Here, there is a lot of attention again on the anti-Muslim xenophobia: the swiss voted in favor of a law forbidding the building of minarets at mosks, and of course our silly PVV is gloating at the prospect, and not entirely without political gain: I am pretty convinced more than 60% of our population would support the same thing by now, the end of a tolerant society.
I am more interested in something else, and in a way, affecting us all and, in the long run the above mentioned phobia. In Germany, the trial against John Demjanjuk started today. Demjanjuk was a notorious camp butcher in Sobibor, one of the WWII concentration camps in Germany. Actually, Sobibor was a “vernichtungslager” (extermination camp). I have to assume he is one of the last, if not the last to be trialled for the extermination of jews in WWII. Demjanjuk is believed to have had his hand in the killing of around 27.000 people.
Under German law, victims have the right to co-prosecute in a criminal trial. Today, I listened to an interview with a family man who lost two sisters, and it was touching how he spoke with love about the sisters he never knew, but also the fear they must have felt, the powerful impression Demjanjuk must have made on them, and also the near feeling of compassion for this now small, old, and pathetic man. He carefully pointed out how these emotions blur the needed crisp vision for justice and how he welcomes, but also feels the irony, of the Germans now finally bringing this man to justice (he was acquitted by the Israeli’s, expelled by the Americans).
I urge you not to turn a blind eye on this historic event. It can teach us, post war generation, where hate and intolerance can lead us.