A Seminar on Bringing Nazi War Criminals to Justice

Teaching Philosophy 18 (3):219-227 (1995)
Abstract
This paper details a combined graduate/undergraduate course on the Holocaust. This course was designed to cover the legal, social, political, and moral dimensions of the Holocaust, as well as to familiarize students with its significant historical details and persons. Special attention was devoted to the question of why the perpetrators of the Holocaust should be brought to justice, making connections to contemporary forms of prejudice and discrimination and emphasizing that such efforts at justice are not an issue between Jews and Holocaust perpetrators but a matter of upholding the rule of law. The specifics of the legal cases brought against various Nazis in order to try them as war criminals were examined through both modern and contemporary theoretical frameworks , and other key philosophical themes were introduced throughout the term in order to provide frameworks for discussion and critique. The author reviews course requirements and discusses the implicit anti-Semitism expressed by students, concluding with a brief consideration of the value of such a course beyond the classroom
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