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Fritz Bauer (16 July 1903 – 1 July 1968) was a German Jewish judge and prosecutor. He was instrumental in the post-war capture of former Holocaust planner Adolf Eichmann and also played an essential role in starting the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials.
Quotes about Bauer
- The central principle of Fritz Bauer's career was that Germans should hold judgement upon themselves. That meant prosecuting ordinary Germans, not just the leaders whom the Allies had prosecuted. [...] The Nazi defendants being prosecuted by Bauer all tended to offer the same set of excuses [...]. Bauer's response, which he formulated again and again at the trials and in public, was as follows. Those Germans whom he was prosecuting were committing crimes against humanity. The laws of the Nazi state were illegitimate. One cannot defend one's actions by saying that one was obeying those laws. There is no law that can justify a crime against humanity. Everybody must have his own sense of right and wrong and must obey it, independently of what a state government says. Anyone who takes part in what Bauer called a murder machine [...] thereby becomes guilty of a crime.