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Old 05-13-2011, 10:31 PM
 
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Is it OK to brutally slaughter two civilians because the enemy brutally slaughtered ten? How about nine for ten?
Again you are missing the point. It's NOT about numbers, because each and every war kills civilians - it's unavoidable. It's the criminal Nazi philosophy towards civil population and not even brutality - (the word is not quite fitting,) but their sadism towards the conquered people. That's what brought the inevitable on their heads and that's why other nations couldn't any longer remain *proper* while responding to Nazi atrocities.
When you read things like this -

Mengele's experiments also included attempts to change eye colour by injecting chemicals into children's eyes, various amputations of limbs, and other surgeries. Rena Gelissen's account of her time in Auschwitz details certain experiments performed on female prisoners around October 1943. Mengele would experiment on the chosen girls, performing sterilization and shock treatments. Most of the victims died, because of either the experiments or later infections.

"Once Mengele's assistant rounded up 14 pairs of Roma twins during the night. Mengele placed them on his polished marble dissection table and put them to sleep. He then injected chloroform into their hearts, killing them instantly. Mengele then began dissecting and meticulously noting each piece of the twins' bodies."[11]


it becomes obvious that we are not talking any longer about "brutality" in conventional sense of this word - we are talking about different set of mind, we are talking about unprecedented ( in the civil world) approach of war criminals to their victims. Granted - I am bringing the extreme case talking about Dr. Mengele, yet he was still a representative of Nazi philosophy, so no surprise that Churchill was talking about "corrupt civil population" of Germany, because under the circumstances the whole nation serving and promoting Nazi ideas was regarded by him as part of the problem - the evil that needed to be stopped and eradicated, no matter what.
So idea of "nine civilians brutally murdered for ten" doesn't quite work here any longer; the inevitable response was not for the number of killed civilians, ( although in case of Russia it was huge,) but for the Nazi philosophy, which neither Russia, nor Britain or US could match.
Hence - yes, even if the allies committed any crimes ( unavoidable in this case) towards Germans, Nuremberg trial was still not a farce - far away from it.
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:21 AM
 
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The fifteen United States soldiers who were shot upon the orders of Gen. Dostler were described by members of the German forces -- Wehrmacht and Naval -- who had interrogated them as "Wearing U.S. Army uniforms at the time of their capture." In no way could they have been compared to Skorzeny's people who were captured wearing American uniforms and carrying forged U.S. Identification while operating behind the American lines. Even Dostlers superior tried to stop the executions of those fifteen American soldiers but Dostler ignored his urgent communique. Dostler, it should be noted, was a powerful advocate of Naziism, and of Adolf Hitler.

Last edited by Erik Rall; 10-16-2011 at 12:29 AM.. Reason: Typo
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Willow Spring and Mocksville
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On another note, the Soviets generally shot Volkssturm members out of hand, though the Volkssturm was a legal irregular defense force. Many VS members were uniformed in old brown Party uniforms, and the Soviets somewhat ingeniously claimed that they were trying to "impersonate" Russian troops.

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Old 12-26-2013, 07:13 AM
 
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Very interesting thread. I was led here initially via some research on Dostler. I find the legal arguments in his case to be of interest to me. Especially enlightening are the writings of the son of Dostler's defense attorney. They seem to be quite different from what I find on here and other sources.

As has been said by many throughout history, it is an undeniable truth that the history of war and associated atrocities of war is written by the victors. Put simply: might is right.
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Old 12-26-2013, 12:39 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
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Originally Posted by Gus Lukas View Post

As has been said by many throughout history, it is an undeniable truth that the history of war and associated atrocities of war is written by the victors.
The losers have written plenty.
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
In regards to Nuremberg, many of the proceedings have been called into question even at that time as more a form of sham/show trial than actually being grounded in real legal standings. Even the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Harlan Stone felt that it was setting a horrible precedent and was too "sanctimonious".

The chief U.S. prosecutor even went on to state that many of the things we are finding the Germans guilty of are things we ourselves have committed and noted that the French were shredding the Geneva Convention with their current treatment of POW's. Not to mention the exclusions that were granted to the Soviets and even British for committing the same acts the Germans were being tried for.

TonyT mentioned some of these same things regarding the Dostler trial. Essentially Germany and it's leadership were put on trial for committing "crimes" that were only crimes according to international treaties that Germany in many cases was not a signatory on. Additionally, most of the legal minds involved felt that they were simply creating laws to find the German's guilty of things ex post facto to answer to popular pressure.

Basically the Germans were tried for committing crimes that weren't defined as crimes when they were carried out. The victors write the history books...and apparently the laws.
"The victors write the history books . . . and apparently the laws." [quote] So true! The losing side also can not only lose their lives, but their personal possessions and dignity as well. All through history wounded survivors were put to death by the other side and The Geneva Convention's documents only came after thge Great War of 1914-1918 as I recall? Please correct me if I am wrong? Maybe they could get the American actor Dustin Hoffman play the role of General Anton Dostler in a motion picture?
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Old 10-15-2014, 11:22 AM
 
Location: London
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Originally Posted by TonyT View Post
To understand things a bit better though, one needs to look back to October 18, 1942, which was the day Hitler issued his infamous “Commando Order”. The order seems to have been in reaction to a British commando raid in the Channel Islands during which five German soldiers were captured then summarily executed.
Executed? er, er, no.
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Old 10-15-2014, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Miami, FL
8,088 posts, read 8,431,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strelnikov View Post
On another note, the Soviets generally shot Volkssturm members out of hand, though the Volkssturm was a legal irregular defense force. Many VS members were uniformed in old brown Party uniforms, and the Soviets somewhat ingeniously claimed that they were trying to "impersonate" Russian troops.
Late ETO French soldiers shot German prisoners out of hand as well. As did a number of American units to soldiers believed to be part of the SS.

I recall reading one GI asked a solder if he was SS who responded no-PanzerGrenadier because the uniforms were similar.

Then we can address the issue in WW1, Boer War, etc.

The dynamics of battlefield surrender have been explored in a number of books in the past few years and it is dangerous business to surrender alone; during and immediately after combat; being part of a questionable organization and the wrong place.(pow camp or other) Some hospital guards in May 1945 were shot out of hand because the U.S. POWs were found emaciated although this condition occurred at the camp and not the hospital.

General Dostler appears to have been incorrect in his decision as the party were wearing uniforms, although his reasoning may be based on the Commando Order, and his execution was correct on the part of the Allies. The Bordeaux canoe raiders were all shot as well after their raid and they too wore uniforms. I number of evading airmen were threatened with execution as spies as they had discarded or changed the appearance of their uniforms.(Under the existing Commando Order)

The Germans in the Ardennes offensive actually were within the existing laws of war by only being deceptive with their own uniforms beneath the U.S. ones for actual fighting. This only applies to ground troops as the Panther tanks mocked up to appear as M-10s did actually engage in battle without shedding their false colors.

Recall German auxiliary cruisers sailed under Allied or Neutral disguise and revealed their actual nationality before opening fire to be within International Law and not pirates.

Last edited by Felix C; 10-15-2014 at 01:55 PM..
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