michael mills wrote:Roberto's approach is very strange.
Coming from Mills, this can only be a joke. But I can understand the poor fellow. He must be pissed as hell because I once again exposed the fathomless nonsense he produced.
michael mills wrote:Where German judges find that German forces committed a particular atrocity, and find certain individuals guilty of having committed that atrocity, he insists that the verdict must be accepted as proof of historical truth.
Let’s just say that I consider a guilty verdict at a trial under the procedural laws of a constitutional state a guarantee that the evidence in favor and against the defendant was duly assessed and a balanced decision reached that leaves no room for reasonable doubt. Whoever contends otherwise bears the burden of proof for such contention.
michael mills wrote:Where German judges find that a particular atrocity was not committed by German forces, and that German individuals condemned for it by Soviet courts were not guilty, he insists that the finding of those judges must be rejected, and that historical truth is the opposite of the judicial finding.
Mills seems to be suffering from one of his bouts of premature senility, or then he’s being singularly dishonest. Whether or not a judicial decision is to be accepted or not depends not on whether the defendant was convicted or acquitted (though one may be tempted to think that this is the criterion for Mills in what concerns Nazi criminals), but on whether or not there are indications that the criminal justice authority in question did not take all relevant evidence into consideration, as seems to be the case in regard to the Urechie killings.
michael mills wrote:That applies even when a respected judge and historian such as the late Alfred Streim examines the evidence, and concludes that the finding by German judges did represent historical truth.
More baloney. Even highly respected jurists and historians like Streim (a prosecutor, not a judge, for all I know) make mistakes and are accordingly subject to peer criticism and, in the case of criminal justice authorities, the control of higher judicial instances. It should also be taken into consideration that West German criminal justice authorities don’t seem to have been all too eager to bring suspects to trial for crimes against prisoners of war and civilians in the Soviet Union and other occupied countries, as the mismatch between the number of such crimes on the one hand and the number that made indictment and trial on the other suggests.
michael mills wrote:Furthermore, Roberto's analysis of the evidence fails to take account of the fact that there is no irrefutable evidence of when the bodies found at Urechie were actually killed. Without such evidence, the break of journey of a particular German unit at Minsk is of no significance.
Absolutely brilliant logic, assuming that Mills can show irrefutable evidence that the dead, mostly clad in the uniforms of Soviet tank troops, were killed before
22 June 1941. I don’t know of any large-scale killing of Soviet military rank and file during Stalin’s purges, and after the commencement of the German attack the big bad NKVD had precious little time to commit such a massacre and hide the bodies, even if their blocking detachments had already existed and bumped off deserters and shirkers at that time. The German troops reached Minsk within a week and stayed there for the next three years.
michael mills wrote:Any forensic examination of the bodies by Soviet commissions is nopt conclusive. We know very well that Soviet forensic scientists were quite capable of faking conclusions, as for example they did in the case of the bodies found at Katyn, so as to date the killings after the German invasion.
Very lame, Mills. “Soviet commissions” were not so homogeneous as body that you can draw a falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus
conclusion from one individual case where forensic evidence was manipulated. Let us also not forget that the Katyn manipulation was deemed necessary because the Germans had discovered the graves in 1943 and Goebbels had made a big propaganda show out of this discovery. Had it not been for that, the Katyn graves would have been opened at the earliest in the glasnost
era, if ever at all. Yet Mills expects us to believe that the Soviets would have on their own initiative opened a mass grave full of their dirty doings, carried out a somewhat less than honest forensic investigation and then tried to blame their deeds on an unfortunate prisoner of war. Elementary logic and what we know of Soviet practices in such cases tells us that nothing could be more absurd.
michael mills wrote:Therefore, the only indications that date the killing of those found at Urechie to the approximate time when the German unit made its break of journey in Minsk are the witness statements of Heterich and others, presumably local people. Smersh could have found out from Heterich when the German unit had passed through the area, decided to pin the massacre on that unit, and tortured Heterich to make the appropriate "confession" as to when the massacre took place and who did it. Obviously Smersh would have had no difficulty in "persuading" local people to provide corroborating evidence.
Could have this, could have that. Historiography is not based on “could have” – speculations, but on evidence that certain things did
happen. In this case, not only is there no such evidence to the Smersh
manipulations that Mills badly wants to believe in, there is also no reason why those evil Soviet spy killers should have taken all that trouble.
michael mills wrote:Roberto makes much of the fact that the Soviet authorities did not generally dig up the evidence of their own crimes and then try to blame it on the Germans, except where they were forced to, as at Katyn.
