The crimes of Heinrich
Boere, 88, cried out for justice even at the unrepentant killer's
Yesterday, justice came.
A German court at long last convicted the Nazi, who
in 1940 volunteered to serve on an SS execution squad in Holland
and spent the rest of World War II systematically hunting down civilians
suspected of hiding Jews or aiding the Dutch resistance.
Boere was remorseless. He was just following orders,
Wrong, said the court. He confessed to three murders
and is morally accountable for scores more. And he should have been
put to death years ago, having been convicted by a Dutch court in
absentia in 1949 but never punished.
There aren't many Nazi slugs left to feel such justice,
but every last one must - and soon.
Next on the list is John Demjanjuk, the 89-year-old
ex-guard at the Sobibor death camp.
After decades of freedom in Ohio, Demjanjuk is on
trial in another German court for his role in 29,000 murders.
Despite his unfathomable acts, he wanted to be left
to die in peace. He wanted his wrinkles and wheelchair and thick
glasses to evoke sympathy and make us forget.
We do not forget. The justice system works in this
lifetime - and culpability for monstrous crimes is never erased.
It is the job of those who believe in justice to make
evildoers pay. Then, after death, they get to pay a second time.