Katyn, Injustice and the IMT

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
michael mills
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Post by michael mills » 10 Mar 2004 03:04

Twice in his posting Michael Mills uses the phrase, "philosemitic neo-Communists" to insult a forum member.


If Penn-44 considers it an insult to be described as "philosemitic", then I will refrain from using that term to describe him, provided that he does not give me any cause in what he writes to conclude that he is in fact philosemtic.

walterkaschner
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Post by walterkaschner » 10 Mar 2004 03:16

I would suggest that anyone truly interested in the treatment of the Katyn Forest massacre in the IMT trials read the following:

Telford Taylor, The Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials: A Personal Memoir (Alfred A. Knopf, 1992) at 472-7. [Taylor was one of the US prosecutors at the IMT trials and ultimately became Chief Counsel. My copy of his book is a proof for book review purposes, and the pagination may differ in the finished book.]

Robert E. Conot, Justice at Nuremberg (Harper & Row, 1983) at 452-5.

Joseph E. Persico, Nuremberg: Infamy on Trial (Penguin Books, paperback ed. 1994) at 358-9.

All the above sources, with access to memoirs, notes and recollections of the non-Russian participants, point out that the Russian insistence upon including the Katyn Massacre charge against the Germans was a source of profound embarrasment to the US, British and French judges and prosecutors, which they agreed to simply to prevent the Russians from walking out, as they appeared likely to do.

Against vigorous Russian opposition, the other judges decided to permit the German defendants to offer testimony rebutting the charge, and witnesses were called on both sides of the controversy.

It is hard to prove a negative, but the witnesses on the German side at least were able to show that the Wehrmacht forces which a Russian investigation claimed were responsible for the Massacre were not in the vicinity at the time it allegedly occured, and that all correspondence from the 11,000 Polish officers and enlisted men captured by the Russians had stopped long before the Germans occupied the area around Katyn.

On the Russian side the star witness was one Dr. Antonov Markov, a Bulgarian, who in 1943, at a time when Bulgaria had been allied with Germany, had previously certified in connection with a German investigation of the massacre, that the bodies of the Polish officers had been in the ground long before Germany had control of the territory around Katyn, and must therefor have been murdered by the Russians. By the time of the IMT trial, however, Bulgaria had switched to the Russian side and Markov now testified that the bodies could not have been in the ground before the Katyn area had been taken over by the Germans, and therefore they must have been shot by the Germans.

Obviously, Dr. Markov's testimony must have made a huge impression on the non-Russian judges, although the direct converse of the impression the Russians had intended! No lawyer or judge worth his salt could have ignored the strong order of fish which permeated the Russian case.

Here is how Persico sums up the situation:

For two days, July 1 and 2, forensic experts battled in Room 600 [the hearing room for the IMT trial.] Guilt turned on fixing the date when the Poles had died. The Russians claimed the deaths occured in the autumn of 1941, after the Soviet Union had been invaded and while the germans occupied the Katyn forest. The Germans claimed the Poles had died earlier, in 1940, when the Russians still held this territory.

In the end, the Germans had the better of it. among their most persuasive evidence was the fact that all letters from the Poles had ceased after April 1940, at which time the Russians controlled the forest. The judges, except for Nikitchenko [the Russian judge] were dismayed that the issue had ever arisen. To conclude that the Russians themselves had shat thousands of Poles would dilute the horror of the crimes of the Nazis. What was the court to do with this moral morass? Their responsibility, they decided, was not to place blame on one of the countries, but to determine if a certain charge against german war criminals was proved. They simply took the position that the Russian accusation against the Germans lacked sufficient evidence, and let the Katyn issue drop.


As David Thompson pointed out, the IMT made specific findings in the case of each of the individual and organizational defendants as to the specific elements of the charges they were found guilty of. In no case was there a finding of guilt for participation or complicity in the Katyn massacre, and no defendant's punishment rested on such a finding. I have elsewhere on this, and on the old, Forum indicated my disagreement with certain of the findings and sentences imposed by the IMT, but with those few exceptions I think the IMT's specific findings of guilt - absent any finding at all on the Katyn massacre - well justify the verdicts and sentences issued.

