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November 18, 2010

November 20th, 65th anniversary of the start of the Nuremberg IMT

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 7:54 am

I have just learned that a new Museum will open in Nürnberg, Germany on the 65th anniversary of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, which began on November 20, 1945.  That is something that I definitely want to see.  I was a child of 12 in 1945 and I remember the media coverage of the Nuremberg IMT very well.

Back in 1997, on a vacation trip to Nürnberg, I took a taxi to the Justizgebäude (called the Palace of Justice by Americans) located at Fürtherstrasse 22, where the Nuremberg IMT took place in Room 600 in 1945. The building is still being used, but unfortunately it was a religious holiday in Bavaria and the court was not in session that day.

I asked several Germans, who were passing by, which part of the building Room 600 was located in, but they didn’t know.   I took some photos of the outside of the building, but my photos didn’t include the windows of Room 600, which is in a side wing of the building.

Room 600 is located in the wing on the extreme right

Old photo shows the wing where Room 600 is located

(Click on the photos to enlarge)

The windows of Room 600 are covered by shades in the old photo above.  Note all the military vehicles in the parking lot.

According to the news stories that I have read, the new Museum, called the “Memorium,” will occupy an “attic space” at the courthouse.

The first proceedings, which are now called “the Nuremberg IMT,” were officially named “the Trial of the Major War Criminals.” Actually, it wasn’t a “trial,” but rather an International Military Tribunal; the rules of a military tribunal are not the same as the rules of a trial.  The Tribunal consisted of prosecutors and judges from the United States, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union.

A second set of proceedings, known as “the Nuremberg Military Tribunals,” were conducted by the United States. The most famous of these proceedings were the Doctors’ Trial and the Judges’ Trial.  (The movie Judgment at Nuremberg was based on the Judges’ Trial.)

Whenever anyone tries to deny the Holocaust, they are always confronted with the evidence at Nuremberg “trials”:  At the main “trial”, there were 100,000 documents accepted into evidence and the transcript of the trial filled 42 volumes with more than 5 million words.  That is why it is generally accepted that the Holocaust was the most documented crime in the history of the world.

The proceedings were filmed, and shown to the world on TV. Newsreel films showed the city of Nürnberg as a pile of rubble, which had not yet been cleared when the proceedings started; the bodies of 20,000 German civilians were still buried under the destroyed buildings as the German war criminals were brought into the courtroom of the Palace of Justice. The Palace of Justice had suffered some damage in the Allied bombing of Nürnberg, but it was restored by the forced labor of the conquered Germans before the proceedings began.  (Albert Speer was charged with a war crime for using forced labor in the concentration camps.  He got off with only 20 years in prison.)

According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Allied prosecutors submitted some 3,000 tons of records at the Nuremberg IMT. The defense was not allowed access to any documents except the ones that were actually used by the prosecution.

There were 403 open sessions conducted by the IMT, and 113 witnesses were called to the stand including 33 for the prosecution and 80 for the defense. Many prosecution witnesses gave testimony in an affidavit but did not take the stand, so the defense had no opportunity to cross examine them under oath. Even when Ernst Kaltenbrunner demanded that a prosecution witness take the stand so that he could confront him, the request was denied.

When the “Trial of the Major War Criminals” began on November 20, 1945, British judge Sir Goeffrey Lawrence called the court to order, saying that “This trial, which is now about to begin, is unique in the annals of jurisprudence.”

The “trial” was unprecedented because the prosecutors, who conducted it and the judges who made up the jury, were both from the victorious Allies only. The International Tribunal and the charges against the Germans were created under the terms of an agreement among the Allies, known as the London Charter, which was signed on August 8, 1945.

The reason that the Nuremberg “trials” were unique is because the crimes, with which the Germans were charged, were not yet in existence.  The verdicts at Nuremberg CREATED international law.

The whole world learned for the first time, at Nuremberg, about the German war time atrocities, including all the gory details of the medical experiments on prisoners, the shrunken heads, the soap made from human fat, the leather goods made from the skin of concentration camp prisoners, and the gas chambers which accounted for the majority of the deaths at Auschwitz and Majdanek.

