In February 2008, a Canadian, who was convicted of brutally torturing and killing nine people at a Nazi prison camp more than 60 years ago, was extradited to Italy.
Michael Seifert faces a life sentence in Italy where, seven years ago in an Italian military court, he was convicted in absentia of war crimes committed during his time as an SS guard in the Second World War. Seifert has acknowledged being a guard at the camp in 1944 and 1945, but denies being involved in the atrocities.
Because he lied about his birthplace and former occupation when he was applying for Canadian citizenship, it was revoked.1
Since he arrived in Canada in 1951, Mr. Seifert has lived in British Columbia where he married and raised a family. No doubt he thought his guilty past was forgotten, but legal justice finally caught up with him.
There is no thought that any good deeds that he has done since the dark days before 1951 will compensate for his crimes. He is now waiting for Italian authorities to decide what they are going to do with him. We are reminded of a verse from the Bible, “…be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).
The Italian tribunal, however, is not the final judgment that Mr. Seifert will have to face. He, like everyone else, will have to face the judgment of God for his sin, for “It is appointed onto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27), and “the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23). How thankful we are that this verse doesn’t end there, but adds “…but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The good news for Mr. Seifert and for all of us is that God has provided a way of escape so we do not have to suffer the eternal punishment for our sin. In His love and mercy, God sent His only Son to bear the punishment for so us that “…we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). We can do nothing to earn this salvation. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
Share this Post