Trial,execution or else ...for the Nazi elite.

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witness
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Trial,execution or else ...for the Nazi elite.

Post by witness » 21 Feb 2003 00:18

[Moved from the Polls section]


Your opinions ?


Was it right to try the Nazi elite for the war crimes,crimes against humanity and paece ?

No it would have been less hypocritical to shoot them all instead of setting up this kangaroo trial (at Nuremberg )
No it would have been better to just klet them go because as some people say "Two wrongs don't make a right."
Yes it was right to arraign them before a court because even the worst criminals have a right to a fair trial

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Post by Caldric » 21 Feb 2003 00:24

It was very important. I also think the allies tried their best under the circumstances to keep it fair and legal. In fact shooting the Nazi leaders out of hand would have been the wrong, although I do not disagree with it, the fact is shooting as Churchill suggested would not leave much of an impression on people. The trials will be remembered for good, it left such an impact on history that it will not allow people to forget what happened. Right or Wrong in some peoples eyes they were greatly successful in their main purpose.

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let them go

Post by MausPanzer » 21 Feb 2003 02:13

It was absurd not to let all but Hitler go. They were fighting for the fatherland. Now, generals may not fight. This is because the victors will "invent" war crimes to kill them if they don't win. This simply means that weapons of mass destruction will definitely be used if the generals do fight.

The generals will have to kill "everyone" now, or risk being tried for war crimes!

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Re: let them go

Post by Caldric » 21 Feb 2003 02:24

MausPanzer wrote:It was absurd not to let all but Hitler go. They were fighting for the fatherland. Now, generals may not fight. This is because the victors will "invent" war crimes to kill them if they don't win. This simply means that weapons of mass destruction will definitely be used if the generals do fight.

The generals will have to kill "everyone" now, or risk being tried for war crimes!


So if you are fighting for the fatherland it is ok to shoot children in the head? Or what about Boy Scouts in Poland?

The first victims of the campaign were a number of Boy Scouts, from twelve to sixteen years of age, who were set up in the marketplace against a wall and shot. No reason was given. A devoted priest who rushed to administer the Last Sacrament was shot too. He received five wounds. A Pole said afterwards that the sight of those children lying dead was the most piteous of all the horrors he saw. That week the murders continued. Thirty-four of the leading tradepeople and merchants of the town were shot, and many other leading citizens. The square was surrounded by troops with machine-guns.


Might think this is a crime of the SS or Police right? No it was carried out by the Wehrmacht in Poland in 1939 and was witnessed by women from the UK. So much for fighting for the fatherland, I was not aware that Boy Scouts were such a threat to the German Army and the Fatherland.

This is just one of hundreds of such events that took place all over Poland alone. It was just the warming up before the big show in the USSR. The Generals knew what was happening on many occasions ordered it done. No the trials were very much needed, and were perhaps to good for such people.

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Post by Nagelfar » 21 Feb 2003 05:11

they wanted to exact revenge either way. it was only to make themselves look more civilized that they put on the trial at all; but the goals were the same, blood-vengence, morally right or wrong, thats for you to decide, but it really would have been less hypocritical to just shoot them. however in the process that might give them some 'soldier honour' in dying that way out of the immediate spite had by the other side. they wanted to repress that to not give it such a feeling, and it worked. but it really was a false cover for their true, inflexible, motivation. which, ultimately, was the goal to be reached regardless.

from the beginning of an open warefare in a modernized europe, if the loser was the starter of the conflict in open attack, they could expect a similar fate across any modernized section of territory fought as such. the damage it could potentially do to the foundation of human civilization is offensive to those ways of living which held the rule over civilization prior to the take over by such & such 'new order', in this case the prior rule was social democracy. but, even as people do, social modes of living seem to have an autonomous life instinct all to their own, and it reacts in retribution, covered in its own outward appearence, with the basest instinct of self-preservation upon all that which it had left to take it out on; the captured upsurpers.

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Post by Caldric » 21 Feb 2003 05:50

"These defendants now ask this Tribunal to say that they are not guilty of planning, executing, or conspiring to commit this long list of crimes and wrongs. They stand before the record of this Trial as bloodstained Gloucester stood by the body of his slain king. He begged of the widow, as they beg of you: 'Say I slew them not.' And the Queen replied, 'Then say they were not slain. But dead they are...' If you were to say of these men that they are not guilty, it would be as true to say that there has been no war, there are no slain, there has been no crime."


