Alan Dershowitz's Speciousness

Posted on Monday, July 24 at 12:31 by FurGaia
"It was a matter of survival - always of survival. What I had to do, [...] was to limit my own actions to what I - in my conscience - could answer for. At police training school they taught us - I remember, it was Rittmeister Leitner who always said it - that the definition of a crime must meet four requirements: there has to be a subject, an object, an action and intent. If any of these four elements are missing, then we are not dealing with a punishable offence."

"I can't see how you could possibly apply this concept to this situation?

"That's what I am trying to explain to you; the only way I could live was by compartmentalizing my thinking. By doing this I could apply it to my own situation; if the 'subject' was the government, the 'object' the Jews, and the 'action' the gassings, then I could tell myself that for me the fourth element, 'intent' [he called it 'free will'] was missing." [...]

"What if you had been specifically assigned to carry out the actual gassings?"

"I wasn't," he said drily, and added in a reasonable and explanatory tone: "That was done by two Russians - Ivan and Nicolau, under the command of a sub [Gustav Muenzberger]."

- from Gitta Sereny's Into That Darkness: excerpt of her interview of Franz Stangl, Commandant of Treblinka - the largest of the five Nazi extermination camps.

Note: Alan Dershowitz

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