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Old 04-26-2011, 02:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moth View Post
Focus on:

"Alfried was tried separately"

That is what I said. He was not tried at the main trial. I clearly stated he may have been dealt with at another trial.

Not much disagreement here.
Well since I am so "streitlustig" this is what you said:

Quote:
I do not think any Krupps people were tried at Nuremburg. That tribunal was for the top Nazi officials, not industrialists.

There were other war crimes trials. For instance, the British held a Belsen trial, the Israelis tried Eichmann, and then West Germany conducted the Auschwitz trial.
That doesn't exactly equal:

Quote:
I clearly stated he may have been dealt with at another trial.
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:37 AM
 
Location: Turn right at the stop sign
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For clarification purposes, there were actually two separate Nuremberg trials. The first (which is the one most think of when they hear “Nuremberg”) was held before the International Military Tribunal and dealt with the main figures of the Nazi regime. Alfried Krupp’s father, Gustav, was indicted and was to appear as a defendant before this court, but his advanced age and poor health led to the charges being dismissed. The previously mentioned Dr. Hjalmar Schacht was also a defendant at this proceeding.

The second trial, or more correctly trials, were also held at Nuremberg from October 1946 to April 1949 and were conducted solely by the United States military. These trials (of which there were a total of twelve) are now commonly referred to as the “Subsequent Nuremberg Trials”. It was in this venue that the case of “United States of America v. Alfried Krupp, et al” was heard. Alfried Krupp and eleven directors of the Krupp firm were tried, and all but one of them was convicted of war crimes.

In all, the U. S. prosecuted 185 individuals for war crimes. Of that number, 150 were convicted, 35 were acquited, and 24 received sentences of death, but only 12 of those sentences were actually carried out.
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Losing 20 million people in a war still doesn't exonerate the Russians from the war crimes that they committed and the fact that they were instrumental in the early planning and execution of the war by agreeing to divide Poland with the Germans and unilaterally attacking Finland. Basically the same crimes the Germans were accused of were also committed by the Russians.

One of the most glaring examples of this was the Katyn Forest massacre where thousands of Polish officers were slaughtered. The Russians at Nuremberg attempted to pin this on the Germans, but the other Allies wouldn't admit their evidence. It wasn't until 1990 that the Russians finally admitted that it was in fact Soviet units that slaughtered the Polish officers.

Again, I am not saying that the Germans didn't deserve justice for the Holocaust, but the trials went well beyond that charging various German commanders and officials with simply waging war. I think the best examples of that were Donitz and Raeder. Neither was indicted for crimes against humanity, but both were indicted on the other three charges and found guilty of all except the first in the case of Donitz as he had not been head of the Kriegsmarine when the war started. The war crimes they were found guilty of was the use of unrestricted submarine warfare. The issue there was that Admiral Nimitz himself stated that the United States engaged in unrestricted submarine warfare the moment it entered the war.
The Soviets not only unilaterally attacked Finland and Poland. but also occupied Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, and sent troops into parts of Iran, so they committed aggression against at least six of their neighbors during the war
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
There were four main charges at Nuremberg, with evidence presented for each charge and the defendants responsibility for it. Not everyone was tried for crimes relating to the Holocaust. Several people were brought up on charges simply relating to the fact that there was a war. I said that many of the convictions for certain charges and some defendants all together would have had a solid appeal. As I stated earlier, the tu quoque defense was disallowed and evidentiary rules changed. Tu quoque alone would have meant most of the charges would be dismissed as the Allies committed the same crimes that they were trying the Germans for.

I never argued that the trial wasn't necessary or that it didn't serve it's intended purpose. However, that doesn't change the fact that the trial was simply a form of cleaner "victor's justice" than just taking the Nazi's out to the alley and shooting them. As such the precedent it set has become embodied in the "Hague" and the International Criminal Court. It is no surprise that major nations including the United States, Russia, China and India as well as others like Israel have rejected such a court. The reason why, those states engage in actions that could be defined as criminal.

