Former Auschwitz Physician on Trial in IMT


Prosecuting Attorneys Sofia Yepes and Valentin Von-Harnicsh preparing their evidence.

Marianna Román and Daniela Garcia

After convicting Maria Mandl and sentencing her to death by hanging on Thursday afternoon, the International Military Tribunal began the next trial on Johann Paul Kremer.

Johann Kremer, a known Auschwitz physician was involved with the human experimentation of the prisoners, and supervising gas chambers. He was specifically interested in starvation and enjoyed watching every action. The prosecution attorneys believe that he is guilty and knew what he was doing. The defense believe that he acted under the law and performed for medical improvements.

“He always acted under the constitution and germans jurisdiction.”, Pablo Betancourt, defense attorney, said.

The prosecution attorneys started presenting their evidence on why Kremer is charged with crimes against humanity, war crimes, crimes against peace, and conspiracy to to create all of the above. They had concrete evidence from Kremers diary.

“He never checked them and signed their papers, left them be beat, and watched them… He had the guts to select the prisoners themselves, and open them up.” Sofia Yepes, Prosecuting attorney, said.

The defense explained how he should not be charged because according to witnesses, he was a psychological “normal” person, and that he was always protected by the german law.

“If you’re gonna hold someone responsible, the responsibility is not on Kremer. Everything he did was always covered by his law.  He had a job and he delivered as established,” Juana Restrepo, Defense Attorney, said.

Judge Isabel Arboleda proceeded to ask the prosecution attorneys if they believed that Kremer’s experiments were done as medical experiments or more for the purpose of killing jews. The prosecution advance on their response.

For extermination. The prosecution believes that it was just a more efficient way, the faster they died, the better. This doctors had interest in boosting their own careers, and if they could take advantage of them, in order to boost themselves and promote personal findings, of course they would, so they took advantage of it, and helped exterminate them more quickly,” Valentin Valentin Von-Harnicsh, Prosecuting Attorney, said.

The defense attorneys began explaining the definition of speculation, which is forming evidence based on non concrete evidence. They believe that is what the prosecution is doing, and that the charges have no conclusive evidence and therefore the defendant is not to be declared guilty or held accountable because there is no concrete

“Maybe the experiments were Kremers idea, but he was always following orders,” Restrepo said.

They will continue debating the extensive topic until the judges reach a conclusion on whether to prosecute Kemmer or not.