Over the past 77 years, in a shameful dereliction of justice, only a tiny minority of those who had a hand in the Holocaust were held to account for their abominable actions. Most of those involved in the murder of six million Jews got off scot-free, including those Canada accepted as immigrants after the Second World War and, sadly, never pursued. Today, bringing Nazi war criminals to justice is a lonely, difficult pursuit that’s often misunderstood.
Given the magnitude of the Holocaust and the evil behind one of history’s worst crimes against humanity, it’s little surprise most people don’t want to be reminded of it. Many argue surviving Nazi war criminals should be left in peace and no longer stand trial due to their advanced age, as if they should be rewarded for evading justice for so long.
How strange those implicated in horrific atrocities would merit pity for their old age as they showed no such compassion for elderly Jews who they wilfully arrested and sent to Nazi death camps. Unlike their victims, most of Hitler’s henchmen lived a long, free life.
Prosecuting them will soon be a moot point as the day is near when there won’t be any Nazi war criminals still alive. Until then, every effort must be made to hold them accountable in a court of law out of respect to their victims and to help educate younger people who have a tenuous grasp of history and the danger of hatred and intolerance left unchecked.