When is a war criminal not a war criminal?

Poland should sneak in a special ops team and spirit Morel away.

(Insert joke here. Preferably, it should regard the stereotype that the polish do everything wrong, or backwards.)

None at all if they’re true? Not even a little? Pretend you’re Solomon Morel. You’ve just survived a concentration camp, where, until you were liberated, you were being beaten, starved and worked to death. Your friends and family haven’t…they’ve been killed. Now you’ve been placed in charge of a prison guarding the people who killed your family and friends and almost killed you. What would you do? Can you really say that there’s no way you wouldn’t have done what he did?

Then again, there were probably lots and lots of innocents rounded up, imprisoned and murdered. I doubt that the Russian secret police (who did the rounding up) were rounding up only German Nazis - I’d be surprised if they didn’t also include Poles who resisted Russian control. Or who were suspected of being likely to resist.

Morel should be tried.

Yeah… no extradition treaty and what he’s charged with is past the statute of lmitations under Israeli law. Not, as you put it, that they just up and decided ‘Oh, um, we won’t try him.’

Try not being totally intellectually dishonest, eh?

I really can.

I believe myself to be fully capable of ripping out the beating heart of anybody who I know has done direct harm to my loved one(s). But I cannot justify punishing by proxy.

And yes, my grand parents on both sides were survivors of Nazi occupation, and yes many relatives on both sides parished in camps and mass grave executions.

Tried for what, exactly?

This is not a trivial question.

What he is accused of has past the statute of limitations under Israeli law. Would you counsel that nations which do not have extradition treaties with other nations, and do not view occurances as punishable crimes anymore should still send off their citizens?

Does is not bother you that this is aparantly politicaly/racially motivated? That one of the most anti-semitic nations on earth has seen fit to try and legally track down the Jews involved in its prison system while totally ignoring the gentiles? How about the fact that the policies the camps operated under were not Morel’s perogative, and the guards would have acted as they did even if Morel had not been there?

According to one of the links above, one of the victims of Morel was a thirteen year old girl. You telling me a thirteen year old Polish girl was personally responsible for what happened to Morel’s family?

Evidently Stalin was the architect of these camps. The policies, I suppose, were his given that he ruled with an iron fist.

But the “I vas just folloving ordersss” was not an effective defense at Neuremberg and should not be a defense for Morel.

Just to focus on this again: the claims of the second indictment, even if true, do not constitute genocide or crimes against humanity under Israeli law. Are you, Kambuckta, honestly counseling that people be deported from the nations in which they’re citizens to face charges for actions which are no longer crimes according to their home nation?

Would you be willing to give up your life if another country made the same claim upon it?

Quicksilver, you miss my point. I know “…just following orders.” is no defense. My point was that the conduct of the guards was not set by Morel. They weren’t his orders in any case. I don’t doubt that he was an evil fuck and guilty as sin, but why has Poland not prosecuted, say, the commander of Lamsdorf? Could it, perhaps, be that he was a Polish Catholic? Is it coincidence that one of the most anti-semitic nations on earth is only going after the Jews who served in its prison system?

In any case, even if every charge leveled against Morel is gospel, it doesn’t fit the definition of a crime for which there’s still a statute of limitations under Israeli law. It’s not like they changed their law just for Morel, either.

I’m in agreement with you here. I don’t think he should be extradited.

Poland’s record with respect to Jews is indeed suspect. Doesn’t justify Morel’s alleged actions, but I know you’re not arguing that it does.


Firstly, Israel itself is happy to ignore extradition procedures when it suits (cf. Mordechai Vanunu).

Secondly, although most cases are dealt with pursuant to a formal extradition treaty there’s nothing preventing two nations mutually agreeing to hand over individuals - especially if the accused is not a citizen of the country in which they are living.

It makes it trickier in law, but it’s certainly possible.

I didn’t say what the man did was right (if he did what he’s accused of doing). But, if I were in his place, I might have done the same thing.

And I don’t know about 13 year old Polish girls, but I do know that if every member of the Wehrmacht, the SS and the Nazi party in Germany and their collaborators in the occupied countries were lined up and shot after the war, I think I would be ok with that.

Crimes against humanity. Possibly genocide.

Seems to me that Israel has had zero problem violating extradition treaties when it suits their purpose. They should think about doing so when it doesn’t, so as not to look like the complete hypocrites they are when it comes to genocide and crimes against humanity.

You keep making this assertion. You have yet to provide a cite.

And sometimes good results come from bad intentions. If he was in charge of a camp that deliberately tortured and murdered 1,500 inmates then he ought to be tried.

Ah, yes. The famous Nuremberg defense. “I vas just followeenk orders.” I believe that’s been determined to not cut the mustard.

What exactly was Poland charging him with? The article linked to in the OP (which does seem a bit lacking in detail) says he’s believed to be responsible for the deaths of 1500 people. I find it rather shocking that Israel would have a statute of limitations for mass murder, if that is indeed the charge. Correct me if I’m wrong, but in the US there’s not even a statute of limitations for one murder, is there? And I would have thought Israel would take mass murder even more seriously, given the history of the Jewish people. No?

Again. Not under Israeli law.
Again. The crimes he is alleged to have commited have passed the statute of limitations under Israeli law.
Again. The crimes he is alleged to have commited do not fit the Israeli legal definition of war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide.

So whatever you want to charge him with is not a crime any longer in his nation of citizenship.

So, you’re asking me to prove a negative, eh?
Do some research. Can you find many examples of Polish camp commanders being extradited and then tried let alone sentenced for war crimes?

There were many camps, surely you should be able to find rouhly one hundred cites of various gentile trials?

I did make one mistake, as Czeslaw Geborski, the commander of Lamsdorf originaly had his charges fall through in, I believe, 1998 but was charged again in 2001 which I was unaware of. That was almost five years ago, and I can’t find a cite for any verdict being handed down.

If he was charged with murder, he wouldn’t be past the statute of limitations. He hasn’t been charged with murder.

Yeah… I never thought about that.

Except that’s not who were in these camps, dammit! That doesn’t bother you that this man completely turned around and did the exact same thing that had been done to him, only to innocent bystanders?

tim314, you’re right-in the US, there are not statute of limitations on murder. Look at that old Klansmen in his eighties who was just sentenced to prison for a murder that took place in the sixties.

You mean this Mordechai Vanunu ? The Israeli citizen, Mordechai Vanunu? Being held in Israel. Extradite him to where?

Bollocks indeed.

Attention International Law Advocates! We can bend the rules a little! **e-logic ** says it’s okay… :rolleyes:

Lots of things are possible. Doesn’t make them advisable.

I’m asking you to back up a single thing you’ve asserted. All you’ve done is blindly apologize for a mass murderer.

Was he Jewish, too? What was the “political” reason he was charged? Or maybe you’re full of shit in your smears against the Poles.

No, he was charged with genocide. Of course, the Israelis are claiming that it “doesn’t live up to their definition of genocide.”

Of course it bothers me. But I understand why he did it, and if I were him, I probably would have done it. And those were some of the people in those camps. From the 60 minutes piece (which I point out, is linked from Holocaust denier David Irving’s website), bolding mine:

And just because some of those people were Polish civilians, women or teenagers doesn’t mean anything. Women and teenagers could be Nazis too, and there were Poles who collaborated.