I always liked that quote, I think it is very powerful and has a very deep meaning. It was from Jackson's summation.

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Re: Trial,execution or else ...for the Nazi elite.

Post by WTW26 » 21 Feb 2003 13:40

witness wrote:No it would have been less hypocritical to shoot them all instead of setting up this kangaroo trial (at Nuremberg )

That's JUST what I always say about the whole thing.

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Re: Trial,execution or else ...for the Nazi elite.

Post by Roberto » 21 Feb 2003 17:30

Polkovnik Sakharov wrote:
witness wrote:No it would have been less hypocritical to shoot them all instead of setting up this kangaroo trial (at Nuremberg )

That's JUST what I always say about the whole thing.


That was a provocatively formulated poll option, but hardly the opinion of witness unless I have misjudged him.

Anyway, a trial where the defendants benefited from presumption of innocence, were entitled to a qualified defense of their choice, could produce evidence in their favor and challenge the evidence brought by the prosecution, and were convicted only on account of such criminal actions regarding which their guilt could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, can hardly be called a "kangaroo trial".

Calling the Nuremberg trial a fair trial is far more appropriate.

Now guess what option I chose.

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witness
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Post by witness » 21 Feb 2003 18:25

Yes Roberto you are right in both that I deliberately made the post provocative and in that , that my opinion is the trial was absolutely necessary.
I formulated the questions in such a way so that people who have different points of view would naturally be drawn to their mode of thinking to the sterotypes they got used to . Such as "kangaroo trial " ..
Often people who consider the Nuremberg trial unfair use this term just to
mock the very idea of trying the war criminals .However their arguments that the war criminals should not have been tried because it was '' the Victors ' justice " are hardly convincing.
The trial was necessary because it showed that
the war was not only about who was stronger ;it was also about who had moral grounds to claim righteousness of their cause. It was also about
unacceptance of the crimes against civilians when waging a war (even if there were cases of such examples when Allies were not sinless themselves ). The Nazi elite was guilty of the heinous crimes and the Trial was the due retribution not revenge for them.
Yes there are right and wrong things to do. It is wrong to shoot civilians into the pits just because of their ethnicity. It is wrong to deprive people of
their freedom by sending them into concentration camps just because of their political views.It is wrong to slaughter mentally ill .
Was the Nuremberg Trial perfect ? No . And it could not have been.
But it was conducted fairly well given the circumstances ( I agree with Caldric on this ).
But there is no such a thing as 100% perfect justice to begin with. Does it mean that we have to let the criminals walk on the streets because of it ? Or to
set up lynch trials and summarily execute them ?
I personally don't think so.
Last edited by witness on 21 Feb 2003 18:47, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Roberto » 21 Feb 2003 18:31

witness wrote:Yes Roberto you are right in both that I deliberately made the post provocative and in that , that my opinion is the trial was absolutely necessary.
I formulated the questions in such a way so that people who have different points of view would naturally be drawn to their mode of thinking to the sterotypes they got used to . Such as "kangaroo trial " ..
Often people who consider the Nuremberg trial unfair use this term just to
mock the very idea of trying the war criminals .However their arguments that the war criminals should not have been tried because it was '' the Victors ' justice " are hardly convincing.
The trial was necessary because it showed that
the war was not only about who was stronger ;it was also about who had moral grounds to claim righteousness of their cause. It was also about
unacceptance of the crimes against civilians when waging a war (even if there were cases of such examples when Allies were not sinless themselves ). The Nazi elite was guilty of the heinous crimes and the Trial was the due retribution not revenge for them.
Yes there are right and wrong things to do. It is wrong to shoot civilians into the pits just because of their ethnicity. It is wrong to deprive people of
freedom by sending them into concentration camps just because of their conviction.
Was the Nuremberg Trial perfect ? No . And it could not have been.
But it was conducted fairly well given the circumstances ( I agree with Caldric on this ).
But there is no such a thing as 100% perfect justice to begin with. Does it mean that we have to let the criminals work on the streets becasuse of it ? Or not to
set up lynch trials and summarily execute them ?
I personally don't think so.


