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We have reached that time when there are few Nazi war criminals left to pursue. There is no knowing how many made it quietly to the grave without facing justice. The last of the Nazi hunters are now old and close to packing it in.* Our times, however, are marked by crimes against humanity (Crimes often accurately recorded by improved media.) and it would be terribly wrong to allow the age of the relentless hunter to close and those whose brutality was later than WW2 to relax. The truth is that international hunters are still needed.

Hunting old men and women across the globe affirmed three things.

There are crimes so heinous that i) borders ought not provide refuge for the guilty because wider humanity demands justice; ii) minor participants and supporters are horribly guilty**; and iii) miscreants should be pursued for the rest of their lives.

Let two examples suffice. Under duress and in return for peace, decent people in Ireland and the UK made a pact with mass murderers, their facilitators and supporters. Citizens of other countries face no such duress and they should consider themselves morally bound to seek justice on behalf of humanity.

Secondly, the IDF visited crimes against humanity on the citizens of Gaza. There was international condemnation. Someday when peace comes to the region, the vile talk – made familiar by Sinn Féin and others – about terrible things happening in war will be applied to Gaza. That may suit Israel or even the region generally but humanity is not local and needs its hunters for justice.

Though local deals, agreements and states may provide a sordid refuge, perpetrators of crimes against humanity together with their commanders, facilitators and supporters should – at the very least – fear travel lest they be apprehended and charged in the name of humanity. Moreover, they should know that they will be hunted for the rest of their lives.

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* http://www.newstatesman.com/writers/320581

** http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/01/accountant-auschwitz-trial-oskar-groening-admits-guilt

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4 Comments

  1. Humanity for sure needs Justice hunters People that are not afraid to tell the truth. There was horrendous crimes committed by the Allies in WW2 and not just the Nazis. None of the crimes committed by the Allies will ever receive Justice and what of the crimes committed on the Palestinians by the Jews ? Better not mention that or I may be accused of being a holocaust denier (Seriously !!!) War in the middle east , American Foreign Policy and Israel. Who will hunt George bush down , kidnap him in the middle of the night and bring him to Trial.

  2. Richie, Thank you for your comment. I fear, however, that it may be a “whatabout?” – a list of incidents and perpetrators whose purpose is to complicate and ensure that no one is brought to justice. This is a bizarre perversion of equality whereby no one can be charged unless all similar perps. are charged. If it were universally applied, there could be no criminal justice system anywhere ever. While I’m aware of Allied war crimes and I regret that perps were not pursued, it would be perverse of me then to regret that Axis perps. were charged. Frankly, my view is to pursue anyone guilty of a crime against humanity.

  3. hi guys, interesting debate and thanks for both of your input. i would say that the history of humanity could be viewed as a history of crimes against humanity and in seeking justice where does the buck stop. when we consider the wealth of western nations we must consider from where has their wealth come ,mainly i think from the pillaging and colonisation of other lands and peoples.we could consider that america was built from the genocide of the native americans and the transportation of 55 million african slaves. this archetype for nation building is eerily similar to Hitler’s attempt at building his third Reich i.e genocide and slavery. i believe in justice for all of humanity and not just for some. it would seem to me that justice mainly rests on the side who have the greatest military capacity. estimations for the death toll from war and oppression in the 20th century run into the hundreds of millions so perhaps its not justice we should seek but a new way of relating to one another as the current system seems to perpetuate nothing but war and violence.

  4. Ross, You essentially make the same point as Richie: If all of the guilty cannot be apprehended, then none should. If that is generalised, then no prosecutions for any kind if wrongdoing is possible.


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