Reader Mail

Too little, too late for Germany

Regarding the June 7 article “Nazi death squads focus of latest war crime cases in Germany.” Some may say that justice delayed is still justice served. However, this notion becomes laughably useless when one looks at the current efforts to bring former Nazis to justice in Germany. Over 70 years have passed since the end of World War II, and Europe has spent decades allowing former butchers, murderers and sadists to live comfortably in its midst.

The time for true justice existed right after the cessation of hostilities in 1945. At that time, the survivors of the Holocaust were still alive and able to recount the horrors inflicted upon them by the Nazis and their collaborators.

That was the time for the Europeans to stand up and prove to the world that they were serious about making amends for the catastrophe that befell European Jewry. However, it seems as if the Europeans were ever too eager to try to distance themselves from guilt and responsibility and so were quick to try to “move on” from the nightmare they created.

Every now and then, like what we are witnessing now, Germany or some other country “revives” the hunt for these Nazi war criminals. But these acts are paper thin gestures to try to save face. Had these countries truly wanted to make amends and to bring justice to the guilty, they would have instigated widespread campaigns decades ago.

Let the Germans create their new inquiries and trials, but we should not delude ourselves into thinking that these things will bring any form of justice to anyone.

HAROLD OHAYON
SAPPORO

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.