The Soviet prosecutors charged the Germans with killing 4 million prisoners at  Auschwitz and another 1.5 million at the Majdanek camp. Today, the figures given for these camps is 1.1 million deaths at Auschwitz and 78,000 at Majdanek.

The charges at the Nuremberg main “trial” were based on the new laws contained in Control Council Law No. 10 which stated four new categories of crimes, as follows:

Article II

1. Each of the following acts is recognized as a crime:

(a) Crimes against Peace. Initiation of invasions of other countries and wars of aggression in violation of international laws and treaties, including but not limited to planning, preparation, initiation or waging a war of aggression, or a war of violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing.

(b) War Crimes. Atrocities or offenses against persons or property constituting violations of the laws or customs of war, including but not limited to, murder, ill treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose, of civilian population from occupied territory, murder or ill treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.

(a) Crimes against Humanity. Atrocities and offenses, including but not limited to murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, imprisonment, torture, rape, or other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds whether or not in violation of the domestic laws of the country where perpetrated.

(d) Membership in categories of a criminal group or organization declared criminal by the International Military Tribunal.

The organizations that were declared criminal by the Tribunal were the Nazi political party and the SS, a volunteer army which included German soldiers and soldiers from other countries. Anyone who was a member of the Nazi party or the SS was automatically a war criminal under this new law.

Control Council Law No. 10 included all alleged war crimes committed by the Nazi regime against any and all nations and individuals between January 30, 1933, when Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany, and July 1, 1945.

The phrase “major war criminals” suggests that the Germans, who were put on trial, were the ones who had committed the most heinous atrocities.  But that was not the case.  The accused were charged with “participating in a common plan” to violate the Geneva Convention of 1929 and the Hague Convention of 1907 and they were chosen because of their job title, in order to show that all Germans were guilty, regardless of what they had actually done during the war.

According to the book “Justice at Nuremberg” by Robert E. Conot, the idea for the Common Plan charges against the Germans came from Lieutenant Colonel Murray C. Bernays, a Lithuanian Jew, who had emigrated to American in 1900 at the age of six.

Before the Nuremberg IMT, according to Conot’s book, Churchill and Roosevelt’s adviser Henry Morgenthau, Jr. had advocated that “the principal Nazi leaders should be charged with their crimes, then summarily shot.” Bernays argued for a trial as “the educational and therapeutic opportunity of our generation.” Regarding the Nazi crimes, Bernays wrote “The crimes and atrocities were not single or unconnected, but the inevitable outcome of the basic criminal conspiracy of the Nazi party.”

There was nothing in international law in 1945, which could have allowed a charge of participating in a “Common Plan.”

The German war criminals were specifically charged with violating the Hague convention of 1907 by invading and attacking countries without a formal declaration of war and with the violation of the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 which called for Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy. Under each of the three counts in the indictment, a detailed list of all the German crimes was entered by each of the four Allied countries: Great Britain, the United States of America, France and the Soviet Union.  Any similar acts committed by the Allies were not considered war crimes.

The  Crimes against Peace included the invasion of Poland by the Germans on Sept. 1, 1939.  The Tribunal proved that the invasion was unprovoked and that it was an act of aggression without a formal declaration.  I previously blogged about Alfred Naujocks who allegedly gave an affidavit about how the Germans justified the invasion of Poland with their claim that Poles had attacked a German radio station.

The Soviet Union invaded Poland on September 17, 1939 without a declaration of war, but that’s O.K.  Only the Germans were guilty of war crimes in World War II.

Rudolf Hess (not to be confused with Rudolf Hoess whom I will mention later) was convicted of Crimes against Peace.  Hess was Hitler’s deputy and he had famously flown solo to Scotland on a peace mission, so how could he have been convicted of “crimes against peace”?  As Hitler’s deputy, Hess had signed papers on Hitler’s behalf, so that was the basis of charging him with crimes against peace.

Rudolf Höss, also known as Rudolf Hoess, was a defense witness for Ernst Kaltenbrunner, one of the men in the dock at Nuremberg.  Many people make the mistake of assuming that Hoess gave testimony at Nuremberg because he was one of the accused.  No, no, no!  It was Rudolf Hess who had been charged with a war crime.

