How do you forgive an enemy? When do you forgive your oppressor? How do you forget the evil done when it was committed with the full intention to harm by a willing perpetrator? To have witnessed the horrific atrocities and worst crimes known to humanity, do you maintain the ' code of silence ' if silence means 'loyalty to the oath?' Or would you expose the truth and endanger yourself to both the oppressor and the victims?
Every victim demands their pound of flesh.
Author Adalbert Lallier, of Huguenot origin, was born in 1925 in Botos, Hungary ( present-day Serbia ) and drafted into Hitler's army in June 1st, 1942 against his free will―he was only 17 years old. While serving in the Waffen SS, in March 1945, he witnessed the murder of seven Jewish inmates by his superior officer Julius Viel in a war crime that would affect the rest of his life. Too afraid to do something, Adalbert tries to bury the atrocities in his past.
For five decades, Adalbert Lallier has kept his secrets, not in trying to silence his conscience but in trying to reconcile with his guilt. Fifty years may be a long time, but conscience gnawingly reminds the bearer to be a judge to his own actions–or, in Adalbert's case, his inactions.
" It was March 20th, 1945. I witnessed the murder of seven Jewish KZ inmates and knew that it was a major war crime. Urged by my conscience, I had a Jewish-American Nazi hunter discover the crime, unveiled the murderer and brought him to trial. ...The judgment: Imprisonment of 12 years for killing seven Jews. ( Julius Viel Trial )
For Adalbert, the punishment is not exacting. " In my eyes certainly not the result of the course of natural justice. Seeking justice, I decided to write a fictionalized version of the murder, in which the imagined daughter of one of the killed, living in Israel, spends years to find the killer, finds him, brings him to court in (by then democratic) Germany, and shoots him dead in court after the neo-Nazi judge lets him go free."
Forever Guilty was written to bring justice to the seven souls who were murdered in cold blood in Theresienstadt. The book, Forever Guilty is classified as a work of fiction, only partially fictionalized as it accurately reflects the atrocities and the bitter memories of Adalbert's past. " It is your responsibility to try to undo the evil as much of the evil as much as humanly possible." Forgiveness is always a hotly debated subject – testy, risky, conflicting and divisive. Adalbert Lallier had received praise, criticism, and condemnation when he came forward in his free will to reconcile with the past and to bring justice to the seven souls. In publishing Forever Guilty, Adalbert could be asking for forgiveness. " The Jewish people will never forgive me, while the Germans continue accusing me of lying," Adalbert said.
Please watch full documentary clip here: Once A Nazi
Note: Now available. Click here