And as a matter of personal priviledge, I wish to make it clear that I am far from being a "neo-Communist." I despise the brutal régime of the Soviet Union every bit as much as I despise the brutal régime of Nazi Germany. I fought willingly in the Korean war against what I then believed and still do believe was an intolerable attempt to expand the totalitarian power of the North Korean State. I still think that was a just war on tha part of the US and its allies. I firmly believe in the limited role of government in our individual lives and the predominant (but not exclusive) role that individual freedoms should play in any decent form of government.

As to whether or not I may be "philosemitic", I confess I really don't know just what that appelation implies. I myself am a member of the United Church of Christ ( formerly the Congegational Church). As far as I know, I never met a member of the Jewish faith until I went East to college. There were none in the small Midwestern town I grew up in. And in college I simply didn't know the religious preference of most of my acquaintances. Of those I knew were Jewish, I met many whom I liked very much, and some whom I didn't like at all. The proportion was about the same with my acquaintances of other faiths.

And so it remains to this day, although I will confess that one of my three closest friends is a doctor who is a devout Jew - the others being a German Lutheran science professor at a local university and the third an Irish Catholic lawyer. It is also true that I am impressed by the exceedingly - indeed, astonishingly - high proportion of members of the Jewish faith who are generous supporters of so many non-profit and charitable organizations here in Houston - a proportion far, far higher that that they bear to the general population. And, indeed, I do believe the Jews have a right to their own state, although I have severe problems with much of the way they now choose to defend it.

In sum, I plead a vigorous "not guilty" to the charge of being a neo-Communist, and nolo contendere to the charge of being philosemitic. And I can't help but wonder what connection the latter may have with the issue of the Katyn Forest Massacre, which involved Polish officers, not Jews.

With respect, I think that Mr. Mills, who has contributed much of interest to this forum, must have experienced, like Alexander, "a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day" preceding his posts on this thread.

Regards, Kaschner

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Post by David Thompson » 10 Mar 2004 04:50

Michael -- I'm happy to answer your questions. Because of the length of your post, I'll do it in parts. This will be part 1.

You asked:
Are you seriously saying that if the judgement did not explicitly mention a particular warcrime that was listed in the indictment, then none of the defendants was found guilty of that particular warcrime?
Yes.

You also asked:
Do you claim that the defendants were found not guilty of exterminating POWs at Orel by starvation, shooting, exposure, and poisoning? It is not mentioned in the judgement.

Do you claim that the defendants were found not guilty of torturing and murdering tens of thousands of Soviet prisoners of war at the "Gross Lazaret" at Slavuta? That place is not mentioned in the judgement.

Do you claim that the defendants were found not guilty of handing over to the Vichy Government for "proceedings" Frenchmen captured fighting with the Soviet Army? It is not mentioned in the judgement.

Do you claim that the defendants were found not guilty of the shooting of prisoners of war in Yugoslavia ordered by the German Command and the occupying authorities in the person of the chief officials of the Police, the SS troops (Police Lieutenant General Rosener) and the Divisional Group Command (General Kubler and others) in the period 1941-43? It is not mentioned in the judgement.
Yes.

walterkaschner
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Post by walterkaschner » 10 Mar 2004 05:11

Michael Mills wrote:

David,

Are you seriously saying that if the judgement did not explicitly mention a particular warcrime that was listed in the indictment, then none of the defendants was found guilty of that particular warcrime?

As I have pointed out, there were several warcrimes listed individually in the the part of the indictment relating to crimes against POWs that were not mentioned in the part of the judgement relating to those crimes.

If your argument is correct, then the defendants were not found guilty of the other warcrimes listed in the indictment that were not mentioned in the judgement.


