02 December 2014

Ex-Nazis and their Government Sponsors

Today the local Christian radio station belatedly reported the fact that even Nazi hunting groups are acknowledging the death of Alois Brunner, the SS officer and former assistant to the notorious Adolf Eichmann.


Apparently he lived to be a very old man and survived for decades in Syria. The news reporter sardonically noted that he had 'helped the Assad regime in the past'... doing what, it's not exactly clear. They did grant him asylum and yet apparently he was almost given up in 1989, but then the Cold War ended and contacts were lost. I'm sure they thought as old as he was that he would die soon. No one guessed that he'd live to be near one hundred.

I found the whole report ironic on several fronts.

First, the Christian community in Syria largely supports the Assad regime and has for decades. The Assad's are hardly some kind of wonderful beneficent rulers but in the post-WWI/Ottoman artificial state of Syria they represent the best hope for social stability and the security of minorities.

Second, the United States cannot cast the stones of condemnation. The United States helped many Nazis escape after the war, brought many into the United States, some as scientists, others to assist with other projects. With Communism as the new enemy, the Nazis proved useful. Contrary to our modern Tea Partiers and Right-wing commentators, the Nazis and Communists didn't view themselves as ideological cousins. The United States worked with ex-Nazis in Europe and also in South America where some like Klaus Barbie and Walter Rauff assisted the numerous American-backed Fascist regimes.

For this news reporter to get into a 'huff' over an ex-Nazi living among the Assad's in Syria is a bit too much.

The fact that the Syrians gave him shelter is indeed reprehensible but is surpassed a thousand times over by the behaviour of the United States government. There is no honour among rulers. History and the Fall make that clear. Why do some think their government is different?

Are these reporters ignorant or banking on the fact that their audiences are?

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