Elementary logic combined with knowledge of Soviet practices when it came to covering up their own crimes, as explained above.
michael mills wrote:Why they may have done so in the case of the bodies found at Urechie is not yet known.
And what indication do we have that they “may have done so” in this case, Mills?
michael mills wrote:It is possible that there were rumours circulating about a massacre carried out by the NKVD, and the Soviet authorities decided to quash them by blaming it on the Germans.
Possible this, possible that. It is equally possible that Mills will fall out of bed tonight and break his neck. Any evidence to such “rumors”, Mills? Any documented case you know of where the Soviets went into so much trouble due to mere “rumors”?
michael mills wrote:Roberto also makes much of the fact that, if Urechie were a crime of the Soviet authorities, it has not been revealed as such in post-Soviet investigations of Stalinist crimes. What he fails to recognise is that the mythology of the "Great Patriotic War" has transcended Stalinism, and is an integral part of the political tradition of Russia today. Hence, although Katyn was finally admitted as a Soviet crime (as early as Gorbachev's time), that was due to pressure from Poland and the necessity to make concessions to Polish sensibilities, not to any desire to absolve Germany or rehabilitate the German officers who were accused of the crime and hanged for it.
Since nobody appears to be making a fuss over Urechie, there would be no incentive for the present-day Russian authorities to investigate the issue. Given that the aim during the El'stin years (and perhaps even today under Putin) was to discredit Stalin and his successors, there were plenty of mass-graves of Stalin's victims that could be revealed without rocking the boat in relation to the concept of German persecution of the Russian people which is one of the major components of the "Great Patriotic War" mythology.
Why, Mills, it’s not as if the Katyn killings had been the only crime of the Stalinist regime the Russian government so far admitted to and only external pressure could bring about such admission, is it? Apparently there are organizations in Russia bent on bringing the truth to light. In his post of Fri Mar 07, 2003 7:30 pm on the thread
Ideological war of conquest and Genocide linked?
http://www.thirdreichforum.com/viewtopi ... b74#151643
michael mills wrote:The distinction between the current discrediting of Stalinism and the Soviet period as a whole on the one hand, and the maintenance of the "Great Patriotic War" mythology, is shown by the treatment of Vlasov and other members of the Russian Liberation Army. So far as I know, there has been no official attempt to rehabilitate Vlasov and his followers as patriotic Russians who fought for their country but then tried to liberate it from Stalin. Again as far as I know, they still viewed as dastardly traitors who aligned themselves with the Germans to destroy Russia.
Which is appropriate because, unlike other prisoners of war who survived German captivity, Vlassov’s men were traitors by any government’s standards. Surviving Soviet prisoners of war who did not collaborate with the Germans have in the meantime been rehabilitated, for all I know.
michael mills wrote:Finally, Roberto castigates me for only now bringing this issue to the attention of members of the forum.
No, I “castigate” Mills for the previous inattentive reading of Gerlach’s book that becomes apparent from his late discovery, and for making a big bloody fuss about the same.
michael mills wrote:However, he himself has read this book, as shown by his constant citing of it, and he did not bring this matter to our attention either.
Now why on earth should I have? I don’t bear a grudge against either Streim or Gerlach. I find the latter’s argumentation to be rather convincing. And I don’t have an axe to grind on behalf of an old friend of mine, like Mills has.
michael mills wrote:Could it be that Roberto does not want to reveal that there are instances where the findings of Soviet courts have been discredited by German judicial authorities? Could it be that he wants to maintain the line that Soviet claims in relation to atrocities committed by Germans must always be accepted as representing historical truth?
Mills knows me a lot better than that, which makes the above junk a showpiece of his intellectual dishonesty.
While it is generally recommendable to cross-check the findings of Soviet criminal justice authorities with those of other such authorities, namely West German prosecutors and judges, what we have here is an exceptional case where the findings of Soviet criminal justice authorities may be considered accurate although
they have not been confirmed by posterior independent criminal investigation, a case where that posterior investigation has been shown by a historian of note to have ignored relevant evidence.
Mills’ attempt to translate this into general blind reliance on Soviet criminal investigations says much about the mind and character of the dissident researcher and expert from Australia.