Has an allied war criminal ever been sentenced?

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
rob
Member
Posts: 94
Joined: 01 Apr 2002 05:00
Location: california,usa

Has an allied war criminal ever been sentenced?

Post by rob » 10 Apr 2002 23:08

I vaguely recall that Lithuania was putting someone on trial for warcrimes commited on Soviet side. I'm not sure if person was being tried in absentia or not. Also, I read of someone in Israel who was wanted for extradition either to Germany or Poland for crimes committed against ethnic Germans held in a camp after the end of the war. Does anyone know of any allied soldier anywhere actually sentenced for war crimes?

Dan
Financial supporter
Posts: 8429
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 14:06
Location: California

Post by Dan » 11 Apr 2002 01:53

Hi rob,

The question is too vague. I suppose every army executed some of it's personel for war crimes. The Jew is named Shlomo Morel, and he's wanted for killing ethnic Poles and Germans.

Caldric
Member
Posts: 8077
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 21:50
Location: Anchorage, Alaska

Post by Caldric » 11 Apr 2002 02:12

The US has had a multitude of trials for many different crimes committed by soldiers during war. From Pre-WWI WWII and to modern times. Punishment anywhere from Death to years of hard labor etc. None were tried by an international court that I am aware of, of course does not mean it has never happened.

michael mills
Member
Posts: 8820
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 12:42
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by michael mills » 11 Apr 2002 03:07

The US has had a multitude of trials for many different crimes committed by soldiers during war. From Pre-WWI WWII and to modern times. Punishment anywhere from Death to years of hard labor etc. None were tried by an international court that I am aware of, of course does not mean it has never happened


There is a big difference between trying members of one's own army for such things as raping women from allied nations, and killing enemy POWs or civilians.

I read that the US Army hanged some of its own men for raping French women (the soldiers concerned were Black, so that may have been a factor). The question is whether the US Army ever tried any of its own men for crimes against the German enemy. I do not know; possibly it did.

User avatar
Roberto
Member
Posts: 4505
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 15:35
Location: Lisbon, Portugal

Post by Roberto » 11 Apr 2002 14:32

Caldric wrote:The US has had a multitude of trials for many different crimes committed by soldiers during war. From Pre-WWI WWII and to modern times. Punishment anywhere from Death to years of hard labor etc. None were tried by an international court that I am aware of, of course does not mean it has never happened.


Caldric,

I found the following on George Duncan's website:

Military Crimes A total of 49 US soldiers were hanged for crimes that were committed on French soil after the D-Day landings. In the whole European theatre of operations, 109 civilians were murdered by American soldiers. In Germany, 107 German nationals were murdered.

In the same time, 214 US soldiers were also murdered by their own countrymen.
Those sentenced to death for various crimes amounted to 443, (245 white men and 198 coloured).
Only 21 per cent of those sentences were actually carried out.
In France, there were 181 reported cases of rape that resulted in Court Martial.
In Germany, there were 552 reported cases of rape by US Forces.


Source of quote:

http://members.iinet.net.au/~gduncan/facts.html

If you want to ask Mr. Duncan about the sources thereof, his mail is:

gduncan@opera.iinet.net.au

Best,

Roberto

POW
Banned
Posts: 419
Joined: 22 Mar 2002 11:35
Location: Germany

Post by POW » 11 Apr 2002 17:43

WW2 Vet Takes a Rare Look Back
By John Crouch, Attorney at Law, Crouch & Crouch, 2111 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 550, Arlington, Virginia 22201; (703) 528-6700; crouch@patriot.net
Brown Daily Herald , Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island (U.S.)
Other Crouch Articles

Fifty years ago this weekend, Professor Emeritus Richard Goss was thinking, "I'm glad I'm only fifteen. This war is going to be over." Four years later he had crossed France with General Patton, killed people, watched his sergeant "literally disappear" in a mortar shell blast, and experienced mass panic, trench foot, a "suicide mission," and integration. And all this was "ordinary it was just something everybody was doing. You didn't want to miss the action."

Professor Goss's experiences were so widely shared, he feels, that he never thinks of labeling himself as a "veteran." In his home town being in a war seemed like the rule, not the exception, and he knows no veterans who ever talk about their common experience. In fact, "I never think a heck of a lot about it." Yet he has strong opinions about the war. His biggest regret is not just that he killed people, but that he let himself be indoctrinated so that "I didn't think very deeply about it."

"If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't do it. If they didn't have enough 18- and 19-year olds," Goss believes, "they couldn't run a war. You have to have people who are naïve enough." The cold, wet, nerve-wracking months, when they would exchange fire with the Germans every day without ever seeing them, made their final appearance an "exhilarating" release of tension - not a moment for thinking about what they were doing.

