Scrapbookpages Blog

January 30, 2014

Today’s Germany — no country for old men

Filed under: Germany — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 7:48 am

In a news article in The Daily Beast, which you can read in full here, Michael Moynihan wrote that “There Should Be No Statute of Limitations on Prosecuting War Crimes.”

He means German war crimes, of course.  No Allied soldier, who served in World War II, was ever put on trial for war crimes, and none ever will be put on trial.  Only the losers are war criminals. Only the winners are allowed to make up new laws, after a war is over.

At the end of World War II, the Allies made up ex-post-facto laws, under which the Germans were put on trial by the Allies in the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal and the American Military Tribunal held at Dachau, Germany.  One of these ex-post-facto laws was called “common design” or “common plan.” Under the new common design law, anyone who was anywhere near the place where a war crime, or a Crime Against Humanity, had been committed, was guilty simply because he was there.

Under the new laws made up by the Allies after the war, the Waffen-SS was declared to be a criminal organization, as was the National Socialist political party, known to Americans today as the Nazis.

If Germany had won the war, the Germans might have designated the US Marines as a criminal organization, along with the Democratic political party.  Anyone who belonged to either of these organizations would have automatically been a war criminal, under the new laws.

The ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane

My photo of the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane

Moyniham’s article includes a great photo of the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane, a village in France, where a German soldier named Werner C. was present when the Germans did a reprisal action against the village for the kidnapping and murder of German soldiers, including Major Helmut Kämpfe, a beloved German officer, who was believed to have been killed at Oradour-sur-Glane.

This quote, regarding the Oradour-sur-Glane reprisal, is from Wikipedia:

A few days later, survivors were allowed to bury the dead. 642 inhabitants of Oradour-sur-Glane had been murdered in a matter of hours. Adolf Diekmann claimed that the episode was a just retaliation for partisan activity in nearby Tulle and the kidnapping of Helmut Kämpfe.

Under the Geneva Convention of 1929, a reprisal was legal.  Under the Geneva Convention of 1949, which is currently in effect, reprisals are no longer legal.

This quote is from the article written by Michael Moynihan:

…. German prosecutors, mining information from East German secret police files, have assembled a case against former Waffen-SS soldier Werner C. (German privacy laws protect the accused’s identity), an 88 year old from Cologne who acknowledges being present in Oradour-sur-Glane on that grim day [June 10, 1944] but claims to not have participated in the orgiastic violence.

But they are right to haul—or wheel—a geriatric SS man present at a notorious, if largely forgotten, massacre into the courtroom. Countries who don’t reckon with the past, shunting memories of political and institutional violence to the side in favor of “moving forward,” risk banalizing totalitarianism. For instance, a recent Gallup poll found that “residents in seven out of 11 countries that were part of the [Soviet Union] are more likely to believe its collapse harmed their countries than benefited them.” And Germany saw a recent wave of nostalgia for East German dictatorship (bloodlessly called “Ostalgie”), because there was no commensurate Nuremberg Trial, no nie wieder, no truth and reconciliation at the collapse of Soviet communism.

It’s unclear what role Werner C. played in the massacre, though years of rigorous academic research of Nazi crimes both inside and outside Germany have punctured the myth of soldiers merely “following orders,” lest the poor conscript too became a victim of fascism. If Werner C. pulled a trigger or pulled the pin from a grenade, or pushed children into a locked church in Oradour, he should breathe his last breath inside a prison. A small measure of justice, 70 years later, and reassurance that not all the perpetrators have “escaped the penalty of their crime.”

If Werner C. is put on trial in Germany, it will not be because he “pulled a trigger or pulled the pin from a grenade, or pushed children into a  locked church in Oradour.”  He will be put on trial and will be automatically convicted because he was there when a reprisal was conducted against the villagers in Oradour-sur-Glane. If he was there, he is guilty under the ex-post-facto law, known as “common design.”

John Demjanjuk was recently convicted, in Germany, under the “common design” law, which set a precedent for new charges to be brought against any former German soldier, who is still alive.

What really happened in Oradour-sur-Glane, that caused the German soldiers to do a reprisal?  Ever heard of “the tragic well” in Oradour-sur-glane? The photo below shows the tragic well.

The tragic well where bodies of German soldiers were found in Oradour-sur-Glane

The tragic well where bodies of German soldiers were found in Oradour-sur-Glane

You can read about the bakery, where burned bodies were found by the German soldiers when they entered the village of Oradour-sur-Glane, on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Oradour-sur-Glane/Tour/Ruins/Bakery.html

You can read the SS version of what happened at Oradour-sur-Glane on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Oradour-sur-Glane/Story/Synopsis02.html

My photo of an old car in the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane

My photo of an old car in the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane

You can read the notes that I wrote, after my visit to the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane, on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Oradour-sur-Glane/Story/TripNotes2.html

13 Comments

  1. That is correct. France and Britain declared war on the Reich due to the invasion of Poland. What goes unsaid is that Stalin invaded Poland two weeks later. The fact is that there were a number of territorial revisions. The USSR also invaded the Baltics and A part of Rumania. The leaders of France and the UK should have annulled their declarations of war and beefed up their militaries while trying to provoke the US into sending at least a token force to France. Hitler and Stalin would have then had to alter their plans. Mussolini could then have been persuaded that if he broke his pact with Germany then he’d have gotten a better deal from them. Poland was obstinate in not giving The Reich a better deal in Danzig.

    Comment by der-wulf — March 12, 2014 @ 8:49 pm

  2. Hitler had a plan to murder 48 million people.
    Not just Jews. Everbody and anybody he considered racially inferior. I’ve got nothing good to say about him and the people who followed him. Mussolini wasn’t much better either. If you are any kind of minority Hitler would have murdered you. Hitler even murdered his own German people.

    Comment by David Tice — February 17, 2014 @ 9:59 pm

  3. If you cleve to the truth you will never be able to trust Alfred Hitchcock again. Four hours of solid research and chat on how Hollywood helped the OSS and the British PWE (Political Warfare Executive) launch and sustain the Holocaust horror cult (click on shows dated January 27th and January 28th): http://spingolaspeaks.wordpress.com/

    Comment by who dares wings — January 30, 2014 @ 7:17 pm

  4. Can you provide me an answer to what Germany was doing in France?

    Comment by NeverAGAIN! — January 30, 2014 @ 2:30 pm

    • American troops had landed at Normandy in France on June 6, 1944. German soldiers were trying to get to Normandy to fight the invaders. The French had signed an Armistice with Germany and had promised to stop fighting against Germany. At the time that France surrendered, Charles de Gaulle had escaped to the UK and had set up the Free French resistance, a civilian organization, which was fighting as illegal combatants, not as soldiers in uniform.

      Oradour-sur-Glane was a village where many French Resistance fighters were hiding. They were killing Germany soldiers, fighting as illegal combatants, instead of fighting on the battlefield. German soldiers went to Oradour-sur-Glane to find a German officer who had been kidnapped. They found the bodies of several German soldiers who had been killed by the French resistance. To stop the French resistance, the Germans did a reprisal, which was legal during World War II.

      Comment by furtherglory — January 30, 2014 @ 4:28 pm

    • Answering Frances Declaration Of War On Germany On Sept 3 1939 Perhaps?

      Comment by schlageter — January 31, 2014 @ 8:36 pm

      • Following the declaration of war, against Germany by France and Great Britain in 1939, there was a sitzkrieg or “phony war,” during which both sides did not fight. Finally, Germany invaded France and the French surrendered after 5 weeks and an Armistice was signed. The French then began to fight the Germans as illegal combatants (terrorists) and German soldiers were in France fighting against the terrorists, by means of using LEGAL reprisals.

        Comment by furtherglory — February 1, 2014 @ 10:25 am

    • Killing French people.

      Comment by David Tice — February 17, 2014 @ 10:03 pm

      • What were these French people, who were killed, doing during the war? Were they fighting as illegal combatants, killing German soldiers? Did they chain any German soldiers inside a vehicle and burn them to death? Did they kill German soldiers and throw their bodies down into a well?

        Comment by furtherglory — February 18, 2014 @ 7:13 am

  5. This will be an interesting show trial !There will be one small difference from most of the show trials put on for public education by the BRD ; During concentration camp trials the existence of death camps and gas chambers is taken as ” common knowledge” and any doubt raised can lead to prosecution as Sylvia Stolz found out. . Is the official history of Oradour also protected under the Holocaust denial laws and principal of common knowledge or can it be challenged in court ?

    Comment by peter — January 30, 2014 @ 12:32 pm


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