Julius Streicher

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PFLB
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Re: Julius Streicher

Post by PFLB » 20 Dec 2010 12:35

The example is also not analogous because in said example the guard has made their comment after a single crime has been committed. Streicher's activities were carried on over a number of years during which time he knew that there was a continuing criminal enterprise to exterminate the Jews. Had Streicher done no more than state his satisfaction, after the war, with the nearly total extermination of the European Jews, I do not think he would have been prosecuted.

As I said above, with reference to respected academic commentary, in the case of an instigator or an aider and abettor, it is not required that their actions to be a 'necessary step' in the chain of causation leading to the commission of the crime, but a substantial contributing factor, or in cases where they lend their aid to a group acting with a common purpose, they need only do enough to signify their adherence to that purpose.

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Re: Julius Streicher

Post by michael mills » 21 Dec 2010 03:18

Streicher is not innocent bystander in bank robbery; he is the part of the conspiracy to murder.
it is questionable whether Streicher was part of any conspiracy whatever.

For Streicher to have been part of a conspiracy, there would need to be a connection between his actions, ie speaking words, and the actions of others.

Everything that is known about the process whereby the German Government came to the decision to kill Jews en masse, and the course of orders (Befehlsweg) that led to the implementation of that decision, does not reveal any involvement of Streicher whatever.

There is absolutely nothing to indicate that the German Government, in coming to a decision to kill Jews en masse, was influenced in any by words publicly uttered by Streicher. In fact, the opposite was most likely the case, since Streicher was not part of the German Government, and had been rejected by its members. Analysis of the decision-making process by historians has shown that the mass-killing of the Jews was driven by quite rational criteria, such as the need to eliminate a perceived partisan danger, or the need to conserve scarce resources, and not at all by the themes of the occult judeophobia preached by Streicher, eg that Jews were poisoning the blood of "Aryans" through sexual intercourse.

Streicher was hated by the Jews of the West for very obvious and understandable reasons; as an open and loud-mouthed anti-Semite he embodied in his person the way of thinking that had culminated in the great crime committed against their people. But the fact is that Streicher had played no material part in the commission of that crime; he preached hatred, but there is no evidence that his preaching motivated the crime.

The Prosecutors of the Major War Criminals obviously believed that the great crime committed against the Jews required punishment, and looked for a person who symbolised that crime. They chose Streicher because he was the public face of anti-Semitism, not because he had a demonstrable role in the commission of the crime against the Jews; in many ways he was chosen as a substitute for Hitler in the latter's function as the suporeme instigator of the crime.

If you look at the published records of the IMT, you will see that the "evidence" against Streicher consisted of excerpts from his publications, both words and pictures. No evidence was adduced to show any link between Streicher's publications and the actions of those who planned the destruction of the Jews and those implemented the plan.

Justice Biddle could see the truth; Streicher was "a little Jew-baiter", to use Biddle's own words, not a participant in a conspiracy. But in the last analysis, the judges realised that there was a political imperative to punish someone specifically for the crime against the Jews, and Streicher was the ideal candidate for that role, because of his high profile as the arch-purveyor of violent anti-Jewish propaganda, and also because of his moral ugliness as a person.

I will repeat part of what I quoted previously from the book by Ann and John Tusa [page 457]:
What the judges failed to debate, however, was the the fundamental question of whether Streicher's words could be linked directly with others' deeds. This issue worried one of the American aides. He remebered finding the case troublesome - Streicher might be a beastly man, but he had never actually killed anyone himself. This issue has bothered others since. There is a suspicion that Streicher was not but on the physical and moral revulsion he evoked. He was turned into the embodiment of Nazism [my emphasis].
Earlier in the book, the Tusa's make some very interesting comments about Streicher's trial:

