Gary, I truly hope Im not Hijacking your thread. I just find the Reinhard Camps extremely interesting and am just trying to add some things to your excellent thread here. If I am overdoing it, feel free to delete anything.
Just in case anyone is interested in Belzec (part of the Reinhard camps like the other 2 Sobibor & Treblinka).....here is a pic of the SS Kommandant/Guards of Belzec Camp.
Esther on Prosecution of Sobibor Guards :
" the persecution and sentencing of death camp guards left a lot to be desired. There were a few trials in the immediate post-war period that led to severe sentences but the main Operation Reinhard trials of the sixties returned very disappointing verdicts and a shameful number of acquittals. The reasons for this are manifold but most prominent are the nature of German legislation on murder, and a certain unwillingness of the German public in general to find these men personally responsible for the crimes that were committed under the Nazi regime "
"The first person to be tried and convicted for crimes committed at Sobibor was Erich Bauer, the Sobibor Gas Meister (“master of the gas”) who had been in charge of the gas engine. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in May 1950 after he had been recognised in the streets of Berlin by two Sobibor survivors. He died in prison in 1980.
The second trial was the case against Hubert Gomerski and Johann Klier that was tried in August 1950. Klier was acquitted on the plea that he had acted under duress and that there were no witnesses that accused him of personally engaging in murderous or cruel acts beyond what was required of him in his ordinary guard duties. Gomerski was sentenced to life imprisonment. He applied for a retrial in 1971, but the retrial was abandoned in 1972 for reasons of ill health and he was released. He lived until 1999.
The main Sobibor trial took place from September 1965 to December 1966. There were twelve defendants, five of them were among those that had been acquitted at the Belzec trial in 1964. Five were acquitted (three of these had been acquitted for Belzec as well), one was declared mentally incompetent, one killed himself in custody before sentencing was pronounced. Four defendants were convicted of complicity in murder: one (a former Belzec defendant) was sentenced to three years, two (one a former Belzec defendant) to four years, one to eight years. The exceptionally cruel Karl Frenzel was sentenced to life. He was the only one to be convicted of outright murder. He was released in 1976. Despite being once again sentenced to life at his retrial in 1985 he remained a free man."