Germany tries 94 year old SS camp guard as a juvenile


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/06/germany-tries-94-year-old-ss-c.html


#2

When I first clicked on the clickbait title, I knew exactly how outraged I was expected to be.

Seeing the pixelated face had me doing a doubletake. Its extraordinary circumstances to try someone for crimes committed 80 years ago. So extraordinary precautions kinda seem justified somehow.


#3

Honestly, if you’re going to try him at all, you have try him as a juvenile. He was one when it happened.


#4

Since when is being a juvenile sufficient reason to prevent someone from being tried as an adult?


#5

Trying juveniles as adults is always wrong, no matter what the tough on crime crowd says.


#6

That doesn’t answer my question.


#7

I’m fully prepared to concede that this is likely just deep-set cultural bias on my part, but I have a really hard time considering a 19 or 20 year old (Rehbogen’s age at the time of these alleged actions, if my math is correct) to be a “juvenile” in any meaningful sense that would afford these kinds of protections.

This isn’t a criticism of Germany following their own law, to be clear, just an observation.


#8

If you stand ten feet away the pixels come into focus and look like trump.


#9

You’re not expected to be outraged. But you must click, yes. That is mandatory.

The thing isn’t the trying as a juvenile, per se. It’s the formal compliance of pixelating a 94-year-old man’s face because of it, a grim ironic illustration of the necessary yet sometimes absurd qualities of due process.


#10

I thought it was a schooner.


#11

thus making life difficult for the courtroom sketch artist.

JHC he’s 94. People know what he looks like.


#12

As were probably many of his victims.


#13

Thought it was a prediction about Jacob Wohl


#14

There’s a certain logic to applying “legal culpability” to a sliding scale based on age the same way we do with “legal rights.”

For example, in the United States it usually goes something like

Under 16: you’re pretty much a child
16: you can drive a car, get a part-time job, etc.
18: you can vote, get married, smoke cigarettes, enroll in the military
21: you can drink alcohol and smoke weed (depending on the state)
35: you can run for President

So if an 19-year-old doesn’t have all the rights accorded to his elders then maybe it makes sense to face a little less culpability as well. Which obviously doesn’t mean he should get off scott free, or even get off with the same punishment a 15-year-old would get for the same crime.


#15

I dunno. Peer pressure is already difficult to deal with as a teenager, especially when it comes from everyone all the way to the top. Ultimately this trial is mostly for show anyway since the accused is already on death’s door. This is close to the last chance for the victims to get closure, soon there won’t be anybody left to try.


#16

I guess I give more credit to Rob. I saw the headline and felt my expected reaction was to be, “Wow, way to go, Germany, show us how justice is done!”

Based on his response I think we both probably over/undershot, and the expected reaction may have been “Wow, isn’t this an interesting set of circumstances.”


#17

The Americans are barbarians.


#19

It’s true. And even though this case is not American, I’ll still probably bring it up the next time a toddler is tried as an adult here for seeking asylum or something.


#21

Wait… does this mean that recent pictures of Traci Lords should be considered child pornography?


#22

As opposed to that other place that wasn’t built on a foundation of institutionalized violence and subjugation, and has always done the right thing for the powerless. That place is fantastic!