Sender : Ali Imran
I refer to the charges against Mr Reinhold Hanning. Mr Hanning is being charged for the crime of being an accessory to murder, of at least 170, 000 people during the incident as we know as the Holocaust of the Jews. This was made possible as he was a guard in Auschwitz (in occupied Poland) death camp back in 1942.
The charge against Mr. Hanning was a follow up on a precedent that another former Nazi guard being prosecuted for the same charge, but only at a different death camp, also in occupied Poland (Sobibór).
What bothers me is that shouldn’t army generals or those who are in power should be charged of a war crime or misconduct in an armed conflict? As far as we all know, soldiers are not or at least rarely prosecuted for their actions which appear to be a command from their superiors. In other words, soldiers are merely following orders. If this is the case, why don’t the charges go against every living SS officers or guards?
Erna de Vries, at one point was ‘scheduled’ to be executed in the death camp, escaped the ordeal as she was deemed to be a ‘Jewish crossbreed’ as her father was Protestant. Unfortunately her mother did not escape the ‘procedure’. However, de Vries recognized Mr. Hanning as being the guard at the said camp. She had stated that although she did not feel hateful, “she feels like justice to see the man on trial”.
Now wouldn’t that seem to be out of place? Would it seem right to say it is justice to see a person who committed a crime just because he was following orders of his superiors and more so by the fact that the act committed was done at least 70 years ago?
Again my point here is not what de Vries thinks of the trial, but how is it in the interest of justice to prosecute a soldier who was following orders from his superiors? Or should I say a guard who simply pursued an action which was in line of the party’s belief/ideology?