Their Lustration-And Ours
When Hitler’s Germany was defeated in 1945, there was little doubt in anyone’s mind that if a democratic regime were to be established in that country (or at least the part of it under Western control), a period of “denazification” would be necessary. Thus, with very broad support in the United States, a process was set into motion involving the prosecution at Nuremberg of the major Nazi criminals, as well as the rooting-out of lesser functionaries who had served the Nazi regime, even if they had not actually committed crimes themselves.
All this stands in the sharpest possible contrast to what has happened since the defeat of European Communism, the other great totalitarian system of our time. So far as criminal acts committed under Communism are concerned, what Zbigniew Brzezinski pointed out nearly two years ago remains true:
About the Author
George Weigel is a senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. and the author most recently of God’s Choice: Pope Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church (HarperCollins).