The Crime of Complicity: The Bystander in the Holocaust by Amos N. Guiora

May 04, 2017, 06:28 AM

05-03-2017 (Photo: Parisian Jews being rounded up to the Velodrome d'hiver in July 1942, later ) http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/contact http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/schedules Twitter: @BatchelorShow

The Crime of Complicity: The Bystander in the Holocaust by Amos N. Guiora

https://www.amazon.com/Crime-Complicity-Bystander-Holocaust/dp/1634257316/ref=sr11?ie=UTF8&qid=1493879086&sr=8-1&keywords=amos+guiora

“…I propose creating three distinct bystander-victim paradigms: 1) Anonymous Bystander, Faceless Victim; 2) Neighbors; 3) Desensitized Bystander, Disenfranchised Victim. In my book, the first theme will be examined through the lens of Death Marches (November 1944-May 1945); the second theme will be examined through the lens of the deportation of Dutch Jewry and the third theme will be examined through the lens of the deportation of Hungarian Jewry. It has been suggested that the primacy of the bystander’s obligation to self and family outweighs duty and responsibility to the other. In addition, the decision—oftentimes quickly made—to scurry on, thereby deliberately ignoring the needs of others, has been repeatedly offered as reflecting the reality of human interaction, or more correctly of human “non” interaction. What is particularly problematic in the effort to create a legal standard addressing this issue is determining the degree to which the state can impose a “positive” duty on members of society. Nuance is essential to a full discussion regarding the bystander; different circumstances and conditions must be taken into consideration when articulating and implementing a duty to act paradigm. Creating, or allowing, a wide range of exceptions to an agreed upon rule facilitates unwarranted “wiggle room” that, ultimately, provides justification for a lack of intervention and involvement. The perpetrator bears the greatest degree of culpability for the harm that befalls the victim; however, as the Holocaust clearly demonstrated the complicity of the bystander greatly facilitated the perpetrator’s actions and its consequences. It is that complicity that is at the core of our undertaking; in proposing legal standard that enables prosecution of the bystander the assumption is that there is a need to clearly articulate an enforceable duty to care. That is the essence of the social contract. To not protect the vulnerable and at-risk members of society—regardless of their status, position, and class—is a resounding rejection of the social contract. That, for me, is the critical lesson I propose we take away from Kristallnacht.

http://www.tabletmag.com/author/amos-guiora