I fear that Mr. Mills is suffering from a profound misunderstanding of the difference between a specific finding of "Not Guilty" as to a specific incident included in the charge of War Crimes at the IMT (Charge III) and the lack of any finding as to such element. There was more than adequate and overpowering evidence of incidents constituting War Crimes other than the Katyn massacre - or indeed any of the other incidents not specifically mentioned in the judgements rendered - to justify the verdicts pronounced.

It was not necessary to delve into or make a finding as to each and every one of the many allegations in order to justify a verdict on the basic charge. But failure to do so does certainly not imply a finding of "Not Guilty" as to such allegation. It simply means that that the Court for any number of possible reasons determined that a decision as to that specific allegation was unnessesary or superflous to the ultimate judgement on the basic charge. It certainly does not necessarily carry the connotation of a finding of "Not Guilty", although in the case of the Katyn Massacre, I believe that the non-Russian judges, if required to make a finding as to this allegation, would have held the Germans "Not Guilty." But they were not required to do so, and clearly did not intend their silence on this or any other issue to be construed as a judgement as to guilt or innocense.

Regards, Kaschner

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Post by xcalibur » 10 Mar 2004 05:32

Thanks Mr. Kaschner for these eloquent and informative posts.

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Post by David Thompson » 10 Mar 2004 06:08

Part 2:

Michael -- You stated:
It is useful to look also at the judgements against those of the individual defendants who might be held to have some responsibility for crimes against POWs in the East. I will quote here only those parts of the judgements relating to warcrimes against POWs.


There's no need to speculate about which of the individual defendants might be held to have some responsibility for crimes against POWs in the East. You can see their names in the allegations of the indictment and in the individual verdicts.

Count III -- the war crimes count of the IMT indictment -- contains ten subparts, of which the murder and mistreatment of POWs is just one. They are (capitalization in original):

(A) MURDER AND ILL-TREATMENT OF CIVILIAN POPULATIONS OF OR IN OCCUPIED TERRITORY AND ON THE HIGH SEAS

(B) DEPORTATION FOR SLAVE LABOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES OF THE CIVILIAN POPULATIONS OF AND IN OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

(C) MURDER AND ILL-TREATMENT OF PRISONERS OF WAR, AND OF OTHER MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE COUNTRIES WITH WHOM GERMANY WAS AT WAR, AND OF PERSONS ON THE HIGH SEAS

(D) KILLING OF HOSTAGES

(E) PLUNDER OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PROPERTY

(F) THE EXACTION OF COLLECTIVE PENALTIES

(G) WANTON DESTRUCTION OF CITIES, TOWNS, AND VILLAGES AND DEVASTATION NOT JUSTIFIED BY MILITARY NECESSITY

(H) CONSCRIPTION OF CIVILIAN LABOR

(I) FORCING CIVILIANS OF OCCUPIED TERRITORIES TO SWEAR ALLEGIANCE TO A HOSTILE POWER

(J) GERMANIZATION OF OCCUPIED TERRITORIES


Appendix A of the IMT indictment sets forth the alleged personal culpability of the individual defendants. Of the defendants, Bormann, Doenitz, Frank, Frick, Funk, Goering, Hess, Jodl, Kaltenbrunner, Keitel, Krupp, Ley, von Neurath, Raeder, von Ribbentrop, Rosenberg, Sauckel, Seyss-Inquart, and Speer were charged under count III -- the war crimes count which included the charge of having murdered or mistreated POWs. In each case, the charging language was the same: "he authorized, directed, and participated in the War Crimes set forth in Count Three of the Indictment." Fritzsche was accused of having used his position "to advocate, encourage and incite the commission of the War Crimes set forth in Count Three of the Indictment."