[pp.334-6]
Given the prosecution contention that persecution of the Jews had been a Nazi method of gaining control of germany and a long-established aim in their intended domination of Europe, and givne the fact that the mirder of the jews formed an important allegation in the counts on war crimes and crimes against humanity, it had seemed entirely logical to bring Streicher to trial. he had been the Nazi government's most notorious Jew-baiter; his paper, it was argued, must surely have formed public opinion and prepared the psychological conditions in which the public was prepared to accept terrorism and the killing of a racial group. The argument was persuasive. It reached the conclusion that any reasonable man might jump to. The law, however, although it often accepts the concept of 'the reasonable man', frowns on leaping to conclusions. It demands evidence to forge the links between allegations and crimes, motives and acts, words and deeds. Where were those links in the Streicher case? The prosecution did not allege that Streicher himself killed anyone. Was there evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Streicher's words had incited others to commit crimes? The prosecution hoped so. It hoped to convince the tribunal that words such as 'kill', 'exterminate', 'eradicate' had been used by Streicher and had led logically and inevitably to the deaths of Jews. But had they? The prosecutors could produce no witness to say 'because I read Der Stürmer I decided to kill a jew and went and did so'. Without the connection between word and deed, it was possible for the Tribunal merely to find that Streicher was anti-Semitic, and anti-Semitism was not a crime at the Nuremberg trial. Murdering Jews (or gypsies or Slavs or Germans) was.

...........................[a paragraph on the disagreements on the concept of conspiracy].........................

All these reservations burst out in the open at a British prosecutors' meeting on 16 April. The British had been given responsibility for the Streicher case. They had not found it easy to assemble conclusive evidence for it and feared their vulnerability should Streicher's counsel mount an attack on their use of the conspiracy charge. Griffith-Jones suggested that it might be preferable to avoid much cross-examination of Streicher's acts before 1937 and concentrate on his incitement to persecution after that date and on the ways he had rallied public opinion 'which was valuable to all Nazi plans'. It was not a strong, let alone a confident approach, and it could do nothing to cover two unpalatable facts. Firstly, that the circulation of Der Stuermer had dropped dramatically once the war began, down to 200,000. Was that circulation enough to have inspired the deaths of ten million people or more? Secondly, Streicher himself had retired into private life in 1940, as a newspaper editor and farmer. There had been no resignation, not in any sense. He had been stripped of all Party offices and titles and driven out. Even Hitler by 1940 could no longer withstand the tide of complaints about Streicher's corruption and obscenity. (One wonders if Streicher's fall from grace was hastened by the stories he was spreading that year that Göring was impotent.)
The Tusa's go on to describe Streicher's testimony in court, in which he made a very bad impression with a number of anti-Jewish outbrsts and quarrelled with his counsel, Dr Marx. They conclude:

[page 337]
It might have been more accurate to say that Streicher himself had put his head in a noose. But would the judges allow the defendant to hang himself rather than expect the evidence to do it?

Most people at this stage thought that the judges must. Doubts about the strength of the prosecution case had been submerged by Streicher's own outrageous performance..........
The Tusa's are implying that Streicher was judged and sentenced, not on the basis of any real evidence against him, but purely on the basis of the negative impression he created in the minds of observers, including the judges. Any impartial and reasoned analysis of Streicher's case, free of philosemitic emotion, must come to the same conclusion. Streicher was punished for being the unpleasnat perosn that he was, not for anything that he actually did.

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Re: Julius Streicher

Post by David Thompson » 21 Dec 2010 04:41

Michael -- You wrote:
The Tusa's are implying that Streicher was judged and sentenced, not on the basis of any real evidence against him, but purely on the basis of the negative impression he created in the minds of observers, including the judges. Any impartial and reasoned analysis of Streicher's case, free of philosemitic emotion, must come to the same conclusion. Streicher was punished for being the unpleasnat perosn that he was, not for anything that he actually did.
The evidence against Julius Streicher was that for 22 years, he was a cheerleader for genocide. That's what he actually did, and that's why he was hanged. It was a crime when he was tried, and it's a crime now. There's no mystery here. You apparently think that sort of thing is okay, and the rest of the world thinks it isn't.

