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Old 04-29-2008, 11:12 AM
 
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Do you think the decisions reached at the Nuremberg trials were just and right? I find that I am ambivalent about them, myself, because the horrors perpetrated during WW II were so egregious, and it seems unbelievable that people could close their eyes to what was happening. At the same time, the people we put on trial if they had resisted would probably have been killed along with their families by the Nazis, and facing that very real possibility they made a terrible choice. I'd like to think that I would have resisted, but if that resistance meant suffering and death for the people I love, I don't know what I would have done. As a law-abiding citizen, there are so many things that my government does that I disagree with, but I go along with it. It's part social contract, and part habit. Of course, I think to myself that there are limits to my obedience, but I wonder sometimes what those limits are and whether I could cover my eyes and ears if the cost were my life or the lives of the people I love.
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Old 04-29-2008, 12:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Do you think the decisions reached at the Nuremberg trials were just and right?
For the most part, although there were two or three more I would have sent to the gallows.

Quote:
I find that I am ambivalent about them, myself, because the horrors perpetrated during WW II were so egregious, and it seems unbelievable that people could close their eyes to what was happening.
Well, that was one of the points of the entire Tribunal- to exhibit and document the crimes of the Third Reich; to leave a public record of them and to punish the perpetrators, but not so much via victors' justice, but rather due process, a hallmark of democracy, which Germany has been ever since.


Quote:
At the same time, the people we put on trial if they had resisted would probably have been killed along with their families by the Nazis,
Well, the people put on trial were, for the most part, the architects of Nazism, the top dogs, so to speak. People like Jodll and Goerring were unrepentant Nazis. The ony person to express anything resembling remorse was Albert Speer. So if you do not try them, then who do you try?

All of the war crimes trials, which still continue btw, focused mostly on those guilty of atrocities. The common foot soldier in the Wehrmacht (regular army) was not targeted and rightly so.
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Old 04-29-2008, 01:39 PM
 
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Thanks for responding, I need to learn more about the war trials and try to understand them better. I appreciate your input.
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Old 04-29-2008, 02:58 PM
 
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There are some great books out there, but the titles and authors' names escape me. Its interesting to see how the format developed and how it took into account political sensitivities.

At first the USSR and even the UK though summary execution was preferred. Later, when they were listing counts, they had to skip the invasion of Poland because the USSR helped Germany with that.
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:31 PM
 
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I know that some of our Supreme Court justices were upset at the time, they didn't like the idea of victors' courts, and the ad hoc nature of the rules. The fact that it wasn't really precedented, because most wars are conditional surrenders and one of the conditions is to avoid legal retribution, but this was an unconditional surrender, and so opened the doors. I'm still ambivalent, but I'm going to look for a good book on the subject and learn more about it.
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:55 PM
 
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Well, there was no way it was going to be perfect. But it certainly was better than doing nothing. The German press and public generally were satisfied with the results. Indeed, Germany went on to conduct their own war crimes trials, although the format was different.

And you will find that the judges were fair. For example, they tried to indict Goerring for the bombing of Rotterdamm as Holland had already surrendered. But his lawyer was able to prove that communications had broken down and they therefore did not know of the surrender. The count was dismissed, although it did not save him in the end.

And a couple of goons were totally acquitted...and then promptly arrested by German authorities.

All things considered, it was a success.
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:37 AM
 
Location: Turn right at the stop sign
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DC:

You may want to look at page 5 of this forum and look for a thread "Should the German Generals Keitel and Jodl been executed". The discussion dealt primarily with the Nuremberg Trials.
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:37 AM
 
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Thank you, I went to page 5 and read the thread. Your posts were most informative. I will definitely be looking for books to learn more about this topic.
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Old 05-11-2008, 03:43 AM
 
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The trials were more a kangaroo court. You certainly didn't expect a fair trial out of this.

See, the Soviets committed grave warcrimes and invaded Poland around roughly the same time Germany did; yet the Soviets were hailed as allies. The Soviet regime was brutal and certainly treated their own citizens much worse than Nazi Germany ever did (the Germans under NS had a farily high quality of life).

The trials... They executed generals they shouldn't of and basically simply executed/jailed members of the top NS hierarchy, whether they were guilty of crimes or not.

Unfortunately, much propoganda exists about NS Germany, the same type is not spread about the Soviets. It's always difficult to debate such history with people because many have been brainwashed to assume anything remotely related to Germany under Hitler = bad, evil, etc.

Hell, the Japanese were downright brutal but we allowed their leader to survive and rule as many of their leaders... the Japanese were brutal in their treatment of POWs and the places they occupied. But history is written by the victor...
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Old 05-11-2008, 07:48 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
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Originally Posted by Haargar
Quote:
Unfortunately, much propoganda exists about NS Germany, the same type is not spread about the Soviets.
Right.
Next you'll be saying that the Nazis had nothing to do with the holocaust, or that the holocaust is just one big Jewish conspiracy?
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