Canadians to testify against ex-Auschwitz guard accused as accessory in 300-thousand murders

This week, ex-Nazi guard Oskar Groening will stand trial in a German court for three hundred thousand counts of accessory to murder. Judy Kalman is among five Canadians who have travelled to Germany to take part in the trial.
Judy Kalman holds a picture of her half-sister (LEFT). The Auschwitz camp (RIGHT). (Per Hinrichs (LEFT) / CP Images (RIGHT))

Judy Kalman says her half-sister Évike has "always been a part of me," even though she died in Auschwitz years before Kalman was born. Kalman is among twenty-three Canadians who are co-plaintiffs in the landmark trial of former Auschwitz guard Oskar Groening. Five of them have travelled to Lueneburg, Germany where they will appear as witnesses. 

Kalman tells As It Happens co-host Carol Off, "I always have felt her preceding me. I don't think of her as 6 years old. I have always projected her into the future...what would she have been and what would she have done?"

Évike arrived at Auschwitz in a cattle car along with 33 family members. 

"She stepped off the train onto the platform, she was set aside, they were immediately taken to the gas chambers and gassed," Kalman says. 

Judy Kalman's half-sister Évike Weinberger, at age four. (Courtesy of Elaine Kalman Naves)

Oskar Groening, now 93, has become known as the 'Accountant of Auschwitz' because he was in charge of collecting and sorting the belongings stolen from camp victims.

But Kalman says there is strong evidence that at the time her family members arrived at Auschwitz, Groening had moved to a more direct role -- helping to guard the platform as trainloads of victims arrived.

Oskar Groening in his SS uniform.

Groening has admitted serving at Auschwitz, but denies committing crimes there.

Kalman says he still needs to be held accountable.

"If he did not commit it with his own hands, he aided and abetted in murdering these people."

The trial is set to begin on Tuesday. Kalman says she will testify on April 29th.

(Judy Kalman photo credit: Per Hinrichs)

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