Rationalizing Genocide: The Trial of Oskar Groning,The Bookkeeper of Auschwitz
Part II: A Small Cog in the Gears
By: Brad Kronen*
“Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” – Elie Wiesel, Humanitarian, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, & Former Inmate of Auschwitz-Birkenau Extermination Camp
The trial of Oskar Groning began during a week fraught with significance. For starters, the legal proceedings against the former Nazi soldier are currently being held in Germany and commenced on April 20th, a date which also marks the birth of an especially notorious figure in German History named Adolf Hitler.
Four days into the trial, on April 24th, the world commemorated the 100th anniversary of one of the darkest events which occurred prior to World War II, that being the Genocide of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks.
An event of mass murder that’s downplayed by the Turkish government of today, as evidenced by the noticeable absence of the “G” word whenever the former hub of the ancient Muslim Empire, otherwise known as modern day Turkey, discusses the controversial issue of heated historical debate.
The term ‘genocide’ was first used in a presentation to the League of Nations in 1933, the same year Hitler began his ascent to power. Ironically, the word originally referenced the atrocities perpetrated against the Armenian population by the Ottoman Empire exactly one century ago.
As mentioned in Part I of this series, the transitions of the outer planets of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto through the signs of the Zodiac are mirrored here on Earth by events which reflect the themes associated with both the planet and the newly positioned sign it enters.
During the last four decades as Neptune, the planet of deception and UN-reality, sailed first through the sign of duty and obligation, Capricorn, then into the emotionally detached sign of the masses, Aquarius, those accused of Nazi war crimes asserted their innocence by either claiming no knowledge to what was happening all around them during the War or stating that they, like the rest of the masses, were merely “following orders” by doing what they were forcibly being told to do.
In March of 2011, Neptune not only changed signs, the Watery Planet began a new cycle of potent influence over we Earth folk by entering the sign it naturally rules over, Pisces, for the next upcoming 15 years.
This generational planet’s transition was mirrored on our own planet both naturally, by the Honshu Earthquake and Tsunami and societally, with the legal proceedings currently being held against Oskar Groning.
Being the planet of spirituality and high mindedness and currently positioned in its natural sign, Neptune’s societal influences display themselves quite strongly in both the negative and positive spectrums.
When fully embraced, Neptune in Pisces at its most evolved can take the form of Truthfulness at its archetypal best. A Truth of Universal proportions which towers high above any honesties considered to be merely common, petty, or mundane.
Conversely, Neptune in Pisces at its most unevolved can take shape as the most all-encompassing of self-deceptions which implements an irrationality that appears so hyper-rational, things said and perceived couldn’t be based in anything but pure Truth, yet truth be told, are nowhere remotely near it.
Oskar Groning exemplifies both the best and worst behavior associated with Neptune’s recent transition into its own sign.
The 93 year old German has set a new societal precedent by being accused of Nazi war crimes and instead of adamantly denying any of the charges made against him, has admitted his “moral compliance” regarding his association with Nazism and the atrocities he witnessed during his time served at Auschwitz.
Not only are Groning’s actions noteworthy, they are a first of their kind, according to Frank Tuerkheimer, Professor of Law and author of the newly published book, “Forgotten Trials of The Holocaust”:
“He (Groning) is unlike most Auschwitz defendants. At the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial, there were about 22 defendants, and they were all really surly and nasty and they denied everything…Those are the kinds of people you have. They felt they were victims, and they refused to acknowledge anything. Groning is different. He admits what he did, and he obviously feels remorse over what happened. He has gone public when someone said that the Holocaust didn’t take place, that Auschwitz wasn’t a killing center, he went public at the risk of incriminating himself, he admitted he was there. So he’s a breed apart from your standard Auschwitz defendant.”
Even with the above said, Mr. Groning has described many of his actions during the War with such an emotionally detached flippancy, they can only be seen as being utterly self-delusional.
At the trial’s core, Oskar Groning faces charges of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 Jews. Mr. Groning believes that he is no way guilty, since his time at Auschwitz was spent witnessing the horrendous acts that occurred while on duty there, not committing them.
He describes his role during the Second World War as being “a small cog in the gears”.
Groning joined the SS just after Germany conquered France in 1940. As he saw it, with the Nazis winning battle after battle at that time, the war was practically drawing to a close then.
He worked a military desk job until orders were given in 1942 stating wounded soldiers would work menial office tasks and all other personnel would be given re-assignment elsewhere.
Oskar Groning was re-assigned to Auschwitz.
He thought being transferred to Auschwitz was a good deal for the SS, an assignment more pleasant than fighting against the Red Army on the Eastern front.
From the first night of his arrival at Auschwitz, Oskar Groning knew he was at an extermination camp. He claims to have been shocked at first, but then got used to his daily existence there, becoming more and more indifferent as if life at a place one could truly call “Hell on Earth” had become almost routine.
In his New York Times interview with Groning, Matthias Geyer has this to say about the elderly man when he discusses his time of duty at the largest of the organized Nazi killing centers:
“He draws a line between individual excesses and mass murder committed by the society as a whole. He believes the excesses are barbaric, but the mass murder legitimate.”
In Part III of this series, we shall see how Oskar Groning’s rationalization of his time at Auschwitz along with the analysis of the former Nazi’s birth chart doesn’t offer any resolution to his case, only many more unanswered questions.
*Brad Kronen’s latest book, “Love In The Stars” published by Llewelyn Worldwide, Inc. is now available for pre-order via Amazon.com.