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Re: Julius Streicher

Post by PFLB » 21 Dec 2010 05:36

Among the reasons for this view is that it is generally recognised that large-scale international crimes are politically motivated and require political mobilisation and justification. The penumbra of criminal responsibility is not and has never been restricted to persons who exercise decision-making power within the executive government or other organisation - it may extend to those who instigate and justify the actions of the leaders and organisers, including in a private capacity. It seems to me that this is the crux of your viewpoint, Michael, in which case you are really speaking to what the law should be (in your view).

Moreover, it is not necessary for all the alleged co-offenders to act with the same motive or adhere to the same ideology. The fact the Göring and Himmler did not act for the same reasons as Streicher is therefore of only the slightest relevance. This is in accordance with the approach taken in all major legal systems, which distinguish between intent to cause a result and the motive which gives rise to that intent: Antonio Cassese, International Criminal Law (2008), 168 - 169.

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Re: Julius Streicher

Post by Led125 » 21 Dec 2010 19:10

Michael Mills wrote:No, the person shouting on the street corner is not guilty of the same crime as the person who commits the murder. If a person hears the cry "Kill the blacks, they raped my daughter", and then goes out and murders a black person, the law takes the view that that person formed an independent decision to carry out the act of murder, and was not compelled by what he had heard. The law might also take the view that the person who uttered the cry was guilty of incitement, but it would not hold that person guilty of having conspired to commit murder or suborned others to commit murder.
Depends on the legal system apparently. In Scots Law, the person who shouted "kills the blacks" may well be found art and part liable for homicide for providing psychological assistance prior to and during the commission of the crime.

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Re: Julius Streicher

Post by Led125 » 21 Dec 2010 21:36

What exactly does "instigating or abetting a crime by approval" actually mean?

It seems to me that a person could only be held responsible for for a crime by reason of "giving approval" if that approval was a factor that allowed that crime to be committed.

Merely expressing gladness that the crime was commmitted could not possibly imply responsibility for it.

Let me illustrate that point by an example. A lower-level criminal goes to a gangster leader who controls all illegal activities in a certain territory, and asks for permission to carry out a bank robbery in that territory. The gangster leader gives his approval, but does not otherwise get involved in the planning or commission of the crime; he simply allows the lower-level criminal, whose "main motivation" is his own desire to get rich, to proceed with his own plan.

In that case, the gangsetr leader could be considered to have abetted the crime, since his approval was a necessary step in its commission.

Let us assume that the bank robbery is carried out, and in the course of its commission the lower-level criminal kills a bank guard who tried to resist. Another person who was totally unconnected with the crime is heard to say "I am glad that guard was killed, he was screwing my wife".

Can the person who uttered that sentiment, who "approved" of the crime, be held in any way responsible for its commission? Of course not, it would be perverse to attribute any responsibility to him, although one might consider his sentiment in bad taste.

Streicher's case is analogous to that of the cuckolded husband who expresses his satisfaction at the death of the guard, not to that of the gangster leader who approves the commission of the crime by someone else. Streicher was informed by his journalists in the field of the ongoing massacre of the Jews, and Streicher published his approval of the massacre in his newspaper. But in doing so, he was purely expressing an opinion about a crime, saying it was a "good thing", not doing something that allowed it to happen.
There are alternative ways of analysing your scenario that yield the same outcome but avoid your statement that there must be a causal link between a statement and the commission of the crime.

It could be that it is not possible to become art and part liable for a crime after it has been committed. In his Commentaries on the Law of Scotland, David Hume gave an example: the wife of a murder who lies in court to cover up his murder, is guilty of perjury and not murder.

In Scots Law, there is no requirement that one's statements should play a major causal role in bringing about the commission of a crime before one can be found art and part liable for it. All that is required for liability to attach to a person is that they, by their actions or words, illustrate that they had attached themselves to a common illegal purpose. Providing psychological support does suffice to join in a common plan. In HM Advocate v Gallacher, three men spontaneously decided to assault someone. Lord Keith in his judgement said that if one of the defenders had punched/kicked the victim whilst the other two chanted their approval, then the other two would still have been art and part liable for the assault.

