Friday, 1 August 2008

Where is Patagonia?

Somewhere in South America. Beyond that, I don't know and you don't know. And if you do happen to know, don't bother telling me because I am not interested. And you need to get a life.

It is, however, important to Dr Aribert Heim, a 94 year old Nazi war criminal responsible for hundreds of murders in the Mauthausen concentration camp. There is no doubt that Heim's crimes were unspeakably evil. However, they were more than sixty years ago and he is now a man of very considerable age. I am not convinced that bringing such an elderly man to trial over crimes which happened so long ago would be at all fair or just. He has spent most of his life exiled from his native land and unable to touch the $1.8 million he has in a German bank account. Nor can his family claim the money until he is dead.

I am inclined to say that he should be allowed to stay where he is, and the money in the bank should instead be forfeit and distributed to Holocaust-related charities. That would be justice.

No comments: