View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Monday, 30 November 2009

Befehl ist Befehl

John Demjanjuk, aged 89, is standing trial in Germany for his part in the extermination of Jews at the Sobibor deathcamp - I referred to this last week. He is an ill man, and I would not be surprised if he did not make it to the conclusion of his trial in May 2010. However, Mr Demjanjuk has fought extradition to Germany for 32 years. However, he states that he only followed orders.

As an ex-serviceman I know that orders should be followed. However, even the lowest ranking soldier has the liberty not to follow orders. You can refuse to jump off a high cliff, even if a general tells you to do so. You can decline to participate in torture, abuse of prisoners or other violations of the Geneva Convention. Mr Demjanjuk had that liberty - even if it could have meant he got the bullet himself. He did not just stand idly by - he actively participated in mass murder on an industrial scale.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Guido
    hugs Thanks for the Happy thanksgiving
    Guido I did not know anyone could refuse an order. so only the guys low on the totem? thanks for this entry Guido
    p.s. please come back and comment on Saint Nicholas or add to it!