This makes Streicher very different to other 'Ordinary Germans'. Being a bystander to a crime does not (in Scots Law at least) make one art and part liable for a crime (George Kerr & Others), but involvement does not need to be as direct as handing out orders.

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Re: Julius Streicher

Post by PFLB » 22 Dec 2010 03:48

It sounds to me like the Scottish concept of a common plan corresponds quite closely to that which was enacted in the Charter of the IMT, discussed above. In my opinion Led125 has hit the nail on the head - the gist of the concept is adherence to a common illegal purpose, not direct causal links between the conduct of Streicher and the persons who directed and actually carried out the crimes.

michael mills
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Re: Julius Streicher

Post by michael mills » 22 Dec 2010 04:00

Led 125 gave this example:
In HM Advocate v Gallacher, three men spontaneously decided to assault someone. Lord Keith in his judgement said that if one of the defenders had punched/kicked the victim whilst the other two chanted their approval, then the other two would still have been art and part liable for the assault.
The crucial factor in the above case is that the two men who chanted approval were part of the group that decided to assault someone.

I ask Led125 to think very carefully about who constituted the group who reached a decision to murder all the Jews in their power and formulated a common plan to that end. Was Streicher part of that group?

No he was not. He had been stripped of all his Party positions and forced into retirement in 1940, well before the common plan to murder the jews was fomulated. He had become a pariah, and was not consulted about anything.

The only way in which Streicher could have been complicit in the common plan to murder the Jews would have been if he had been officially advised of the plan, assigned the task of making propaganda in favour of it, and had accepted the assignment and carried it out.

There is however no evidence that the above actually occurred. All that we know of the perpetrators indicates that they would have proceeded with the plan even if Streicher had never exsited; they despised Streicher and took no notice of them.

Accordingly, when Streicher found out about the massacres and published articles expressing his approval of what was happening, he was merely expressing an opinion, not carrying out a role in a conspiracy.

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Re: Julius Streicher

Post by David Thompson » 22 Dec 2010 04:13

Led125 wrote:
In Scots Law, there is no requirement that one's statements should play a major causal role in bringing about the commission of a crime before one can be found art and part liable for it. All that is required for liability to attach to a person is that they, by their actions or words, illustrate that they had attached themselves to a common illegal purpose. Providing psychological support does suffice to join in a common plan. In HM Advocate v Gallacher, three men spontaneously decided to assault someone. Lord Keith in his judgement said that if one of the defenders had punched/kicked the victim whilst the other two chanted their approval, then the other two would still have been art and part liable for the assault.
This is the standard in the US as well. Here's an example of typical statutory language defining parties to crime:
Every person concerned in the commission of a felony, gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor, whether the person directly commits the act constituting the offense, or aids or abets in its commission, and whether present or absent; and every person who, directly or indirectly, counsels, encourages, hires, commands, induces or otherwise procures another to commit a felony, gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor is a principal, and shall be proceeded against and punished as such.
Michael -- You wrote:
I ask Led125 to think very carefully about who constituted the group who reached a decision to murder all the Jews in their power and formulated a common plan to that end. Was Streicher part of that group?

No he was not. He had been stripped of all his Party positions and forced into retirement in 1940, well before the common plan to murder the jews was fomulated. He had become a pariah, and was not consulted about anything.

The only way in which Streicher could have been complicit in the common plan to murder the Jews would have been if he had been officially advised of the plan, assigned the task of making propaganda in favour of it, and had accepted the assignment and carried it out.

[ . . . ]

Accordingly, when Streicher found out about the massacres and published articles expressing his approval of what was happening, he was merely expressing an opinion, not carrying out a role in a conspiracy.
You are confusing a conspiracy to commit a crime with the crime itself. When Streicher counseled and encouraged illegal acts, he was liable to punishment once the acts were committed, whether or not he was a conspirator.