Krupp and Ley didn't stand trial. Fritzsche was acquitted. Of the remaining defendants charged under count III, Bormann (in absentia), Doenitz, Goering, Jodl, Kaltenbrunner, Keitel, Raeder, von Ribbentrop and Sauckel were convicted of offenses involving the murder or mistreatment of POWs. Here are the specifics of their convictions insofar as POWs are concerned:

Bormann
Bormann also issued a series of orders to the Party leaders dealing with the treatment of prisoners of war. On 5 November 1941 he prohibited decent burials for Russian prisoners of war. On 25 November 1943 he directed Gauleiter to report cases of lenient treatment of prisoners of war. And on 13 September 1944 he ordered liaison between the Kreisleiter with the camp commandants in determining the use to be made of prisoners of war for forced labor. On 29 January 1943 he transmitted to his leaders OKW instructions allowing the use of fire arms and corporal punishment on recalcitrant prisoners of war contrary to the rules of land warfare. On 30 September 1944 he signed a decree taking from the OKW jurisdiction over prisoners of war and handing them over to Himmler and the SS.

Bormann is responsible for the lynching of Allied airmen. On 30 May 1944 he prohibited any police action or criminal proceedings against persons who had taken part in the lynching of Allied fliers. This was accompanied by a Goebbels propaganda campaign inciting the German people to take action of this nature, and the conference of 6 June 1944 where regulations for the application of lynching were discussed.


Doenitz
In one instance, when he was Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, in 1943, the members of the crew of an Allied motor torpedo boat were captured by German naval forces. They were interrogated for intelligence purposes on behalf of the local admiral, and then turned over by his order to the SD and shot. Doenitz said that if they were captured by the Navy their execution was a violation of the Commando Order, that the execution was not announced in the Wehrmacht communiqué, and that he was never informed of the incident. He pointed out that the admiral in question was not in his chain of command, but was subordinate to the Army general in command of the Norway occupation. But Doenitz permitted the order to remain in full force when he became commander-in-chief, and to that extent he is responsible. . . .

In 1945 Hitler requested the opinion of Jodl and Doenitz whether the Geneva Convention should be denounced. The notes of the meeting between the two military leaders on 20 February 1945 show that Doenitz expressed his view that the disadvantages of such an action outweighed the advantages. The summary of Doenitz' attitude shown in the notes taken by an officer, included the following sentence:

"It would be better to carry out the measures considered necessary without warning, and at all costs" to save face with the outer world." The Prosecution insisted that "the measures" referred to meant that the Convention should not be denounced, but should be broken at will. The Defense explanation is that Hitler wanted to break the Convention for two reasons: to take away from German troops the protection of the Convention, thus preventing them from continuing to surrender in large groups to the British and Americans; and also to permit reprisals against Allied prisoners of war because of Allied bombing raids. Doenitz claims that what he meant by "measures" were disciplinary measures against German troops to prevent them from surrendering and had no reference to measures against the Allies; that this was merely a suggestion, and that in any event no such measures were ever taken, either against Allies or Germans. The Tribunal, however, does not believe this explanation. The Geneva Convention was not, however, denounced by Germany. The Defense has introduced several affidavits to prove that British naval prisoners of war in camps under Doenitz' jurisdiction were treated strictly according to the Convention, and the Tribunal takes this fact into consideration and regards it as a mitigating circumstance.


Goering
He issued directives to use Soviet and French prisoners of war in the armament industry; he spoke of seizing Poles and Dutch and making them prisoners of war if necessary, and using them for work. He agrees Russian prisoners of war were used to man anti-aircraft batteries.


Jodl
On 18 October 1942 Hitler issued the Commando Order, and a day later a supplementary explanation to commanding officers only. The covering memorandum was signed by Jodl. Early drafts of the order were made by Jodl's staff, with his knowledge. Jodl testified he was strongly opposed on moral and legal grounds but could not refuse to pass it on. He insists he tried to mitigate its harshness in practice by not informing Hitler when it was not carried out. He initialed the OKW memorandum of 25 June 1944 reaffirming the order after the Normandy landings.

A plan to eliminate Soviet commissars was in the directive for "Case Barbarossa." The decision whether they should be killed without trial was to be made by an officer. A draft contains Jodl's handwriting suggesting this should be handled as retaliation, and he testified this was his attempt to get around it.


