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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 07:35 PM
Original message
As suspected Nazi cases dwindle, government to cast wider net
Posted on Sun, Feb. 27, 2005
DAVID PORTER
Associated Press

<snip> With a new mandate to investigate aliens who may have been involved in more recent atrocities in places like Cambodia, Bosnia, Haiti or Iraq - and with more Nazi-era holdovers dying - the types of investigations that were dramatized in movies such as "Marathon Man" are less common. <snip>

The number of investigations should rise again with the expanded mandate given the Justice Department through the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act signed into law by President Bush last December. The act gave the government the responsibility to investigate anyone accused of genocide, torture or "extrajudicial killings" committed under authority of law.

Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., a co-sponsor of the legislation that became part of the intelligence overhaul package, has cited the case of a former Haitian army colonel as a modern example of the type of alleged war criminal living in the U.S. <snip>

http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/11007579.htm?1c






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Sympleesmshn Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. I think it is sick...
why the heck do we have to spend time hunting down men who are 80+. They have lived for 60 years with what they have done, isn't that enough... I think it is enough that they have had to live a lie for so long, and wake up everyday to the thoughts what what they have down. Leave the ex-Nazi alone, they have had to live with the horrors they committed, and they are too old for us to do something that would effect them....
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. no its not enough. there is no statute of limitations on murder no
Edited on Sun Feb-27-05 07:50 PM by roguevalley
matter who does it. How can we pursue ANY murderer if we allow a category of 'old men' to get off because time has passed. So what.
Pinochet is trying the same defense. Small comfort to the many he
harmed.

They don't have pity now over what they did then. What live with the horror? They don't feel it. If the statute of limitations is applied to these terroristic old bastards then we're all doomed. They should be hunted until they die.

personally, it always astonishes me when people defend old nazi murderers right to be left alone. god almighty. think about it.
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Sympleesmshn Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. how many people do you know that lived through the camps?
Edited on Sun Feb-27-05 08:21 PM by Sympleesmshn
Not family members of people who survived, but actual survivors. I have talked to two I know personally and they don't want any legal action. One was asked by Israel to come to testify to what happened in the camp he was in, and he refused. I don't know how you can cast stones at a group with out hearing some information first hand. Put yourself in the shoes of a Nazi prison guard. Not an senior officer or an SS member, but a guard. You have 2 choices do what you are told, or share the same fate as those you guard. I have no problem with legal action taken against the big players.

Let me make this point hit home. Some call for Bush to be tried for war crimes (Hitler). Next the world tries the planers (the Cabinet), then the Generals, then the officers, then the soldiers. Read the Geneva convention sometime on the limitations of war crimes, you will be surprised. I can see it to a point and during a certain time, but I can support a witch hunt. We have gotten the top two group (most of them), part of the officers, and now we are going to spread down to the common guard, I just find it sicking...

Another thing you should do is a survivor and talk to him about how he feels about this. I don't think we have the right to try these men, who are no harm to society, unless there is a large group that want them to be tried...
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simcha_6 Donating Member (333 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. Actually...
A guard could say that he wasn't up to killing, or say that he "had a son." Apparently there wasn't anything other than peer pressure to kill. Anyway, I'm sure any soldier would be free to transfer to France or Denmark if they wanted. They should all be punished, partly for vengeance, partly in the name of justice. And as for "living with what they did," that only works if they feel bad. We shouldn't pre-suppose that they all feel bad now.



Info provided by new book "Hitler's Willing Executioners."
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Sympleesmshn Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Like I said talk to a surivior...
I had one tell me about a guard who was almost killed by an SS officer for not work the work crew hard enough. He came back and still didn't work them as hard as the SS wanted. And like I said read Geneva Convention III or IV. They talk about the limits of trying for war crimes and the guards shouldn't be under the convention. BUT in this country we love throwing international law out the door, so lets do the same here...
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manic expression Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. I know one thing
such an action CANNOT GO UNPUNISHED. It would be morally wrong to not punish someone for such a previous action. If we allow those who have acted out the most heinous crimes known to continue their lives, we are morally responsible not only for the injustice therein but also for what they did.

The soldiers (or guards) have a responsibility to do the right thing, no matter what the consequence. Even if this is not outright physical opposition, there must be some type of stand against such horrible things. The guards are not innocent, they are complacent and guilty of this.

Read the Nuremberg Trials and the statements of the judges (tribunal members), and you will be surprised.

A criminal's unpunished life is a harm to society, and their freedom is a harm to society. To NOT pursue and punish such people would the greatest harm to society.
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Sympleesmshn Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. I don't want to get into a mud sling fest...
But look at the Geneva convention... And I agree that we should punish those who do things like this, but why waste our time with Nazis when we can deal with Sudan (the multiple genocides there including the current one which we will not stop), and all the others more modern ones. I think it is more important that we get the guys who have many years left to spread their ideas... We also need to follow the Geneva convention for a change...
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manic expression Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Yes, we should definitely stop the genocides happening right now
That should be top priority. I completely agree with you on that.

