No no, I am not swearing at you in some Eastern European language (although, maybe I am without my knowledge of doing so)- that is the name of the 90-something-year old man who was just sentenced to 5 years of prison due to his being a guard of the Nazi death camps for 6 months during the Holocaust. I am not sure how to feel about this. Naturally, the Holocaust was one of the most heinous events in human history, yet I feel sympathy for this John Demjanjuk. Like so many that took part in the, how shall I say, Nazi movement (?? my brain fails) back in the day, John did what he had to do in order to not die/be tortured. Now, that sounds really Nazi-sympathetic of me, so let me assure you that I am anything but Nazi-sympathetic. I just feel like this poor kid wasn’t jumping up and raising his hand saying, “Pick me! Pick me! I want to kill the Jews!”, he simply did what he was told because he literally feared for his life. And now he is a very old man who is being told he will have to live the rest of his days behind bars.

On the other hand, I can see where maybe this is an attempt to “make an example” out of what can happen to someone that is at all involved with evil peeps. Kind of like sending a message to future Nazi’s who, upon hearing what happened to poor old Demjanjuk, think to themselves, “Oh noes! Something bad might happen to me if I join this group of evil men? Ixnay on my participation!” But the thing is, (let’s call him Dem for short) Dem never had a choice, really. He was captured by the Germans, held as a captive Soviet POW, and forced to do the Third Reich’s dirty work.

So I guess through writing this blog, I have figured out how to feel. I’m just gonna go ahead and admit that I feel sorry for the man and I feel that his conviction/sentence is  slightly unfair. I know the actions he performed were absolutely disgusting and downright atrocious and that the pity he deserves is a drop in the ocean (make that one hundred million gazillion oceans) compared to that for the victims who had to suffer at his hands. I just feel that we also have a tendency to see everything in black and white; to see people as a “bad guy” or “good guy,” but this guy was somewhere in between.

What do you guys think?
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