Skip to comments.Nazi hunter brands Austria a "paradise" for Nazis
Posted on 02/01/2006 10:42:42 PM PST by NormsRevenge
VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria's legal system and its insufficient zeal in investigating alleged crimes committed under Hitler's Third Reich make it a "paradise for Nazi war criminals," a top Nazi hunter said on Wednesday.
Frustrated at slow progress in finding suspected war criminals in Austria and bringing them to court, Simon Wiesenthal Center director Efraim Zuroff came to Vienna for talks with ministers aimed at accelerating the process.
"The law in this country does more to protect Nazis than to bring them to justice," Zuroff told reporters after talks with Austria's ministers for justice and the interior.
"There is a system here that makes Austria a paradise for Nazi war criminals, plain and simple," he added.
Austria's interior ministry declined to comment while the justice ministry was not immediately available for comment.
One case Zuroff raised in his meetings was that of Milivoj Asner, who fled Croatia after being exposed by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and now lives in the southern Austrian city of Klagenfurt.
Zagreb has asked Vienna to extradite him but Austria has so far refused on the grounds he is Austrian and is therefore ineligible for extradition, Zuroff said.
Austria is investigating the accusations against Asner, which include overseeing the deportation of hundreds of Jews, Serbs and Gypsies to Nazi concentration camps.
Because Asner is alleged to have played a part in people's killings but not to have killed anyone himself, he cannot be tried in Austria because a statute of limitations applies to such crimes, Zuroff said.
Zuroff argues that Asner, who has Croatian and Austrian passports, should be deported because he obtained Austrian citizenship "under false pretences" by not declaring he was wanted for war crimes.
"The only hope we have here is that his Austrian citizenship gets canceled," Zuroff said.
Zuroff also said not enough was being done to find war crimes suspects or inform the public of who these suspects are.
"There are too many people in this country who want these problems to disappear. This is the problem, and this is why we came here to press the case because if we didn't press the case nothing would happen."
He criticized the way investigations were handled. "Apparently the modus operandi is not to look very hard for evidence and then to speak to the suspect and ask him: 'Well, are you guilty?"' he said.
Including a certain ex-UN Secretary General.
Weren't they Joan?
That's not a function of "the world", but the countries they committed their crimes in. For example, in this case Croatia is attempting to prosecute a Nazi. There's nothing preventing Russia, for example, from prosecuting former Communists. Or from requesting their deportation if they've fled the country. It simply doesn't happen very often.
There may have been a hard liner more recently, but Waldheim wore the uniform
And yet not as bad as Kofi.
One thing that gives me great peace of mind as a Christian is the specific New Testament (and implied Old Testament) teaching of judgement...for every single human being. Every country has its serious injustices...murderers who get away with it....rapists never caught...or sometimes, whole races who rise up and commit genocide (or democide, actualy the proper general term for the purposeful killing of entire populations civilians.) No matter how dilligent and competant a justice system is...some will get away with it--and on the world stage, that means thousands who've murdered innocents, go free and prosper. A terrible miscarriage of justice, for sure, however, when all is said and done, its a great comfort to know there is a Judge, who will set things right.
America's (and the UK's) system of innnocent until proven guilty foundational principle is based on that premise...that we should do all we can to punish wrong doers, but must assume innocence, as it is worse to punish an innocent man than to miss punishing a guilty one....because, even after we mess up....justice will prevail in the universe.
The most concentrated killing ever recorded though was in our lifetime....not long ago. In 1994 between April and June, up to ONE MILLION of the Tutsi tribe were slaughtered (literally, mostly by machete) by the majority Hutu tribe in Rwanda. That's nearly 300,000 a month. Even the Nazis were never so "efficient"... and the UN (and Bill Clinton) did not try to stop it. More that 10% of the country was hacked to death.
There are probably over 100,000 perpetrators of the Rwandan butchery....and most of these will never see punishment--to even try to prosecute all would be impossible practically and yes, it would destroy those who remain in that country. Prosecutors have sought out the ringleaders of the butchers...but that's the best they can do.
Yet the untold story is the amount of reconciliation that has occured....not led by UN peacekeepers, but by the churches of that land. Repentent murderers worship side by side now with those whose families they wiped out. It's almost beyond understanding how such healing can occur. I'm not saying its good policy to let repentent murderers off the hook--but with a situation like Rwanda, the numbers of people involved were so vast...it would take another genocide to punish them--something no one wants to occur. That God will hold people to account...and that the blood of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit can forgive and even turn murderers into godly persons is truly incredible.
Beautifully said, thanks.
It is very difficult to reconcile democracy with justice for the crime committed by groups in the past. You can't argue away this contradiction; if people have the right to vote, they have the right to vote for groups that in the past committed terrible acts. It's especially difficult when the current groups do NOT intend to commit mass murder, but are guilty only of softpedaling past crimes and wanting to enact policies that fall far short of what their predecessors did.
If you ban a party that calls itself Communist, its members will regroup and call themselves Democratic Socialists, and present themselves to the voters. Nazis were banned after World War II, so their followers created Populist Parties or Nationalist Parties which did not say "we're going to kill all the Jews" (since that problem was "solved" anyway) but did put forth nationalist, anti-capitalist, anti-immigrant rhetoric. You can't keep human nature down. It's just not that easy.
Where would you even find trained judges in post-war Germany to try Nazis, when every judge has been a Nazi? A very high percentage of judges, years after the war, had been party members. Being trained in the law in the 1930s and 1940s meant being entwined with the Nazi state. These obstacles are real and enormous.
"Why aren't Communist parties illegal?"
Thats a good question.
The problem is that today's American Democrats and European Socialist are not much different then the Communist.
They could be coming to a neighborhood near you.
There are plenty, like Cindy, the media whore, that love Castro, Jackson, and Chavez.
There are two lies about WW2. The first is that Hitler was a German. The second one is that Austria was an occupied country
Kurt Waldheim was PM in Austria, and if I remember right, he was in the SS. Publically he basically shrieked "Lies! All lies! I was in law school in Vienna!" They had to add a new disease to psychiatric jounals: Waldheimer's Disease; "I was a nazi, but I forgot!"
Was that just his "cover", or was he doing something that kept him off the Eastern Front?
The mysteries about the guy are enormous.
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