Nov. 7, 2011
Major media outlets are reporting the remarkable story of a French father's 29-year quest for his daughter's killer, a quest that has resulted in the arrest of a man who committed the murder.
For three decades, Andre Bamberski pursued the rapist and murderer of his then-14 year-old daughter Kalinka, Dieter Krombach. After offering a reward for his capture, Krombach was abducted from Germany and brought to France, where he had been convicted in absentia of causing a wrongful death in 1995. Krombach, 76, will spend the next 15 years in jail, should he live that long.
Andre Bamberski is awaiting trial on charges of kidnapping. Perhaps this is appropriate. But what father cannot help but admire Andre's dogged determination to see the man who assaulted and killed his daughter brought to justice? To refuse to accept anything less than punishment for the monster who took his daughter's life?
"History is a relentless master," said John F. Kennedy. "It has no present, only the past rushing into the future." History is relentless, in part, because men like Andre Bamberski refuse to let it elide quietly into memory. That's why Dieter Krombach is now in jail. To borrow a phrase from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, "Here endeth the lesson."