The Holocaust was without a shadow of a doubt the worst atrocity ever committed in the history of the world. But what makes it possibly even worse is the fact that so many key players responsible for the Holocaust got away with it and even got high positions in government jobs of the allied governments.
There were some though who were caught and paid the price. However if you consider the suffering of the victims, the death in the gas chambers wasn’t always instant, often it would take several minutes in agony before they died.
The sentences handed out, even the death penalties, to the arrested Nazis was a very small price to pay compared to the suffering of their victims.
The picture at the start of the blog is of Joseph Kramer, commandant of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Belsen, photographed on April 28, 1945. After standing trial, Kramer, “The Beast of Belsen”, was convicted and executed in December of 1945.
When American troops liberated prisoners in the Dachau concentration camp, Germany, in 1945, many German SS guards were killed by the prisoners who then threw their bodies into the moat surrounding the camp.
Amon Goeth was the Commandant of the Plaszow labor camp. While he was the Commandant of Plaszow, Goeth was assigned to supervise the liquidation of the Podgorze ghetto on March 13, 1943, and later the labor camp at Szebnie.
Goth was sentenced to death and was hanged on 13 September 1946 at the Montelupich Prison in Kraków, not far from the site of the Plaszów camp. Goeth’s last words were “Heil Hitler”
The executioner miscalculated the length of rope necessary to hang Goeth twice, and it was only on the third attempt that the execution was successful.Even with that he did not suffer more then
His remains were cremated and the ashes scattered in the Vistula River.
Gustav Laabs was ordered to the Chełmno concentration camp where he served between April 1942 and January 1945, and started driving the gas vans within a few days of his arrival. He had earlier worked at the vehicle pool at the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA, the Reich Main Security Office) and had been transferred to a Sonderkommando in Posen (Poznań in Polish); he had to agree to remain silent about his work there.
At the end of November 1963, Laabs and ten other people from the Chełmno concentration camp were tried at the Landgericht Bonn ,Germany,regional court. Laabs was indicted for the murder of 100,000 people in the gas van and for personally shooting the few survivors.On 30 March 1964, Laabs was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment and lost 10 years of citizenship rights for his part in the Holocaust. His sentence was later reduced to 13 years.
It is not clear if he had been in jail between 1645 and 1963.
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