OPINION: Even after 70 years, Nazi perpetrators must still be pursued

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OPINION: Even after 70 years, Nazi perpetrators must still be pursued

The infamous gates of Auschwitz
The infamous gates of Auschwitz

Dr. Stephen Ankier, Holocaust researcher

A crime normally breaks moral laws.

Pivotally breaking moral laws was at the very centre of Nazi ideology. 

Their evil doctrine led to one of the darkest periods in human history. We can never forget that the Nazis committed terrible crimes on a massive industrial scale without any mercy.

They murdered millions of innocent people because their victims were deemed unworthy of life itself.  

They particularly selected the Jews, Roma, homosexual, the disabled, Poles and Slavs for total destruction.

Did they ever refrain from murdering anyone because they were too old, too sick, too frail, or even children who will never now grow old?

These evil Nazi perpetrators deliberately did all this because they thought they would win the war and wouldn’t be prosecuted. Is it right to let them forget the horrors that they inflicted on so many human beings?

The fact that they evaded detection for so many years cannot ever mean that their crimes have just vanished or that age lessen their responsibility for the criminal acts they once committed? 

There are now two groups of frail old people. Firstly perpetrators – those evil Nazis who were once young and who are now old and secondly tormented survivors whose families will be forever torn apart.

Don’t the survivors deserve justice? We should be thinking much more about the feelings and rights of the survivors, their families and the more general principles of universal justice.   

Yes – Nazi war criminals should still be prosecuted as the law dictates so that humanity can continue to learn from its mistakes and civilisation can maintain its progress.

Prosecution of Nazi war criminals helps the world remember the need for vigilance against genocide and that justice stands for humanity and civilisation.

To excuse perpetrators by giving them an amnesty implies that their crimes are no longer important, further victimises the survivors, dishonours the murdered who can no longer speak for themselves and irrevocably besmirches the purity of justice. Revenge solves nothing but this isn’t revenge – this is progress. 

It may now be hard to gather evidence that will secure a conviction, but where sufficient evidence exists Nazi war criminals fit enough to stand trial should still be prosecuted no matter how long has passed since their alleged crimes.

Therefore, before it is too late, let ‘Lady Justice beat the Grim Reaper’ to the finishing line. 

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