Bright Lights Film Journal

Of course, the Nazis were guilty. That makes a difference.

In his review of Pierrepoint , The Last Hangman, a bio-pic on the life of Albert Pierrepoint, the British hangman who executed many of the leading Nazis following the Nuremberg trials, New York Times critic Stephen Holden comes up with a beaut: “Once Pierrepoint travels to Germany as the designated executioner of guilty Nazis, the movie confronts you with the obvious parallels between this anonymous functionary carrying out lethal sentences handed down by others, and the Nazi defense that in sending millions to their deaths, they were merely following orders.” 

Now, some people, even people opposed to capital punishment without exception, might see a difference between executing men who murdered millions of innocent people and, you know, murdering millions of innocent people, but not Stevo. We are all guilty. Or, at least, you are.