The Shooting of Hostages in Retaliation

TitleThe Shooting of Hostages in Retaliation
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsLadenson, R
Corporate Authorsof Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, IIT
Date Published02/1998
PublisherCenter for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, Illinois Institute of Technology
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsMILITARY , MILITARY ethics
AbstractIn 1944 it became known to the Free French Partisan fighting forces that the Germans had executed 80 partisans and planned soon to execute more. The Partisans thus decided they would shoot 80 Germans prisoners who had recently surrendered to them. At this point the Red Cross intervened, won a postponement of the executions, and sought an agreement from the Germans to treat captured partisans as prisoners of war, who may not be shot. The Partisans waited 6 days and the Germans did not reply. The Partisans then shot 80 German prisoners. After these shootings the Nazis executed no more Partisans. Was the shooting of morally justifiable? the 80 German prisoners by the If so, why? If not, why not?
NotesCase from the February 26, 1998 Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl. Copyright Robert Ladenson, Center for the Study of Ethics at the Illinois Institute of Technology, 1998.
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