Essentially planning and waging war with all the things that means are fine as long as you don't lose, or the most powerful nations support or ignore your actions.
I remeber one of our better fighter pilots in the war stating in a book that he had written that he had felt that we could have been charged with crimes for many of our actions in the war - one incident that he mentioned was the order to bomb a munitions train while it was passing through a French village, endangering civilians.
There were also instances behind the lines at Normandy were US paratroopers gunned down German soldiers who had surrendered and who had been disarmed - as paratroopers operating behind the lines they simply had no means with which to accomodate prisoners.
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertbrianbush View Post
I remeber one of our better fighter pilots in the war stating in a book that he had written that he had felt that we could have been charged with crimes for many of our actions in the war - one incident that he mentioned was the order to bomb a munitions train while it was passing through a French village, endangering civilians.
There were also instances behind the lines at Normandy were US paratroopers gunned down German soldiers who had surrendered and who had been disarmed - as paratroopers operating behind the lines they simply had no means with which to accomodate prisoners.
Yes, war is hell, millions of American troops were involved, and I don't think anyone doubts that these things happened. On the German side, however, these sorts of things were much more systematic, especially on the Soviet front. Either we can take the position that no Germans should have been punished (since allowing a "tu quoque" defense would have bogged down the proceedings completely), or we can take the position that the abuses on the German side were so egregious that imperfect justice was preferable to no justice at all. The latter is my position.

In the Pacific (and this would be another thread, really) things were even worse. American Marines and Army soldiers, after witnessing Japanese trickery and brutality, did not take all that many prisoners, even in the relatively rare cases where that would have been possible. This is no secret whatsoever. Japanese cottage industry (sub-assemblies being done in homes, small machine shop operations, etc.) being dispersed in residential areas meant the incineration of civilians by the hundreds of thousands by Lemay's B-29 firebombers.

But the fact remains that mistreatment (a gross understatement) of prisoners by the Japanese was systematic and institutionalized. Personally, I think the Tokyo war crimes trials were more flawed than those of Nuremberg, but still defensible in the context of the big picture.
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Good perspective in the above post. I agree that "victors' justice", however imperfect, was better than no justice at all because the abuses were so egregious. Who can imagine simply doing nothing? Also, let's not forget that at Nuremberg several defendants were aquitted while others got various sentences from death on down to about 10 years in prison (if memory serves on the number of years - I'm not really sure there). Therefore, Nuremberg was not a kangaroo court, although the Russians would have been happy to turn it into one. Despite its problematic aspects (mostly in the creation of ex-post-facto law) I do view Nuremberg as an actual legal proceeding. The defendants had real (i.e., competent) counsel who cross-examined witnesses, made final arguments, etc.
As far as I remember it was actually Stalin who insisted on the trial, because allies wanted just to execute the high-rank German commandment and get over it. Stalin said however, that he wanted a trial so that no one looking back in history would put the blame on him for these executions.
(And so that no one would try to re-write history so to speak, which I see is already happening today.)
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
As far as I remember it was actually Stalin who insisted on the trial, because allies wanted just to execute the high-rank German commandment and get over it. Stalin said however, that he wanted a trial so that no one looking back in history would put the blame on him for these executions.
(And so that no one would try to re-write history so to speak, which I see is already happening today.)
No, it was the United States who insisted on the trial and brought the other Allies together to agree on it.

In 1943 at the Tehran Conference Stalin proposed executing 50k-100k German staff officers and high ranking officials. Roosevelt scoffed and said, "maybe 49k, will do." Churchill was also opposed to the "cold-blooded execution of people who fought for thier country" and insisted that anything should be framed in the legal basis of the Moscow Document which he authored.

In 1944, Churchill advocated a position wherein certain officials would be summarily executed, while others were to be tried under an Act of Attainder. Roosevelt persuaded Churchill to reverse this position.

In 1945, it was reported that Roosevelt had been shocked at the destruction in the Crimea caused by German troops and commented that he hoped Marshal Stalin would re-propose his 50k plan.

As it was, that didn't happen. In the United States Treasury Secretary Morganthau created a plan for the de-industrialization and de-Nazification of Germany. Roosevelt supported the plan and convinced Churchill to as well and would have involved a more streamlined trial similar to an earlier Churchill proposal. However, widespread public discourse with the plan led to Roosevelt and Churchill scrapping it all together.

