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Let the Nazi live or kill him?

A place to debate issues or to rant about what's on your mind. In addition to discussions about historical fiction, books, the publishing industry, and history, discussions about current political, social, and religious issues and other topics are allowed, so those who are easily offended by certain topics may want to avoid such threads. Members are expected to keep the discussions friendly and polite and to avoid personal attacks on other members. The moderators reserve the right to shut down a thread without warning if they believe it necessary.
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Post by LoveHistory » Thu July 19th, 2012, 1:29 am

[quote=""MLE""]That all depends on what happens afterwards, doesn't it?[/quote]

If you believe there is an afterwards, and I personally do, then why not leave it up to a higher power to determine when his life ends? If hellfire is waiting for him it will be there in a few more years. Killing him make might people feel better but it won't be equivalent to his crimes. It will be sterile and impersonal and nowhere near as gruesome as what went on in concentration camps. At his age he could die of a heart attack before he gets to the execution chamber or whatever its called. Justice wouldn't be served any better by that.

When they catch him why not take him to visit Auchwitz and Dachau and then lock him up with his guilt, if he feels any? I've always thought life imprisonment was a worse punishment than death anyway.

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Post by SonjaMarie » Thu July 19th, 2012, 2:25 am

And since I believe in ghosts, that might not be a bad idea, let his victims "take care" of him! MUHAHAHA!

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Post by Divia » Thu July 19th, 2012, 5:40 am

NO way would I want to spend a night in one of the concentration camps. A lot of negative energy there, obviously. I can only imagine the lost souls that are trapped and the energy that has seared a place in time.
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Post by Justin Swanton » Thu July 19th, 2012, 5:45 am

This all reminds me of King David who on his deathbed told his son Solomon to deal with his old general, Joab, who had killed his rebel son Absalom against his orders. "Do not let his grey hairs go down into the grave in peace."

If it was just a personal issue I would let the old coot be, but from the point of view of justice I think it necessary to haul in his type: the more that former agents of totalitarian regimes are brought to the book, the less chance there is of that kind of regime resurrecting.

Pity nobody is doing the same thing for former Soviet apparatchiks. They were ten times more brutal: they didn't just kill their victims; they worked and starved them to death.
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Post by LoveHistory » Thu July 19th, 2012, 3:35 pm

[QUOTE=Justin Swanton;102892]... the more that former agents of totalitarian regimes are brought to the book, the less chance there is of that kind of regime resurrecting.

If only that would prevent the rise of such regimes. Sadly, that doesn't seem to be the case very often. No one involved ever thinks they are the one who'll be caught and made to pay. It's the myth of invinvibility so common to human beings, and especially to the young who are always recruited en masse by those groups.

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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu July 19th, 2012, 3:59 pm

Actually, I think it does have a deterrent effect. Not a complete one, of course, but cumulatively, awareness of history does seem to keep people in line.
I present as my evidence the current state of the global 'morality' concept. In my work against human trafficking, we are able to count on the shame of the general population that such behavior occurrs in their midst, and usually awareness alone is enough to motivate them to do something -- click on a link, send an email, donate a few dollars, even start an awareness campaign of their own.
Two hundred years ago, this was much less widespread. Today, most populations are ashamed of the atrocities of their ancestors towards vulnerable people. The Germans, the Australians, the American South, South Africa, even India is getting easier on the Dalit (untouchables). The former USSR needs more time (and fewer mafia) but they are moving in that direction. It is also universally accepted today (at least on paper) that using children for sex is horrendous. In Greece or Rome, this was an accepted practice. Afghanistan is still there, mostly because Muhammad had a wife he married at age nine, and consummated the marriage at 12.

Three thousand, one thousand, or even one hundred years ago this would not have been the case. Relentless exposure and pursuit of justice is part of the force that keeps humanity moving forward.
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Post by DianeL » Thu July 19th, 2012, 10:53 pm

Committing to certain acts means committing to those acts' consequences. Period.
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Post by rockygirl » Fri July 20th, 2012, 11:04 pm

A very thoughtful question.

At 97, does this war criminal still deserve the consequences of his crime?

The area I live in is a popular vacation spot for Orthodox Jews. When I first moved here, I worked part-time in a dress store. I saw quite a few women with their concentration camp tattoos permanently etched on their arms. Do they (and the men) deserve this constant reminder?

Let the survivors of the camps decide what to do. Only they know the horrors they endured.
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Post by Ash » Sat July 21st, 2012, 12:41 am

At 97, does this war criminal still deserve the consequences of his crime?
Of course, because if not, then where to do draw the age line?

Tho I do agree with you, let the survivors decide. But many of him are coming close to his age, if there are that many even left. So it comes to the children and grandchildren of the survivors, and ultimately, you must meet the consequences of your actions. Keep him locked up.

What I do want to see is an investigation as to why he was not picked up sooner. What in the hell happened? Did everyone really lose him, or was he allowed to stay hidden by several somebodies or by a govenment?

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Post by Margaret » Sat July 21st, 2012, 4:33 am

He should be made to take responsibility for his crimes, regardless of his age. There's no way he can atone by suffering the cruelties he was involved in perpetrating, but some type of atonement needs to be made in order to impress on him and on society at large that his actions cannot be tolerated in anything remotely close to a civilized society.

I'm opposed to the death penalty primarily because of its effect on the people who impose it; I would not want a job as an executioner, and I would imagine that the prison officials who have to carry out a death sentence find it the most unpleasant part of their jobs. No matter how terrible a person's crimes, an execution is still killing in cold blood.
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