Risiera. The Trial
The trial of those responsible for crimes perpetuated in the Rice Mill ended in Trieste April 1976, more than 30 years after the end of the War. It was the unyielding determination of a group of ex-deportees together with relatives of the Lager’s victims and the aid of Aned and the Jewish community union that enabled the trial to take place. The German Authorities publicly opposed the event and even after the perpetuators had been found guilty attempted to resist the extradition of those responsible for the massacres.
Two of the most "notorious" of those accused were Joseph Berhauser, already commander of the Lager, who became a brewer in Monaco after the War, and his ex superior August Dietrich Allers, who became a lawyer in Hamburg.
Allers died in 1975 before the conclusion of the Trial, whereas Obererhauser was given a life sentence by the Italian courts, but continued to run his Monaco brewery in complete freedom up until November 22nd 1979 when he died at the age of 65.
Despite the fact that the sentences were not executed, the Rice Mill Trial (the acts are published by Adolfo Scalpelli for Aned) marked an important turning point, confirming that crimes against humanity will always be punishable however many years have passed. "Whoever has ever contemplated a new Fascism-commented the noted "hunter" of Nazi crimes Simon Wiesenthal - must know that justice will always win in the end….. even if the wheels of justice do turn slowly.