We are all guilty! All we are saying, is give Heinrich a chance

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Der treue Heinrich: by all accounts a polite, refined, softly spoken and considerate person, Heinrich Himmler suffered severe abdominal pains and fell in with the wrong crowd early in life. Let us be broad-minded and compassionate and give him a second chance, for as Dr Heinz Kiosk has pointed out (as chronicled by Michael Wharton), we are all guilty!

Ludicrous, isn’t it? The idea is insane. We were certainly right to deny the Reichsführer-SS a second chance, writes Dalrymple, and we should also deny a second chance to, for example, the man who, in a recent English case, drugged his girlfriend and, while she was drugged, gouged out her eyes.

If you cannot imagine, after…the Holocaust, Pol Pot and Rwanda, a crime so terrible that people who commit it forfeit their right to live as free persons in society, then your imagination has been brutalised.

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To say that a man who gouges out someone’s eyes should never be freed

is not the same as saying that he should be treated with cruelty inside prison (as, in strict justice, he would deserve to be treated, a proof…that justice is not the only value that we hold dear). On the contrary, to say that he should have a second chance because everyone deserves a second chance is to say that there is nothing we find intolerable.

A society in which nothing was beyond the pale

would be extraordinarily vicious.

Does everyone deserve a second, a third, a fourth, a fifth chance?

Who is to pay for these chances? Generosity at the expense of others, financial or moral, is not generosity, it is moral exhibitionism.

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