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Geopolitics

A Model Prison For Those Accused Of The Most Heinous Crimes

Behind the high walls of a Dutch penitentiary, a handful of accused war criminals are housed in a one-of-a-kind prison that aims to embody the ideals of justice.

Cell at the Hague prison
Cell at the Hague prison
Adrien Jaulmes

THE HAGUE — For a long time, a dictator's or warlord's career tended to end in exile or violent death. International justice has added another option to closing the reign of a tyrant. For 22 years, dozens accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes have found themselves on the banks of the North Sea, waiting for and living through their trials from behind the walls of a new kind of prison, created inside a Dutch penitentiary.

In the residential Scheveningen district of the Hague, the Haaglanden penitentiary may appear as just another building. Neighboring houses are built along its brick walls, cyclists pass without even looking at the old entrance, a portal with crenelated towers like that of a movie set. Now almost empty, this penitentiary, once the largest in the Netherlands, still shelters certain prisoners. Since 1995, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and, since 2002, those of the International Criminal Court, have been incarcerated in a specially constructed building in the compound.

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Ideas

Ukraine Has Exposed The Bankruptcy Of Germany's "Never Again" Pacifism

A group of pro-peace German intellectuals published a letter asking the country not to deliver heavy weapons to Ukraine, but they're missing the point completely. Germany needs to reinvent itself in order to face today's challenges — and threats.

The Bundestag, or German federal government, meets at the Reichstag building in Berlin.

Sascha Lehnartz

-OpEd-

BERLIN — When even the brightest minds — some of whom have shaped the intellectual life of this republic for decades — suddenly seem at a loss, it can mean one of two things. Either the clever minds are not as clever as we were always led to believe. Or the times have changed so brutally that old pieces of wisdom are suddenly no longer valid.

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If you don't want to give up your childhood faith in the Federal Republic of Germany quite yet, you can settle on the second option.

Alexander Kluge, one of Germany's most versatile artists, founded a television production company, proving that there can even be television for intellectuals. Journalist and prominent feminist Alice Schwarzer has done more for the liberation of women in this country than anyone else. Yet Schwarzer and Kluge, along with another two dozen intellectuals, have written an open letter that basically recommends Ukraine to submit to Vladimir Putin for the sake of the authors' peace of mind.

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