Reinhold Hanning, SS Auschwitz Guard Found Guilty

Posted on June 17th, 2016 by:

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Reinhold Hanning, SS Auschwitz Guard Found Guilty

Reinhold Hanning, a former SS man and Auschwitz concentration camp guard, was found guilty of 170,000 counts of accessory to murder by a German court on Friday.

The 94-year-old was sentenced to five years in prison. Presiding Judge Anke Grudda said of Hanning “You were in Auschwitz for two and a half years and performed an important function,” stated Judge Grudda. “You were part of a criminal organization and took part in criminal activity in Auschwitz.”



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Reinhold Hanning arrives in court (photo: AP)

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Reinhold Hanning in Nazi Uniform

Sitting in a wheelchair and listening to the verdict, Hanning showed no reaction.

Judge Grudda believes that the ruling puts to rest any doubts about Germany’s stance on prosecuting Nazi war criminals even 70 years after WWII.

For survivors of the Auschwitz death camp, the verdict is a special victory.

Hedy Bohm, one of about a dozen Auschwitz survivors who testified in the trial said she was “grateful and pleased by this justice finally after 70 years.”

 “It is my dream to be in Germany, in a German court, with German judges acknowledging the Holocaust,” said the 88-year-old.

Reinhold Hanning joined the Waffen SS in 1940 at age 18. After being wounded in 1941 near Kiev, he was taken off the front lines and sent to Auschwitz where he served as a guard from January 1941 to June 1944.

Hanning was tried under a new legal argument that as a guard he helped the camps operate, and therefore can be tried as an accessory to murder.  No evidence was presented during the trial linking Hanning to any specific murder.

Reinhold Hanning’s attorney, Andreas Scharmer, said they will likely appeal, adding that his client won’t have to serve any prison time until the appeal process is over.



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One thought on “Reinhold Hanning, SS Auschwitz Guard Found Guilty

  • Henry Sakaida says:

    “Hanning was tried under a new legal argument that as a guard he helped the camps operate, and therefore can be tried as an accessory to murder. No evidence was presented during the trial linking Hanning to any specific murder.”

    Before and during the war, the Gestapo arrested thousands for being associated with enemies of the state and they were tortured and often executed. “New legal argument?” I don’t think so. Guilt by association. Every former Nazi party member should also be brought to justice. The SS was branded a criminal organization at the Nuremberg Trials. Therefore, every former member of the SS should also be brought to trial. In fact, to expedite the process, they should forgo a trial and just find all surviving SS veterans guilty!

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