However, finding these people should not be neglected.

Also, the Nuremberg Trials established that everyone is responsible for their nation's actions, from the civilians on the street to the soldiers on the front to the executive branch in the capitol. I agree with this, that every part of a group is partially responsible for the actions of the whole.
I do understand the thought that only people in positions of power should be punished, I just disagree with it.
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Sympleesmshn Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. I just see that this sets us all up for trouble..
It means you and I are partly responsible for any atrocities that have happened in Iraq and Afghanistan. I just see it as a very bad precedent to follow.

I feel that when we stop genocide we can go back and clean out everyone who has "participated" in past ones. From what I know of the standards for Nazi hunting now, we are going after the planers and "enforcers"(the guys who made sure everyone was following the plan), and I agree that they should be found out, I just have a problem 1) with execution, and 2) punishing a 80+ year old for something they did 60 years ago. Some might argue that they deserve equal of what they did (death), and the death penalty is legal in our country, but we should not sink to that level. If we had acted "an eye for an eye" the world would be very different. We are better then "an eye for an eye"....(I hope and pray...)
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manic expression Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Right...I'm not asking that they be hanged from the highest tree....
Edited on Sun Feb-27-05 09:26 PM by manic expression
but I do think they should live out the rest of their natural lives in confinement. I do not think that we should say: "OK, since this guy killed people this way, we will kill him this way"....or even: "He killed, now we kill him". I reject this thought process, as I disagree with the death penalty.

(on edit): And it is very true that the atrocities unfolding and affecting the world right now must be stopped. This is the most important thing.

I feel that I hold partial responsibility to oppose the atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have met this in some ways, and in some ways I have not done enough. I cannot excuse myself from what is clearly an obligation to do the right thing, no matter what the consequences may be. If I do not do the right thing, I am very much at fault.
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Sympleesmshn Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. Might we do something else
Put them in house arrest. I just don't think an 80+ year old should live in jail. I know I can't picture my grandfather in jail, too many health issues.

I want to share a story I heard from one of the survivors I know. He was called in to the hospital at the camp he was at. There was a young SS officer dieing from a wound he had gotten on the eastern front. He was involved with killing Jews in Poland and wanted to be forgiven by a Jew, to put is spirit at easy. My friend listened to the story and this officer really felt remorse for what he did. My friend said nothing at all and walked out... The officer died that afternoon. My friend is telling me this story in tears... He found the officer's mother after the war, to beg for forgiveness for not forgiving her son. It is a burden that he will carry to his death bed and will never forgive himself for, because he feels he sunk well below the officers level by not forgiving him...
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manic expression Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Perhaps
I think these people should be given little luxury. Assistance in their old age? Of course, there's no reason to throw them in a dungeon, but they should not live in any excess comfort.

That is a heart-wrenching story. I, for one, think that there is no right or wrong answer for the person in that position. I feel both ways simultaneously. To forgive a person, no matter what they may have done, is pure and admirable in every sense. However, I find it fairly upsetting that someone would do so many horrible things and then drag an interned and persecuted person to their deathbed to ask for "forgiveness". Quite a shallow gesture, to say the least. That person should live with what they did, and to think that someone who is receiving the worst of the collective actions of that individual has any obligation to forgive them is wrong. These are two paths, one is not right and one is not wrong. They are different in their ideals, and it is up to the individual to decide exactly which they will take.... That is perhaps all I can discern from this.

Please, I'm not at all judging the person who you're telling me about, I'm just trying to reflect on it.
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Sympleesmshn Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. That is what went through his mind...
In the moment, that was his feeling. But after time and thinking about it, he didn't make the "holy/divine" choice he thought he should have. He felt after reflecting on it that it was heart-felt. The officer was rather junior and was doing as he was told.

I would imagine I would have walked out, but I hope if I was ever in a situation like that, that God would give me the strength to forgive...
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mallard Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #2
23. Re: non-statuary limitations do seem to apply...
... to the 9/11 case, assuming there's actually much more to the legal issue of murder which occured on that date and given the gaping anomolies of official cover-up, 'insider' trading, evident controlled demolition, military stand-down and so on.

It's no wonder the administration's efforts in the field of criminal investigative would tend to focus on priorites of the same elitists who have managed to use 9/11 to their advantage as a power play and who pushed for the invasion of Iraq on false pretense - in the aftermath of the under-explained 9/11 events. They are hardly about to suddenly get self-reflective or come clean on their own backlog of imperfections. Instead, they now want to 'move on' to chasing unconvicted war criminals from 1942.

I would tend to agree that genocidal crimes of the past several decades - not excluding concern over the 120,000 or so dead Iraqis killed for a lie (or two) - should take precedent over earlier, already well-covered cases like those from WWII.

War crimes should definitely be on the agenda. That much it seems we can all agree.
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chunkylover55 Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Leave them alone? What???
Edited on Sun Feb-27-05 07:58 PM by chunkylover55
Are you crazy? Do you think these men go to bed at night regretting what they did during the war? Maybe some of them do, I have a feeling most of them don't. Either way neither of us knows the truth.

