Hunting alleged Nazi war criminals costs a great deal of time, money and effort
I can’t say if hunting Nazi war criminals is worth it, but I can give my opinion and it is up to you to make up your own mind. By the end of reading this, you should have come to some conclusion. I believe it is not worth hunting alleged Nazi war criminals, anymore. I think that spending tens of millions of pounds, and all the time and effort that goes into it now is worthless now. If they had have done it ten or fifteen years after the war had ended then they would have had much more success.
The reason I think it is worthless now is because almost all evidence will have been destroyed after the war ended, and any war criminals from World War II would have done their best to completely hide their background and any evidence they have that they committed war crimes. Also victims that survived concentration camps will not be able to identify a man with absolute certainty that he was the same man that put people to death around fifty years ago, mainly for the simple reason that it was so long ago.
Also witnesses may want to blame someone, so they blame the suspect in question, or they want it to be that suspect so much that they believe it was him. Also lots of witnesses are now dead, and the ones who are still alive may have something wrong with them that they can’t remember the face or voice of the man who put their friends and family to death. I also think that if they do catch a suspected Nazi war criminal, then he may have something mentally wrong with him.
Due to old age the accused might not be able to remember anything, so it would be an unfair trial, because he doesn’t have an alibi with which to prove he was not a Nazi war criminal. A suspect may be too old or ill to go to court also, a suspect when found could be dying in their bed with only a few weeks to live and so they would never be able to stand a court trial anyway. These are the main reasons I believe that spending all the time, money and effort is not worth it.
I believe it is too late and the suspects will be dying by the time they are found, an example of this is seen in a case where a man called Szymon Serafinowicz, who was accused of being a nazi war criminal. In this case the jury saw Serafinowicz to be unfit to plead to charges of war crimes, because he had dementure, so he couldn’t remember anything about where he was at certain times of the war, or what he was doing meaning he wouldn’t have an alibi with which to protect himself so the case would have been totally unfair.
After being freed he died about 18 months later, so even if he had have been convicted he would have only spent a few months in jail, and would have probably been let out after a couple of weeks to be admitted into hospital. There was no case for this man who was suspected of being in command of police officers who ordered Jews to lay face down in the snow and where then shot, hit children’s heads against tomb stones to kill them, order Jewish families to line up and then shoot them, and he himself was accused of shooting a woman with a child who was running away.
In total he was accused ordering 3000 Jews to be killed. If a man like this can’t even get a trial then, let alone being convicted is it really likely that another man will get convicted. In another case, the ‘Demjanjuk trial’ he was convicted of being ‘Ivan the terrible’ a guard at Treblinka and was accused of putting thousands to death, and torturing some people for the fun of it. He was sentenced to death by hanging, but got released after appealing. The judges decided there was not enough evidence to convict him after all.
Five witnesses said under oath that they were certain that Demjajuk was Ivan the terrible, also he couldn’t remember where he was or what he was doing at certain times in the war, and it sounded like he was trying to pretend he was at certain places at certain times. It appeared only five outgo twenty survives thought Demjanjuk was Ivan the terrible, and these were the witnesses used in court. If fifteen say it wasn’t him and only five say it was him, the chances are that it was not him, even though five witnesses were sure of it, this proves that eye witnesses can not be totally relied upon to identify a man they saw about fifty years ago.
This proves to me that it is not worth the bother and money of hunting them down anymore, but if you are not convinced yet I will talk about another trial, the ‘Papon case’. The jury heard that Papon should be freed during the trial, because of his advanced age and his medical condition (he suffered from angina). It was heard that even if he were found guilty he would not have to spend another night in jail. He died a few months later, so if he had have been convicted he was still be able to be free and walk about the streets.
The war crimes unit did not get a single person convicted, even after all the effort they put in, they found evidence but did not manage to get a single conviction. After looking at all the evidence I really don’t think it is worth spending lots of time and effort and millions of pounds to find an old man who will probably be too ill and old to go through a court case, and even if they are fit to go through trial then they probably wont be convicted due to not enough evidence, or unreliable evidence.