illiteracy, albeit one with a totally hot teenage boyfriend and a good job that lets her travel and meet people, you seem to have got off on the wrong track to start with.

Why not kill this one and start afresh, if what you really need to ask is more like, "Why prosecute former concentration camp guards when they are old and feeble?" The answer seems pretty obvious to me but hey, I could be missing something here.

By the way, J. "Ivan the T." Demjanjuk, here, is not now and never has been a German. He is currently stateless, I believe but he was a Ukrainian who became an American. The terrible things he did were done for his Nazi German masters but like many Holocaust criminals he was not himself a German. In fact, many of the criminals were Jewish, even! Lots of folks like this whole mess wrapped up nice and neat in a little box labeled "Bad Germans!" but the truth is far more complicated than that and is something that really needs a more considered approach than it will get here.

Sir George Cayley
15th Apr 2009, 21:22
May I toss in the question of the Cossacks sent back to the Soviets at the end of the Second World War?

Those young British Soldiers ordered to confine them, transport them and hand them over to the "Russians" knew full well that they would not survive.
In fact, many jumped to their death from the trucks that carried them over a large ravine bridge during the journey. Much to the shock of their 'escorts'

The record appears to show the the British Government was complicit with the Stalin Regime in facilitating this repatriation. Were they terrorists or Freedom Fighters?


Sir George Cayley

15th Apr 2009, 21:29
Were they terrorists or Freedom Fighters?

If they wore uniforms and fought in the military against their country for another country they were neither, they were, in the strictest interpretation of the law, traitors.

What does this have to do with the topic of this thread anyway?

15th Apr 2009, 21:35
To be honest its not what I want to know.

And also I didn't post it with just the Germans in mind.

We always focus on the German behaviour.

The Japanese did some horrible things also but we never see any prosecutions of there ex camp guards. Maybe there are but its just not news in the UK.

The number of the on going cases I was interested in, and also as a previous post has pointed out what do you do to punish them.

And thanks to who ever changed the title

15th Apr 2009, 21:51
The Japanese did some horrible things also but we never see any prosecutions of there ex camp guards. Maybe there are but its just not news in the UK.

There were in cases of the treatment of Allied Military POWs, as for prosecution of guards against crimes against civilians I really don't know. I should, but I don't, sorry.

Well I do know of one case, I can't remember the name, but the Japaneses Commander of the Philippines was tried by General McArthur for crimes against Philippine civilians and was put to death, I think. I'll have to look that up later when I have time.

17th Apr 2009, 19:59
Hello Mad Jock
Thanks for raising these issues re war crimes and crimes against humanity. I believe it's important for all of us to keep in mind that one way to reduce these incidences of atrocities is not to forget them. Another way is to prosecute offenders.

Mention in these pages has been made as to whether or not Japanese war criminals were prosecuted. Below is a quote from one source easily found in any search engine.

In my view, and that of others, there are some aspects, perhaps at least three, to do with criteria of sentencing for crime.

Firstly, punishment. In that if one offends, be it a traffic offence or a murder offence, one is punished. Perhaps a $30 fine or a 30 year imprisonment. The penalty.

Secondly, deterrence. In that the punishment should deter both the offender and others from committing similar or any offences.

Thirdly, rehabilitation. In that any sentence should offer the prospect wherever possible of the rehabilitation of the offender.

Now, my dilemma is this. Is it possible to offer rehabilitation to a mass or genocidal murderer? Should they deserve that prospect?

Here is the quote from the source mentioned earlier:

"Of the eighty (80) Class A war criminal suspects detained in the Sugamo prison after 1945, twenty-eight (28) men were brought to trial before the IMTFE. The accused included nine civilians and nineteen professional military men:

Four former premiers: Hiranuma, Hirota, Koiso, Tojo;
Three former foreign ministers: Matsuoka, Shigemitsu, Togo
Four former war ministers: Araki, Hata, Itagaki, Minami
Two former navy ministers: Nagano, Shimada
Six former generals: Doihara, Kimura, Matsui, Muto, Sato, Umezu
Two former ambassadors: Oshima, Shiratori
Three former economic and financial leaders: Hoshino, Kaya, Suzuki
One imperial adviser: Kido
One radical theorist: Okawa
One admiral: Oka
One colonel: Hashimoto"And further info re the Tokyo War Crimes Trials, just one resource among many, can be found here


I think I'll leave it there.
Best wishes

galaxy flyer
17th Apr 2009, 20:32
Sir George

Not always true, my father's cousin fought as a Ukrainian partisan against Stalin after the famine caused by Stalin. He was surrounded by Germans during there march East; was imprisoned by them later, liberated by the British and allowed to relocate to Canada with his new English bride.


17th Apr 2009, 21:04
Nazis designed a system of industrialized mass murder for profit that remains unprecedented in human history. A visit to any place where they carried out this business is life-changing.

The mass transportation of peoples to America on boats for industrialized profit and murder in the slave trade, created your New York Aerochik, before the holocaust.

17th Apr 2009, 21:36
The mass transportation of peoples to America on boats for industrialized profit and murder in the slave trade, created your New York Aerochik, before the holocaust.

If you desire to start a thread on the evils of slavery, which every nation in the world, including European nations, took part of, feel free to do so.

Do it in a new thread, don't hijack this one.

Just my opinion mind you.

17th Apr 2009, 21:52
Oh, the Poles have seemingly found 3 ex-SS members who were part of the group who suppressed the Warsaw Uprising and are happily living in Germany. They are asking for the Germans to help bring them to justice. I guess some would say they should be left to live the rest of their lives in peace, unlike the 35,000 men, women and children who were never given that luxury.

Notorious SS unit 'traced' - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/poland/5171773/Notorious-SS-unit-traced.html)

17th Apr 2009, 21:55

No group or individual has a monopoly on suffering, as you quite correctly point out. Just a thought.

Hijack over.