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Prosecuting "Boy Soldiers" for War Crimes.

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Orionaut, Sep 23, 2018.

  1. Orionaut


    Joined: Aug 2, 2012

    Posts: 6,523

    Prosecuting elderly Men for acts committed as “Boy soldiers” over 70 years ago!

    I have placed this in “Speakers Corner” because I really believe this to be an issue worthy of serious discussion.

    Consider this story.


    Now, lets do some maths.

    He would have been born around 1924

    He would have been around 4 years old when Hitler and the Nazis gained their first seats in the Reichstag.

    He would heave been around 9 years old by the time Hitler had confirmed his leadership by the enabling acts of 1933.

    From the age of 14 he would (Almost certainly) have been in the Hitler youth, and even before that he would have spent almost his entire school life in an environment that would have heavily promoted both Nazi ideals and Hitler as the leader.

    And through all this time, joining the SS would have been heavily promoted as being something to aspire towards, Being the “Best of the Best” like the Royal Marines or the SAS. Something that he would only have been able to achieve had he been able to demonstrate complete commitment to the cause and a willingness to obey orders, no matter how dangerous or unpleasant, instantly and without question.

    He would have been around 15 at the outbreak of the War.

    And he would have worked as a guard at Stutthof from the age of 17 (Maybe even younger) until the end of the war.

    For much of his life he would have known nothing but Hitler as leader, and nothing but Nazi ideology as being right and proper

    Indeed, The Nazi higher-uppers were really quite deliberate at ensuring that, for the most part, the Soldiers assigned to the very worst Concentration and Death camps were “Boy” (And “Girl”) soldiers who had really known nothing else for their entire lives so that they could be relied upon to obey their orders even if they really didn't like them very much. (# See Below)

    This Mans role as a concentration camp guard was basically the end result of intensive grooming for the role since primary school age, and he was still only an adolescent when he took up his duties.

    Many shared his fate, and in a very real sense both he and the others like him were just as much victims of the Nazis as anybody else.

    In hindsight, given the intensive nature of the indoctrination that young Germans were subjected too throughout the 1930’s, I think it is highly questionable that anybody under the age of 30 at the wars end should have been tried for “War Crimes”. But I can understand why in 1945 it was felt appropriate to do so.

    However, In 2018, now we understand so much more about the psychology of indoctrination and brainwashing (And indeed, the psychology of acceding to the demands of perceived authority ) I feel that the idea of taking this man (And the others of a similar age that have been taken through the courts recently ) to trial for acts committed, as adolescents, or just outside adolescence, under extreme psychological pressure, three, perhaps even four (Depending on your definition) generations ago under circumstances that most people today simply cannot imagine, is utterly monstrous.
    (# Oskar Gröning )
    Oskar Groenig hated his “Duties” so much that he requested transfer to the Eastern Front. An almost certain death sentence! However, his request was denied. Really, what more could he have done?? Prosecuting him in his early 90’s was an utter travesty of justice too! Really, his willingness to come clean and denounce the growing “Holocaust Denier” movement during the 1980’s made him a hero for truth and justice, whatever happened in his earlier life, he exonerated himself through this and really didn't deserve any form of legal sanction. I was appalled when he was prosecuted too!

    This is political show-boating of the very worst sort.

    Really, what sort of society do we want to live in. For my part If I could grant him Political Asylum, I would! And at the risk of bringing “Brexit” into the mix, I really do not want to have any sort of political union with any state that believes that this sort of persecution of severely abused people a lifetime after the acts they are accused of is IN ANY WAY AT ALL acceptable or Just!

    What say you OCUK?
  2. Tony Edwards

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Feb 4, 2018

    Posts: 2,169

    Ill be honest and thought you would be talking about child soldiers of the likes of the Africans and now the Isis children that are actually mentaly and physically indoctorated into commiting horrible abuses when I looked to open this thread.

    Was there not a time period for these people to hand themself in and explain their position much earlier? I have little sympathy for someone that knows they have commited a crime and then gets caught for it when they are old.

    Im not sure of the proccess that happened after the war for these soldiers but Im pretty sure conditions would be better for them now than then.
  3. Dolph

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 46,401

    Location: Plymouth

    Prosecutions should be based on the crime, sentencing on the circumstance. There seems to be a push to excuse people from having their crimes evaluated at all based on perceived victim status, mental status or illnesses, which does nothing for justice for the victims of these people.
  4. BowdonUK

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 17, 2016

    Posts: 1,942

    The whole war crimes vs crimes done outside of war is always a debatable subject.

    I think when judging the situation we have to put ourselves in his shoes.

    If we had lost the war are we accepting all the people we killed would come back to haunt us too?
  5. CaptainRAVE

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Nov 21, 2004

    Posts: 30,359

    Yet Blair gets let off the hook and the west can meddle in affairs that have nothing to do with them.
  6. Nasher


    Joined: Nov 22, 2006

    Posts: 11,852

    Because he has a lot of money to buy himself out of it :/
  7. jsmoke


    Joined: Jun 17, 2012

    Posts: 6,990

    How many similar cases have there been?
  8. sigma

    Perma Banned

    Joined: Nov 13, 2006

    Posts: 16,577

    Interesting concept which I think has far wider ranging implications and applications. Would you apply the same logic to a terrorist who has been brainwashed in a similar, manner? Or a child who shoots up a school? Or someone in a gang who stabs/attacks another gang member?
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
  9. IronWarrior


    Joined: Jan 8, 2009

    Posts: 4,405

    After WW2, the Allies gave pardons to all these soldiers and other Nazi elites, some was allowed to stay in government and carry on, but now 70 years later, they are arresting them and trying to take them to court.

    It's wrong.
  10. SPG


    Joined: Jul 28, 2010

    Posts: 5,224

    Yes, its totally wrong.

    Just goes to show how much influence certain religious zealous have got.