I don't care if their 100+ years old -- if they committed Nazi atrocities and are still alive, find them and try them. These criminals have ZERO right to be left alone.
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Sympleesmshn Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. look at my post above....
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LynnTheDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #3
34. And does that go for the war criminals such as bush & Cartel? Does it
apply to US & UK troops who did/are torturing, raping, murdering in Iraq and Afghanistan?

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Minstrel Boy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. "enough that they have had to live a lie"?
no, I don't think so.
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Sympleesmshn Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. look at my post above...
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artemisia1 Donating Member (343 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
16. No.
You're making the inaccurate assumption that they feel a sense of responsibility and shame for their actions during the war years. Unfortunately, as a child, I was around some (not fugitives, rather people who lived during that era in Nazi Germany) and one of them actually said that "people don't understand what it was like back then...". Meaning, if we "understood" we might agree with them. No, these people were, for the most part, unrepentant. Let them be hunted to their last days.
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Sympleesmshn Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. I guess I see it differently
it might be my lineage. My Grandfather refused to serve in Europe, because I descended from an old German/Scandinavian warlord family. He did not want to kill any of his relatives, because they would be in the army, as responsibility of the last name. I don't have anything against chasing down the group we are after now, but don't expand the group. You are getting into groups that do feel sorry for what they had to do. (look at some of my other post on this thread) Why do you think we have Holocaust survivors? It is because not everyone wanted to kill the Jews, they were just doing what they had to to survive. Like I said in some of my other posts, talk to a survivor, or read an account written by one of them. They will tell you not every one was bad, and not every one was un-human and unfeeling...
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artemisia1 Donating Member (343 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #18
24. I don't disagree...
I spoke specifically of fugitives and former supporters. Simply having lived in Nazi Germany does not make you a perpetrator, you are correct. I really don't think we're disagreeing at all.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #1
22. All Nazis that can be found must be held to account.
They are criminal scum and you don't let them off the hook because they are old. You punish them brutally.
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Sympleesmshn Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 11:48 PM
Response to Reply #22
29. What about Terrorist?
Should we give them up to hunt down 80+ year old men??

We have enough trouble find terrorists, all we need is to start looking for more Nazis...
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 07:38 AM
Response to Reply #29
31. You can't let people off the hook.
If we don't have the resources to do both, we need more resources and it wouldn't take long to get them. Besides, it doesn't take much to hunt down a few Nazis.
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Sympleesmshn Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. You have no idea...
You need to catch the history channel hunting Nazis show. It takes years of work to find just a few people... Remember, we don't even know everyone we are looking for, and when we do find names on old documents, do you think these guys are still using the same name? It is hard to find them then terrorist, because terrorist know one another and what the others might be doing... You might get an old name from an old Nazi but that is it...

And why should we have to divert resources to find Nazis. Lets say it takes as much work to find one Nazi as it is to find one terrorist. So why not just find two terrorists? Last time I checked 1) we aren't the world's police and 2) 80+ year olds don't blow up buildings.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #1
27. How long would it take to forgive someone who killed your father?
If someone killed your father 50 years ago, would you just shrug your shoulders and let them go?

What if they killed half your family, along with most of the people in their vilage? Raped your aunt and experimented on your uncle?

Would it be OK to let them go now?

If it were your father? Your aunt? Your uncle?
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Sympleesmshn Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. If I suffered through this...
First if you have had a relative killed in the Holocaust, I mean no disrespect.

If I had suffered the loss and was enslaved myself, I hope I would have the character to forgive. It happened in the past. They are different people from who they were. The experience and every thing sense then for them changed them. Plus while I might hold a grudge against them, I hope I would realize that there punishment changes nothing for me, other then I ruined the life of an 80+ year old man. It is like families of murder victims get out of the execution of the killer. To me they are no better then the killer.
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manic expression Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 08:03 PM
Response to Original message
4. This is very interesting...
That Rwanda and Sudan are left off of this list. Secondly, I truly hope that when they mean those who committed atrocities in Iraq, they mean that they will arrest and try Americans who are guilty of war crimes and crimes against the peace (and crimes against humanity in some cases). If not, this is pure hypocrisy.

I completely support hunting down criminals, but we need to do so to those of all nations (ahem...America).
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Sympleesmshn Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 08:24 PM
Response to Original message
9. You know we have nothing better to do then chase very old Nazi...
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AliceWonderland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
25. The dramatic irony in all this is breathtaking.
Just saying.
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solinvictus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
26. What about the Soviets?
They killed more people, but because of the Cold War, I'm certain most of them died in their beds.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #26
32. The Nazis killed more than just the 11 million in the camps.
They are directly responsible for the deaths of nearly 50 million people in Europe during WWII, which is more than the Soviets ever did.
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DulceDecorum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-27-05 11:50 PM
Response to Original message
30. Can we nail BushCo with this law?
Especially since Grampy Prescott made his money ....
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