Glad to read this, Michael.

In case you haven't seen it yet, below you find the opinion of this forum's foremost legal mind, Mr. Walter Kaschner. It basically coincides with your assessment.

Cheers,

Roberto

In his post # 240 (9/18/01 2:34:44 am) on the thread:

Any information on the Nurenberg trials?
http://pub3.ezboard.com/fskalmanforumfr ... 21&stop=40

of the old forum,

Walter Kaschner wrote:1. Should there have been any trials at all? IMHO this can only be answered in the affirmative. The atrocities committed by Hitler’s regime and his minions had to be published to the German people and to the world at large, so that thinking people could wonder and ponder (and perhaps take heed) at how incredibly fragile is the thin veneer of civilization which protects human kind from reversion to barbarism. The perpetrators had to be punished – basic concepts of justice simply would not permit them to go scott (sic) free. But the punishment could not be permitted to be meted out indiscriminately by the same sort of barbarism that accompanied the acts of which the Nazi regime was accused. Turning the accused over to the various countries in which the atrocities had been committed: Russia, Poland, Yugoslavia, Greece, Czechoslovakia, France, Britain etc.etc. would probably have accorded them the same treatment that Mussolini and Clara Petacci received at the hands of the Italian communist partisans.
And I think it is extremely important to recognize the passions existing in the mid-1940s toward the treatment to be handed out to Germany when (eventually) defeated. At Teheran, Stalin toasted the idea of simply shooting 50,000 Nazis. The British were initially of the view that the senior Nazis and generals should be summarily shot, without trial. An influential group in the US, headed by Henry Morgenthau, the Secretary of Treasury, wanted the senior German officials shot without trial, the entire SS membership exiled to some foreign island and the whole of Germany pastoralized.. At the Quebec Conference in August 1943, Roosevelt and Churchill agreed that Germany’s industrial capacities should be crushed, that it should be turned into a country primarily agricultural and pastoral, that the major war criminals were to be summarily shot, and it was proposed to get together with Stalin to draw up a list of names. The vigorous efforts of Henry Stimpson ( the US Secretary of War ), General Marshall and Justice Frankfurter led Roosevelt to change his mind, the Morgenthau plan was abandoned and under American pressure Churchill and Stalin agreed at the Moscow Conference that war criminals were to be tried and punished.

2.Were the charges appropriate? I have never questioned the legitimacy of Counts Three and Four of the Indictment, i.e. War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. They have been criticized as ex post facto in nature, but that doctrine is designed to protect against being charged with an act which one could not know at the time of commission was criminal. No one living in a civilized nation in the mid-20th century could have been unaware that the conduct identified under those charges was criminal under the laws of every civilized nation, including Germany , at least until the Hitler regime.
As to Count 2, Crimes Against Peace (planning or waging a war of aggression), I am somewhat more troubled, for two reasons. First, because in theory it can be very difficult to determine whether a war is aggressive or defensive, and second, there was no clear precedent or predicate for making a war of aggression a criminal offense. As to the first problem, however, although the determination might well be difficult in another case, clearly it was not Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Yugoslavia, Greece or Russia that invaded Germany. As to the 2d, there had been a long condemnation (at least since St. Augustine) of unjust wars, carried through thinkers like de Vitoria, Suarez, Grotius, Pufendorf and Vatel, and the war commenced by Germany IMHO squarely falls within that category. And while the 15 member Commission on Responsibilities of the Authors of the War established by the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, although finding that the Central Powers had launched a war of aggression, determined that this did not consist of a crime under international law, it went on to state that it should be made a penal offense in the future. Moreover, the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Treaty, to which Germany was a party, in effect outlawed war itself. As a lawyer trained in the common-law tradition, which finds its source of law in developing customs and practices, and not only in written statutes, I lean strongly toward the view that Count 2 was legitimate, particularly in light of Hitler’s long legacy of broken treaties and promises.
Count 1, Conspiracy to Commit Crimes Against Peace, gives me a great deal of trouble. The notion of conspiracy is, as I understand it, primarily an American legal concept and alien to most continental criminal jurisprudential thinking. I think it is a dangerous notion, and although undoubtedly useful in certain situations I can not see the grounds for its application in the context of international war crimes trials. But I don’t recall that anyone at Nuremberg was convicted solely on Count 1, and indeed only one solely on Counts 1 and 2 (Hess).

