Former Nazi Asked for Break During His Trial Because Auschwitz Testimonies Were too Shocking
Former Nazi officer Oskar Groening (93) asked for a break during his trial after hearing testimonies on Thursday became too shocking.
“Groening heard such powerful testimony from a survivor of the death camp that he asked for a break as he was too shocked and exhausted to cope with hearing any more evidence,” wrote the Daily Mail.
These testimonies included 85-year-old Max Eisen, who described his job extracting gold from the teeth of Jews who were murdered in the gas chambers at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, where Groening served.
Eisen described a grueling 3-day train journey from Czechoslovakia where passengers were being made to stand and being ripped apart from his family upon arrival. He said he would complete 10-12 hours of agricultural work a day on a “scant” diet,” according to the Mail
Groening is being tried on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder in the northern German town of Lunenburg, in what has developed into a high-profile trial following testimonies by the former SS sergeant and survivors of Auschwitz.
Thursday was also an emotional day for Holocaust survivor Eva Kor, 81, who had flown to Germany from Indiana to provide testimony.
Following the hearing, Kor — who founded the Candles Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Indiana – approached Groening and in a rare moment of public reconciliation embraced the former Nazi and received a kiss on the cheek.
“I am going back to the U.S. with a kiss on my cheek from a former Nazi,” said Kor according to the Mail.
Responding to the day’s events, Kor reflected in a blog post: “You cannot predict what will happen when someone from the victims’ side and someone from the perpetrators’ side meet in a spirit of humanity.”
“I have forgiven the Nazis and everyone who has hurt me,” she wrote.