Former U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim passed on today at the age of 88.
A former Nazi soldier, he is widely acknowledged to have participated in- or at least known about- the shipping off of Greek Jews to concentration camps.
Unlike some others who were Nazis in their youth, admitted their sins begged for forgiveness and tried to atone via a lifetime of good works, Waldheim never admitted his sins for the full scope of the evil they represented.
"Nearly a decade later, he brought himself to accept that lying about his past was wrong," the Chicago Tribune's Tracey Wilkinson writes today. "Beyond that, though, he continued to deny an active role in widespread executions and abuse and blamed his downfall on a conspiracy by American Jews.
"As a member of the German Army, I did what was necessary to survive the day, the system, the war -- no more, no less," he wrote in the 1996 book, "The Answer."
I'm sorry but when I hear the phrase "conspiracy by American Jews," I hear the words of a bigot.
So Kurt Waldheim, your 1996 book may have been an "answer," at least for you.
But not for the ones whose killing you countenanced to cover your ass.