Kaltenbrunner
During the period in which Kaltenbrunner was head of the RSHA, it was engaged in a widespread program of War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity. These crimes included the mistreatment and murder of prisoners of war. Einsatzkommandos operating under the control of the Gestapo were engaged in the screening of Soviet prisoners of war. Jews, commissars, and others who were thought to be ideologically hostile to the Nazi system were reported to the RSHA, which had them transferred to a concentration camp and murdered. An RSHA order issued during Kaltenbrunner's regime established the "Bullet Decree," under which certain escaped prisoners of war who were recaptured were taken to Mauthausen and shot. The order for the execution of Commando troops was extended by the Gestapo to include parachutists while Kaltenbrunner was chief of the RSHA. An order signed by Kaltenbrunner instructed the Police not to interfere with attacks on bailed-out Allied fliers. In December 1944 Kaltenbrunner participated in the murder of one of the French generals held as a prisoner of war.


Keitel
On 4 August 1942 Keitel issued a directive that paratroopers were to be turned over to the SD. On 18 October Hitler issued the Commando Order, which was carried out in several instances. After the landing in Normandy, Keitel reaffirmed the order, and later extended it to Allied missions fighting with partisans. He admits he did not believe the order was legal, but claims he could not stop Hitler.

When, on 8 September 1941, OKW issued its ruthless regulations for Soviet prisoners of war, Canaris wrote to Keitel that under international law the SD should have nothing to do with this. On this memorandum, in Keitel's handwriting, dated 23 September and initialed by him, is the statement: "The objections arise from the military concept of chivalrous warfare. This is the destruction of an ideology. Therefore I approve and back the measures." Keitel testified that he really agreed with Canaris and argued with Hitler, but lost. . . .

Keitel directed that Russian prisoners of war be used in German war industry.


Raeder
The Commando Order of 18 October 1942 which expressly did not apply to naval warfare was transmitted by the Naval War Staff to the lower naval commanders with the direction it should be distributed orally by flotilla leaders and section commanders to their subordinates. Two Commandos were put to death by the Navy, and not by the SD, at Bordeaux on 10 December 1942. The comment of the Naval War Staff was that this was "in accordance with the Fuehrer's special order, but is nevertheless something new in international law, since the soldiers were in uniform." Raeder admits he passed the order down through the chain of command and he did not object to Hitler.


von Ribbentrop
Ribbentrop participated in a meeting of 6 June 1944, at which it was agreed to start a program under which Allied aviators carrying out machine gun attacks should be lynched. In December 1944 Ribbentrop was informed of the plans to murder one of the French generals held as a prisoner of war and directed his subordinates to see that the details were worked out in such a way as to prevent its detection by the protecting powers.


Sauckel
On 21 March 1942, Hitler appointed Sauckel Plenipotentiary General for the Utilization of Labor, with authority to put under uniform control "the utilization of all available manpower, including that of workers recruited abroad and of prisoners of war."


From this you can see that the bulk of the convictions of murder and/or mistreatment of POWs were based on implementation of the "Commando Order," followed at some distance by convictions based on the defendants' involvement in the lynchings of captured allied airmen, the "Bullet Decree" and "Commissar Order."

[For readers interested in more detail -- The IMT verdicts on the following defendants are currently available in this section of the forum:

Bormann
viewtopic.php?t=45084

Doenitz
viewtopic.php?t=25074

Frank
viewtopic.php?t=45085

Frick
viewtopic.php?t=29555

Fritzsche
viewtopic.php?t=45086

Funk
viewtopic.php?t=45087

Goering
viewtopic.php?t=5799

Jodl
viewtopic.php?t=29332

Kaltenbrunner
viewtopic.php?t=29556

Keitel
viewtopic.php?t=29333

von Neurath
viewtopic.php?t=30103

Raeder
viewtopic.php?t=25073

von Ribbentrop
viewtopic.php?t=25156

Rosenberg
viewtopic.php?t=29522

Sauckel
viewtopic.php?t=21528

Seyss-Inquart
viewtopic.php?t=29558

Speer
viewtopic.php?t=25075 ]

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Sergey Romanov
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Post by Sergey Romanov » 13 Mar 2004 21:41

I have some comments about alleged Soviet execution of Germans for Katyn.

