Legal Counsels Representing the Co-Plaintiffs
Attorney at Law Thomas Walther
Professor Cornelius Nestler
Attorney at Law Donat Ebert
Attorney at Law Günther Feld
Attorney at Law Manuel Mayer
We have represented more than 50 jewish co-plaintiffs in the trial at the district court of Lüneburg from April 21 until July 15, 2015. 14 of our clients were heard as witnesses.
The written arguments of the verdict demonstrate the importance of the participation of the co-plaintiffs as witnesses in this trial. Their statements were an essential foundation for the findings of the court that the victims, who arrived on the ramp in Auschwitz, were completely clueless of their fate. Most of them were designed to immediate death in the gas chambers, for all the others waited the life and ultimately the death as working slaves. And the statements of the co-plaintiffs also demonstrated the immeasurable suffering, which the acts of the defendant inflicted upon them until today.
Finally, after half a century, the verdict against Oskar Gröning finds the correct legal assessment of the acts of all those members of the SS, who facilitated the mass murder, organized in the factory style division of labor. They are guilty of, at least, accessory to murder. The very fact, that the defendant and all the other SS-men were present on the ramp at the arrival of the victims, results to an individual responsibility for accessory to murder, because the presence of every SS-man on the ramp was part of the threatening scenery, which purpose was to suppress any thought of resistance among the people who arrived. Also, according to the arguments of the court, to watch over the luggage, which was the duty of the defendant, was necessary for the unobstructed process of moving the victims to their path to the gas chambers. The deception of the arriving victims, that the luggage would be handed back to them, was part of the overall plan of the commitment of mass murder.
In clear and simple words, the verdict of the court has set the correct legal standard, which should guide the prosecutors and the courts in those last very few criminal proceedings against members of the SS in Auschwitz and in other concentration and extermination camps.
Kempten – Königstein – Budapest – Cologne – Frankfurt, September 21th, 2015