It seems to me we’re living in an era of ridiculousness.
Rhetoric and emotional response have been cranked up to 11, and virtually nothing said should be taken anywhere close to literally.
An example: Everyone’s a Nazi.
But every now and then, something ridiculous happens to be real.
Such was the case recently in Tennessee.
Prior to this weekend, Friedrich Karl Berger was living in The Volunteer State.
And as it turns out, he really was a volunteer — so to speak — at a concentration camp during World War II.
As indicated by The Daily Wire, the 95-year-old worked within the Neuengamme Concentration Camp system as a guard.
Specifically, Berger served at Meppen, a sub-camp in the system where prisoners were slaved “to the point of exhaustion and death.”
In February of 2020 — during a two-day trial — Friedrich admitted as much, explaining that his duties included preventing prisoners from escaping as they toiled in forced labor.
Per the Wire, “The court also found Berger was responsible for evacuating prisoners under inhumane conditions when the Nazis were forced to abandon Meppen as the allies approached.”
Purportedly, he could’ve requested a transfer.
But he never did.
Nearly half of all imprisoned by the Neuengamme system — more than 50,000 Italians, French, Latvians, Jews, Poles, Russians, Danes and Dutch — perished there.
And here’s the kicker: At the time of the trial, Friedrich was still receiving his German wartime pension.
Saturday saw his last day as a Tennessee Vol: He was deported to Germany.
Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson hailed a commitment to justice:
“Berger’s removal demonstrates the Department of Justice’s and its law enforcement partners’ commitment to ensuring that the United States is not a safe haven for those who have participated in Nazi crimes against humanity and other human rights abuses. The Department marshaled evidence that our Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section found in archives here and in Europe, including records of the historic trial at Nuremberg of the most notorious former leaders of the defeated Nazi regime. In this year in which we mark the 75th anniversary of the Nuremberg convictions, this case shows that the passage even of many decades will not deter the Department from pursuing justice on behalf of the victims of Nazi crimes.”
There really are Nazis among us.
They just don’t look like the ones labeled on social media during slap-fights from keyboards or accused on the politically bodacious boob tube.
Just before the mid-twentieth century, a real murderous tyrant oversaw the real murder of real human beings in camps across Europe while we waited.
It was a real evil, and there is still real evil in the world.
Grownups used to know the difference.
That’s why we didn’t continue to wait.
As for Nazis today — according to German outlet Deutsche Welle — Friedrich is the 70th to be deported by the U.S.
He’s now in the country of his alleged crimes, to be questioned by authorities.
Previously, Germany held a case against him.
It was dropped, due to lack of evidence.
As relayed by TDW, “He has reportedly argued in the past that he was just following orders.”
For some modern Nazi mania, see below:
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