During his cross examination by the prosecution, an affidavit which Hoess had signed on May 14, 1946, was introduced. This was his confession, sworn under oath, in which he admitted that 2 million Jews had been put to death by gassing and half a million more by other means while he was the Commandant of the whole Auschwitz-Birkenau complex. This did not include the Hungarian Jews who were gassed while Hoess was not the Commandant of Auschwitz-Birkenau, although he was a staff member at that time.  The number of prisoners who died of all causes at Auschwitz-Birkenau is now claimed to be 1.5 million, or sometimes 1.1 million.

At the Nuremberg IMT, the Soviet Union accused the German military and specifically Hermann Goering, head of the German Air Force, of committing the Katyn Forrest Massacre of 11,000 Polish army officers in September 1941. The Germans had brought in American POWs as observers when the bodies were dug up. An American soldier testified for the defense regarding the Katyn Forrest Massacre; in 1989 the world learned that his testimony was correct when the Soviet Union admitted that it was really the Russians who had murdered a total of 15,000 Polish army officers before June 1941, and had falsely accused the Germans.

The most important person among the accused at Nuremberg was Hermann Goering.  On the third day of his cross examination of Goering, Justice Robert Jackson questioned him about the treatment of the Jews in Nazi Germany, including the anti-Jewish Nuremberg Laws on Citizenship which Goering had signed in September 1935.

Then Jackson confronted Goering with the most incriminating piece of evidence in the entire trial: a letter dated July 31, 1941, in which Goering had ordered Reinhard Heydrich, the chief of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), to prepare a plan for the “Final solution of the Jewish question.” Goering testified that the German term “Die Endlösung” in the letter should have been translated as the “total solution,” and that it referred only to “the emigration of the Jews,” not the extermination of the Jews.

A copy of the Protocols of the Wannsee Conference, at which the “Final Solution” was planned, was not found until 1947, so this important document was not included in the mountain of evidence introduced at the International Military Tribunal at which the German war criminals were tried for Crimes against Humanity.

The crimes of the Germans did not become war crimes under international law, until AFTER the IMT proceedings, when the United Nations passed the Genocide Convention and a Declaration of Human Rights.

As a result of the conviction of the German war criminals, the rules of warfare changed after World War II was over.  For example, reprisals can no longer be taken against hostages or Prisoners of War; forced labor is now outlawed, and captured partisans are given equal status with regular POWs. The Germans had been convicted of all these crimes before they were crimes.

Regulations of all the major World War II armies now state that orders which would constitute the commission of a crime need not be obeyed. The defense, used by the German generals and admirals at Nuremberg, that they were just obeying orders, is no longer valid. Obeying orders was a legitimate defense in 1945, but it was not allowed at the Nuremberg IMT.

The horror films of the Allied liberation of the Nazi concentration camps at Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald and Dachau were shown at the trial, to the defendants and to the public. An American-made documentary film, which showed all the graphic details of the gas pipes and control wheels which regulated the flow of poison gas through the shower heads of the Dachau gas chamber, was shown in the courtroom on November 29, 1945.

The German military and economic leaders were visibly stunned by this proof of a gas chamber at Dachau, and claimed that they were seeing and hearing about this unprecedented atrocity for the first time. The American public was horrified that such a thing could have taken place in the civilized world.

Today, tourists are not allowed to see the gas pipes and control wheels that were shown in the courtroom at Nuremberg. Instead, they are shown bins on the outside wall of the gas chamber which “could have been used” to put poison gas pellets into the room. (For some strange reason, no one noticed the bins until long after the film about the Dachau gas chamber was made.)

The Nuremberg IMT ended on October 1, 1946; twelve of the German war criminals were sentenced to death. Seven of the accused were sentenced to prison terms, ranging from ten years to life, and three men were acquitted. Of the 24 men who were originally indicted,  one (Robert Ley) committed suicide while in prison, and another (Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach) was not considered mentally and physically competent to stand trial.  Martin Bormann was tried, and condemned to death in absentia.  He disappeared in May 1945 and is now believed to have died at that time.

