By Mathilda von Schroeter
Today the trial of Friedrich Flick took place in Krzyzowa, Poland. Flick is accused of enslaving and abusing workers in his factories. It was discussed whether or not Flick knew about the situation in his factories and whether he tried to do anything against it. He was charged with crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court.
The judges are making their decision. Our question is, what do we do with people like Friedrich Flick? With people, when we do not know if they knew what was going on? What is the punishment? Is there even one or do we just let it go?
From what I have heard today, it is not the most important thing, whether Flick was aware or not, it is the fact that it was his company and he had all the power. Power brings responsibility. If he did not know about the conditions in his factories, he should have known.
He should be responsible for all those crimes that were made.
Even if Flick joined the NSDAP only because he was afraid of them or to protect himself, he committed crimes by enslaving and abusing so many people in his factories. Because he profited from the factories, I think Flick should be punished and send to prison for 15 years and his fortune should be taken away, to finance a project or a memorial to make up for all those losses, and for all the people who had to pay with their lives in his factories.
We need to punish people like him, because right wing extremism is back in the 21st century. In Germany, for example, the AfD is getting more powerful in some federal states. They get more people who support them and are more extreme than ever. By declaring Flick guilty, other people get to know the consequences so that we can maybe avoid such a catastrophe in the future.
We can not tolerate people like him. It is unbelievable that someone treats other human beings so badly, only to protect himself or to have more money. This sadistic behaviour destroyed so many lives. So hopefully by punishing him we can obviate similar situations in the future.