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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

What the World Needs Is Another Nuremburg

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I and others of my generation who fought in World War II believed that the tragic events of the last century would not repeat themselves in the 21st century. Otherwise what were the huge losses sustained by humanity both on and off the battlefield for?

Today when high-precision technology is available and science in general is much advanced, it is high time to start trying to solve global problems, such as flooding, tornadoes, deforestation, disease. But no. Another, not remotely constructive task is before us. The fight with terror. How many minds, how much strength and will power, how many human lives will be needed to prevail in the battle with terror?

On the morning of Sept. 11 in Moscow the sky was clear. No one could have imagined what a tragedy was about to hit. Suddenly the phone rang: "Turn on the television, Papa! Disaster has struck in New York and Washington!" My wife and I were glued to the television set until late into the night. The pain we feel for those who perished has not receded.

My wife and I are veterans of World War II. We witnessed bloody battles, artillery fire, mines and bombing, which carried away the lives of hundreds and hundreds of people. We saw how German airplanes fired at trains that were carrying evacuated women, children and the elderly. The still-warm blood of the victims ran from the railway carriages onto the tracks ... but that was war. The Allies won and brought to trial those who had committed crimes against humanity.

But today in peacetime, what bloodthirsty monster could commit such an act?

Over the years, many Russians have sought freedom and prosperity in distant America. I have always taken pride in the fact that many friends and acquaintances worked in the World Trade Center.

These towers are no more. No more are thousands of people who were inside those towers. Surely envy of others' prosperity is not capable of spawning such terrible hatred?

It is hard for me to look at the children of Palestine, who were overjoyed on learning of the terrorist attacks. What a terrible crime it is to bring a child up to be a criminal.

The Polish writer Bruno Yasensky, who was tortured in the gulag, wrote: "Do not fear your enemies, for in the worst case they may kill you. Do not fear your friends, for in the worst case they may betray you. Fear those who are indifferent, for it is with their tacit consent that killings and betrayals are committed."

It seems to me that the immediate task before humanity is to find those who masterminded this act of barbarism and to try them at an international tribunal for crimes against humanity, as was done with the Nazi war criminals at Nuremburg.

Vladislav Schnitzer is a journalist and pensioner living in Moscow.