Finding a scapegoat

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 StumbleUpon 0 Email -- Filament.io 0 Flares ×

Ever heard of John Demjanjuk? He’s 89 years old, lives in Ohio, and is a retired autoworker. Sounds plain enough.

The former Ukrainian, who now is confined to a wheelchair and an oxygen tank, is also being accused as an accessory to the murder of 29 000 people.

Why, you ask? Because he was a guard at a Nazi death camp in Poland in 1943.

Despite not having proof of direct involvement in the killings, German authorities are still trying to hold him responsible for those deaths.

And they’re wrong.

They’re looking for a scapegoat to appease their consciences. But that scapegoat shouldn’t be a man afflicted with severe health issue and who?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s biggest cooperation in the matter was not stopping the deaths.

14 thoughts on “Finding a scapegoat

  1. And they’re wrong.

    They’re looking for a scapegoat to appease their consciences. But that scapegoat shouldn’t be a man afflicted with severe health issue and who’s biggest cooperation in the matter was not stopping the deaths.

    What makes you so sure they’re wrong? The article states that he was tried and released and is only being tried again because of new evidence that suggests he had concealed his service at Sobibor.

    What makes you think his biggest cooperation in the matter was not stopping the deaths?

    There is nothing to indicate his trial is a witch-hunt. I believe the system will treat him fairly, but if he’s found guilty I will have no sympathy for the man, old and afflicted or not. If he’s guilty he should pay for his crime.

  2. What makes you so sure they’re wrong? . . . What makes you think his biggest cooperation in the matter was not stopping the deaths?

    Because there is no proof he did anything more than stand guard. And for all we know, he may have been doing nothing more than guarding the front gates.

  3. So if I’m in the Canadian Armed Forces, and my superior officer orders me to stand guard in a room, and tells me that he’s going to torture and rape an Afghan woman, then I’m not an accessory to that crime? Gimme a break!

    “I was ordered” is a pretty thin excuse, and one which has been thrown away in most war crime tribunals.

    1. Except we don’t even know that he was in the same room where the people were killed. All we know is that he was likely a guard somewhere in the camp. He could have been guarding the front gate, the barracks, the work camp, or a host of other locations.

      After all, what kind of security would it be if every guard was over at the gassing chamber?

  4. What kind of a person could work at a death camp and not know what was going on?

    Willful ignorance does not a defense make.

  5. “there is no proof he did anything more than stand guard”

    Have they released details on what the proof is?

    Do you think they will convict him without proof of guilt?

  6. Have they released details on what the proof is?

    His name was on a personnel manifest.

    Do you think they will convict him without proof of guilt?

    An Israeli court did.

  7. It’s so sad that people who had no choice where they should be, can be held responsible for the actions of others. In those days, few had any choice and soldiers and guards in the army did NOT HAVE A CHOICE. They were conscripted, forced to be a part of what many did not agree with. They followed orders because often their families were threatened if they did not. In Nazi Germany children were forced to inform on their parents. Some, so young, that they did not know what they were doing.

    We can’t compare modern day military practices in the Canadian army, to those during World War II.

    My grandfather was taken from the farm field in Austria, to fight in World War I. He never saw his parents again, never had the chance to say goodbye to his mother. He wouldn’t talk about the war. But hey, he was the enemy, right? So he was charged and convicted just because he was on the wrong side. My great grandfather on my other side, was a soldier for the British.

    Mr Demanjanjuk, he too was conscripted. Hmm, how old was he? He was 17 years old when the war started. Think of that before you think he is the beast they assume. Oh, and being Ukrainian he had even less rights and probably even less of a wish to be there. Know what was going on? Yes, likely. Be in any position to do anything about it? No. But everyone else is dead, so he is the one who pays for others’ sins.

  8. Oh, and to clarify. My grandpa was not charged or convicted with any crime, but in the eyes of the Allies, all Germans were evil.

  9. “Might as well capture the cooks and janitors and try them for aiding the murder of those 29,000 people, eh?”

    If they worked in the camp, I’m going to say yes.

  10. I’m deadly serious.

    If you work in the employ of an industry whose sole purpose is the extermination of a people, I have very little sympathy for you.

    When people say that the average German had no choice and had to work at these camps, I believe they are wrong. They could have chosen not to. They could have left the country, as so many of the French attempted during occupation, or they could have died in the pursuit of the higher good.

Leave a Reply