The Auschwitz guards

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There were 40 defendants at the Auschwitz trial. 39 were sentenced and 1 was acquitted.Of the 39 sentences there were 23 death sentences, 2 of which were later commuted to life imprisonment. The other sentences varied from life to 3 years imprisonment.

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39 People convicted even though there had been close to 10,000 in the Auschwitz garrison.Each one of them had a choice to make a difference but nearly all of them decided that the killing of at least 1.1 million innocent lives was the right cause of action.

There should have been a lot more on trial.

Below are pictures of some of the Auschwitz guards,the amazing thing is most of them were normal working men and women with often mundane jobs before the war. And yet they became complacent and participated in the biggest mass killing in history.

Johannnes Gunesch (left) was an ethnic German farmer in Romania before the war.

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Albin Heinrich Ackermann was a waiter before the war.

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Franz Josef Kern was a warehouse operator and administrator before the war.

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Hans Adalbert Erich Karl Valentin was a sales person before the war.

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Martin Flohr (left) was a locksmith before the war in his native Croatia

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Johannes Badstubner was a coal miner from Planitz, near Zwickau in eastern Germany.

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Johannes Maranca  had served in the German Army in the First World War and worked as a plumber and roofer before being called up again, at the age of 53, in 1944.

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Johanna Langefeld (5 March 1900 – 26 January 1974) was a German female guard and supervisor at three Nazi concentration camps: Lichtenburg, Ravensbrück, and Auschwitz.

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Langefeld was unemployed until age 34, when she began to teach domestic economy in an establishment of the city of Neuss. From 1935 onwards, she worked as a guard in a so-called Arbeitsanstalt (working institution) in Brauweiler, which was, in fact, a prison for prostitutes, unemployed and homeless women, and other so called “antisocial” women, who were then later imprisoned in concentration camps.

In March 1942, Langefeld was assigned to build a new women’s camp in Auschwitz.

On 20 December 1945, Langefeld was arrested by the U.S. Army, and in September 1946, was extradited to the Polish judiciary preparing the Auschwitz trial.On 23 December 1946, she escaped from prison. Given her prior relatively positive treatment of inmates in this German Nazi concentration camp located on occupied Polish soil, the escape was assisted by Polish staff of the prison where she was held

After the escape she hid in a convent, working in a private home. Sometime around 1957, she returned illegally to live with her sister in Munich. She died in Augsburg, Germany on 26 January 1974, aged 73

The only person at the trial who was acquitted was Hans Wilhelm Münch.

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Münch was nicknamed The Good Man of Auschwitz for his refusal to assist in the mass murders there. He developed many elaborate ruses to keep inmates alive. He was the only person acquitted of war crimes at the 1947 Auschwitz trials in Kraków, where many inmates testified in his favor. After the war and the trial, he returned to Germany and worked as a practicing physician in Roßhaupten in Bavaria. While suffering from Alzheimer’s in old age, he made several public remarks that appeared to support Nazi ideology, and was tried for inciting racial hatred and similar charges. Münch was never sentenced, as all courts ruled that he was not of sound mind. He died in 2001.

 

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