To this end he summoned a council of theologians, canon lauyers, and jurists to meet at Valladolid in Spain to hear a debate on this question between Juan Ginis de Sepulveda, an eminent Aristotelian scholar, and Bartolome de Las Casas, the celebrated defender of the native peoples of the New World. Leading off the debate, Sepulveda focused on what he saw as the manifest intellectual, moral, and religious failings of the Indians to support his contention that the Spanish could indeed justly wage an offen- sive war against the Indians and, if victorious, despoil them of their property and subject them to slavery. The first of his four arguments, and the one most important for our purposes, was that the Indians were so deficient in reason that they approxi- mated that class of people whom Aristotle designated as "slaves by nature.
The Belgian Pierre Marie Ernest Sweerts, although sentenced to death in his own country, was initially not arrested after the Second World War for his alledged war crimes.
This was due to the fact that he had offered his services to the British Intelligence Service while working within the Reichssicherheitshauptamt RSHA; the police-and security service of the SS. After the war he was employed by MI6 as interrogator in special camps that were involved with mopping up the werewolf organisations Nazi underground resistance groups and the hunting down of Abwehr- and SD-members in POW- and refugee camps.
After this he was employed in the Nederlandse Fiscale Recherche, the Dutch tax detective force, where he worked in tracing capital that had been embezzled by collaborators and Nazis.
Early years before the war. Already at the age of 13 Pierre Sweerts was actively involved in sport, especially swimming was his passion. On secondary school he was swimming champion. At the age of 18, init seemed for a while that he would be a member of the Belgian swimming- and water polo team that represented Belgium in the Olympic Games that year.
One year later he was drafted for military service. At the end of he was transferred to the Flemish regiment Bourg-Leopold Leopoldsburg.
War On the eve of the German invasion he was in Lanklaar, a village on the border with Dutch Limburg. In the skirmishes that followed Sweerts was hit in his belly.
He was evacuated to Southern France to recuperate from his wounds. On 12 August Sweerts was discharged from hospital and returned to his parents via Brussels to Sint-Joost-ten-Node.
He did this of his own accord and after advise of a befriended former army doctor. This intelligence service concentrated on collecting economic and administrative information in occupied Belgium.
The service had a large network of hiding places and escape routes to abroad and cooperated with the southern Dutch-Belgian Wim-group commanded by adjudant Vermeulen later the Geheime Dienst Nederland or Secret Service in the Netherlands.
It had links to secret services in London. During the war this intelligence service remained active. After a failed raid on an armoury in Forest Brussels where one of the members was arrested, the group of Sweerts was dissolved out of fear of reprisals.
Sweerts went into hiding. According to post war statements of Sweerts he volunteered for the Waffen-SS. He was advised to do this by a friend of the family. The Waffen SS was recruiting at the moment and wanted to win foreign volunteers over for the coming war in the east.How We Help.
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