In movies and video games, there are two evils that audiences never get tired of seeing destroyed. The first is zombies. The second is Nazis. We may never know if the joy of beating up on zombies translates to the real world, but society can attest to the fact that taking Nazis down a peg or two never truly gets old.
Take, for instance, this story coming out of Germany in which the special prosecutor's office has recommended that charges be brought against thirty guards who were stationed in Auschwitz at the end of World War II.
Citizens in 11 of Germany's 16 states will be brought to the attention of their local prosecutor's office. The local officials will, in turn, determine if the alleged Auschwitz guards are able to stand trial. Considering that the youngest of the bunch is a spritely 86, don't hold out too much hope for follow up.
While it's hard to have much sympathy for someone who participated in genocide, it's also a little difficult to lock up a criminal who, at this point, is like 80% dust.
These prosecutions are being made possible by a new law that states anyone who even worked at a concentration camp was guilty of accessory to murder. According to investigators, a recent survey of Auschwitz revealed that no one could have stayed at the death camp for more than a day before they realized it's true purpose. In the special prosecutor's eyes, this made any employee of Auschwitz culpable for their participation, no matter how passive, in mass murder.
The move for prosecution of the former guards of Auschwitz has drawn ample praise from Efraim Zuroff, the top Nazi hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem (and owner of the coolest job title ever). Zuroff was quoted as saying, "We commend the (prosecutors) for seeking to apply the precedent as widely as possible and hope that they will be able to find as many perpetrators as possible."
While this round of investigations focused solely on Auschwitz, authorities in Germany are now moving on to each of the remaining five death camps in an effort to weed out the guilty parties who haven't already been buried. They expect to announce another batch of suspects within six months.