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World War II Precedents
Beginning in the winter of 1942, the governments of the Allied powers announced their determination to punish Nazi war criminals. On December 17, 1942, the leaders of the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union issued the first joint declaration officially noting the mass murder of European Jewry and resolving to prosecute those responsible for violence against civilian populations.
The October 1943 Moscow Declaration, signed by U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt, British prime minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet leader Josef Stalin, stated that at the time of an armistice persons deemed responsible for war crimes would be sent back to those countries in which the crimes had been committed and adjudged according to the laws of the nation concerned.
Major war criminals, whose crimes could be assigned no particular geographic location, would be punished by joint decisions of the Allied governments.
The trials of leading German officials before the International Military Tribunal (IMT), the best known of the postwar war crimes trials, took place in Nuremberg, Germany, before judges representing the Allied powers. -- The Holocaust Learning Center

The American Response to Genocide

Comments on "A Problem from Hell"

The New York Times Reading Group is discussing Samantha Power's Pulitzer Prize-winning study of how America has responded to acts of genocide. "The trickiest part of the problem is when and where to take action, and the problems of violating national sovereignty," comments one reader.

"Why is genocide more tragic than war?" asks another reader. As an example, continues this post: "What of the 3.3 million people -- 3 million of which are noncombatants, many of which are children -- who've died in the Congo since '97?" Preventing genocide, says another reader, is "not just a question of military power, but also political and moral leadership." -- "A Problem From Hell Reading Group Forum at the New York Times

'One Hell of a Neighbor'

Police have nabbed an actual Nazi, or ex-Nazi, in Clinton Township, Michigan, the Detroit Free Press reports. Seventy-seven-year-old Johann Leprich, who 60 years ago served as an SS guard at Austria's Mauthausen Concentration Camp, lost his citizenship in 1987 for lying about his Nazi past but had eluded authorities for 16 years.

The paper quotes an unidentified neighbor--who we're guessing was never an inmate in a Nazi camp--who wants to let bygones be bygones: "They make him out to be a butcher, but he's not. He was a hell of a neighbor."  -- An excerpt from OpinionJournal, Best of the Web Today

US Arrests Ex-Nazi Guard

He was hiding in Clinton Township home; US seeks deportation

A former World War II Nazi death camp guard who eluded authorities for nearly 16 years was arrested by federal agents who found him hiding in a secret compartment in the staircase of his Clinton Township home.

Johann Leprich, 77, who was stripped of his citizenship in 1987 for lying about his Nazi past, was arrested around 10:30 PM Tuesday when police, acting on a tip, raided his home. His wife, Maria, 68, lived at the home and he was a frequent visitor, traveling back and forth between the United States and Canada, authorities said. Leprich went into hiding before authorities could deport him in 1987.

Chronology: Leprich was born in 1925, and in 1943, he began working at the Mauthausen Concentration Camp near Austria. In April 1944, Leprich left the camp for reasons that are unclear. On May 5, 1945, US forces liberated Mauthausen, and captured Leprich in June 1945. How and why he left US custody is also unclear, but he entered the US in 1952, identifying himself as a former soldier in the Hungarian Army. He became a naturalized US citizen in 1958. In 1987, Leprich confessed to authorities that he lied about his work at Mauthausen and US District Judge Barbara Hackett revoked his citizenship on July 10 of that year, prompting him to flee to Canada before his deportation hearing. His story appeared on TV's "America's Most Wanted" on May 3, 1997, and he was finally captured on July 1, 2003

-- Full article in the Detroit Free Press

Page Contents:
  • War Crimes Trials: World War II Precedents
  • Number of Hate Groups Top 700
  • The American Response to Genocide
  • 'One Hell of a Neighbor'
  • US Arrests Ex-Nazi Guard
  • Related Links

Number of Hate Groups Tops 700

In 1981, in response to the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan, the Southern Poverty Law Center began to monitor hate activity. Today, the Center's Intelligence Project tracks the activities of more than 600 racist and neo-Nazi groups.

Just one year ago, America's radical right looked more potent than ever. For the first time in its history, the country's largest neo-Nazi group was pulling in close to $1 million a year and supporting a paid national staff of 17 people. On January 12, about 250 neo-Nazis and other white supremacists battled a like number of anarchists and other enemies in the streets of York, PA.

Neo-Confederate groups, in particular, seemed to be thriving. By late summer, extremists had seized control of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a 32,000-member Southern heritage group.

Anti-immigration fever was spiking after 9/11, and hate groups around the nation were regularly holding their most successful rallies in years. At the beginning of 2002, the National Alliance hosted demonstrations in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC.

As the first few months of 2003 begin to unfold, the radical right is in turmoil. Starting with the July 23 death of William Pierce, founder and leader of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, white supremacists and other extremists have suffered a series of unmitigated disasters. Splits and other internal battles have started to tear apart several groups. Defections, deportations and desperate finances are sapping the movement's lifeblood. Starting last December, a series of arrests has put key leaders behind bars, and hysteria is on the rise.

Racist black groups haven't suffered the same slings and arrows. But they have courted more controversy than many others on the radical right. Last summer, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan took an antiwar "peace tour" that included stops in Iraq and Libya. In October, after it came out that alleged Washington, D.C., sniper John Allen Muhammad had been a member, Farrakhan said he would not eject him unless he is proven guilty. Another group, the New Black Panther Party, joined with other marchers calling for "Death to Israel" on the Capitol Mall in April.

The Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project has released its annual state-by-state, city-by-city map of active hate groups in the U.S. The Project counted 708 hate groups that were active in 2002, up 5% from 2001's count of 676. But the increase of 32 groups was almost entirely accounted for by improved counting techniques that uncovered more active black separatist groups - not by the appearance of new groups during the calendar year. At the same time, the number of U.S.-based hate sites on the Web rose to 443 from 405 the year before. The 9 percent hike was not extraordinary, roughly matching the expansion of Web sites overall.

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