Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Farber: Bring the Remaining Nazi War Criminals to Justice

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We recently commemorated Yom ha-Shoah – the day we set aside to remember when Hitler’s forces of evil engineered a plan to commit genocide against the Jewish people. With the help of a world that turned a blind eye, his plan almost succeeded: six million Jews were murdered by gas, starvation, forced labour and firing squad.

Today, we know the survivors are true heroes. Despite the pain that consumed them, despite their broken hearts, they moved forward and built new lives, created new realities and, most importantly, did what our sages told us must always be done: “choosing life.”

Even 73 years after the Shoah, memories have not faded. How could they when those who enabled the genocide of the Jews still walk among us?

They were the cogs in the Nazi wheel of mass murder who greased the engines of genocide. Some were brought to justice, though after the war, perhaps thousands of these men and women who enabled murder escaped and snuck their way into Canada. Many have died natural deaths, but even one Holocaust enabler walking our streets is one too many.

Not more than a 90-minute drive from my comfortable home in Toronto lives Helmut Oberlander. Today, he is a frail 94-year-old man. Oberlander lied to Canadian authorities about his work as a translator for a Nazi death squad known as Einsatzkommando 10a. After entering the country, like many Holocaust survivors, he built a new life for himself in Kitchener, Ont.  (more...)

Bernie Farber is not without opposition in his mission to make genocide unthinkable for future generations:

That opposition should come from within the Jewish community, or that justice should be so long in coming, is difficult to process. There are divisions in Judaism and in the larger world that undermine the moral bedrock that justice should stand on. A Jewish appraisal of these divisions may be helpful to all:

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Satan arousing the rebel angels

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