A new book claims that governments around the world were unwilling to track down Nazi criminals in the wake of World War II because of “vested interests.”
The UK’s Daily Mail writes that “Nazi Hunt: South America’s Dictatorships and the Avenging of Nazi Crimes,” by German historian Daniel Stahl, calls the half-hearted efforts of postwar governments a ‘coalition of the unwilling.’
Stahl writes that the French feared prosecutions would expose their collaboration during the war, the South Americans feared a spotlight on their own murderous regimes and the West Germans wanted to help ‘old comrades’ get away.
The Daily Mail article refers specifically to Joseph Mengele, “The Angel of Death,” Gustav Wagner, responsible for 150,000 deaths at the Nazi extermination camp of Sobibor and S.S. Colonel Walther Rauff, one of the developers of the mobile ‘gas vans’ used to kill Jews before the static death camp gulag was built.
Even Interpol, the international criminal police organization, failed to aid in tracking down the Nazis.
Interpol secretary general Marcel Sicot, responding to a request in 1962 from Jewish organizations to more vigorously track them down, said: “Why should war criminals be prosecuted since the victor always imposes his laws, anyway?”
“No international entity defines the term ‘war criminal.’” Sicot said he regarded the criminal prosecution of Nazi crimes as “victor’s justice.”