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Press Information published by the International Auschwitz Committee


Statement on the two new trials in Germany of two Nazi perpetrators

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The survivors, who are all now very old, have waited throughout their lives for the perpetrators to be brought to justice for their actions. The fact that this is only happening now is a clear sign of failure and neglect on the part of the German judicial authorities over many decades. Knowing that the perpetrators from the camps have been able to live their lives, in most cases undisturbed and in safety, without being brought to account for their crimes in front of a German court, has been a burden to the survivors throughout their lives.

Meanwhile, the position has now asserted itself in German jurisprudence, that each human being who served in the system of murder and the machinery of the German concentration and extermination camps, is an accessory to the humiliation, torment and murder of the prisoners. The secretary was just as much a part of this machinery as was the guard. The correspondence of death crossed the secretary’s desk. In her office in Stutthof camp, she not only had insights into the murder files, she also had clear views of the entrance gate and the barracks that lay less than one hundred metres away from her. Every guard in every Nazi camp was a constant and lethal threat to the prisoners everywhere: He could kill them, with a spade, a bullet, with his boots.

The survivors never wanted revenge. They wanted, and still want, justice. Justice has no expiry date, not only for them. And that is why these trials are still important, even though the perpetrators and the surviving victims have reached a very old age. For the survivors it seems somewhat bizarre that these trials are taking place at a time, when new Nazis are again calling out for hatred and are glorifying what took place in the deaths camps.


For further Information

Christoph Heubner

Executive Vice President
International Auschwitz Committee
Phone ++ 49 (0)30 26 39 26 81