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Re: Julius Streicher

Post by michael mills » 22 Dec 2010 04:26

The evidence against Julius Streicher was that for 22 years, he was a cheerleader for genocide. That's what he actually did, and that's why he was hanged. It was a crime when he was tried, and it's a crime now.
Please cite the relevant parts of the international or German law applicable at the time that Streicher was active as an anti-Semitic journalist that made the words he uttered publicly in spoken or printed form an offence punishable by death.
You apparently think that sort of thing is okay, and the rest of the world thinks it isn't.

The authors of the book "The Nuremberg Trial", Ann and John Tusa, obviously had their doubts about the extent of Streicher's guilt, since they wrote:

Page 457:
There is a suspicion that Streicher was not judged strictly on the law but on the physical and moral revulsion he evoked.
and:

Page 335:
Without the connection between word and deed, it was possible for the Tribunal merely to find that Streicher was anti-Semitic, and anti-Semitism was not a crime at the Nuremberg trial. Murdering Jews (or gypsies or Slavs or Germans) was.
So the fact is that impartial observers continue to have doubts about the justice of Streicher's death sentence.

But perhaps those co0ntributors to this thread who believe that there are valid legal precedents for the death sentence handed out to Streicher could provide actual examples of cases similar to Streicher's, ie which meet the following criteria:

1. A group of people conspire to carry out a violent act against another person or defined group of people, and proceed to implement the conspiracy; and

2. A third person (the equivalent of Streicher), who bears a strong hatred for the person or group of persons targeted by the above conspiracy, and has openly expressed that hatred, but was not party to the above conspiracy, observes or finds out about the commission of the violent act decided on by the conspirators, and publicly expresses his approval of it.

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Re: Julius Streicher

Post by michael mills » 22 Dec 2010 04:39

every person who, directly or indirectly, counsels, encourages, hires, commands, induces or otherwise procures another to commit a felony, gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor is a principal, and shall be proceeded against and punished as such.
What the above means is that a principal in the commission of a crime is, in addition to those who actually commit the crime, any person who, directly or indirectly, procures another to commit the crime by any means, including:

counselling
encouraging
hiring
commanding
inducing.

The crucial element, which I have emphasised, is "procuring another person" to commit a crime.

There is no evidence that Streicher "procured" any person to commit the crime under discussion. The persons who committed the crime, ie who did the killing, were not procured by Streicher, but were commanded to do so by the German Government.

There is no evidence whatever that any words by Streicher procured anyone to kill Jews. he expressed approval of the Killing, but even if he had remained completely silent, the perpetrators of the crime would have been procured and the crime committed anyway.

No matter how much Streicher "counselled and encouraged", there is no evidence that he actually "procured" anyone to commit the crime against the jews.

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Re: Julius Streicher

Post by David Thompson » 22 Dec 2010 05:52

Michael – You wrote, (at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 6#p1540016):
Please cite the relevant parts of the international or German law applicable at the time that Streicher was active as an anti-Semitic journalist that made the words he uttered publicly in spoken or printed form an offence punishable by death.
Certainly:
357. War crimes subject to death penalty.--All war crimes are subject to the death penalty, although a lesser penalty may be imposed. The punishment should be deterrent, and in imposing a sentence of imprisonment it is not necessary to take into consideration the end of the war, which does not necessarily limit the imprisonment to be imposed.
FM 27-10 Rules of Land Warfare (1940), p. 89

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Re: Julius Streicher

Post by PFLB » 22 Dec 2010 08:46

Michael, Streicher may never have 'procured' a person to kill Jews, but the provision which David quoted, which is itself only a typical example of how this might be approached under American law, also refers to someone who 'directly or indirectly... encourages' another to commit a crime.

That is also not the only rule of American law which is pertinent, in fact there are others which correspond more closely to the provision of the IMT Charter under which Streicher was tried. Criminal legislation in some States also provides that 'a conspirator may be held liable for criminal offenses committed by a co-conspirator if those offenses are within the scope of the conspiracy, are in furtherance of it, and are reasonably foreseeable as a necessary or natural consequence of the conspiracy.' - that is 15A Corpus Juris Secundum section 136. The reason why I bring this up is that this reflects the proposition which I referred to previously, namely, that in complex criminal enterprises the need for a direct causal link between the accomplice and the principal, e.g. a command by a superior officer straight to their subordinate, may be obviated by proof of adherence to a common illegal purpose.

