Nazi SS prison guard Bruno Dey is charged with accessory to murder of 5,230 human beings, and his trial in Hamburg is a reminder that the world’s Jewish population dropped from 17 million in 1939 to 11 million in 1945.
Dey hasn’t been sentenced yet, but the guidelines for his jail term are set.
Play a ghoulish guessing game with me.
Does he pay with his life – one death for 5,230?
Will he serve one month in prison for each murder – 437 years?
More lenient, one week for each murder – 100 years?
The answer is none of the above.
Dey won’t be sentenced to even a single day in prison for each murder. That would total 14 years in jail.
He only faces a possible six months to 10 years if convicted. There are no consecutive sentences under German law.
Why so lenient? Some moron decided that Dey should be tried in a juvenile court, because he was “only” 17, when he began serving at Stutthof (Danzig, now Poland) concentration camp.
He manned a machine gun atop a tower, overlooking a gas chamber in 1944 and 1945. He also supervised slave laborers in construction gangs.
Dey testified that he watched groups of humans with shaven heads go into the chamber, followed by screaming and banging sounds behind the locked door. They never came out, he admitted.
“I didn’t know that they were being gassed,” he claimed to the judge, but that’s a different story than what he earlier told police.
Dey has testified to German police eight times. He confessed to knowing what was happening inside the gas chambers, according to German newspaper Die Welt,
“I probably knew that these were Jews who hadn’t committed a crime, that they were only in here because they were Jews, and they have a right to live and work freely like every other human being,” he reportedly told the investigators.
In court Dey changed his story and testified he and about 400 other soldiers were “brought” to Stutthof in June or July 1944, and he didn’t know “what kind of people were incarcerated there.” He said he heard only “rumors” that they included political prisoners and Jews.
Anyone who worked at that death camp, knew what it was:
Conditions in the camp were extremely harsh. Many prisoners died in typhus epidemics that swept the camp in the winter of 1942 and again in 1944, according to Wikipedia.
Those whom the SS guards judged too weak or sick to work were gassed in the camp’s small gas chamber. Gassing with Zyklon B began in June 1944.
Another method of execution practiced in Stutthof was lethal injection of phenol into the heart. All together, between 63,000 and 65,000 people died in the camp.
Dey’s defense lawyer Stefan Waterkamp presented a brief testimony from his client, who denounced the German judiciary for acting on the basis of newly-implemented laws.
Some 4,000 prisoners – including Jewish women and children – were killed by the SS in the Stutthof gas chamber and burned in the crematorium before the evacuation of the camp just prior to war’s end. The Nazis’ plan was to hide their war crimes and avoid punishment by the Allies.
Not only is Dey being tried as a juvenile, the court sessions are limited to two hours a day and only two days a week. The judge said he ordered that because the defendant was 93, and “deserved special treatment.”
If imprisoned, Dey will probably die of natural causes, unlike his thousands of victims. German courts may even decide on the lightest sentence – six months – or just slightly longer than one hour for each charge of murder.
The evil 93-year-old has escaped trial for 75 years, Dey gave statements to the police in 1975 and again in 1982, but no charges were brought.
He became a baker after the war.