Among those, who were condemned to death by hanging, were Joachim von Ribbentrop, the Nazi minister of foreign affairs; Hermann Goering, the leader of the Gestapo and the Luftwaffe; Alfred Jodl, a General of the German regular army; and Wilhelm Frick, the minister of the interior.

On October 16, 1946, ten of the convicted men were hanged. Goering committed suicide in his prison cell before he was scheduled to be hanged.

11 Comments

  1. Thanks for posting this Potocki material, Gasan. It tells the true story, and therefore is not usually found in official historiography, or if it is, is minimized as much as possible. Everything in official history plays up the duplicity of Hitler, where in truth, he was more forthright than the others. He did what he said he was going to do, while Roosevelt did the opposite of what he said he would do.

    Comment by Sceptic — November 23, 2010 @ 9:30 am

  2. The feeling now prevailing in the United States is marked by a growing hatred of Fascism and, above all, of Chancellor Hitler and everything connected with Nazism. Propaganda is mostly in the hands of the Jews who control almost 100 percent radio, film, daily and periodical press. Although this propaganda is extremely coarse and presents Germany as black as possible-above all religious persecution and concentration camps are exploited-this propaganda is nevertheless extremely effective since the public here is completely ignorant and knows nothing of the situation in Europe.

    Right now most Americans regard Chancellor Hitler and Nazism as the greatest evil and greatest danger threatening the world. The situation here provides an excellent platform for public speakers of all kinds, for emigrants from Germany and Czechoslovakia who don’t spare any words to incite the public here with every kind of slander. They praise American liberty which they contrast with the totalitarian states.

    It is interesting to note that in this extremely well-planned campaign which is conducted above all against National Socialism, Soviet Russia is almost completely excluded. If mentioned at all, it is only in a friendly manner and things are presented in such a way as if Soviet Russia were working with the bloc of democratic states. Thanks to the clever propaganda the sympathy of the American public is completely on the side of Red Spain.

    Besides this propaganda, a war psychosis is being artificially created. The American people are told that peace in Europe is hanging only by a thread and that war is unavoidable. At the same time the American people are unequivocally told that in case of a world war, America must also take an active part in order to defend the slogans of freedom and democracy in the world.

    President Roosevelt was the first to express hatred against Fascism. In doing so he was serving a double purpose: First, he wanted to divert the attention of the American people from domestic political problems, especially the problem of the struggle between capital and labor. Second, by creating a war psychosis and by spreading rumors about danger threatening Europe, he wanted to get the American people to accept an enormous armament program which exceeds the defense requirements of the United States.

    Regarding the first point, it must be said that the internal situation on the labor market is steadily growing worse. The unemployed today already number twelve million. Federal and state expenditures are increasing daily. Only the huge sums, running into billions, which the treasury expends for emergency labor projects, are keeping a certain amount of peace in the country. Thus far there have only been the usual strikes and local unrest. But how long this kind of government aid can be kept up cannot be predicted. The excitement and indignation of public opinion, and the serious conflict between private enterprises and enormous trusts on the one hand, and with labor on the other, have made many enemies for Roosevelt and are causing him many sleepless nights.

    As to point two, I can only say that President Roosevelt, as a clever political player and an expert of the American mentality, speedily steered public attention away from the domestic situation to fasten it on foreign policy. The way to achieve this was simple. One needed, on the one hand, to conjure up a war menace hanging over the world because of Chancellor Hitler, and, on the other hand, to create a specter by babbling about an attack of the totalitarian states against the United States. The Munich pact came to President Roosevelt as a godsend. He portrayed it as a capitulation of France and England to bellicose German militarism. As people say here: Hitler compelled Chamberlain at pistol-point. Hence, France and England had no choice and had to conclude a shameful peace.

    The prevalent hatred against everything which is in any way connected with German Nazism is further kindled by the brutal policy against the Jews in Germany and by the émigré problem. In this action, various Jewish intellectuals participated: for instance, Bernard Baruch; the Governor of New York State, Lehman; the newly appointed judge of the Supreme Court, Felix Frankfurter; Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau; and others who are personal friends of President Roosevelt. They want the President to become the champion of human rights, freedom of religion and speech, and the man who in the future will punish trouble-makers. These groups of people who occupy the highest positions in the American government and want to pose as representatives of ‘true Americanism’ and ‘defenders of democracy’ are, in the last analysis, connected by unbreakable ties with international Jewry.