In the book "Katynskij sindrom", authors (experts on the Katyn massacre) tell us on pp. 336-337 that soldier Arno Duere (sp?) and Prof. Butz's assistant Ludwig Schneider were supposed to appear before IMT. Russian (sic, not Soviet) prosecutors have found a file on the criminal case and trial of general Remlinger (sp?) and five others (including Duere) from 28.12.45 to 4.1.46. It was an open trial with lots of Soviet and foreign journalists attending (so Western sources can tell us something about it too). It seems that Duere was the only one left alive because he gave "right" answers to prosecutor's leading questions (at least at first). That is, he admitted that he was among those who buried 15-20,000 Polish POWs in Katyn. In the end it was decided that he was unfit to appear before IMT since he gave _very_ absurd answers (e.g. claiming that Katyn was in Poland, that the burial pit was 15-20 m deep, etc.). On November 29, 1954, Duere disavowed his confession, saying that he was coerced. Authors don't specify whether he did it in USSR or in Germany. IMHO it probably had something to do with Stalin's death. They also don't say what happened to Duere in the end.

Authors don't say that others were executed for Katyn. So the question is still open for me whether _anyone_ was executed for Katyn.

Any info on this, anyone?

PS: Please, don't bother providing links to David "The Liar" Irving's site or other denial/extreme right-wing sites. Only scholarly sources will do. Thank you.

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Post by David Thompson » 14 Mar 2004 01:22

Sergei -- These threads may be of interest to you.

viewtopic.php?t=26603

viewtopic.php?t=18473

viewtopic.php?t=15730

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Sergey Romanov
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Post by Sergey Romanov » 14 Mar 2004 02:10

Thank you, David! You are very helpful, as usual. As I understand, Remmlinger et al's case is now a part of the case no. 159 (the Katyn case).

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Post by David Thompson » 14 Mar 2004 02:32

Sergey (sorry for my earlier misspelling, but old habits die hard) -- You're welcome.

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Sergey Romanov
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Post by Sergey Romanov » 21 Mar 2004 18:14

A certain amateur rightist historian stated in this thread that "[i]t is often claimed by philosemitic Neo-Communist activists that, since the Crime of Katyn was not specifically mentioned in the judgement, the court did not find the German defendants guilty of it... It further follows that those who claim that the lack of reference to Katyn in the judgement means that the German defendants who were found guilty of war crimes were not found guilty of the the crime of Katyn are playing fast and loose with the truth, which is only to be expected from philosemitic neo-Communists."

However, here's what we read in the ""Final report of the select committee to conduct an investigation and study of the facts, evidence, and circumstances on the Katyn forest massacre" (1952; 1988 reprint, pp. 47-48):

X. NUREMBERG

This committee reports that during the International Military Trials held in Nuremberg after World War II, evidence was heard relative to the Katyn massacre.

The committee has heard testimony from two of the attorneys who participated in the Nuremberg trials. (See pt. V of the published hearings.) In accordance with the London agreement of 1945, the Soviets were in charge of war crimes which were allegedly committed in the eastern areas, such as: U.S.S.R., Poland, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Czechoslovakia. Hence the Katyn massacre, since it occurred in Soviet territory, was the direct responsibility of the Government of the U.S.S.R. to prosecute the individuals responsible for this crime.

The Katyn massacre appears in the Nuremberg trials as a charge against Herman Goering since he was the highest ranking German officer. The Soviet prosecutor produced three witnesses to establish the Germany guilt for the Katyn massacre. The German defense counsel produced three witnesses for the defense. These are all the witnesses the tribunal would hear. Witnesses for both the Germans and the Soviets were duly examined and cross-examined.

This committee in the course of the hearings at Frankfurt heard testimony from the three German witnesses who appeared at Nuremberg, that is, Colonel Ahrens, General Oberhaeuser, and Lieutenant Von Eichborn. (See pt. V of the published hearings.)

These three witnesses testified that they were with German Signal Regiment 537, not the Five hundred and thirty-seventh Engineer Battalion as alleged in the Russian report. (See p. 247, pt. II of the published hearings.)

SOVIETS FAIL TO PROVE CASE AT NUREMBERG

All of them arrived in the Smolensk area after September 1, 1941. In the case of Colonel Ahrens, he testified that he did not arrive in the Katyn Forest until early November 1941. He was specifically named in the Russian report as the individual who directed the mass shootings of the Polish prisoners. (See p. 247, pt. III of the published hearings.) Colonel Ahrens was again accused before the International Military Tribunal by the Soviet prosecutor and it is significant to note that he was never indicted by the tribunal nor was his indictment requested by the Soviet prosecutor. (See pt. V of the published hearings.)

This committee heard testimony from Col. Albert Bedenk who was the predecessor to Colonel Ahrens as commanding officer of Signal Regiment 537. He testified that he arrived in the Smolensk area on July 28, 1941, several days after the fighting front had moved many miles east of Smolensk on the way to Moscow. Colonel Bedenk set up the headquarters of Signal Regiment 537 in the Dueiper Castle about the middle of August 1941. He testified: "the total strength of the regiment at that time was 17 of which 5 or 6 were officers, 4 were noncommissioned, and the rest were enlisted men." (See pt. V of the published hearings.)

The Russian report states, "The Polish prisoners of war who were in the three camps west of Smolensk employed on road building up to outbreak of war, remained there after the German invaders reached Smolensk, until September 1941." (See p. 247, pt. III of the published hearings.) Colonel Bedenk categorically denied ever seeing a Pole in the area, as did General Oberhaeuser and Colonel Ahrens. Colonel Bedenk also testified that Colonel Ahrens relieved him as commanding officer of Signal Regiment 537 on November 20, 1941, as did General Oberhaeuser. (See pt. V of the published hearings.) Thus the testimony taken before this committee under oath speaks for itself.

The Soviet prosecutor in his summation of the charges against Goering never mentioned the Katyn massacre. Testimony before this committee reveals that the Soviet prosecutor failed to prove his case against the Germans, therefore the matter was dropped by the tribunal.

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Post by michael mills » 10 Apr 2004 03:51

Here is a site that claims that Germans were found guilty by a Soviet court for the crime of Katyn.

http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=2824

Sergey Romanov should note that it is one of Marcus Wendel's sites, not one linked to David Irving.[/quote]

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Post by David Thompson » 10 Apr 2004 06:45

Unless the author had access to information which hasn't been seen here, I think he is in error, based on the contemporary newspaper coverage at:

viewtopic.php?t=15730

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Post by xcalibur » 10 Apr 2004 17:33

michael mills wrote:Here is a site that claims that Germans were found guilty by a Soviet court for the crime of Katyn.

http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=2824

Sergey Romanov should note that it is one of Marcus Wendel's sites, not one linked to David Irving.
[/quote]

Well, yes it does say that. Even gives names of the persons found guilty and their sentences.

It also states:

This trail (sic) was held before a soviet military Court (sic) from 29.December.1945 to 5.January.1946.

Those sentenced to death were executed publicly the same day.

This infamous Show-trail (sic) had the special political purpose to establish the myth that the massacre of Katyn/Smolensk was a German war crime. In fact it was committed by the NKVD in 1941.


Just wanted to clarify for readers who might not follow the link and would perhaps draw a wrong conclusion from your post.

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 15 Aug 2004 21:10

Here is a site that claims that Germans were found guilty by a Soviet court for the crime of Katyn.

http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=2824

Sergey Romanov should note that it is one of Marcus Wendel's sites, not one linked to David Irving.


Michael Mills should note that this site does not give any sources for its claims.

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