Monday May 24, 2010 | The Last Nazi Hunter

May 21, 2010 at 11:44 am | Posted in Coming Up | 2 Comments

We’re joined by “the last Nazi hunter.” Dr. Efraim Zuroff works to find and prosecute Nazi war criminals around the world, vowing not to let the aging population of Nazis “die in peace.” He argues that the passage of time doesn’t diminish their guilt and has made it his life’s work to bring them to justice, no matter how many years have passed since the Holocaust. Dr. Zuroff is in town this week and he’ll join us to talk about his work and how he started this mission.
Dr. Efraim Zuroff
– Israeli historian and Director, Simon Wiesenthal Center in Israel

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  1. When I was a naive boy I often wondered why North Carolina sportsmen with the gun rack in their pick-up truck window were not interested in NAZIs as big game. Jesse Helms educated me that they have more in common with that potential prey than with the seekers of justice.

    Subsequent history has also been unkind. It is not only that Committees of Reconciliation have replaced Nuremberg Tribunals but that some individuals and conspiracies are evaluated as “Too Big To Indict.” Collusion with Capitalist Success or Celebrity status seems to preclude formal indictment or even official disapproval. According to such thinking, things just stochastically occur without any purposeful aim being involved so that no one can be blamed for what might be called systemic errors.

    Maybe George Bush Administration crimes were not anything new to this empire, but they certainly represent the culmination and perfection of techniques and attitudes originating in Hitler’s Reich. The same strain of humanity-scaled crimes continues today like an unstoppable mythic saltmill or petroleum wellhead eruption. Even Israel, the pity state resulting from mass extermination, indulges in such systematic cruelty.

    Honest investigation of 9/11 events has not been forthcoming, and probably because the Oligarchic Untouchables are being protected. The public deserves a full disclosure around the Bank bailout crisis that will never come. We will never know if the current Gulf Oil Spill was caused in a fracking experiment gone wrong. Even more mortifying, we may never know how the American financial and political elite were complicitous in causing camp extermination of as many as 13 million people by Germany between 1933 and 1945.

    My reading of history leads me to believe that a NAZI mindset provided technical and management inspiration to the elite leaders of the victorious factions after WWII, and that America began to resemble its fallen enemy in key ways, rather than being cautioned and compelled away from the temptations of raw ruthless power.

    Somewhere in Equador may yet live some vile medical torturer or mass death administrator; the monster could as easily live among the retired CIA in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Knowing their specific victims or reviewing preserved testimony makes one indignant, wanting to get at them. And we probably should get at them while we still can. But this does not mean that NAZI-level war crimes are not still being committed today, or that the perpetrators are not free and successful, even admired, and living among us.

    In our Christian sects we believe that our Creator will hold all accountable in some fashion, but our systems of law operate independent of that assumption in order to foster an Earthly faith in Justice. Until greater resolve for overcoming official secrecy and indicting our current war and humanity criminals is demonstrated, any such confidence or faith will continue to leach away, and the foundations of morality and ethics be undermined.

    So bold NAZI hunters: Good hunting to you my friends. Remember there exists a place for mercy and forgiveness when the guilty genuinely repent. Reconcilliation may produce a more durable peace than punishment: that remains to be seen. But never let your particular brand of enforcement or your personal quests obscure the blatant truth that these sort of crimes are ongoing and in progress.

    • Mr. Howard… er… ugh… nevermind.

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