In Bayrouth, Germany, echoes of a bygone era are ringing through a courtroom...stories of brutality?
In Bayrouth, Germany, echoes of a bygone era are ringing through a courtroom...stories of brutality and the Nth degree of man's inhumanity to man. The defendant is 43 years old and he arrives at the courtroom by ambulance. His name: Martin Sommer, known unaffectionately as "the Hangman of Buchenwald". (Buchonwald...one of the most notorious of Hitler's Canada camps.)
Herr Sommer was in charge of the camp until 1943. That year, even the Nazi Elite Guard couldn't stand his cold-blooded murders and tortures and he was ordered to the Eastern front. There, he was critically wounded and 43 operations followed. During an earlier trial, Sommer testified he killed about 40 inmates of the concentration camp, giving them injections of poison and air. Now, he denies all this...says he made it up. Another charge: that he used whips and sticks on the inmates. To this, he says: "If I hadn't done it, others who were stronger than I would have taken over and would have beaten them much harder." A trial slowly nears its climax in Germany. And a man who is accused of killing dozens of helpless prisoners is listening to more than one-hundred witnesses recall the details of his bloody record as one of Hitler's brave young men.