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Literati is excited to welcome Amos N. Guiora and his new book The Crime of Complicity
If you are a bystander and witness a crime, should intervention to that crime be a legal obligation or is moral responsibility enough? This important and timely question is the subject of Amos Guiora's book, which examines the role of bystanders during the Holocaust and draws on lessons for today.
Sharing examples of his own family’s experiences and using a wide range of historical material and interviews, he examines the bystander during three distinct events: death marches, the German occupation of Holland, and the German occupation of Hungary. He explains that while the Third Reich created policy, its implementation was dependent on bystander non-intervention. He then brings the issue of bystander complicity into current perspective by discussing cases in contemporary society, including sexual assault cases on campuses, as well as other crimes where bystanders chose not to act and the resulting consequences. He asserts that a society cannot rely on morals and compassion alone in determining our responsibility to help another in danger. It is ultimately a legal issue and we must make the obligation to intervene the law, and thus non-intervention a crime.
Amos N. Guiora is Professor of Law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, the University of Utah and Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) in the Israel Defense Force. He is actively involved in the effort to legislate Holocaust-Genocide education in Utah public schools. He is the author of several books, including Freedom from Religion: Rights and National Security (2009) and Tolerating Intolerance: The Price of Protecting Extremism (2014).