Sixty years on, the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal remembered




 
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November 21st, 2005  
phoenix80
 
 

Topic: Sixty years on, the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal remembered


Quote:
Sixty years on, the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal remembered

Monsters and Critics.com ^ | Nov 20, 2005 | Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Nuremberg, Germany - Sixty years ago on November 20, 1945 the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial against 21 leading Nazis, including Hermann Goering, Rudolf Hess, and Joachim von Ribbentrop, began in Room 600 of the city's spacious Palace of Justice.

Almost a year later, on September 30 and on October 1 1946 the court announced its verdicts. A dozen of Hitler's closest cohorts were sentenced to death by hanging, seven were given life sentences or lesser terms, and three were acquitted.

Before the war even ended the U.S., the Soviet Union and Britain had already agreed to punish those responsible for war crimes.

Hardly surprisingly, drama surrounded the marathon 218-day-long proceedings, presided over by Britain's Lord Justice Geoffrey Lawrence (later Baron Trevethin and Oaksey). Each of the Four Great Powers (France was now included) provided one judge and an alternate as well as the prosecutors.

When Hermann Goering, chief of the Luftwaffe, trustee of the Reich's Four Year Plan, and successor-designate to Hitler, was given a death sentence, he cheated his captors by crunching on a cyanide pill and dying in his cell on the night before his execution.

The other eleven top Nazis to receive death sentences - Ribbenttropp, Alfred Jodl, Wilhelm Keitel, Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Alfred Rosenberg, Fritz Sauckel, Arthur Seyss- Inquart and Julius Streicher - were duly hanged in the early morning of October 16 1946, in the old gymnasium of the Nuremberg prison.

During the marathon trials testimony was introduced from 360 witnesses, some verbal, some written, and more than 200,000 affidavits were evaluated. A vast swarm of journalists, most of them from the four victor-powers, reported on the Nuremberg trials.

Among them were Chicago-born Allan Dreyfuss, a 27-year-old journalist working for the U.S. Army's Stars and Stripes newspaper; Markus Wolf, later to become communist East Germany's famous head of foreign intelligence; and Ernest W. Michel, a survivor of the Auschwitz, Bikenau and Buchenwald concentration camps, who covered the International Military Tribunal (IMT) as a reporter-observer for DANA, an early post-war German news agency.

Dreyfuss, a former Boston and Chicago newspaper man, helped the 'Stars and Stripes' maintain one of the most complete files on the proceedings carried by any paper in the world.

During the proceedings, psychologists rated Hermann Goering as the 'keenest brain among the ill-starred aggregation of defendants.'

Dreyfuss held a somewhat different view. For him, Goering was a 'pompous, bemedalled egocentric who waddled through the high offices of the Hitler government carrying out the mad designs of its leader with callous disregard for human rights and decency.'

The number two man of Nazi Germany had combined 'a core of steel and cruelty with a lust for self-adornment and power in a certain affability.'

Minutes of high Nazi meetings introduced at the Tribunal indicated that Goering had sanctioned such programmes as the extermination of 30,000,000 Slavs and Jews, and had penned a note in May 1944 proposing that American airmen be shot immediately on capture.

Goering had also sponsored a multi-billion dollar looting programme in Russia.

Alfred Rosenberg, the Estonian-born Nazi philosopher and leading anti-Semite, was portrayed at the trial as 'one of the most sticky- fingered of the Nazi conspirators.'

Dreyfuss wrote that the task force Rosenberg was alleged to have run looted enough goods and artistic treasures from overrun countries to fill over 27,000 railroad cars for the journey back to Germany.

The 53-year-old 'High Priest of Nazism,' who was accused in a score of documents of actively seeking to exterminate all Jews, even tried to convince the court that his theory of German racial superiority was neither new nor a Nazi invention, but rather the result of 400 years of investigation into the 'laws of inheritance.'

