Great Decisions – 3/13/23

“Great Decisions”

War Crimes

“Great Decisions” will resume on Monday, March 13, 6:00 p.m., in the Walpole Town Library. Our first topic of the year is “War Crimes,” and the discussion will be moderated by Adrian Basora, former United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia and subsequently to the Czech Republic. Adrian is currently a trustee of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and chairs its Eurasia Program. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is on the international advisory board of the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities. During his 33 years in the U.S. Foreign Service, Adrian served in former Soviet Bloc countries and helped develop American programs in support of their transitions to democracy. He has followed events in Ukraine with particular concern.

The Foreign Policy Association ( publishes an article in their annual magazine on each “Great Decisions” topic. Now available at the library: “War crimes: What are they? How can they be prosecuted?” by Francine Hirsch, describing the history of international attempts to codify and prosecute war crimes. A copy of the article can be emailed to you upon request:

The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague was founded in 1998, but neither Russia nor the U.S. have ever joined the ICC. Can Russia’s leaders be charged with crimes of aggression? Does the United Nations have a role to play? What kinds of ad hoc international tribunals are being considered? What authority has Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office assumed? Ukrainian and E.U. investigations have identified over 50,000 crimes against humanity.

This will be the first of two examinations of War Crimes: We will follow-up on April 3 with expert commentary from the Honorable Patricia Whalen, former judge at the Bosnian War Crimes Tribunal, and Dr. James Waller, Cohen Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College, director of academic programs at the Auschwitz Institute, widely-recognized scholar and author. You won’t want to miss either of these events!

Please join the discussion at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, March 13, either in person in the Hubbard Meeting Room at the Walpole Town Library or via Zoom. For the Zoom link, contact Jane Malmberg, Library Director, in advance of the meeting:

Sue Kibbe and Ron MacLachlan

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