    For this Jewish international, which above all is concerned with the interests of its race, to portray the President of the United States as the ‘idealist’ champion on human rights was a very clever move. In this manner they have created a dangerous hotbed for hatred and hostility in this hemisphere and divided the world into two hostile camps. The entire issue is worked out in a masterly manner. Roosevelt has been given the foundation for activating American foreign policy, and simultaneously has been procuring enormous military stocks for the coming war, for which the Jews are striving very consciously. With regard to domestic policy, it is very convenient to divert public attention from anti-Semitism, which is constantly growing in the United States, by talking about the necessity of defending religion and individual liberty against the onslaught of Fascism.

    On 16 January 1939, Polish Ambassador Potocki reported to the Warsaw Foreign Ministry on another lengthy conversation he had with Roosevelt’s personal envoy, William Bullitt:

    The day before yesterday, I had a longer discussion with Ambassador Bullitt in the Embassy where he called on me. Bullitt leaves on the 21st of this month for Paris, from where he has been absent for almost three months. He is sailing with a whole ‘trunk’ full of instructions, conversations, and directives from President Roosevelt, the State Department and Senators who belong to the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

    In talking with Bullitt I had the impression that he had received from President Roosevelt a very precise definition of the attitude taken by the United States towards the present European crisis. He will present this material at the Quai d’Orsay [the French Foreign Ministry] and will make use of it in discussions with European statesmen. The contents of these directives, as Bullitt explained them to me in the course of a conversation lasting half an hour, were:

    1. The vitalizing of foreign policy under the leadership of President Roosevelt, who severely and unambiguously condemns totalitarian countries.

    2. United States preparations for war on sea, land and air will be carried out at an accelerated pace and will consume the colossal sum of 1.25 billion dollars.

    3. It is the decided opinion of the President that France and Britain must put an end to any sort of compromise with the totalitarian countries. They must not get into any discussions aiming at any kind of territorial changes.

    4. They have the moral assurance that the United States will abandon the policy of isolation and be prepared to intervene actively on the side of Britain and France in case of war. America is ready to place its whole wealth of money and raw materials at their disposal.

    Comment by Gasan — November 22, 2010 @ 7:54 pm

  3. Ambassador Potocki’s report from Washington of 9 January 1939 dealt in large part with President Roosevelt’s annual address to Congress:

    President Roosevelt acts on the assumption that the dictatorial governments, above all Germany and Japan, only understand a policy of force. Therefore he has decided to react to any future blows by matching them. This has been demonstrated by the most recent measures of the United States.

    The American public is subject to an ever more alarming propaganda which is under Jewish influence and continuously conjures up the specter of the danger of war. Because of this the Americans have strongly altered their views on foreign policy problems, in comparison with last year.

    Comment by Gasan — November 22, 2010 @ 7:52 pm

  4. In 21 November 1938, Ambassador Potocki sent a report to Warsaw which discussed in some detail a conversation between himself and Bullitt, who happened to be back in Washington:

    The day before yesterday I had a long conversation with Ambassador Bullitt, who is here on vacation. He began by remarking that friendly relations existed between himself and [Polish] Ambassador Lukasiewicz in Paris, whose company he greatly enjoyed.

    Since Bullitt regularly informs President Roosevelt about the international situation in Europe, and particularly about Russia, great attention is given to his reports by President Roosevelt and the State Department. Bullitt speaks energetically and interestingly. Nonetheless, his reaction to events in Europe resembles the view of a journalist more than that of a politician …

    About Germany and Chancellor Hitler he spoke with great vehemence and strong hatred. He said that only force, and ultimately a war would put an end to the insane future German expansionism.

    To my question asking how he visualized this coming war, he replied that above all the United States, France and England must rearm tremendously in order to be in a position to oppose German power.

    Only then, when the moment is ripe, declared Bullitt further, will one be ready for the final decision. I asked him in what way a conflict could arise, since Germany would probably not attack England and France first. I simply could not see the connecting point in this whole combination.

