A 94-year-old man has been sentenced to five years in jail for working as a vending machine repairman at the Auschwitz death camp seventy years ago.
German state prosecutors asked judges to sentence the former vending machine repairman to six years in prison. The court ruled that the repairman was complicit in the murders of at least one million people.
The duties of the vending machine repairman at Auschwitz was to keep the hundred-or-so Auschwitz vending machines well stocked and in good working order.
Prosecutors argued that the repairman, in doing his job of stocking and repairing vending machines, provided Auschwitz with products it could not do without.
“If he had only refused to restock and repair those machines, a million lives would have been saved,” argued the lead prosecutor. He went on to say that without a responsible vending machine repairman many chocolate bars would have become unavailable and activities at Auschwitz would have “ground to a halt.”
This is the first of up to four cases being brought to court this year, including prosecutions of window-cleaners, gardeners and flower arrangers, as German prosecutors seek to punish anyone who may have been anywhere near Auschwitz seventy years ago.
German prosecutors were required, until recently, to provide evidence that defendants were directly involved in the killings. In 2011, however, a judge ruled that, really, everyone doing anything nearby any concentration camp was complicit in everything.