Scrapbookpages Blog

November 22, 2010

Benjamin B. Ferencz on losing “the spirit of Nuremberg”

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 9:17 am

Yesterday a Memorium commemorating the Nuremberg “Trials” opened in the courthouse where the “trials” were held 65 years ago.  (Trials is in quotes because these so-called trials were actually military tribunals.)

Deutsche Welle, a German newspaper reported on it and you can read their news article here.

Deutsche Welle reported this:

Benjamin Ferencz, a former US prosecutor in the war crimes trials, and one of the few people participants still alive to have taken part in the trials, returned to Nuremberg at the age of 91 to speak at the opening of the museum on the anniversary of the world’s first war crimes trial.


Ferencz bore witness to this at the end of the war, and on Sunday used his speech as an opportunity to criticize those countries who, he says, are not giving their full support to the ICC, those whom he believes, have lost the spirit of Nuremberg.

The Ohrdruf labor camp near Gotha, Germany

General Dwight D. Eisenhower is shown in the center of the photo above. The man to the left of General Eisenhower is Benjamin B. Ferencz, who is taking notes. The photo shows the partially burned bodies of prisoners at Ohrdruf.   What is Ferencz writing down?  “Prisoners burned alive at an extermination camp”?  Or is he making a note that these bodies are being burned, instead of buried, to stop the spread of a typhus epidemic?

Ferencz is the soldier on the right with a note pad in his hand

The civilian in the dark suit is a former prisoner in the Ohrdruf camp.  The next day he was killed by a Russian prisoner because he was allegedly a Kapo who was helping the Germans.  The men in the photo are looking at a mass grave that has been opened.  The bodies of prisoners who died at Ohrdruf were buried before they started burning them instead.  Did the Germans get any credit for trying to stop the typhus epidemic?  No, that was not the “spirit of Nuremberg.”

The “spirit of Nuremberg” was to make up ex post facto laws and then present false evidence and make every innocent detail of World War II into a war crime perpetrated by the Germans.  The job assignment of Ferencz was to accompany the American liberators and take notes on the “atrocities” that the Germans would be charged with at Nuremberg.

Here is another quote from Deutsche Welle:

Speaking at the inauguration of the new museum, Ferencz said, “When I left Germany for the first time after World War II and left Nuremberg, my biggest regret was that I never heard from any German saying ‘I’m sorry.’ I would never have believed that I would come back 60 years later and would hear a completely different voice and a different plan in the same country.”

Yes, the Germans have a “different plan” (which was forced on them by the Allied occupation) but they have “taken the high road” and they have “owned” their “guilt.”  They don’t dwell on the fake gas chamber that was shown in a film at the Nuremberg IMT; they accept it.  I read somewhere (I can’t remember the source) that Hermann Goering laughed after seeing the film and said: “We made a few propaganda films ourselves.”