Statute of Limitations on Genocide?

As we get further and further in time from World War II, the number of remaining veterans is continuing to dwindle.

So is the number of remaining Nazis, and the number of full-fledged war criminals.

One of those alleged war criminals was recently found living in Minnesota. He is 94 years old, and he lied about his membership in the S.S. in order to enter the United States.

At least one person believes it would be best to just leave him alone–that no further action should be taken, that he should not be prosecuted for his alleged war crimes. Why? Because 1. he is old, and 2. it has been a long time.

This prompts several fairly obvious questions.

1. At what age should you be exempt from previous crimes? 90? 85? 80? Or never?

2. What should be the statute of limitations on genocide? Murder doesn’t have one, and what this person allegedly did encompasses a great deal more than plain murder.

He allegedly led a company of men while they perpetrated a civilian massacre, and the SS files themselves indicate that he and his unit were involved in the brutal suppression of the Warsaw Uprising in 1944.

This was not someone who was conscripted into the German army or forced to join the Hitler Youth. (In fact, the man is Ukrainian, not German.)  And he knew what he had done was wrong, having lied about it in order to get into the U.S.

I don’t think he should skate free just because he’s 94, nor because it’s been a very long time since his last crime. There’s no statute of limitations on murder.

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