    Bullitt replied that the democratic countries absolutely needed another two years until they were fully armed. In the meantime, Germany would probably have advanced with its expansion in an easterly direction. It would be the wish of the democratic countries that armed conflict would break out there, in the East between the German Reich and Russia. As the Soviet Union’s potential strength is not yet known, it might happen that Germany would have moved too far away from its base, and would be condemned to wage a long and weakening war. Only then would the democratic countries attack Germany, Bullitt declared, and force her to capitulate.

    In reply to my question whether the United States would take part in such a war, he said, ‘Undoubtedly yes, but only after Great Britain and France had let loose first!’ Feeling in the United States was no intense against Nazism and Hitlerism, that a psychosis already prevails today among Americans similar to that before America’s declaration of war against Germany in 1917.

    Bullitt did not give the impression of being very well informed about the situation in Eastern Europe, and he conversed in a rather superficial way.

    Comment by Gasan — November 22, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

  5. Sceptic,
    FDR was directly pushing Poland in war with Germany, as early as January of 1939. There are letters sent by Polish Ambassador to the United States Count Jerzy Potocki sent to the Foreign Minister Jozef Beck.
    2. Count Jerzy Potocki, the Polish Ambassador in Washington, in a report to the Polish Foreign Office in January 1939, is quoted approvingly by the highly respected British military historian Major-General JFC Fuller. Concerning public opinion in America he says “Above all, propaganda here is entirely in Jewish hands.when bearing public ignorance in mind, their propaganda is so effective that people have no real knowledge of the true state of affairs in Europe. It is interesting to observe that in this carefully thought-out campaign. no reference at all is made to Soviet Russia. If that country is mentioned, it is referred to in a friendly manner and people are given the impression that Soviet Russia is part of the democratic group of countries. Jewry was able not only to establish a dangerous centre in the New World for the dissemination of hatred and enmity, but it also succeeded in dividing the world into two warlike camps.President Roosevelt has been given the power.. to create huge reserves in armaments for a future war which the Jews are deliberately heading for.” (Fuller, JFC: The Decisive Battles of the Western World vol 3 pp 372-374.)

    Comment by Gasan — November 22, 2010 @ 7:40 pm

  6. Alfred Helmut Naujocks was a person of my interest for quite a while. I have posted about him on your blog before. I even have doubts that he was ever member of SS. He could be anybody, he might never existed at all. What do we know about him except his own written affidavit and the questionable biography from Wikipedia. So, was there an attack on Gleiwitz Radio transmitter or not?
    Yes, there was an incident, and I cannot say at this moment, what exactly happened. But I can say what happened immediately after that. There had been attacks on the German towns from Poland. There were at least twenty one incident when polish troops attacked neighboring German cities.
    I have watched the German newsreel 1939-09-07 – UfA-Tonwoche Nr. 470 – 1/2 which shows results of the polish attack on German town Beuthen (now, Bytom, Poland, about )8.5 miles from Gleiwitz) early morning of 09/01/39. It starts after around 1:45 of the newsreel. The commentator is clearly stating that “after the provocation in Gleiwitz, the polish troops attacked Beuthen. He also stated that the Poland received some “assurances” from England to defend Poland. We all know about “silent war” which was conducted by England and France, and that Poland was sacrificed for a greater cause.
    What makes me believe that those newsreels are authentic? UfA-Tonwoche were reporting news as they come on the weekly basis. In the earlier versions, you could see a soccer game of Schalke 04 vs. Rapid Vienna first, and the departure of Joachim von Ribbentrop to Moscow at the end. They have had compiled their motion picture materials as they arrived, in chronological way.
    The attack on Beuthen happened probably in the evening of 08/31/1939 and was documented early in the morning next day. Adolf Hitler mentioned in his the war announcement speech that there were at least 21 incidents like that and that at 5:45 he has ordered to return the fire. In our history classes it has always being changed to 4:45 (GMT? not Central European time?).
    The only conclusion from all of it could be, that is was Poland who attacked Germany first to gain more territories. This was being done because of the false promises from England and France.

