Saturday, 26 January 2013

New book exposes indifference to Nazis after World War II

A lot has been written about the Holocaust and its perpetrators, but very little about the many Nazis who escaped all form of punishment.  It was left to the victims, like Simon Wiesenthal, who with his wife had lost 90 members of his family, to go after their tormentors and killers. Even those who were tried were treated with astonishing leniency.  That was the case of the infamous Edmund Veesenmayer, a German politician, officer (SS-Brigadeführer) and war criminal. He significantly contributed to The Holocaust in Hungary and Croatia. He was a subordinate of Ernst Kaltenbrunner and Joachim von Ribbentrop; and collaborated with Adolf Eichmann in Hungary. Veesenmeyer was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment in 1949, which was reduced to 10 years in 1951. He was released on December 16 of the same year, having served almost 6 minutes for each murder that he was responsible for (500,000 victims).

Algemeiner: A new book claims that governments around the world were unwilling to track down Nazi criminals in the wake of World War II because of “vested interests.”
The UK’s Daily Mail writes that “Nazi Hunt: South America’s Dictatorships and the Avenging of Nazi Crimes,” by German historian Daniel Stahl [1], calls the half-hearted efforts of postwar governments a ‘coalition of the unwilling.’
Stahl writes that the French feared prosecutions would expose their collaboration during the war, the South Americans feared a spotlight on their own murderous regimes and the West Germans wanted to help ‘old comrades’ get away.
The Daily Mail article refers specifically to Joseph Mengele, “The Angel of Death,” Gustav Wagner, responsible for 150,000 deaths at the Nazi extermination camp of Sobibor and S.S. Colonel Walther Rauff, one of the developers of the mobile ‘gas vans’ used to kill Jews before the static death camp gulag was built.
Even Interpol, the international criminal police organization, failed to aid in tracking down the Nazis.
Interpol secretary general Marcel Sicot, responding to a request in 1962 from Jewish organizations to more vigorously track them down, said: “Why should war criminals be prosecuted since the victor always imposes his laws, anyway?”
“No international entity defines the term ‘war criminal.’” Sicot said he regarded the criminal prosecution of Nazi crimes as “victor’s justice.”

In French HERE.
[1] The Author Daniel Stahl, born in 1981, studied modern history in Asunción and Jena and is a research associate at the Department of Modern and Contemporary History at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. 

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