Three Guards at Nazi Camp Sentenced for Killing Jews

A local German court sentenced one former concentration camp guard to life imprisonment for murder and gave two other guards six-year terms for “manslaughter” of Jewish prisoners after an eight-week trial in which 37 German and 18 Jewish witnesses told of a regime of blood and torture sparked by the inhuman actions of the three defendants at the Gollechau satellite camp of Oswiecim.

Joseph Kierspel, a criminal who became senior trustee, received the life term after being convicted of one murder and two cases of “manslaughter.” The other two defendants, Helmerich Heilmann and Johann Mirbeth, were each given six-year terms with two years deducted for time spent in pre-trial custody. Mirbeth, the S.S. officer in charge of the camp, was described by the prosecutor as “contrite” because he had apologized to some of the Jewish witnesses against him for having beaten them. Some of the Jewish witnesses came from as far away as Brazil, United States and Israel in order to testify.

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