    Comment by Gasan — November 18, 2010 @ 7:41 pm

    • Thank you for giving this information.

      Naujocks was never put on the stand at Nuremberg, so he was never cross examined. There is no proof that he gave the affidavit himself. Poland had been attacking the ethnic Germans in Poland for a long time. Poland wanted war with Germany because they thought they could win, with the help of the British and the French. They never expected that the Soviet Union would help the Germans and that the British and the French would not do anything to help them.

      Comment by furtherglory — November 21, 2010 @ 5:33 am

      • Franklin Delano Roosevelt was actively discouraging the Poles, mostly via the British and French, from negotiating with the Germans to come to a mutual agreement. Roosevelt was the most important player in causing the war between Poland and Germany, and expanding it into a larger European war. He was working toward war since 1933, while denying it to the American people.

        Comment by Sceptic — November 22, 2010 @ 8:40 am

  7. This is some of the Nuremberg Tribunal “Chats”:

    MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: I would like you to tell the Tribunal what the Germans called the street to the gas chambers.

    RAJZMAN: It was named Himmelfahrt Street.

    MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: That is to say, the “street to heaven”?

    RAJZMAN: Yes. If it interests the Court, I can present a plan of the camp of Treblinka which I drew up when I was there, and I can point out to the Tribunal this street on the plan.

    THE PRESIDENT (Geoffrey Lawrence, 3rd Baron Trevethin and 1st Baron Oaksey): I do not think it is necessary to put in a plan of the camp, unless you particularly want to.

    MR. COUNSELLOR SMIRNOV: Yes, I also believe that it is not really necessary.

    ” I do not think it is necessary to put in a plan of the camp”, Thus Sayeth The Judge!

    They did not need his “plan of the camp” because it might screw up the show!

    Shmuel Raizman was the ONLY witness to testify about Treblinka Camp at the initial Nuremberg Trials.

    Here is some info about the presiding judge

    He was chosen as an experienced Judge to be the lead to Norman Birkett in the British delegation to the Judicial group in the Nuremberg trials, though not (as some thought) arising out of his friendship with Attlee who was by then Prime Minister. He was then elected as President of all the Judges, more through the lack of enemies than any other factor. His conduct of the trials was praised by many of those involved who appreciated his striving to understand the relevance of each piece of evidence, and willingness to stop long-winded counsel.

    “Lord of the Tribunals”

    Comment by Gasan — November 18, 2010 @ 5:45 pm

    • The Soviet Union gave testimony at the IMT that the Jews were killed in steam chambers at Treblinka.

      Comment by furtherglory — November 21, 2010 @ 5:25 am

  8. It appears that Alfred Jodl was found not guilty seven years after his execution.
    “Henri Donnedieu de Vabres (8 July 1880 – 1952) was a French jurist who took part to during the Nuremberg trials after World War II. He was the primary French judge during the proceedings, with Robert Falco as his alternate.

    Donnedieu was born in Nîmes. Prior to the war, he had campaigned for the concept of an International Criminal Court while serving as a professor of Criminal Law at Paris University. Later in 1947, he would again submit his idea before the United Nations’ Committee on the Progressive Development of International Law and its Codification.

    During the trials, Donnedieu was noted for protesting the charges of Conspiracy to Wage War as he felt it was too broad to be served in such a monumental trial. As a corollary of this view, he strongly protested the conviction of Colonel-General Alfred Jodl, stating that it was a miscarriage of justice for the professional soldier to be convicted – when he held no allegiance to Nazism. Jodl was later exonerated posthumously by a German court, citing Donnedieu’s statement. His trial secretary was Yves Beigbeder.

    Donnedieu was also the one to suggest that a firing squad might be a more honourable way to execute those found guilty – though that was strongly contested by Francis Biddle and Iona Nikitchenko.

    Along with Lemkin (the Academic who devised the term “genocide” in his 1944 book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe) and Vespasian V. Pella, he was consulted by John Peters Humphrey to prepare the United Nations Secretariat Draft for the Convention on the Prevention of Genocide.

    Donnedieu died in Paris in 1952.”

    Comment by Gasan — November 18, 2010 @ 5:38 pm


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