Reinhold Hanning, a 94-year-old former Auschwitz guard, was sentenced to five years in jail in Germany on Friday, for being a “willing and efficient henchman” in the murder of 170,000 inmates in the two and a half years he worked at the death camp. That means that, after the appeals in the case are over and Hanning would presumably serve out his sentence, he would be paying with 15 minutes and change for each victim whose death he helped carry out. The value of each victim could be reduced, however, should the aging Nazi be released early for good behavior.
Hanning’s lawyer, Johannes Salmen, said he plans to appeal, because his client “will not be fit for a custodial sentence. That means he will not have to go to jail.”
OK, so just the inconvenience of the trial as punishment, then.
Judge Anke Grudda rejected the defense argument that Hanning, who was an SS officer, never directly killed or beaten anyone, and told him, “It is not true that you had no choice, you could have asked to be transferred to the war front.” She pointed out that during Hanning’s two and a half years at Auschwitz he was promoted twice, which ” shows that you had proven your value as a willing and efficient henchman in the killings,” Grudda said.
Hanning apologized to his victims, reading from a prepared speech that he regretted being part of a “criminal organization” that killed so many and caused so much suffering. “I’m ashamed that I knowingly let injustice happen and did nothing to oppose it.”
According to the Daily Mail, one more man and one woman in their 90s are still scheduled to go on trial as accessories to the murders of more than a million Jews in Auschwitz. A third Nazi SS guard died at 93 in April, just days before his trial started.JNi.Media