That led to the far more lenient treatment of Germany following the war and the creation of the "Trial of European Criminals" that was proposed by Secretary of War Stimson. After Roosevelts death, Truman became a strong proponent of a judicial process and pressured Britain and France to join in. Soviet acceptance to the plan was bought in exchange of a guarantee that there would be no indictments handed down for Soviet actions during the war, such as dividing Poland with Germany and invading Finland and the Baltic states, as well as various war crimes committed by Soviet troops.

So, the facts as they were are rather contrary to your position that it was a Soviet idea to have a trial. It was an American idea and the plan was not accepted until the Soviets were given guarantees that their actions during the war would not be indicted.

No one here is trying to re-write history, just understand it and no one is in anyway saying the Nazi's didn't get what they deserved. However, the common perception of a virtuous Allied tribunal sitting on the moral high ground meeting out justice for the crimes of the Germans, is indeed false.
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:11 PM
 
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Quote:
I remeber one of our better fighter pilots in the war stating in a book that he had written that he had felt that we could have been charged with crimes for many of our actions in the war - one incident that he mentioned was the order to bomb a munitions train while it was passing through a French village, endangering civilians.
There were also instances behind the lines at Normandy were US paratroopers gunned down German soldiers who had surrendered and who had been disarmed - as paratroopers operating behind the lines they simply had no means with which to accomodate prisoners.
While none of these acts is evidence of a highly civilized people, I think its crucial to point out some distinctions.

In peacetime, if one commits a killing accidentally often times there is no criminal sanction that takes place. I equate such a killing with acts in wartime like shelling a village by mistake when one is trying to shoot at an a battalion of enemy soldiers. The same is true of bombing. The technology available in World War II required "carpet bombing" of cities to guarantee that industrial plants, factories, and troop concentrations could be obliterated. Deaths to civilians in such a situation are unfortunate, but would fall under the category of "collateral damage". In any war, for that matter, there are deaths caused by "friendly fire". Talk to Pat Tillman's parents after his death a few years ago in Afghanistan.

The situation where surrendering troops are killed rather than taken prisoner would be a "war crime". However, as your example above makes it clear even this can be morally ambiguous. What if an army is not in a situation where it is able to take prisoners? Before I would sit in judgment of any soldier in such a situation, I would need to know all the particulars.

What seem to me to be clearcut war crimes are acts intentionally perpetrated against innocent civilians. A deliberate attempt to kill non-combatants based on either a desire to commit genocide, or as reprisal for acts committed by partisans against your soldiers, the killing or prisoners of war who are already in custody, and/or the deliberate starvation of either prisoners of war or civilians. These were war crimes committed by the Japanese and Nazis and had to be dealt with.

The Nuremberg Trials for all their imperfections were a step forward. In the final analysis it is not nations who commit war crimes, its individuals. By serving notice on the people who committed the worst crimes during the war that we would no longer look the other way, we set a precedent for more humane treatment of civilians and prisoners of war in the future.

We always need to be wary of the trap that consists of saying that because one person was allowed to get away with an act at one time that we cannot morally ever hold anyone responsible for similar or worse acts. That is no way to run a world. I would prefer a certain amount of hypocrisy to doing nothing at all.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
No, it was the United States who insisted on the trial and brought the other Allies together to agree on it.

In 1943 at the Tehran Conference Stalin proposed executing 50k-100k German staff officers and high ranking officials. Roosevelt scoffed and said, "maybe 49k, will do." Churchill was also opposed to the "cold-blooded execution of people who fought for thier country" and insisted that anything should be framed in the legal basis of the Moscow Document which he authored.

In 1944, Churchill advocated a position wherein certain officials would be summarily executed, while others were to be tried under an Act of Attainder. Roosevelt persuaded Churchill to reverse this position.

In 1945, it was reported that Roosevelt had been shocked at the destruction in the Crimea caused by German troops and commented that he hoped Marshal Stalin would re-propose his 50k plan.

As it was, that didn't happen. In the United States Treasury Secretary Morganthau created a plan for the de-industrialization and de-Nazification of Germany. Roosevelt supported the plan and convinced Churchill to as well and would have involved a more streamlined trial similar to an earlier Churchill proposal. However, widespread public discourse with the plan led to Roosevelt and Churchill scrapping it all together.

