Magazine article Tikkun

National Interests and Selective Memorialization of Atrocities

Magazine article Tikkun

National Interests and Selective Memorialization of Atrocities

Article excerpt

The end of World War II fifty years ago revealed the most shocking systemization of atrocities against groups of human beings in human history. These revelations are burned in my own mind by images of the Nazi death camps in newsreels at the movies when I was nine years old. The United States and other Allied nations expressed the judgment of humanity against the Nazi war criminals in the Nuremberg war crimes trials.

Yet we now know that American judgment against Nazis was very selective. Many Nazis were protected and allowed to escape in exchange for information gathered in the camps and in the assault on the Soviet Union. Recently, new revelations have come to light of systematic atrocities committed by the Japanese against war prisoners who were dissected alive and injected with diseases to test chemical warfare. Chemicals were also dropped on Chinese cities to test their capacity to start plagues. The Japanese in charge of these experiments were protected by the occupying American army in exchange for information on these experiments. …

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