Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Judgment at the Hagen Sobibor Trial

A partial translation of the Judgment LG Hagen vom 20.12.1966, 11 Ks 1/64 is now available in the HC forum’s post of 03/20/12 17:18:03.



This is the judgment discussed in the Meet Karl Frenzel blogs starting here. Though not reflecting the latest status of historical knowledge about Aktion Reinhard(t) in general and Sobibór extermination camp in particular, it is worth reading especially for what it reveals about the fairness of the trial proceedings and the care taken by the jury court in assessing the evidence and reaching its findings of fact.

In Part 10 of their pamphlet Die Akte Sobibor, "Revisionist" coryphées Mattogno, Graf and Kues try to come to terms with this trial by, among other less-than-pertinent arguments, presenting the judges as gullible fools who swallowed "even the witnesses' most ridiculous lies":

Mit welch bedenklich geringer Hirnsubstanz die Hagener Richter gesegnet waren, geht daraus hervor, dass sie selbst die lächerlichsten Lügen der Zeugen schluckten. Hierzu ein Beispiel:

"Der Zeuge Moshe B. hat glaubhaft ausgesagt: Während er als Bedienung im Kasino der Deutschen im Vorlager gearbeitet habe, sei der SS-Scharführer B. zu ihm gekommen, habe ihn ohne Anlass gefragt, ob er wisse, was im Lager III geschehe. Mit seiner verneinenden Antwort habe sich B. nicht zufrieden gegeben. Dieser habe ihm eine leere Konservendose auf den Kopf gelegt und mit der Pistole herunterzuschiessen versucht, währenddessen er ihn gefragt habe, ob er denn wirklich nichts wisse." [14]

Der Scharführer wusste also nicht, was im Lager III vor sich ging, erwartete aber von einem Häftling, dem der Zutritt zu diesem Lagersektor (zumindest laut der herkömmlichen Sobibor-Version) aufs strengste verboten war, dass er es wusste!


My translation:

How alarmingly little brain matter the Hagen judges were blessed with becomes apparent from their having swallowed even the witnesses’ most ridiculous lies. Here an example:

"The witness Moshe Bac. credibly testified about the following: while he had worked at the Germans' mess in the outer camp SS-Scharführer Bredow had come up to him and asked him without cause if he knew what happened in Camp III. With his negative answer Bredow had not been satisfied. The guard had placed an empty conserve unto the witness’s head and tried to shoot it down with his pistol, while asking him if he really didn’t know anything." [14]

So the Scharführer didn’t know what was going on in Camp III but expected of an inmate who was strictly forbidden access to this camp sector (at least according to the traditional Sobibor version) that he knew it!


How frightfully shocking! How awfully dumb those Hagen judges were!

Except that the context of the passage shows that Scharführer Bredow was not trying to obtain information from the witness at all. He was sadistically amusing himself by tormenting his victim in connection with a knowledge he obviously presumed that victim to have even though – as mentioned in the judgment – inmates in camp sectors other than the strictly segregated extermination sector "Camp III" were not allowed to know anything about that sector's purpose, let alone talk about it. Emphases in the following quote are mine:

Killings not only occurred in driving on the inmates or "retaliating" against them, but some members of the German camp staff killed out of pleasure in tormenting the defenseless: they had fun throwing inmates into the deep shaft when digging a well. In other cases they took away buckets filled with mud from inmates working by the rim of the well and threw then down the shaft, so that inmates working at the well’s sole were more or less injured or even killed. The witness Moshe Bac. credibly testified about the following: while he had worked at the Germans' mess in the outer camp SS-Scharführer Bredow had come up to him and asked him without cause if he knew what happened in Camp III. With his negative answer Bredow had not been satisfied. The guard had placed an empty conserve unto the witness’s head and tried to shoot it down with his pistol, while asking him if he really didn’t know anything.


Did Mattogno, Graf and Kues deliberately take their readers for a ride by omitting the context of this supposedly oh-so-stupid finding of fact, which doesn’t make it seem stupid at all?

Or did they (again) reveal how alarmingly little brain matter they are blessed with?

From what I have seen of these gentlemen, both alternatives must be considered.

[Updated on 10.07.2012 to replace broken links to the RODOH forum.]

2 comments:

Jonathan Harrison said...

Even the extract they quoted says "asked him without cause", which clearly indicates that the SS officer was tormenting the inmate. So MGK are lying about their own quoted text.

the way on said...

This is a haunting reflection, expressed through art, of a family's loss in the Holocaust. It's a quilt. http://thequilter.wordpress.com/2009/04/24/my-holocaust-quilt/

Funny how all the proof in the world doesn't matter.