Sunday, June 2, 2019

The Saddest Option

I once visited the Nazi concentration camp Dachau which is located in a town of the same name near Munich. Dachau was the first of Hitler's concentration camps and served as the model for many of them. An interesting fact about Dachau is that although gas chambers were constructed, they were never used. Unlike some camps such as Treblinka, which were pure execution camps from the start, Dachau started as a political rehabilitation camp.  By the time they built the gas chambers, the labor shortage in Germany was so severe the Nazis decided it was better to use the prisoners as forced labor in the munitions industry rather than kill them outright.

For some prisoners, making weapons for the enemy was unacceptable.  Rather than do so, they chose to touch the electric fence which surrounded the camp or step into a grassy zone where Nazi soldiers located in towers would instantly shoot them. It was a horrible choice but I can understand their rational. The idea of making a grenade that would be used to kill those fighting the Nazis could easily lead one to decide that death was the more moral choice.

We do not have hard data on how many acts of violence and crime are caused by injustice in family court but it is reasonable to think it is high.  Not only does crime beget crime but the perpetrators of crime in divorce court have a near zero risk of getting caught.

We know that divorce causes a three-fold increase in suicides among men; however, we do not know how much higher the rate is for those paying lifetime alimony. But I think that like those Dachau prisoners who could not in good conscience work to support immorality and crime; many people obligated to pay lifetime alimony to those who committed immoral actions and crimes decide that the correct moral action is death. The fact that this is quite rational and understandable is just incredibly sad.

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