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Old 10-31-2013, 07:18 AM
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I applaud the the efforts to get old prison guards, but it makes me sad when I read stories of war criminals getting reduced sentences.
You know sometimes it comes across that sentencing or jail time isn't really on the war crime prosecution agenda as much as another reason. When Demanjanjuk got convicted for war crimes, an Israeli historian noted it wasn't so much getting him in prison but to make sure the world knew about it. From that it seems that war crime prosecution looks not only to punishment but to public relations and to document facts in case 'revisionists' wish to add some doubt later on that it was a fable that people were to be wiped out at a particular time in history.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jobseeker2013 View Post
Thanks for the info. Politics and it is outrageous to me. I believe the Holocaust was an unique crime in history. That is too bad denazification happened. Sickening
Well, the rolling back of denazification was essential to establish the West German state. Like it or not, if you were anyone in the German buerocracy or in elected office from 1933-1945 there was a 99% chance you were a member of the Nazi party. There were also different shades of the Nazi party as well. Not all people who were in the party shared Hitler's racial and anti-semitic views. Those who were ardent Nazi's were more or less moved to the margins and those who were deemed essential were kept very much inline. There was no fallback or tendency towards national socialism because of the end of denazification.

As for the war criminals, I think it is very important to point out that "crimes against humanity" charges were only one of several charges people could be brought up on. Some charges were for simply having been a German commander and helping to plan/wage the war. Others were brought up on pretty loose charges. In almost all cases, had the trials actually followed standard legal proceedings and rules, most people would not have been convicted of anything. It was only through the application of ex post facto law and the denial of the to quoque defense that most convictions were achieved.

You mention General List. Did you ever read up on what he was charged with? His case was part of the "Hostages Trial" and he was charged along with about a dozen other commanders for what happened in SE Europe; Greece, Albania, etc. General List himself was only in the area early in the war as commander of 12th Army in 1941, the group that invaded Greece. What he was directly charged with was having partisans executed and taking civilians hostages and killing them as reprisal for guerilla actions.

The problem with this was that the tribunal that almost all of the partisans were in fact partisans by all definitions. The case was further complicated by the fact that the US and British military training manuals specifically cited that taking civilian hostages was acceptable as part of anti-guerilla operations and the US manual even went so far as to say that reprisal killings were acceptable under certain circumstances.

What they eventually found him guilty of was basically going "above and beyond" what was necessary. It was overall a pretty thin case legally. There were a lot of General Lists among those charged with war crimes.
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Old 11-02-2013, 05:11 PM
Location: Florida
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"War Criminals" of course are always named by the Victors, whose own crimes are never mentioned, so they get off scott free.
Wouldn't it be fair that the losing side got to name a few war criminals among the victors?
War in itself is a crime against humanity and the leaders of both sides should be tried and convicted.
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:09 PM
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I was reading about Reinhard Heydrich. His wife went to court in the 1950s and got a government pension. For what?

Last edited by jobseeker2013; 11-05-2013 at 07:35 PM..
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