Toronto (July 23, 2020) - Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) welcomes today's conviction of former Nazi guard Bruno Dey in Germany, but is disappointed in the court's decision to suspend his two-year prison sentence.
The 93-year-old former Stutthof concentration camp guard was found guilty today of 5,232 counts of accessory to murder, equal to the number of people believed to have been killed during his service at the camp as a teenager.
"Following the war, so many Nazis managed to continue living normal lives unscathed and unnoticed, including here in Canada, while Holocaust survivors were left to deal with the trauma of lost loved ones and horrific pain and suffering they experienced," said Jaime Kirzner-Roberts, Director of FSWC's Campaign Against Antisemitism. "While we are pleased to see ongoing efforts to try former Nazi guards and recognize their roles in the Nazi mass murder machine, the suspension of Dey's sentence and allowing him to return home without facing any kind of punishment is another example of the judicial system's failure to bring Nazis to full justice."
"This is a classic case of misplaced sympathy syndrome," said Efraim Zuroff, Simon Wiesenthal Center's chief Nazi hunter and Holocaust historian. "Instead of validating the suffering of the survivors in Stutthof by punishing the perpetrator, the judges insulted them by sending Dey home, happy that he will not be punished at all. The fact that not a single one of the four Nazi war criminals convicted during the past decade, since the change in German prosecution policy (which started with the Demjanjuk case) has sat one day in jail, is a serious taint on the judicial process."
Meanwhile, FSWC maintains its position on a former Nazi death squad member living here in Canada, Helmut Oberlander, calling for him to be finally deported from Canada and face consequences for his role in the Holocaust.