Holocaust War Criminals and Their Punishments
The fates of various Nazi Party members throughout the end of World War II are spread all over the map in terms of what happened to them. Many took a cue from their faithful leader, Adolf Hitler, and committed suicide to avoid capture and punishment. These war criminals would never have to face their crimes. Others fled the country and took on assumed identities in an attempt to elude authorities. While most of those who fled were captured, there is actually still a top 10 most wanted list of Holocaust war criminals today. Some have been found or discovered to have died, but as many as 7 or 8 Nazis remain at large. They're in their 90s.
Holocaust war criminals that were captured had two choices: face punishment for their crimes or commit suicide. Not surprisingly, many of them committed suicide to avoid a more fateful death such as hanging. The popular choice for suicide among Nazis was to ingest cyanide, which was easily accessible at the time. The death wasn't necessarily pleasant, but it was better than being hanged or put on public display to many. Those who were tried for their crimes received various punishments, depending on their involvement in the events of the Holocaust.
For example, Nazi leaders and those who could be proven to be seriously involved with crimes against humanity or war crimes were often sentenced to death. Executions generally took place just days after sentencing, making sure that people didn't have time to escape or commit suicide after being sentenced. Some criminals were sentenced to life in prison instead of death, but this was usually if their crimes were less severe. The idea was that they would still be held accountable but they didn't deserve death as a result of their involvement.
There were some Holocaust war criminals that were actually sentenced to 5, 10, and 20 year sentences because they could only prove so much involvement. Even still, some criminals were totally acquitted of the charges against them due to lack of evidence or other issues at their trials. The fate of war criminals varied from one to the next, but the majority of them were forced to pay for their involvement in this huge tragedy. The Holocaust remains one of the most major events in modern history and the people responsible for it were punished accordingly whenever possible. Those who committed suicide might not have faced trial, but the loss of their life was their punishment.