One thing every whole-hearted person has in common is a delight in seeing justice rightly served. Sure, in an ideal world, no one should be happy to learn of a fellow human being’s longterm imprisonment or execution. However (in case you haven’t noticed) the world isn’t a perfectly ideal one. There are people spread throughout all history and geography who, for no evident reason other than pure hatred and bloodlust, have committed or been accessory to gruesome crimes against humanity. And when we see these monsters pay for their actions with their their freedom, we know that the world is that much closer to being an ideal one.
But, sometimes, evil men are able to walk away from their crimes, with neither chain on their limbs nor noose around their necks. This sort of escape from trial doesn’t call for respect in the same way that we respect (and even sensationalize) the stories of clever outlaws, like Jesse James or Billy the Kid. These are war criminals who murdered, raped, and tortured civilians in circumstances that were of no strategic benefit to warfare. To see such soullessness go unpunished, to know that the memories of their victims will remain unavenged, disturbs even the most neighbourly among us.
So, neighbour, you’re invited to grit your teeth as you learn about ten of these men, and the crimes they were never punished for.
10 Joseph Stalin
Despite being one of the men responsible for eradicating Hitler’s evil regime, Joseph Stalin was far, far from being devoid of evil himself. Throughout the course of his savage 30-year rule over the Soviet Union, Stalin is estimated to have been responsible for up to 60 million unnatural deaths.
9 Shinji Uchino
As commander of the Japanese submarine I-8 in World War II, Shinji Uchino ran his vessel with an ominous navy order in mind: “Do not stop at the sinking of enemy ships and cargoes… carry out the complete destruction of the crews.” Under Uchino’s command, the navy men of the I-8 captured the Dutch-registered merchant ship Tjisalak, and took its men aboard as prisoners.
8 Ratko Mladić
7 Shūmei Ōkawa
Shūmei Ōkawa had a gifted mind. He spoke five languages soundly, had earned a Ph.D. in philosophy, and was an acclaimed writer. Described by the Allies as the “Japanese Goebbels”, Ōkawa played a key role in Japan’s Axis involvement in World War II. As the leader of the Japanese propaganda machine, his numerous articles and books were extremely influential in pre-war Japanese culture.
6 Charles Zentai
5 Rodolfo Graziani
4 Omar al-Bashir
3 Ernest Medina
2 Joseph Kony
1 Oskar Groening
Oskar Groening was known in World War II as the “book-keeper of Auschwitz”. Groening was in charge of counting the money taken by the Jewish prisoners. While not directly responsible for any deaths, he was an accessory to the murder of at least 300,000 Jews in Auschwitz. He is known to have been cold and pitiless, saying of the murder of Jewish children: “The children, they're not the enemy at the moment. The enemy is the blood inside them.” After escaping justice for 70 years, the 94 year-old Groening was finally arrested in July 2015, and sentenced to four years in prison.
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