Thinking back to I was 12 if everyone told me this group of people was the reason my country had been in an economic disaster for the entire duration of my life so far I might believe them, especially without the easy access to the information we have in this day and age. Not to say that he was in the right or shouldn’t be punished, just that this is a really difficult case to judge. He was 12 when war broke out and 17 by the time it finished. I’m not sure how to feel about this. On the one hand, he was only a kid and was doing what he was told to do, but on the other hand, he did some pretty awful things. But even if he was morally against it, what could he have done as a child?
An under-aged boy, having grown up under the propoganda of the regime (the Nazis took over when he was 6, and the war started when he was 12), serving out of obligation to family and country. He had no real authority in the military or government. He very likely did not fully understand what the SS was even doing in the prison in which he worked, let alone the whole country. Even if he did know what was going on, he was probably a scared kid, too confused or afraid to rebel. He further claims to have been ignorant about the nature of those deaths, as he was very low ranking and did not directly interact with the prisoners for the most part. (Though he could see the prison yard, and noted that the prisoners did look emaciated).