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Should Nazi War Criminals Be Prosecuted?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/7/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 week ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 255 times Debate No: 106483
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For my English Honors II class, we're having a debate based on a topic in a book we just recently read a novel by Jodi Picoult, The Storyteller. It's basically another Holocaust experience-based book, but it also includes more modern day subjects. The majority ends up being about prosecuting Nazi War Criminals, although it's modern day. I'm on the Con side for this topic in the debate, and was wondering if anybody had good rebuttals against the Pro side, or examples I could use for the Con side's research? In my personal opinion, I am against the modern day prosecution of Nazi War Criminals. Yes, a crime is a crime and a murderer is a murderer, but think about how OLD these war criminals actually are nowadays. I mean, they're mostly all over 90 years old. Most elders can't function completely by themselves by that age (no offense to anybody). How do you expect them to commit more Nazi War Crimes at 90?!


You asked: Should Nazi War Criminals be Prosecuted?

Of course! OF COURSE!

Though no members of my family suffered through the Holocaust, it was a terrible atrocity in our history - 6 million dead. Just think of that number. . . its a number most of us can't even picture in our head, yet it happened. . . no matter what the deniers say, it damn well happened. Now imagine, for a second, that you're in one of those cars. . . with each minute, you're getting closer and closer to the Nazi death camp where likely, you won't survive. Your mother is besides you, she grabs your hand as the train comes to a halt, and the Nazis, dressed in their usual unfriendly outfits, approach you. They then separate the strong from the weak, the males from the females. . . yes, you survived the Shoah. . . but you never saw your mother again.

Now, if you could do anything, and I truly mean anything in the world, would you not go back in time and murder all those scum? Would you not want to judge those who were responsible? And now you, after seventy some years later, claim that we should not hold those monsters accountable for their filthy actions! I'm sorry, but that's like saying Hitler should get off scot free too.

Just recently, I bought a book by a professor, the title is called "Hitler's Willing Executioners" by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen. Do you know what its about? It's about the history of the Holocaust, but this time it isn't told from the perspective of innocent rabbis, but the perpetrators themselves. . . supposedly (I haven't read it all through yet), the book claims to be an accurate depiction of why these Germans committed the crimes that they did, and according to the authors research. . . those people didn't do it out of fear, or patriotism, or orders. . . they did it out of pure anti-Semitism. That's your reason why they killed 6 million people, and 40 million others as a result of World War Two. Are you now saying we should commend their memory, the Nazis? That we should forgive them because their 90 years old!

Lastly, do you think those monsters, who you claim we should just forgive and offer no penalties, thought twice when it came to Jews who were up in age? Do you really think they gave a damn about it!

I'm sorry that your class has to go through this discussion, because honestly, such a thing shouldn't even be debated in the first place because when you do so, you're slapping all those innocent victims in the face. Those victims occupied the ages between 90 to 1 years old. The Nazis murdered children too you know, or are you going to say that's okay too?

I just want to ask you one question: What are you expecting from this debate anyway? Do you really think you're going to convince me, and others, that the Nazis shouldn't be punished for their atrocities?
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Debate Round No. 5
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by judaism 1 week ago
There are Holocaust survivors today who don't have any food and are freezing and no one cares to help them, perhaps a donation of $20, which isn't much, and you expect me to just let those scum who started it all slide?
Posted by judaism 1 week ago
@ZekeGroth, while I respect and love the Constitution, G-d does't wear red, white and blue. In other words, He won't care not to punish Nazis because they were "brainwashed." And they just weren't. Have you taken the time to research that book I recommended about why these scum killed innocent people? It's not because they were fearful, etc. Its pure hatred, and this was from all walks of life. Those Nazis weren't just SS men, many of them were, as the author states clearly, "ordinary Germans."

To claim that some Nazis would have been killed had they refused to kill Jews is pure nonsense. I just got done reading chapter one, it is actually the first myth the author exposes. . . Nazis were given the opportunity NOT to kill by their superiors (i.e., meaning they'd just do it themselves), and those people refused. . . they wanted a hand in the killing. They weren't going to be left out. Why? Because they hated us, they hated the Bible, they hated humanistic enlightenment, they hated communsim, all of it.

Tell that to the ghost of Simon Wiesenthal. Those Nazis deserve a fair trial? They had one at Nuremberg. . . and we all know how that went down.

Those same Nazis whom you think should be treated properly and respected as old men didn't bother to urge that same principles on Jews. Did the dead at Auswitch get a fair trail? What about the Warsaw Ghetto, did they see a fair trail before being brutally murdered? NO! NO! NO! NO! THEY WERE KILLED. . . ON THE SPOT! Without any hesitation.

Yes, G-d can, and should forgive murders. . . but not those ones. They don't deserve it. They never will.

Perhaps I am a bit emotional. . . how can I avoid it? Especially when the memory of your ancestors are washed upon the rocks like dirt to be forgotten simply because some 90 year old can have his freedom to live a good long life while once being responsible for taking that same promise of life from children.

P.S., and yes, Germany should do that.
Posted by ZekeGroth 1 week ago
@judaism Rights are inalienable. This is in the constitution. I'm not saying what they did isn't horrible based on time. What they did IS horrible. Some people had no say in the matter for were going to be killed themselves if they didn't follow orders. You claim they didn't think twice. That's true: they couldn't think twice. They were brainwashed. It was horrible. The government doesn't get to take away their right to life, though. It's not letting them off the hook. They need to commit a crime in America. If Germany wants to take them back and force punishment upon them, that is a different scenario. If you want the ones in Germany persecued, I'll support that, given they are allowed due process and a fair trial. No one gets prosecuted without a fair trial. I'm personally trying to leave emotion out of the matter. This has to do with rights.
Posted by MRAAJ 1 week ago
I will give that a read, so yeah in May I graduated uni. but that essay was for college in 2014, so I doubt I can send it to you.

