Skip to comments.Retiree, 89, Held for Trial as Auschwitz Guard
Posted on 06/18/2014 6:39:36 PM PDT by re_tail20
Johann Breyer, 89, shuffled unsteadily into a federal courtroom here on Wednesday morning, using a cane for support as he sunk slowly into a chair at the defense table.
The retired toolmaker from what was then Czechoslovakia, who immigrated to the United States in 1952, was thin and pale and dressed in a green jail uniform after a night spent in lockup following his arrest at his home in Philadelphia. He looked confused at times, too, but when the judge asked him if he understood why the German authorities wanted to put him on trial there, he answered simply, Yes.
Nothing about his demeanor suggested the long-ago secrets that the authorities in both Germany and the United States say Mr. Breyer has carried with him for 70 years. As an armed guard at the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz and a member of the notorious SS Deaths Head battalion, the authorities charged Wednesday that Mr. Breyer was complicit in the gassing of 216,000 Jews brought there in 1944 from Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Germany.
The Germans, seeking to have him extradited to the Wieden district to stand trial, have charged him with 158 counts of aiding and abetting in murder one count for each of the 158 trainloads of Jews brought to the killing center at Auschwitz in a six-month span. Most of the so-called deportees, including many thousands of women, children and old people, were killed in gas chambers almost immediately after arriving at Auschwitz, then cremated.
Mr. Breyer acknowledged two decades ago, when first questioned by the American authorities, that he had worked as a guard at Auschwitz, but he said that he did so involuntarily and that he had nothing to do with the gassings....
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Too bad he wasn’t a guard at Stalins Gulag, liberals would have ran him for POTUS.
Yes, it happened. Yes, it was horrible. The guy is 89 years old. Just leave him alone. He cannot pay for the sins of a whole evil regime. Have him apologize for his part in the mess and be done with it.
There...I said it.
Eastern Europe in the 30’s and 40’s... every choice you had was a bad one.
No statute of limitations on crimes like this
Send his sorry a$$ back to Germany as soon as possible before he dies here and stains the soil.
I think you are right.
I’m not saying that time has healed this wound... I’m saying that to me it seems wrong to prosecute a very old man for something he did so very long ago.
I’m from German Jewish stock on my father’s side of the family.... I say leave this alone. To put this old man through the legal system at this late date seems a bit Les Miserables to me.
Give him the “red pill” that Zero likes and let him get it over with.
So? Why does living long enough make a difference in consequences? He was 69 when he lied about it....too much of a pansy to own up to it then. Karma is a b*tch....now he’s 89...so what?
The guy’s retired!
We aren't...and the guy was too much of a pansy to pony up the truth. Sucks to suck....he lived a helluva lot longer than anyone he shoved into an oven. Not crying a river at all. He can reap what he has sown.
Verdict first, then trial?
Nobody said, "Oh, it was so long ago. He's 89 years old. What's the harm now?"
Crimes against humanity require the whole generation who participated to pay.
When does George Soros go to jail?
Dude, that was like 70 years ago!
Damn right! I’ll never understand these folks who think old nazis should get a pass. We should have executed everyone who ever wore an SS uniform.
You are wrong. “Mr. Breyer acknowledged two decades ago, when first questioned by the American authorities, that he had worked as a guard at Auschwitz, but he said that he did so involuntarily and that he had nothing to do with the gassings.”
In other words, “what difference does it make”?
Thank you for appearing for jury duty.
AMEN !! I ask the same question.
While your at it, arrest George Soros too.
Leave him alone? Are you serious? So any murderer who avoids justice for a long time gets a free pass? Are you serious???
too bad Pope Pius XII can not be put on trial too.
The opening sentence makes me want to puke. Attempting to garner sympathy for an “old man”. Awwwww. BS. He can make his own peace with God...I don’t claim to be making his final judgment. However, he can reap what he has sown, just like the rest of us. Mercy can come from God...not from me. Nor do I think he asked for it, anyway.
Guess who I believe?
I wonder what the average Joe in any country would have said to the psychopathic Gestapo in 1940? This when he was a 19 year old and told to become a guard.
Ah yes, got a machine gun and slaughtered the bloody lot, I suppose.
“He was 69 when he lied about it....”
He’s been living a lie since they lost the war. He hasn’t exactly blown his horn proudly about his service to the furor.
Give him a break.
I have felt the same way for the last ten years. I didn’t want to step on any toes, but my gosh, the man is almost 100 year old! At a certain point, it seems cruel to wrap twenty pounds of chains around his wrists and ankles. Of course it was horribly wrong what happened, but they are about all gone now. Let it go.
If he was the rare 90 y/o still preaching hate and ready to gun fight with the cops, that would be different. There are 90 y/o who fit that description, but not him. I would get no joy from watching him suffering today, no joy at all. He and his family line are already punished by being identified.
Too bad he missed the Nuremberg trials, oversight?
I think not, he has made sure he missed them.
What if he’s tried and acquitted?
Hang him anyway?
you could never prove he did anything. you could prove that he was 19. You had 70 years to find him guilty while he lived as a law abiding US citizen in the open, never denying who he was, where he worked.
This is very likely two wrongs. Even if one was much larger than the other. You cannot punish him. He lived his life. And unfortunately there will be no one in this world to punish the sanctimonious Nazi hunters who don’t care about due process.
You’re an idiot. But useful for the left.
Consider your child was raped and murdered by a guy who got away with it for decades.
You gonna “just leave him alone”?
Are you a Tare?
Funny how everyone else had to volunteer.
When you know nothing about a topic, you should probably keep your mouth shut.
What was the statute of limitations on murder again?
You’re a loony. Go study history not written by the left.
The nazis did not let old Jews escape; they even rounded up 90-year-olds from old people’s homes.
So, let them have the same measure of mercy they meted out to others.
I'm with ya, how about have we gotten all the Japanese prison guards ( I know we took care of the doctors, gave them homes and money) and did we ever look to make sure none of the Russians involved in the slaughter of their people emigrated here?
What, you can’t trust Communist playwrights employed by the Stasi to get their facts straight? What is this world coming to?
During Paperclip we rewarded many Nazis who had something to contribute to our space, defense, missile, physics, aircraft and other programs. We’re awfully selective about who the “bad” Nazis are and who we let slide.
Lovely stuff. I am all for the free wheeling discussions on FR. There is such a thing as the 1st Amendment to the Constitution. How I do envy America. Yep, free to tell me to keep my mouth shut, love it!
Of course, I myself have experienced how many brave souls intervene against any brutality. Very few. See some thugs beating up on someone and then see how many intervene. How many dared stand against the unspeakable brutality in those camps?
Oh, and by the way the old Luftwaffe nearly shut my mouth in 1941. Pity. ( please excuse, I have Smirnoff to hand, on a delightful summer evening.)
If Hitler had survived the war to be a frail, pathetic old man would you “let it go”? If Obama succeeds in destroying our Constitution and lives to be old and frail, let it go? Hell no!Evil is evil and_like cancer_you don`t let it go ever! Give him to Germany and I hope they put him in the same ovens he guarded.
He has the same right to die in peace that his victims did. Too harsh? Tough? Let Almighty God take up the matter.
But please go on if you have to, and tell us more about the imaginary universe where the Wehrmacht was the volunteer force of the Nazi Party, and it was the SS which was the regular German army full of conscripts.
This looks like the verge of a witch hunt. In the hell that was Nazi Germany, who wouldn't want to clamber up from the pits of Hitler's fury in almost any way they could, though short of committing murders themselves? It sounds very honorable to refuse out of principle, until you really are there.
It’s amazing how the bags of sh*t at the state department can manage to help roust one wrinkled old German dude out of a peaceful twilight but they couldn’t find it within their worthless bureaucratic wastes of skin to get a settlement out of the major Japanese corporations for using our soldiers and civilians for slave labor in the war...
And yet, they stood in towers and watched people going into what they knew were gas chambers. They watched bodies being shoveled into crematoriums. They knew what was going on. The fact that many of them tried to save people on occasion shows that many of them experienced some degree of guilt. How could they justify to themselves standing by and letting millions more die?
Maybe they figured that they there was nothing else they could do. Maybe they figured they'd be killed themselves. But if you're life consists of patrolling the perimeter of a mass-slaughter camp, if that a life worth living? I suppose there wasn't much they could do and keep their own necks, but does that matter?
I'm not fond of putting myself in a theoretical situation and predicting my reaction to said situation, but I'm positive I could not have stood guarding a concentration camp. Better to die yourself and be done with it than live and think about what you are doing.