When his unit panicked after capturing more Germans than they could handle, Goss realized what the world would soon discover: "Any human being" can perform "unforgivable acts. In a moment of anger or fear the beast surfaces." Fleeing before a German counterattack, a friend of his unthinkingly shot two prisoners who had obediently joined the rout. This war crime gained his unit an international reputation as "butchers," so that none of them dared get captured.

Goss spent the last winter and spring of the war in "fox holes" in the mud, which filled with water every two hours. If he was being shelled, he couldn't use his helmet to bail himself out. Just about the time he realized that he was the penultimate survivor in his platoon, he caught a bad case of "trench foot," a sort of underwater frostbite. Evacuated to England, he discovered the long-lost pleasures of being able to stand up straight and hearing children acting their age.

"Everybody was hoping for a million-dollar wound," he recalled, and he was no exception. Like cartoonist Bill Mauldin's "Willy," he felt "like a fugitive from the law of averages." Everyone felt they had worked hard, taken their chances, and now could use a break from the daily probability of being killed. This feeling was not seen as cynical, or detracting from everyone's prior determination to do their duty and be part of the war. He tried to stay in the hospital as long as he could, realizing on V-E day that he "would probably die on the beaches of Japan."

Saved by A-bomb

He mused that without the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, "the Pacific would have been a lake of blood. The atom bomb in a sense saved my life." Another veteran emphasized that had we invaded Japan, most of the "baby boom" would never have been born.

Goss is not fond of paradoxes, but one or two are still unresolved. He is certain that the allies "had no choice." Another veteran added that, given time to develop rockets and atomic weapons, Germany or Japan certainly would have used them to conquer the world. Yet the actions which were necessary were things that few mature adults would do. "I don't lose sleep over it," Goss admits, glad that he has had more important things to do in his life than think about the war.

It unsettles Goss to see how easily young people learn the habits of war, rationalize them and wholeheartedly believe in them. More inexcusable, in his view, is that nations do not move beyond that level, and still make wars when other options remain. "You'd think people could learn," he protests, and then expresses cautious hope that "the Japanese learned" to live peacefully. He sees one concretely "encouraging" development. Since people everywhere, not just the Japanese, own so much in other lands, perhaps at some point "every nation is going to think twice" before starting wars.

"Horizontal" Experience

In some incidental ways the war changed people and societies for the better, especially when compared with the prevalent poverty and warlike sentiments in previous decades. Personally, Goss learned what his personal threshold for stress was, and gained understanding of people driven to act irrationally. In training, he was surprised at how much he could endure, especially when supported by peer pressure. "You've got to learn to be horizontal. Training was much harder than combat," he recalled. In an actual war, you mostly "sit around. You can goof off."

The war provided a democratic "education," forcing classes of people who ordinarily never would have met to rely on each other to survive. This effect didn't happen easily, though. Goss's unit mixed "intellectual" college-bound New Englanders with often-illiterate Kentucky mountaineers who "didn't know quite how to react" to them. The cruel tension between them vanished only under fire, where Goss found that while other urbane "smart-alecks turned tail and ran," the bravest man there was a hillbilly with a double row of teeth. The army threw everybody together and sorted them out by "character."

Back in the states, Goss found himself in a barracks that President Truman had integrated. "Everybody waited for the other shoe to drop," but "nothing happened." No one questioned anything the army did - even putting black and white men in adjacent bunks!

Chorus Girls & Fire Hoses

Goss received a "storybook" welcome home, with a tugboat full of chorus girls dancing beneath the Statue of Liberty while firemen blew their hoses into the air. Everyone treated him and his fellow-veterans with extraordinary respect - even university administrators. "We got away with things you couldn't get away with today," he recalled of his years at Harvard. Another veteran advances the theory that G.I.s' presence on campuses is what led to the sixties. His contemporaries were more serious about their studies than they would otherwise have been, but they were equally serious about celebrating the fact that, miraculously, they were still alive. After surviving what had seemed to be a "suicide mission" in a German village, Goss had decided that the rest of his life was "all bonus."

Another veteran of the war here echoed most of Goss's thoughts. At the time, he said, most people his age saw it as an adventure. "You never thought about killing somebody, just like you never think about being killed. You just can't. You'd go crazy." Though he endured indignities, both tragic and comical, that he couldn't stand now, it was completely different because he never suffered alone. Every little thing that happened was bantered about by the group. Though everyone complained about conditions, most of the guys probably had a better standard of living in the service than ever before.

Yet he was so young, and the war was so much a mass "fantasy" experience of ignorant young people, that it seemed to belong more to its time than to his life. "It's something younger people don't recall, and even I have trouble recalling it. It's like it didn't happen."

