And 1971 was only 40 years ago
Among the many unfounded matters brought up to shield the 1971 war criminals has been the sour utterance that “so much time has passed that it is not possible to try the accused”. That has continually sounded like abetting with the most heinous of crimes unleashed on a civilian population by the cruellest of armed forces, pepped up by the most senseless of politicians, backed up and enacted by the most devious of traitors; read Yahya and co., Bhutto and gang., and Golam Azam and cohorts in that order.
While mankind was never in doubt that the accused are guilty of war crimes as well as crime against humanity, i.e. crimes that were committed well away from the lines of battle and were unconnected in any way to military activity, we are intermittently appalled by attempts from some selfish political quarters to try and find a way out for the perpetrators of the monstrous crimes, as if the world has not seen the bringing to the book of war criminals and offenders against humanity after decades of an act of criminality.
As a matter of evidence of trials of criminals decades after their sins, not long ago, on 29 November 2009, The Guardian, UK reported of putting on the dock war criminals more than 65 years after their crime. Read on.
John Demjanjuk, 89, a retired worker at a car factory in Cleveland, Ohio, is accused of being a Nazi death-camp guard at Sobibor between March and September 1943 when the gas chamber killings took place. He is charged with being an accessory to the murder of 27,900 Jews.
Heinrich Boere, former Dutch member of the Waffen-SS, 88, is appearing in court in Cologne, accused of the murder of three Dutch resistance fighters in 1944, a crime to which he has admitted.
Adolf Storms, the former SS soldier, 90, was charged this month with 58 counts of murder for the killing of Jewish forced labourers at the end of the war.Bronislaw Hajda, the 85-year-old Pole, who lives near Chicago, is accused by investigators of attending the SS camp in Trawniki in the early 1940s. His ID card is the main piece of evidence in the case. Hajda worked in a labour camp not far from Treblinka, where, investigators believe, he was involved in war crimes. In 1997 a US court ruled that in July 1944, he "without doubt took part in the massacre of hundreds of Jews".
Anton Geiser, currently living in Pennsylvania, the 84-year-old is suspected of having worked as an SS guard in Sachsenhausen camp just outside Berlin. In April his US citizenship was revoked after a court declared he lied about his Nazi past when he entered the US.
Josef Scheungraber, the 90-year-old was sentenced to life imprisonment in August by a Munich court this year for ordering a massacre of Italian civilians in 1944.
In Budapest, the trial of suspected Nazi war criminal 97-year-old Hungarian Sandor Kepiro, accused of mass killings in Serbia in 1942, resumed in 2011 with the hearing of a witness who said his grandmother was killed in the raid. The witness, who was aged 10 in 1942, now a history professor who requested anonymity, testified that his grandmother had been murdered by troops under Kepiro's command.
In reference to the October 2011 news item, “Germany Reopens Nazi War Criminal Investigations”,
when a blogger asked if the trial of such aged and sick Nazi war criminals were worth it, this is what another wrote: “I don't see this as a matter of retribution. This is not going to give any survivor who's alive, or children of survivors, any sense of closure. But I think it's a matter of justice; that you don't walk off scot-free. And amongst the victims at these death camps and many other places as well were old people of 91, 92, 93 and infants, little babies. They wanted to get rid of the old. They wanted to get rid of the young. There was no mercy for those people and it seems strange to suddenly now say I'm old and what harm, just let me live out my life”.
So where is the scope to say, suggest or even think that the 1971 collaborators cannot be put on trial or that it is a difficult task? It cannot be more difficult than pain of the child who lost his father, or of the mother who lost her son, or of the husband whose wife was raped, or of the near ones of those who were handpicked and hacked to death.
The long hand of the law is on course to ensure justice for the victims, and we are here talking of an entire nation who have victims, and have been patient and civilised for four decades. There are many ways to avenge a wrongful and deliberate killing, but we wanted to give the criminals a fair trial only to make the difference between human us and the inhuman them as clear as we are the victorious citizens of an independent and liberated country.
Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2012