Watch CBSN Live

Auschwitz survivor: Ex-Nazi guard's trial is "satisfaction"

BERLIN -- An Auschwitz survivor who lost 49 family members in the Holocaust says the fact that a 93-year-old former guard at the death camp is on trial is more important than any punishment.

Former Nazi bookkeeper at Auschwitz on trial ... 03:17

Eva Pusztai-Fahidi, who lost relatives including her parents and sister, told the Lueneburg state court Tuesday that seeing former SS Sgt. Oskar Groening in court is "a kind of satisfaction," the dpa news agency reported.

The 89-year-old says she could never have imagined she would be testifying before a German court and that "for me it's not about the punishment."

Groening is being tried on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder and faces a possible three to 15 years if convicted.

Prosecutors argue his role sorting prisoners' stolen valuables, to which he admits, helped the death camp function.

Last week, another Auschwitz survivor, Eva Mozes Kor, made headlines when she shared an embrace with Groening during his trial.

The Times of London tweeted out an image of Kor and Groening embracing.

"I know many people will criticize me for this photo, but so be it," Kor wrote in a Facebook post. "It was two human beings seventy years after it happened. For the life of me I will never understand why anger is preferable to a goodwill gesture. Nothing good ever comes from anger."

Oskar Groening was a member of the Waffen SS ... 02:46

Kor, 81, was one of the Jews who arrived at Auschwitz in 1944. Though she doesn't remember Groening personally, she said she can't forget the scene.

"Everything was going very fast. Yelling, crying, pushing; even dogs were barking. I had never experienced anything that fast or that crazy in my entire life," she told The Associated Press before addressing the court.

Her two older sisters and parents were taken directly to the gas chambers, while she and her twin sister, both 10 at the time, were ripped away from their mother to be used as human guinea pigs for notorious camp Dr. Josef Mengele's experiments.

"All I remember is her arms stretched out in despair as she was pulled away," Kor remembered. "I never even got to say goodbye."

Kor, who now lives in Indiana, is one of more than 60 Auschwitz survivors and their families from the U.S., Canada, Israel and elsewhere who have joined the trial as co-plaintiffs as allowed under German law.

CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips reported that 86-year-old Hedy Bohm was a Jewish teenager when she was deported to Auschwitz during the war. Both her parents were murdered there.

"I cried after my mom and she heard me, turned around," Bohm recalled. "We just looked at each other and she didn't say a word, and I saw her turn and walk away... I was ordered to go to the right and I never saw her again."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.