Copyright John Crouch 1991

Caldric
Member
Posts: 8077
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 21:50
Location: Anchorage, Alaska

Post by Caldric » 11 Apr 2002 18:26



I think the information is very accurate, mainly because these records of court martial are public information and the US kept good records on such things. I think many were swept under the carpet, to say, and I would think if 500 were reported there were many more then that. It is sad state, and please do not think I defend the actions for I do not. And I think unless there was a concern for doubt on guilt then they should have been carried out, I could not think of any time when discipline is so important. I would think, although I do not have the information, that many that were carried out were against the ones who murdered fellow soldiers.

Panzermahn
Member
Posts: 3635
Joined: 13 Jul 2002 03:51
Location: Malaysia

Re: Has an allied war criminal ever been sentenced?

Post by Panzermahn » 27 Mar 2010 11:16

There is a book by Professor J. Robert Lilly on American rapes in Europe

Image

There were some court martial cases where American soldiers and officers were punished for committing war crimes but the Allies usually put a lid on the press release regarding such cases. A prime example is the Biscari Massacre. An American sergeant and captain were found guilty and convicted for war crimes. However the Biscari Masscare is the only example I know where US soldiers/officers was convicted of shooting enemy POWs

Soviet justice on Red Army soldiers who were caught raping or trying to rape women were quite swift. Usually the officers who should shoot the men on spot even without any court martials. However the Soviets never really punished their own NKVD men who conducts large scale murders. Until now, no one has ever brought to justice for the massacres at Katyn, Lvov, Vinnitsa, Talinn, Riga massacres.

During the 90s, one of the still surviving NKVD murderers in Katyn was found to be living in retirement in Moscow. The Russian Federation security service (FSB) interviewed that man for the technicality aspects of large scale execution!

User avatar
bf109 emil
Member
Posts: 3627
Joined: 25 Mar 2008 21:20
Location: Youngstown Alberta Canada

Re: Has an allied war criminal ever been sentenced?

Post by bf109 emil » 29 Mar 2010 08:38

Michael mills wrote'
The question is whether the US Army ever tried any of its own men for crimes against the German enemy. I do not know; possibly it did.
good question, by enemy i assume someone being in the Wehrmacht (Heer, Kriegsmarine or LW). Perhaps one might have to look towards crimes against German POW's or mistreatment of POW's and see if any charges have ever having brought forth.

Panzermahn
Member
Posts: 3635
Joined: 13 Jul 2002 03:51
Location: Malaysia

Re: Has an allied war criminal ever been sentenced?

Post by Panzermahn » 30 Mar 2010 13:05

bf109 emil wrote:Michael mills wrote'
The question is whether the US Army ever tried any of its own men for crimes against the German enemy. I do not know; possibly it did.
good question, by enemy i assume someone being in the Wehrmacht (Heer, Kriegsmarine or LW). Perhaps one might have to look towards crimes against German POW's or mistreatment of POW's and see if any charges have ever having brought forth.
Sergeant West and Captain Compton was convicted by a US military court martial for the massacre of Italian and German POWs at Biscari, Italy 1943. But that is the only time I know of US armed forces punishing her troops for massacring POWs. Murders of German POWs aftermath of the Malmedy murders as well as the Webling incident went unpunished. As well as the murder of 200 surrendered Waffen SS troopers of the 17th SS "Götz von Berlichingen" division (SS Obersturmbannführer Vincenz Kaiser and his adjutant, SS Hauptsturmführer Franz Kukula went missing but the body of the latter was discovered in a mass grave and identified in the 70s)

User avatar
Penn44
Banned
Posts: 4214
Joined: 26 Jun 2003 06:25
Location: US

Re: Has an allied war criminal ever been sentenced?

Post by Penn44 » 31 Mar 2010 04:38

Panzermahn wrote: Murders of German POWs aftermath of the Malmedy murders as well as the Webling incident went unpunished. As well as the murder of 200 surrendered Waffen SS troopers of the 17th SS "Gotz von Berlichingen" division (SS Obersturmbahnfuehrer Vincenz Kaiser and his adjutant, SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Franz Kukula went missing but the body of the latter was discovered in a mass grave and identified in the 70s)
Do you have any reliable sources for your claims that these alleged crimes actually occurred? Do you have the names of the alleged guilty persons? You cannot punish someone until you establish who the accused is. In the cases you name has anyone done so? Has anyone supplied any evidence that connects the accused with the crime? War crimes cases are not normal criminal cases in which the name of the accused and the necessary evidence is readily obtainable. Therefore, many war crimes cases go unpunished.

Penn44

.
I once was told that I was vain, but I knew that vanity was a fault, so I gave it up because I have no faults.