Again i'll provide more comments once I see Cons' argument.

Personally, I love history and psychology, and feel I can be a good-impartial third party for this debate. Plus I hope to debate you in the future on something similar.

also I'm still sticking by my military orders statement, cowardice is stigmatised in combat, orders are orders.
Posted by judaism 1 week ago

I'm super sorry if I sounded rude in any way or form, you're a nice fellow and I don't mean to suggest you don't know history, obviously, you do.

Can I recommend you a really good book I adore? Its called "The Perilous Fight" by Neil H. Swanson and its about how the British took the Madison administration by surprised, crushed the army he led at Brandenburg, and burnt Washington D.C.

Three weeks later, a lawyer and amateur poet by the name of Francis Scott Key sailed don the Chesapeake Bay in search for the enemy since his friend was recently taken prisoner. Key finds the fleet, is detained, and has to watch the proceeding battle of Baltimore. During the bombardment of Fort McHenry, he is so inspired how the American defenders refused to give in, and writes what will eventually become the national anthem.

Its an amazing style no film could ever do justice. Please take a read, I'm sure you'll love it!
Posted by judaism 1 week ago

I would like to see your essay on WW 1-2 because I'm an avid reader and know much on the topic myself (specifically WWI is interesting to me because its practically an unknown war to most people, and I like studying about things people know little about).

If you feel uncomfortable posting it here (I'm just assuming this because sometimes people are), you can send a private email to me on my profile.

To comment on a few things:

"emotions may get the better of him" they sure will, if you're family suffered, or you knew someone who suffered, it matters.

"Relevance: Most were soldiers following orders, they needed to put food on their table, if you reject military orders, you die. "

Mr. Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, author of "Hitler's Willing Executioners" would disagree with you, he wrote a whole book and has done extensive research into the perpetrators, I think he knows what he's talking about. He says 99% of the Nazis killed out of pure anti-Semitism, not orders, fear, or any other cause. I wish I read it earlier as I would love to quote you some passages. Perhaps I'll try to get some reading done soon or do just that if my opponent will come out of the closet.

"Ps history n stats are often manipulatable, eg museums say the great fire of London killed hundreds, but textbooks say only 6 died."

I'm sorry, but what's your point here, and how does this relate to the Holocaust?
Posted by MRAAJ 1 week ago
Hello, this is an interesting issue. I have some thoughts, I'll be impartial and provide a non bias account, with no intention of discriminating.

Debate style: First i just want to point out i think Pro has really good writing abilities, so it will be very hard for anyone trying to rebut his debate, nonetheless he does suffer from bias, since he is ethnically involved, whereas Con not so much. Ie emotions may get the better of him. Will comment On Cons debate style after his next post.

Justifying a cause: I'm not justifying genocide..
Nazism: Just like isis today, the propaganda aspect of war is fear, terror, racism, and persecution. However both ideologies were based on socio-economic strains, Germany was pisspoor in the early 1900s. The same can be said for an impoverished area of high crime rate, its high because opportunities n resources are scarce, so that's why violence is so prevalent. In other words, some people become criminals to avoid being a victim.

Relevance: Most were soldiers following orders, they needed to put food on their table, if you reject military orders, you die. Obviously the malevolent ones deserve to be prosecuted, no denying that,but not your average soldiers. American POWs in Afghanistan probably get the same abuse.

History: All of the Abrahamic religions have a long standing feud, but in order to remain sane, let's focus on the present. Of course pay respect but don't get caught up in it. You know many enemies i could've had if i brought in to the whole indo-pakistani beef, but i choose to stay focused. Sorry for the long rant, i get carried away.

Ps history n stats are often manipulatable, eg museums say the great fire of London killed hundreds, but textbooks say only 6 died.

I produced a good essay on ww1-2 so i know my sht, as i visited Flanders Belgium to document on the history.

In short, only prosecute malevolent ones.
Posted by judaism 1 week ago

I've already stated my position many times. You can argue all you want about this, but in the end, if your family suffered you'd feel differently.

By your reasoning if Hitler were alive today in America would you let him off the hook too?

Yes, while its true they aren't far from death, who cares. The Nazis didn't think twice when it came to butchering Jews of the same age.

You say the Holocaust was long ago. . . that's a lie. 72 years isn't long. . . there are still survivors, don't pass their memory away so quickly. To Jews, such as me, they will never be forgotten, for if we do so, we risk repeating it again.
Posted by ZekeGroth 1 week ago
While yes, Nazis did horrible things, certain ones were just following orders. I assume you mean Nazis who did what they did because it felt right to them. Yes, these people are horrible, but at the same time I stand in the position that as long as they have not inflicted on an American's rights whilst living here, they should not be punished. Punishing them is a waste of government, time, and MONEY. They aren't far from death considering how long ago the holocaust was. I believe we should let them be how they are until they do something illegal in present day and prosecute them for that.
Posted by judaism 1 week ago

I'm afraid you're wrong. Any person, regardless of orders, who committed a crime such as putting the bodies of a three months old child should not be excused. Furthermore, a recent book I bought shows that the Nazis, for the most part - let's say 99% - didn't murder out of fear, patriotism, or orders. . . but out of pure hatred for the Jewish people which has been instilled in their mindset and culture for about two millennia.

You can't compare Nazi soldiers to the Allies (I'm counting Russia here too, its silly to presume they weren't friends), they didn't commit these atrocities. And to claim that politics isn't the same as the military is pure nonsense. . . those Nazi scum signed up to fight and kill. . . they followed Hitler to to the end, and they never revolted against him (save for a few). The Holocaust was the biggest disaster of the 20th century and those people don't deserved to be pardoned, even if their ninety!
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