That led to the far more lenient treatment of Germany following the war and the creation of the "Trial of European Criminals" that was proposed by Secretary of War Stimson. After Roosevelts death, Truman became a strong proponent of a judicial process and pressured Britain and France to join in. Soviet acceptance to the plan was bought in exchange of a guarantee that there would be no indictments handed down for Soviet actions during the war, such as dividing Poland with Germany and invading Finland and the Baltic states, as well as various war crimes committed by Soviet troops.

So, the facts as they were are rather contrary to your position that it was a Soviet idea to have a trial. It was an American idea and the plan was not accepted until the Soviets were given guarantees that their actions during the war would not be indicted.
Interesting. Since as I've said I didn't quite remember all the details, let me quote you quite opposite statement;

"Papers released on January 2, 2006, from the British War Cabinet in London have shown that as early as December 1942, the Cabinet had discussed their policy for the punishment of the leading Nazis if captured. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had then advocated a policy of summary execution with the use of an Act of Attainder to circumvent legal obstacles, and was only dissuaded from this by pressure from the U.S. later in the war. In late 1943, during the Tripartite Dinner Meeting at the Tehran Conference, the Soviet leader, Josef Stalin, proposed executing 50,000-100,000 German staff officers. Not realizing that Stalin was serious, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt humorously suggested that perhaps 49,000 would do. Churchill denounced the idea of "the cold blooded execution of soldiers who fought for their country." However, he also stated that war criminals must pay for their crimes, and that in accordance with the Moscow Document, which he himself had written, they should be tried at the places where the crimes were committed. Churchill was vigorously opposed to executions "for political purposes."[1][2]
U.S. Treasury Secretary, Henry Morgenthau Jr., suggested a plan for the total denazification of Germany; this was known as the Morgenthau Plan. The plan advocated the forced deindustralization of Germany, along with forced labor and other draconian measures similar to those that the Nazis themselves had planned for Eastern Europe. Both Churchill and Roosevelt supported this plan, and went as far as attempting its authorization at the Quebec Conference in September 1944. However, the Soviet Union
announced its preference for a judicial process.
"

After all, since "Morgenthau plan also decreed that German archcriminals be arbitrarily designated, rounded up and "put to death forthwith by firing squads, with no pretense of even military judicial process" does it sound like the "United States insisted on the trial?"
So what did EXACTLY led to the "creation of the Trial of European Criminals" as you've put it quite smoothly?

This source is telling me again that the trial was a Soviet proposal.

Nazis on Trial

"Both Churchill and Roosevelt approved the Morgenthau Plan when they met at the Quebec Conference in September 1944. It was the Soviet Union that would first suggest publicly that the top Nazis be put on trial."


Quote:
No one here is trying to re-write history, just understand it and no one is in anyway saying the Nazi's didn't get what they deserved. However, the common perception of a virtuous Allied tribunal sitting on the moral high ground meeting out justice for the crimes of the Germans, is indeed false.
I don't think it's false if you take in consideration such *interesting* paper as "Generalplan Ost"
(Let me quote a thing or two from it.)

http://www.worldfuturefund.org/wffma...planostnew.htm


"Hitler's model for his empire was America. He greatly admired America's policy of forced deportations of local inhabitants and their replacements by European immigrants. He sought to duplicate this concept on a far larger scale using far more specific concepts of racial and eugenic thinking. Hitler sought nothing less than a racial and demographic revolution in Europe, where the racial and genetic structure of Europe's population would be rearranged forever by means of a huge empire in the east where the "Aryan" blood of Europe would expand its share of Europe's population."

"As Hitler stated,"There [is] only one task, Germanization through the infusion of Germans and to treat the original inhabitants like the Indians," meaning their forced removal."


