Soft on Nazis

September 23, 2005|By Rafael Medoff

The passing of Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal is a moment to pay tribute to his relentless pursuit of justice - and to consider that while today it is a given that such criminals should be punished, there was a time when Nazi-hunting was not politically correct.

Soon after the United States entered World War II, the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt began formulating its policy on postwar treatment of Nazi war criminals. Even at that early stage, the Allies knew enough about Nazi atrocities against Jews and others to know that if and when they won the war, they would have many war criminals on their hands. Yet U.S. policy on what to do with those criminals was disturbingly ambivalent.

s response to the Holocaust.

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