You have raised the question of whether or not Streicher was a 'conspirator'. I think that this rather understates the scope of the relevant law. I do not think that Streicher agreed and conspired with others in control of the Reich and SS to carry out a program in constant, mutual coordination with each other. However, as the UN War Crimes Commission noted in the Law Reports of the Trials of War Criminals, the concept of a 'common plan' requires only a 'community of intention' and is therefore broader than a 'conspiracy': vol 15, 94 - 96. Similarly, in his closing address to the IMT, Robert H Jackson was keen to emphasise that the relevant provision of the IMT Charter was a synthesis of legal views from different states and was not to be interpreted strictly in accordance with the common law notion of a 'conspiracy': Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the IMT, vol 19, 419.

As far as his sentence goes, however, I agree that he was hanged because he was a nasty person. But are you going to start a thread decrying the fact that Funk and Speer were spared because they managed to downplay their guilt and their Nazi credentials despite exercising executive control over a criminal apparatus?

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Re: Julius Streicher

Post by michael mills » 22 Dec 2010 12:28

Michael – You wrote, (at viewtopic.php?p=1540016#p1540016):
Please cite the relevant parts of the international or German law applicable at the time that Streicher was active as an anti-Semitic journalist that made the words he uttered publicly in spoken or printed form an offence punishable by death.
Certainly:
357. War crimes subject to death penalty.--All war crimes are subject to the death penalty, although a lesser penalty may be imposed. The punishment should be deterrent, and in imposing a sentence of imprisonment it is not necessary to take into consideration the end of the war, which does not necessarily limit the imprisonment to be imposed.
FM 27-10 Rules of Land Warfare (1940), p. 89
The above quite clearly does not answer my question.

I dide not ask which law imposed the death penalty for war crimes. I asked which law imposed the death penalty for the words uttered by Streicher.

As I understand it, a war crime under the then applicable international law was an act contrary to the laws of war perpetrated by a national of one belligerent in an armed conflict against a national of the other belligerent, whether a civilian or member of the armed forces. Streicher was not perpetrating acts against nationals of states at war with Germany; he was speaking and writing words aimed at and intended for a German audience.

Please show how the words uttered by Streicher constituted a war crime under the international law of the time. Please indicate which of the Rules of Land Warfare the words uttered by him in spoken or written form offended against.

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Re: Julius Streicher

Post by michael mills » 22 Dec 2010 12:41

As far as his sentence goes, however, I agree that he was hanged because he was a nasty person. But are you going to start a thread decrying the fact that Funk and Speer were spared because they managed to downplay their guilt and their Nazi credentials despite exercising executive control over a criminal apparatus?
I certainly agree that Speer was far more guilty than Streicher, in that he bore ultimate responsibility for the treatment and fate of the tens of thousands of prisoners who were put to work on projects under his authority, and whose deployment he specifically requested.

I consider that Speer was at least as guilty as Sauckel, who did receive the death penalty. In fact, he could be more guilty; Sauckel procured labour with press-gang methods, but he was not responsible for the way that labour was treated when assigned to work.

I consider that Speer was more guilty than Schirach, who received the same sentence of 20 years' imprisonment; Schirach had not been responsible for the inhumane treatment of anyone, and he did not have the collective responsibility arising from ministerial status, which Speer did have.

Speer saved himself by pandering to the prejudices of the sometimes pompous judges, and by assisting to achieve the political purpose of the trial, namely by pouring a bucket over his erstwhile friend Hitler.

As for Funk, I am not sure. As a minister he bore collective responsibility for the acts of the German Government, but he was not involved personally in giving orders for the destruction of human life.

In summary, if Funk and Speer were spared, then Streicher should also have been spared.

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