The Holocaust Historiography Project

Disinterment and Prosecution Proceedings Authorized

Updated 6:21 PM ET February 14, 2001
By George White, Associated Press Writer

Chicago, Illinois (API) — Federal Chicago-, New York- and Washington-based judges on Wednesday have given final approval to motions submitted by lawyers from the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Elie Wiesel, lawyers representing several U.S. government law enforcement agencies, Deborah Lipstadt, and others, to begin disinterring bodies from various American cemetaries in order to place them on trial for war crimes committed during World War 2. Similar agreements and approvals are being reached in various European nations.

Opponents to the motions cited the huge expenses involved which taxpayers would have to pick up from the disinterments, the hiring of medical professionals to maintain the cadavers in the courtrooms during trials which often last months or years, the costs of long incarceration or execution of the deceased accused, burial site expenses, and other sundries. Numerous accusations of 'anti-Semitism' were made against opponents, and a number of them quickly withdrew their objections.

Some of the accused who had been cremated will appear in courtrooms in urns containing their ashes, the urns to be carried from the defendant tables to the witness stand by heavily armed guards who are being assigned to protect the public from the dangerous accused. Double- and triple-guard assignments will be employed to move actual cadavers around the courtrooms.

“It is important that the world see that justice has been served here,” said Eli Wiesel, a prominent human rights activist and Holocaust expert. “Age and life status are irrelevant. The main thing is that these evil, murderous persons not be allowed to rest in peace for their crimes". Marc Weiss of the Anti-Defamation League, a human rights organization based in Los Angeles, is reported to have said: “The costs objection is 100% irrelevant. Citizens objecting to the millions spent on these necessary cases are obviously anti-Semitic haters. We will be initiating investigations of these persons as well. This kind of Jew-hatred cannot be tolerated in our free society!”

Deborah Lipstadt was particularly outspoken on the issue, and confident of guilty verdicts. “We are advising congress and the courts to craft legislation banning the interment of the accused. When they are found guilty, these criminals will then be executed and then their bodies placed in cells in various maximum security prisons under heavy guard. Interment is NOT an option as these cases are special. We owe it to humanity to imprison them forever.”

A special 'Holocaust tax' bill is currently wending its way through the U.S. Congress, but is expected to be easily passed. Thousands of accused are believed to be awaiting disinterment, and preliminary estimated costs of cadaver trials run as high as $60.7 million dollars. Actual imprisonment of the executed cadavers are expected to cost taxpayers a further $378 million dollars per year. Jewish citizens, racial minorities, women, and homosexuals will be exempted from paying these taxes.

Statements of approval of these long-overdue judicial and congressional measures have come in from state and federal officials. A symbolic motion of approval is expected from the U.S. Senate later this week, as well as a statement of approval from the President. The Congress is also expected to set up oversight committees to ensure that the disinterments and trials proceed smoothly. Additional federal subsidized funding is likely to be authorized.

The disinterments will begin Monday.