Former Nazi Guards Prosecuted with New Evidence

Most former Nazi guards are advanced in their age, and those who had not yet been put on trial for judgment of potential war crimes were starting to seem as if they would never be tried at all. All of that is now changing, as a slew of new trials have opened up with new evidence to determine once and for all if the suspected Nazi guards were guilty of any wrongdoings against mankind.

Many of the prosecutors in these new trials have the advantage of true objectivity, having not been alive at the time of the Second World War and therefore possessing fewer biases over the war’s events. They are therefore better able to determine whether or not these alleged Nazi guards should be punished, many of the accused already being well into their years and likely unable to withstand too lengthy and stressful a trial. They are relying heavily on scientific and numerical data to make their cases rather than eyewitness testimonies, which are more likely prone to subjectivity.

This numerical data is more readily available to them than it would have been during the trials at Nuremberg, largely due to the prevalence of technology in today’s world. One of the largest contributors in the new data is the ability to map Nazi guards into a software which creates dimensional models of former concentration camps as they would have appeared in the 1940s. This allows prosecutors some first-hand knowledge of what the accused might have seen and/or heard while within the camp.

Of course, newer methods of solving crimes have not replaced old ones entirely. Prosecutors are still utilizing many older forms of data collection in their efforts to seek justice. These include logs for when the Nazi guards were on duty, prisoner transport lists, names of known survivors and known victims, and much more. All of this data is put onto a single spreadsheet to give a numerical representation of how a given camp operated, The New York Times reports.

Since many of the Nazi guards are aged and infirm, it is likely that many of them will still escape punishment. Still, the processing of this information remains vital to maintaining justice, a large part of which is allowing the public to know whether a given individual is guilty of a crime or not. Even if they go unpunished, the precise crimes of all Nazi guards under current speculation will hopefully be unveiled by these techniques.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE