Introduction – Oct 21, 2019
The grandson of a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp will testify in the trial of a 93-year-old camp guard who has been charged as an accessory to mass murder.
The trial itself seems to be motivated more by a desire for retribution rather than any genuine desire for justice. Especially as Bruno Dey, the accused, was only 17 when he was a Nazi guard.
After all, had he refused to serve as a guard the 17-year-old might have faced a Nazi firing squad himself.
Instead, nearly 80 years later Bruno Dey will face charges of being an accessory in the murder of 5,000. In a trial in which Ben Cohen, the GREAT-GRANDSON of one Dey’s alleged victims will testify.
We have no idea what Ben Cohen will say in his testimony but he wasn’t even born when Dey allegedly committed his crime. Moreover, by his grandmother’s own admission, she has no “specific knowledge about Bruno Dey and what he did”. However, she does recall vividly what the other guards did and no doubt she’s told her grandson, who will bear witness.
So nearly 80 years later the great-grandson of one of Bruno Dey’s alleged victims will testify against him in a trial that could see him sentenced to prison for the rest of his life.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that the Nazis did not murder Jews, it is an acknowledged fact that they did, although the exact numbers and historical details are still disputed. However, Bruno Dey’s trial is not about justice or making amends for past wrongs.
To put things into perspective: can you imagine the great-grandson of a murder victim testifying against the accused nearly 80 years after the crime? His “testimony” would not even be considered. But this is not about justice it is about retribution and reinforcing the idea of the pre-eminence of Jewish suffering.
Grandson of Holocaust survivor bears witness as former Nazi guard goes on trial
CBC.ca — Oct 18, 2019
On Friday, Bruno Dey went on trial. The 93-year-old German man is accused of being an accessory to the murders of more than 5,000.
During the Second World War, Dey was a Nazi SS guard at the Stutthof concentration camp. He may be one of the last people to be prosecuted for his actions during the Holocaust.
Ben Cohen’s great-grandmother was one of the thousands of people who were murdered at that camp. His grandmother, Judy Meisel, was also at the camp, but survived. She is one of the co-plaintiffs in the case but was unable to attend the trial.
As It Happens host Carol Off spoke to Cohen about his grandmother and what it meant to attend the trial on her behalf. Here is part of their conversation.
What has it been like for you to be in the courtroom to see Bruno Dey face trial?
This is the second trial that I’ve attended on behalf of my grandmother, Judy Meisel. The anticipation on the first day is always really high. Seeing the accused brought in in a wheelchair for the first time is always really very intense. There’s a little bit of a almost feeling of theatre to what’s going on sometimes in the courtroom.
It’s been a really remarkable experience. I’ve had a chance to meet the amazing prosecutors and investigators working on this and, in a way, I felt like I’ve had a good chance to engage with the process.
Your grandmother has been speaking with German officials about her experiences. She didn’t go. She’s, I believe, 90 years old. Is that right?
The only reason I’m here in Hamburg is because she can’t be here herself. She wishes she could have come and stood in that courtroom and given her testimony in person and looked the perpetrator in the eye and faced that herself.
But she can’t. Because she’s 90, traveling here is no longer possible. So I come here on her behalf. I felt it was important that someone from our family could be here to be a witness to these trials.
My great-grandmother was murdered in the gas chamber at Stutthof. My grandmother survived with her sister, Rachel. And, you know, for me to be able to be here is, in its own way, just a miracle.
And so I do that for my grandmother. I do that for my family. I do that in solidarity with the other survivors and the victims who can’t be here.
Stutthof is the camp where Bruno Dey was a guard. He started there when he was 17 years old. What does your grandmother remember? What does she say in her remarks about her memories of Bruno Dey and her time there?
She has very vivid memories of her time at Stutthof. She doesn’t have any specific knowledge about Bruno Dey and what he did. She knows what the guards did. She was there. It was total brutality. (Emphasis added)