Some initial thoughts on the subject.
- Apartheid in South-Africa never led to any person being imprisoned for committing the worst crimes imaginable against black people. Not when it ended. The tribunal was aimed at forgiving the worst criminals. I understand you have to forgive those who lived as Whites in Apartheid, but who did not commit terrible voilent crimes. Of course. They were born in a system and lived a more or less decent life, though many were not fighting hard enough to stop Apartheid. You can forgive that. How else can you move forward. But that is not the whole story. People have been raped, tortured and killed, for no reason. Many voilent crimes have been committed, that can not be explained with “it was war, we were fighting for our side”. Terrible crimes, no matter how you look at it. Why forgive and forget? How did they sell the forgive and forget policy to the public? Some performance.
- The communist system. Communism was not a system supported by the people in Eastern Europe, given the wall and the high suicide rate. It was certainly not a workers paradise. For many decades the entire population of Eastern Europe has been put into slavery. The economic system destroyed. Possessions confiscated. Lifes destroyed. The system abused many for no reason at all, except to oppress. Terrible crimes have been committed, e.g. mass surveillance, intimidation, murder, rape, torture etc etc. It was all common practice. Slavery of entire nations. There was no way out, unless you worked for the system. But the wall fell and the population needed to simply move on. They often were able to see their (STASI/KGB) files when lucky (or not), but the agents were protected. All crimes covered up. Forgive and forget and move on.
To me it is insane, how there has been no justice. Nobody paid for the damage done to people’s life. No justice in any way. Forgive and forget. And while in colonial times worldwide the standard for human rights and confiscation of countries was viewed different by almost all nations and people worldwide, we (the former colonial powers) did offer the locals new opporunities and are still continuously reminded of “how bad we were”. Yet, the above described systems were active not so long ago. Human rights were already an accepted concept. Yet these were possibly the worst regimes ever existed on the planet, with no opportunities to escape from it. Why did worldwar II end with large rescue armies, while these regimes did not? I can’t wrap my head around it.