In November, 1945, Markus Wolf was a reporter working for the 'Berliner Rundfunk' (Radio) in then 4-Power occupied Berlin. Aged 22, he was the youngest journalist to be accredited to cover trial.

The son of German-Jewish parents, he had seen out the war in the Soviet Union, and had only recently returned from exile in Moscow to Berlin, to get a job with the Berliner Radio.

As a German, there was little chance of his being allowed to cover the trial, due to the huge number of scribes linked to the conquering Allied Powers who had descended on Nuremberg.

But Wolf was offered a spot with the Soviet Press delegation at the trial, after flashing an outdated Russian press pass. He was even given permission to stay at the then American-requisitioned Faber castle, on the Nuremberg outskirts, housing many of the international press representatives.

'The advantage of that was I didn't need to use a ration card, and got well fed by the U.S. Army,' he said, when interviewed in Berlin recently.

The East's former master-spy claimed work dominated his thoughts. 'I first learned how to use a telex there, and twice daily was allowed two 15-minute slots to file my copy on the morning and afternoon trial sessions.'

From 1946 onwards his radio commentaries were printed in the Berliner Zeitung, a local Berlin daily, but only rarely was he allowed to report on the trial via a direct phone hook-up with Berlin. When the trial verdicts were pronounced, his commentary was beamed to all German-speaking radio stations, including those in Austria and Switzerland. 'That was really something,' he said.

Asked if there had been signs in Nuremberg that the East-West Cold War was about to descend on a divided Europe, Wolf says relations between the Russian and Western correspondents were always relaxed, and 'only towards the end of the trial was there a whiff of political tensions.'

Ernest Michel, now 82, who emigrated to the United States in 1946 after being a reporter-observer at the trial, says that because he was a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, the Nuremberg trial deeply affected him. At one stage during the trial he had come face to face with Goering in his cell. 'That was a meeting I shall never forget,' he says.

Michel is currently on a visit to Germany. On November 22, he is to give a talk at the Jewish Museum in Berlin linked to the 60th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials.

http://news.monstersandcritics.com/e...nal_remembered
December 16th, 2005  
Reiben
 
 
The Nuremberg Trials were a very important event. We only need to look to today to see war crime trials. The trials may have not stopped the crimes but they say to the world that if you commit war crimes you can be called to account.

The link below has the Nuremberg trial transcripts.
http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/imt/tgmwc/

The BBC also remembered the trials in November. There is an interesting audio link on the site.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4453790.stm

Does anyone know if there is a pdf of the trial transcripts? Or of the transcripts of the more minor trials?
September 25th, 2019  
papasha408
 
The Nuremberg Trials were an affront not only to justice but even the idea of Justice. With a mix of the Allies covering up their own war crimes and high finance getting Germany back into the Central Banking group a lynching party took place which no decent human being could be proud of.
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September 27th, 2019  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by papasha408
The Nuremberg Trials were an affront not only to justice but even the idea of Justice. With a mix of the Allies covering up their own war crimes and high finance getting Germany back into the Central Banking group a lynching party took place which no decent human being could be proud of.
I don't entirely disagree with you but the scale of German war crimes made it impossible not to put them on trial.
September 27th, 2019  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I don't entirely disagree with you but the scale of German war crimes made it impossible not to put them on trial.
The Soviets should have been taken to task over the massacre of Polish Officers in Katyn among other war crimes.
September 27th, 2019  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
The Soviets should have been taken to task over the massacre of Polish Officers in Katyn among other war crimes.
Certainly not arguing that the allied war effort was sqeeky clean I personally think Harris should have been in the docks next to Goering but it was always going to be a victor's justice and in the end nothing the allied did came close to the concentration camps (although the displacement of ethnic Germans in Eastern Europe after the war comes close).
3 Weeks Ago  
papasha408
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
Certainly not arguing that the allied war effort was sqeeky clean I personally think Harris should have been in the docks next to Goering but it was always going to be a victor's justice and in the end nothing the allied did came close to the concentration camps (although the displacement of ethnic Germans in Eastern Europe after the war comes close).
No one is excusing forced labor, but, the Allies committed far worse and far more war crimes than the Germans, during as well as after the hostilities were supposed to have ceased. Eisenhower and those who administered the Rhine Meadow Camps murdered about one and a half million Germans through starvation and not offering shelter. This was done by changing their POW status to DEF which stood for disarmed enemy forces. If interested, read 'Other Losses,' by James Bacque and 'After The Reich,' by Giles MacDonnell. the spelling of the authors name may be misspelled.
3 Weeks Ago  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by papasha408
No one is excusing forced labor, but, the Allies committed far worse and far more war crimes than the Germans, during as well as after the hostilities were supposed to have ceased. Eisenhower and those who administered the Rhine Meadow Camps murdered about one and a half million Germans through starvation and not offering shelter. This was done by changing their POW status to DEF which stood for disarmed enemy forces. If interested, read 'Other Losses,' by James Bacque and 'After The Reich,' by Giles MacDonnell. the spelling of the authors name may be misspelled.