3. Was the procedure basically fair? I believe it was, although it was certainly not in strict accordance with criminal procedures in US courts. Compromises had to be made with the Russians and the French, who were accustomed to continental civil law procedures rather than the common law of the US and Great Britain. But in some ways (e.g. specificity of charges in the individual indictments) the continental procedures adopted were more favorable to the defense than the US procedures.
Certainly the trials were flawed, but equally certainly not fatally. I have never in my years of practice participated in a trial that I did not believe was flawed in some way or another. The gods of incompetence, confusion and simple mistake – yes and even bias and duplicity – rule in the courtroom as well as in all other realms of human endeavor. But on the whole, I think the trials were as fair, or even fairer, than could reasonably have been expected under the circumstances. One must keep in mind that Germany, and Europe as a whole, was still in chaos. And certainly the trials were infinitely fairer than the defendants would have had under the procedures applied under their legal system. Remember Roland Freisler's court?

4. Were the verdicts just? I do not think Streicher (however despicable) should have been sentenced to death; I think Doenitz should have been let off with time served; I think Hess should have been held unfit for trial and committed to a mental institution. But I have disagreed with other verdicts and sentences in other cases, which doesn’t necessarily mean they were unfair. The administration of justice is not a perfect science in any jurisdiction that I'm aware of. All in all, I can't find too much to complain about.

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Post by Nagelfar » 22 Feb 2003 04:55

witness wrote:I formulated the questions in such a way so that people who have different points of view would naturally be drawn to their mode of thinking to the sterotypes they got used to . Such as "kangaroo trial " .. Often people who consider the Nuremberg trial unfair use this term just to mock the very idea of trying the war criminals


That's very stereotypical of you. I happen to have the belief that the trial was socially unnecessary, and would never myself use such empty & uncouth terminology, as it would be retroactive to getting my point across. certainly, if the effect of retribution & and the mental 'faith' in Nazism were where its power lie, then killing the survivors who orchestrated its operation to 'lessen' the pent up feeling of retribution against them is not the proper way to socially secure "world-democracy" against it. not only is it left with a larger danger of its enemy ideology taking hold in respect to less of a general vendetta among the populace, but the show of force itself refutes that it is not the 'proper', 'correct' & victorous ideology in itself that is the means to power, but the application of resources simply put to work that does the job. very opposite to the spirit of social democracy, and a reflection of what it already at the time of the trial had been finished with facing; National Socialism. and I mean this in terms of retroactive laws, if they had come to the conclusion that these men were needed to be gotten rid of, which simply wasn't the case to set up such a trial for psychological effect, then it would have been proper to instantly put them to death. it was for show that they wanted to seperate themselves from what was apparently so much like their enemy, but certainly more hypocritical.

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Post by Brig » 22 Feb 2003 05:00

I don't see how it's a war crime if it's not illegal according to the laws of the nation in control at the time. Even if it's a hypocritical loophole, the fact is it was legal and legit in THEIR society at the time.

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witness
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Post by witness » 22 Feb 2003 05:04

the show of force itself refutes that it is not the 'proper', 'correct' & victorous ideology in itself that is the means to power, but the application of resources simply put to work that does the job.

Sure. Police also has to show its might to enforce the law and catch cons. I understand that you are a proponent of the court of Lynch ?
But you see this is also quite stereotypical opinion that this kind of justice is better.(See the Poll results above)
BTW when I made up this Poll I didn't pretend to look exrtavagant I just wanted to know the people's views and expressed mine. :)

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Post by witness » 22 Feb 2003 05:11

I suggest to read what Walter Kaschner wrote in this regard ( Roberto included it in his post )
I think this is what can be called the really educated opinion. :)

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Post by Korbius » 22 Feb 2003 13:54

Wow, look at all of those who voted for Nazi leaders to be set free after the war!? Sounds like too many neo-nazis in this place.

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