On the limits, if any, of state power

notes from DP Jones, NRO today:

…that same week brought unexpected news of Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy. In May 1941, Hess flew to England on a mission that has never been fully explained. Captured, he was held for the rest of the war and tried at Nuremburg…. He spent the rest of his life in a Berlin prison. I once interviewed Frau Hess, herself an unrepentant Nazi, and she proudly showed me among other memorabilia a specially printed copy of Mein Kampfwith Hitler’s dedication. Fanatics never give up.

Those executed after the Nuremburg trial were cremated and their ashes scattered. Hess was buried in a family grave at Wunsiedel, in Bavaria. Over the years neo-Nazis have treated Hess’s grave as a place of pilgrimage. Thousands of them parade there, sing their Party songs, give their Party salute, and threaten the peace. At last, the church authorities have cancelled the rights of the Hess family to their plot, and the corpse has been removed and cremated, the ashes now scattered in untraceable water.

So the state intervened in sacrilege against the dead man’sbones, and the family’s filial rights, for the public good. Where does that power end?

 

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