“We are aware that some people say the ‘manji’ symbol could remind them of the ‘hakenkreuz’ symbol, which was created much later in history,” said Ryoka Nishino, a spokesman for Japan Buddhist Federation, referring to the “hooked cross” term often used to denote the Nazi emblem.
“This is really hard to talk about,” Wynia said. “The history of the Holocaust, in particular medicine in the Holocaust, is such an icon for evil that it’s difficult to have any kind of a nuanced conversation about how to learn the lessons of the Holocaust.”
“It’s not just that Nazi schooling worked, that if you subject people to a totalitarian regime during their formative years it will influence the way their mind works,” said Hans-Joachim Voth of the University of Zurich, one of the study’s authors. “The striking thing is that it doesn’t go away afterward.”
Federal prosecutor Kurt Schrimm, who heads Germany’s special Nazi war crimes office, said he expects to turn the cases over to state investigators within two weeks for them to pursue accessory to murder charges. Schrimm’s office has no power to file charges itself.