Monday, July 13, 2009

27,900 Counts Of Accessory To Murder

That number is kind of staggering, isn't it? Twenty seven thousand nine hundred deaths are attributed to a monster who came to the United States and hid behind a job as an auto worker after committing atrocities.

I'm not Jewish. I don't even know that many Jewish people. What I do know is that the Holocaust was wrong in every possible way. Too many people got away with murder, literally. How right it is that someone is being brought to justice, even all these years later.

"The effort to bring Demjanjuk to justice sends a very powerful message that the passage of time in no way diminishes the guilt of the perpetrator," says Efraim Zuroff, the top Nazi-hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

German prosecutors formally charged John Demjanjuk on Monday with 27,900 counts of being an accessory to murder at a Nazi death camp during World War II. He is accused of serving as a guard at the Sobibor camp in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II. Being the sort of murderer he is, of course he denies it. He was a victim too, saying he was a prisoner of war.

But Nazi-era documents obtained by U.S. justice authorities and shared with German prosecutors include a photo ID identifying Demjanjuk as a guard at the Sobibor death camp and information that he was trained at an SS facility for Nazi guards at Trawniki, which was also in occupied-Poland.

"This is obviously an important step forward," Zuroff said by telephone from Jerusalem. "We hope that the trial itself will be expedited so that justice will be achieved and he can be given the appropriate punishment."

Charges of accessory to murder carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison in Germany. Even I can do that math 27,900 X 15 years each = a death sentence for a man who is 89 years old. I just hope he lives through the trial.

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