Oddly enough I have read it but I am still not convinced it is accurate or perhaps unbiased is a better description as I believe he has used a blanket approach to statistics which is always borderline disingenuous.


One aspect of his book I do believe however is his assertion that successive German post-war governments fostered a cult of national guilt that is a religion with German people and I believe it to be a very dangerous aspect of German society that is on the verge of coming back to bite them as rightwing groups gain support throughout Europe.


Another thing I would add is even if Allied actions were accurately recorded in his book at worst they could be considered as bad as German ones not worse, like it or not the racial doctrine of the Third Reich was a crime of epic proportions and as such it deserved to be removed from the planet this does not mean the Allies were choir boys but nothing the West did comes close to the scale of Nazi Germany.
3 Weeks Ago  
papasha408
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
Oddly enough I have read it but I am still not convinced it is accurate or perhaps unbiased is a better description as I believe he has used a blanket approach to statistics which is always borderline disingenuous.


One aspect of his book I do believe however is his assertion that successive German post-war governments fostered a cult of national guilt that is a religion with German people and I believe it to be a very dangerous aspect of German society that is on the verge of coming back to bite them as rightwing groups gain support throughout Europe.


Another thing I would add is even if Allied actions were accurately recorded in his book at worst they could be considered as bad as German ones not worse, like it or not the racial doctrine of the Third Reich was a crime of epic proportions and as such it deserved to be removed from the planet this does not mean the Allies were choir boys but nothing the West did comes close to the scale of Nazi Germany.
I think the racial doctrine of the Third Reich is not only exaggerated but misunderstood in many ways. This isn't an apology for the Third Reich's criminal actions which I believe were many, but nowhere near the level of the Allies. Many Africans from former German Colonies fought for the Reich and more importantly, they were treated as comrades in arms, not inferiors only fit for kitchen help and truck drivers as in the American Army. Britain treated it's colonies soldiers like children where caning was used as a discipline in many instances with of course less pay and in many cases inferior food. One of the facts of the war which many American's hate to admit is the amount of rapes committed in France, Italy and Belgium as well as Germany by American soldiers. It wasn't just a few cases. It was rampant. The German soldier did not rape, mainly for fear of execution by their own authorities and their behavior in occupied territory in Western Europe was commendable in most cases. German soldiers in France bought the items they wanted unlike the rampant looting by American and in some cases British and Commonwealth soldiers. I could go on, but, I'll stop here. Please refer me to the terrible scale of German or Nazi crimes you mentioned.
3 Weeks Ago  
I3BrigPvSk
 
 
Let us assume James Bacque was right about the amount of killed in the Rhine Meadow Camps. That raises a question, where are the bodies? According to the Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt) the amount of MIA's and presumed dead are about 1.2 million and 1 million of them are reported MIA on the Eastern Front.