"Everything I undertake is directed against Russia. If the West is too stupid and too blind to comprehend this I will be forced to reach an understanding with the Russians, turn and strike the West, and then after their defeat turn back against the Soviet Union with my collected strength. I need the Ukraine and with that no one can starve us out as they did in the last war." [SIZE=2][5][/SIZE]

"Following an anticipated victory over the USSR by Nazi Germany in 1941, the SS (assisted by military and civilian authorities) intended to depopulate the regions listed above through the use of mass deportations and the physical liquidation of some parts of the indigenous population. Those who had been uprooted would be forced across the Ural Mountains into western Siberia. Still others would be disposed of using mass killing methods perfected by the SS during the slaughter of European Jewry. For reasons that remain unclear, SS planners included in the GPO provisions for the expulsion of all of Europe's Jews from the German sphere of influence, even though the regime had begun deliberately murdering Jews en masse in late summer 1941. The Slavs and Jews expelled from the "new German East" would then be prevented from returning west by the creation of a fortified borderland that stretched from the Arctic Sea to Astrakhan in the Caucasus.

In their place, the SS intended to settle communities of millions German warrior-farmers (Wehrbauern) from Germany, Holland, Norway, Denmark, and other countries with Germanic-Nordic racial stock would settle in the lands between the eastern frontier and the German homeland."

So... Going back to Stalin's talk in 1943 regarding execution of "50k-100k German staff officers" and Roosevelt taking it ( initially) as a joke - what do you think has changed, that Roosevelt started entertaining this idea himself all of a sudden? Oh, I see - "In 1945, it was reported that Roosevelt had been shocked at the destruction in the Crimea caused by German troops and commented that he hoped Marshal Stalin would re-propose his 50k plan."
So what do you think has shook him so much in that destruction, that he understood where Stalin was coming from back in 1943? Collapsed infrastructure, burned bridges, bombed buildings? I think not. He finally became aware what Stalin knew already in 1941 - that "Generalplan Ost" was indeed implemented by Germans, and atrocities committed by German troops toward local civilian population according to that plan were intentional and systematic. Most likely Mr. Roosevelt has been shown the condemning pictures of children's burned corpses ( piles of them,) or footage of killing the pregnant women ( gutting them with knives - whatever) - so no matter what he saw, he suddenly realized where "Marshal Stalin" was coming from, thinking about his 50k plan in response to "Generalplan Ost."

That's where I see lately an attempt to re-write the history ( on Russian sites including,) - an attempt to put the war on the Eastern Front in context of your "regular" World War, not much different than WWI was, for example. That was not the case, and once you start looking at it through the prism of what it really was, it becomes quite obvious, why one can't judge that war on the Eastern Front in the same manner as other wars ( and wars' perpetrators) were judged.

Last edited by erasure; 04-28-2011 at 10:59 PM..
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:56 AM
 
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To the first part as to who suggested what, it needs to be framed into what they were actually suggesting and the change in attitudes over time. The Soviet's had long been gathering evidence of the crimes committed by the Germans against the Soviets as early as 1943 through the "Extraordinary State Commission for the Crimes of the Fascist Invaders". Soviet citizens and people in occupied lands wanted to see justice done. The Sovet interpretation of a "trial" was to use their gathered evidence, parade the defendants in front of a judge who would then sentence them to death for their crimes, these trials would include thousands of people from the top to the bottom and the sentences were pre-ordained.

The actual plan and what became Nuremberg was an American invention, even your own link supports that. Stimson drew up the idea and Army Colonel Murray Burnay's who was an attorney crafted the language of the indictments and the framework for the legal proceeding. The U.S. and Britain would not acquiesce to a Soviet style trial and the Soviets only agreed to the larger scope "Trial of European War Criminals" when they were given guarantees that Soviet actions would not be indictable.

As for "Generalplan Ost" that was used as direct evidence of German crimes against humanity. However, that was only one of 4 charges at Nuremberg, but obviously the most serious. However, even in that light and the brutality that it included, the Allies certainly engaged in systematic destruction and targeting of civilian populations. Between the bombings of Hamburg, Dresden and Pforzheim, approximately 93k German civilians were incinerated. I'm not justifying any of the actions, merely stating that the Germans could produce their own piles of children's burned corpses at the hands of the Allies, who most certainly directly targeted civilians during the war.

No one is attempting to water down what happened on the Eastern Front as "just another world war", simply pointing out that there were atrocities on both sides. In the case of the Soviets, some of their atrocities, belligerent actions and annexation of territory to "export the revolution" happened before a single German soldier stepped on Soviet soil. As such I think it is fair to say that the Allies did not occupy the moral highground as they sat in judgement of the Germans.
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