Panzermahn
Member
Posts: 3635
Joined: 13 Jul 2002 03:51
Location: Malaysia

Re: Has an allied war criminal ever been sentenced?

Post by Panzermahn » 31 Mar 2010 07:57

Penn44 wrote:
Panzermahn wrote: Murders of German POWs aftermath of the Malmedy murders as well as the Webling incident went unpunished. As well as the murder of 200 surrendered Waffen SS troopers of the 17th SS "Gotz von Berlichingen" division (SS Obersturmbahnfuehrer Vincenz Kaiser and his adjutant, SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Franz Kukula went missing but the body of the latter was discovered in a mass grave and identified in the 70s)
Do you have any reliable sources for your claims that these alleged crimes actually occurred? Do you have the names of the alleged guilty persons? You cannot punish someone until you establish who the accused is. In the cases you name has anyone done so? Has anyone supplied any evidence that connects the accused with the crime? War crimes cases are not normal criminal cases in which the name of the accused and the necessary evidence is readily obtainable. Therefore, many war crimes cases go unpunished.

Penn44

.
Unfortunately no one has ever been punished for these war crimes since there were no direct witnesses. I believed either forum member Georg or Arminiusder Cherusker had posted a picture of the graves of the SS troops in Webling. We do not know who massacre these German troops and will never know unless someone comes out with more evidence. But the fact remains that there were German troops who surrendered and then were shot. Lack of documentation does not mean that it does not happen since the bodies were discovered in a mass grave indicated that there were shot. By whom and how it happens are the questions we need to find out, not disputing if the German POWs were shot.

User avatar
Penn44
Banned
Posts: 4214
Joined: 26 Jun 2003 06:25
Location: US

Re: Has an allied war criminal ever been sentenced?

Post by Penn44 » 31 Mar 2010 08:37

Panzermahn wrote:Unfortunately no one has ever been punished for these war crimes since there were no direct witnesses. I believed either forum member Georg or Arminiusder Cherusker had posted a picture of the graves of the SS troops in Webling. We do not know who massacre these German troops and will never know unless someone comes out with more evidence.

We don't know even if there is even a war crime. You need to establish first that a war crime occurred.
Panzermahn wrote:But the fact remains that there were German troops who surrendered and then were shot.
If there was no "direct witnesses," or you can offer some compelling physical evidence then you cannot say with the certainity you are espousing that they were shot after they surrendered.
Panzermahn wrote:Lack of documentation does not mean that it does not happen since the bodies were discovered in a mass grave indicated that there were shot.

Being buried in a mass grave does not equate to being shot after they surrendered. Being buried in a mass grave means being buried in a mass grave. There is nothing in the Geneva Convention that says enemy dead must have their own individual graves. If being buried in a mass grave is prima facie evidence of a war crime then the number of war crimes is going to go off the scale.
Panzermahn wrote:By whom and how it happens are the questions we need to find out, not disputing if the German POWs were shot.

No, you need to first provide proof that these persons were murdered.

Penn44

,
I once was told that I was vain, but I knew that vanity was a fault, so I gave it up because I have no faults.

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23256
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Re: Has an allied war criminal ever been sentenced?

Post by David Thompson » 31 Mar 2010 13:39

Please post comments and sourced information on the Webling killings to the pre-existing thread on the subject, at:

Alleged massacre of POWs at Webling
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=51148

George Lepre
Host - Foreign volunteers section
Posts: 728
Joined: 13 Aug 2002 21:39
Location: United States

Re: Has an allied war criminal ever been sentenced?

Post by George Lepre » 31 Mar 2010 15:11

Hi All-

Several members have asked if U.S. Army personnel have ever been punished for killing enemy prisoners during the Second World War. I have never examined this question specifically but while conducting research on a different topic, I did find the following case:

In April 1945, near Klotz, Germany, two German prisoners of war, Marcel Paulus and Ernst Fletkstein, were shot and killed by Private James Rice of the 3222d Quartermaster Service Company. At the time, this company was assigned to 80th Quartermaster Battalion of XIII Corps. Rice was tried under the 92d Article of War, convicted, and sentenced to be dishonorably discharged, to forfeit all pay and allowances, and be confined at hard labor for life.

Source: Headquarters, Seventh Army, Western Military District, AG 383.6 - IG, "Mistreatment of Prisoners of War" dated 2 October 1945.

Remarks: I checked the Volksbund site for the two victims but did not find their names. I am of course aware that the site's database is incomplete and that the name "Fletkstein" is probably recorded incorrectly in the report. More information can be obtained from the transcript of Private Rice's court-martial, which is maintained by the U.S. Army Judiciary in Alexandria, Virginia.

Best regards,

George

Return to “Holocaust & 20th Century War Crimes”