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Old 11-16-2013, 06:20 PM
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,946,140 times
Reputation: 13779


Originally Posted by nightbird47 View Post
The GI's who found atrocities had meeted out their own justice to the guards who hadn't run yet, or gave prisoners a rifle for an hour or two to take care of the problem, since they knew who they were. They were the first to march out the citizenry who 'didn't know' except it smelled like a rotting slaughter house and make them personally bury the bodies without gloves. They gave what you might call direct justice. By then, of course, the commanders were long gone.

It's good, though, that these leaders were not simply executed. The documentation of what they did was done. They were allowed to defend themselves and often dug the hole deeper. But laying the framework for an international court and recognition of human rights has had effects that shooting them at dawn never would have.

The Japanese defendents got it easier, but much of the 'evidence' was already dead, and some places like their medical island every prisoner died and everything else was burned. With no evidence there were no charges and no witnesses except in the afterlife. And Japanese all looked alike and their names were odd and unrecognizable, and most of all people wanted to move on. And there were the commies....

The men who fought that way and came home to the suburbs and to raise a family never quite forgot, though even if they didn't talk much about it.
Excellent post. I can't rep you formally for a while!

Originally Posted by lilyflower3191981 View Post
Let's not forget the Nazis were a vile collection of thugs, misfits, criminals, sadists, and petty bureaucrats bound together only by their philosophy of hate and their love of plunder. The stronger their stranglehold on power, the more monstrous their crimes.

Therefore Nuremberg Trials is the most important criminal hearings ever held, which established the principle that individuals will always be held responsible for their actions under international law, and which brought closure to world war II.
I think another important result of the Nuremberg Trials is that the Nazis who were tried and found guilty couldn't become "martyrs" in the future because the evidence of their crimes was published, not buried in some forgotten archive somewhere where it could be easily forgotten. Despite the trials, we still have Holocaust deniers around, so imagine what might have grown up if these guys had simply been executed, especially in Germany.
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