Thursday, June 01, 2017

The Endlosung Posterboy ist Gestorbt!

Another one has bitten the dust:   Reinhold Hanning  the latest former member of the Waffen SS and worker in a 'Death Camp' - and who was convicted of complicity in the deaths of almost a half million** people no less,  has 'croked'.  Unfortunately before he could begin to serve the jail sentence he no doubt so justly deserved.  But like some nailbiters in the world,  I'm wondering where the feck was he and what was he doing since the end of the last war?  Apparently he wasn't in hiding anywhere and might actually have been drawing a German war veteran's pension or something.  It seems to me that having caught most of the big fish and more obviously guilty ones - who received short shrift at Nuremburg and a number of local 'show trails', we have this notion that we now need to get some more before the supply is exhausted.

 What there doesn't seem to be much shortage of,  is witnesses.  Maybe not witnesses to what the individuals did, they seem to be notoriously prone to the 'false identification' thing that eyewitnesses to anything get, but witnesses to let courts know how bad things were and have been since. The latest kind of 'witnesses' are the proxy kind, who having never actually been in a death camp, but know somebody who was and bear witness to their memory. Canada is full of Indian people who have vivid troubling memories of granny having been in a residential school.  And while there's some more suffering to be done - and a possible evidenciary trip to testify somewhere to be had - who would want to give up such a burden?

One of the remarkable features of Hanning's trial, last year, was a courtroom full of  Weisenthal Centre graduates from the four corners of the World, come together in one place - as they had once at a concentration camp or 6 - to tell their story, have it recorded for posterity or the German court record and used to convict somebody of being there - 'under orders' and 'helping'. If that passes for justice in regard to war crimes,  there are a couple of generations of modern warriors who might have reason to fear a change of political climate might impair  their future tranquility. For this was a change of political climate and a political trial with a political (or pseudopolitical) purpose - the fascist right wing rising in Germany over Islam and immigrants needs to be tamped-down before it spreads the same kind of infection that drove Germany 'nuts' over its Jews.

Hanning is only the latest in a number of octo- and nonogenarians being reminded that what they were doing in their teens has left marks.  The recent spate started a few years back with one of those 'outed' post-war refugee Ukrainians - fleeing the Red Terror that had engulfed their land - a good Catholic, resident in America - where he had made a home and a family and, probably, worked and cheered America's battle with communism. Geez,  had he been able to hold on, John Demjanjuk might have made Ukrainian 'aliyah' and been received as a heroic patriot and freedom fighter.  But somebody accused him of being THE  'TodtAngel'  "Ivan the Terrible"  and his life hit the skids.

His trial in the land of the righteous, initially, convicted him on the evidence of a number of eye-witnesses who recalled him as 'Ivan the Terrible' the bane of the poor Jews.  Evidence was uncovered, however, that indicated that Demjanjuk was not THE "Ivan the Terrible" of ill-fame,  because he was serving at a different camp, in Poland, for most of his war.   Being saved from the noose didn't save him from another trial in Germany on revised charges - like Hanning's - of 'aiding and abetting' a genocide. He was convicted and sentenced to jail where he died a few years later.   His US citizenship had been revoked when it was a claimed that he had lied on his application to emigrate as a DP. His US pensions were revoked as well.

Since Demjanuk, the net has been spread - catching a few other elderly Germans in the war Crimes net:



A Dutchman

Women fared a little differently, although there is at least one getting a look.

Ilse Wallisch - England

Compared with the sexed-up bevy of toxic Teutons tried at the end of the war.  'Looker' Ilse Grese - the ' Beast of Belsen' who was hung for her performance.

Numerous countries began last-minute investigations into possible members of Nazi criminal organizations and found numbers of them resident:

Canada was one

Britain was another


South American countries served as havens for ex-NAZIs,  as did parts of the Middle east (another reason to kill arabs), Asia and Africa.  If they remained in eastern Europe they were largely hunted-down and imprisoned by communist governments, the worst offenders were executed.  These activities came to a halt after the fall of the USSR and many of these people returned home - unmolested. In some eastern European nations to-day, there has been a resurgence of the 'national honor' that gave a rationale  for their wartime outrages.

Given the fact that we're still doing this - both war trials ands war crimes - we should get enough of this stuff to make ourselves sick, or sicker.

Some latterday evil-doers tried and in some cases punished for 'war crimes' by 'the winners'.

Omar Khadr


Charles Taylor



Saddam Hussein

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