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Recap / The Outer Limits 1995 S 5 E 12 Tribunal

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The Control Voice: It is said that those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it. But what dangers await those who cannot forget the past, those obsessed with reliving it?

A lawyer attempts to bring an old Nazi who had tormented the lawyer's father during The Holocaust to justice, and is assisted by a time traveler.

The Control Voice: The wounds of war run deep, cutting across generations. But there is always the hope of healing, so long as there are souls among us whose hearts are more full of love... than hate.
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Tropunal:

  • Abusive Dad: Rademacher reveals his father bought him a green bicycle when he was ten years old and later beat him for driving it into the river.
  • Amicably Divorced: Aaron Zgierski and his ex-wife Gwen Sawyer are good friends. Gwen, who is an assistant district attorney, is helping Aaron with his investigation of Robert Greene, whom he correctly believes to be Nazi war criminal SS-Obersturmführer Karl Rademacher who killed his father Leon's first wife Miriam.
  • Argentina Is Nazi Land: The time traveler Nicholas Prentice tells Aaron Zgierski that the historical records of his time show that the Nazi war criminal Karl Rademacher (alias Robert Greene) bought a one-way ticket to Argentina and was never heard from again. However, Aaron and Prentice make sure that he doesn't get the chance to go to Argentina by taking him to Auschwitz in 1944 dressed as a prisoner, which would account for him never being heard from again.
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  • Color Me Black: This episode features an ending where a Nazi war criminal who escaped justice for 50 years is put into the uniform of his prisoners and taken back in time to his own camp. His younger self shoots him for being Jewish.
  • The Constant: Leon Zgierski and Karl Rademacher are present as young men in Auschwitz in 1944 and as elderly men in Philadelphia in 1999.
  • Driven to Suicide: By killing his older self from fifty years later, the younger Rademacher is oblivious to the fact he just committed suicide.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Aaron Zgierski and Nicholas Prentice disguise themselves as SS officers when they bring the elderly Karl Rademacher, whom they force to dress as a prisoner, back in time to Auschwitz in 1944.
  • Equivalent Exchange: A partial subversion since it is neither necessary nor even planned. After the elderly Nazi war criminal Karl Rademacher from 1999 is brought back in time to 1944, Aaron Zgierski brings his "older" half-sister Hannah, a prisoner at Auschwitz, forward in time from 1944 to 1999.
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  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Despite Rademacher being raised by an abusive father that possibly turned him into an evil Nazi, that absolutely does not excuse his atrocities.
  • Karmic Death: An elderly, but unrepentant and still evil Nazi is brought back into the past and stranded in the concentration camp where he used to work. His past self casually executes him, not realizing who he was, and dismissively calls him "Just another worthless Jew".
  • Karmic Transformation: This episode has one of the best examples. An old Nazi war criminal who escaped justice is taken as an old man back through time and put in the camp he ran, now in the outfit of a prisoner. Combining this with Karmic Death he is then shortly executed by his past self as just another worthless Jew.
  • Kid from the Future: Aaron Zgierski travels back in time to 1944 and meets his father Leon, who was then a prisoner in Auschwitz, as a young man. Leon does not realize who Aaron is but, years later, names his son after him. In the same episode, Nicholas Prentice tells Aaron that he is his great-grandson from about 100 years in the future.
  • My Future Self and Me: A subversion occurs when SS-Obersturmführer Karl Rademacher, who is assigned to Auschwitz in 1944, meets himself as an elderly man from 1999. The older Rademacher has been forced to wear the clothing of a concentration camp inmate by Aaron Zgierski and Nicholas Prentice, who brought him back in time. The younger Rademacher is not convinced by his older self's claim to be him from the future. He shoots him in the head, believing him to be just another Jewish prisoner.
  • Nazi Grandpa: Karl Rademacher. Once a sadistic commander of a concentration camp, he murdered hundreds of people during the war before disappearing and living out the rest of his days in the United States as "Robert Greene". The protagonist, the son of a Holocaust survivor, tries to bring Rademacher to justice, but eventually resolves to have Rademacher killed by his own younger self.
  • Nazi Hunter: Aaron Zgierski.
  • Time-Travel Episode
  • Time Travel Escape: History professor and Holocaust scholar Aaron Zgierski is taken back to Auschwitz by time traveler Nicholas Prentice (who turns out to be Zgierski's own great grandson). While there, they rescue Aaron's "older" sister (who is only eight at the time), who history records as being executed in a gas chamber, into the future to live out her life free of Nazi oppression. They also do the reverse with the man Aaron is trying to expose in the present as a former Nazi camp guard. Future history records that right before his arrest he fled the country and was never seen again. He disappeared because Aaron and Prentice kidnapped him and left him in the past dressed as an Auschwitz prisoner where his past self executes him.
  • Translation Convention: In the opening scene, which takes place in Auschwitz in 1944, SS-Obersturmführer Karl Rademacher speaks German before switching to English when he addresses a female Jewish prisoner with the implication he will rape her. Later in the episode, Aaron Zgierski, Leon's son who has traveled back in time from 1999, converses with the inmates in Polish until he sees his father as a young man and it again switches to English. When the older Rademacher is confronted with his younger self in 1944, their conversation is presented in English but the implication is that is in fact taking place in German.
  • Trust Password: The elderly Karl Rademacher from 1999 is brought back to Auschwitz in 1944 by Aaron Zgierski and Nicholas Prentice and forced to dress in the clothes of an inmate. When he is brought before him, he tries to convince the younger Rademacher that he is him from more than 50 years in the future by relating what happened on his tenth birthday: his father gave him a green bicycle and beat him when he drove it into a river. The younger Rademacher is disturbed by this since, as far as he knows, there is no way that this elderly Jewish prisoner could have known about that incident. He then shoots his older self in the head.
  • Working with the Ex: This episode features the son of a Holocaust survivor attempting to bring a suspected concentration camp commandant to justice, with his ex-wife offering somewhat reluctant assistance in the matter.
  • You Already Changed the Past: History professor and Holocaust scholar Aaron Zgierski is taken back to Auschwitz by time-traveler Nicholas Prentice (who turns out to be Zgierski's own great-grandson). While there, they rescue Aaron's "older" sister (who is only eight at the time) by bringing her into the future to live out her life free of Nazi oppression. History recorded Aaron's sister as dying at Auschwitz after being "dragged away" by a couple of guards, who were actually Zgierski and Prentice in disguise.

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