Ribbentrop and crimes against humanity

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
le@d
Member
Posts: 6
Joined: 29 Apr 2002 21:41
Location: Denmark

Ribbentrop and crimes against humanity

Post by le@d » 29 Apr 2002 22:09

Hello everybody
I've been visiting this excellent board for quit a while now, and I must say it has given me alot of information about WWII. I very much enjoy reading the discussions on this board but have never participated before, so this is my first post.
Anyway I was reading Ribbentrop's sentence from Nurenberg and I find the following paragraph weird
"Ribbentrop participated in a meeting of 6th June, 1944, at which it was agreed to start a programme under which Allied aviators carrying out machine gun attacks on the civilian population should be lynched"

source: http[url]://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/proc/judribb.htm[/url]

So were these attacks on civilians ever carried out by the Allies. If they were it seems a bit odd to partly sentence a man for crimes against humanity on these accusations. Surely it must have been a war crime itself to carry out machine gun attacks on civilians.

Regards le@d

User avatar
Scott Smith
Member
Posts: 5602
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 21:17
Location: Arizona

TARGET RICH...

Post by Scott Smith » 30 Apr 2002 04:26

Near the end of the war it was a target-rich environment and anything that moved was fair game. A peasant moving a cart of fertilizer was the same as a peasant bringing a cart of turnips for hungry Nazi troops.

In mid-1944, the emphasis was on taking out the German transportation infrastructure. That meant that trains and railway stations (in the middle of towns) were a key target. The Germans could only build so many locomotives and rolling stock and it didn't matter if there were troops on those trains or civilians.

Our forum member Goggi mentioned that he traveled by train once and there were some Russian POWs there along with him and the other German civilians. The cattle cars were riddled with 0.50 caliber bullet holes from strafing Allied aircraft. The Germans showed an amazing capacity for rebuilding trains and track with labor crews.

Basically, something is a warcrime if the victorious enemy says it is or if it violated previous longstanding international agreements without formal abrogation. By the logic of Nuremberg, however, all of dead of WWII are the fault of the Germans, including their own.
:roll:

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

Post by Roberto » 30 Apr 2002 10:50

Basically, something is a warcrime if the victorious enemy says it is or if it violated previous longstanding international agreements without formal abrogation.


Such as the Hague and Geneva Conventions copiously violated by the Nazis, right?

Something is also a war crime if it violates generally acknowledged rules of conduct such as the criminal provisions that, in all civilized countries, sanction murder.

Another question is whether a war crime is actually prosecuted. Before you can try them, you have to catch them, and the victors are usually not “caught”.

By the logic of Nuremberg, however, all of dead of WWII are the fault of the Germans, including their own.


Of the Germans, or of the Nazi government? Big difference. An illustrative quote from the trial records supporting this contention would be appreciated.

User avatar
Marcus
Member
Posts: 33944
Joined: 08 Mar 2002 22:35
Location: Europe

Post by Marcus » 30 Apr 2002 12:08

le@d,

Welcome to the forum.

/Marcus

User avatar
timoa
Member
Posts: 68
Joined: 13 Mar 2002 15:58
Location: helsinki

Post by timoa » 30 Apr 2002 13:23

By the logic of Nuremberg, however, all of dead of WWII are the fault of the Germans, including their own.


Yep, hopefully someone in Germany will now think twice about starting a war again. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea at all, was it?

Laurent
Member
Posts: 49
Joined: 16 Apr 2002 11:04
Location: Lyon, France

Re: Ribbentrop and crimes against humanity

Post by Laurent » 30 Apr 2002 14:09

le@d wrote:So were these attacks on civilians ever carried out by the Allies. If they were it seems a bit odd to partly sentence a man for crimes against humanity on these accusations. Surely it must have been a war crime itself to carry out machine gun attacks on civilians.


As for international law, this isn't a crime (and that is a pity). Killing civilians while bombing a military target is considered at best as 'a not desired consequence', and sometimes as 'a good way to hasten the end of the war by hitting the population moral'. The last one has been proved more and more wrong by the history, bombing on the contrary strengthen the cohesion of a country and its will to relatiate.

50 000 French were killed by Allied bombings to liberate the country, most of them by error, in any case it can be called a war crime (no criminal intention, at least) but they die in the same circonstances as many German civilians, at least in strafing cases. The targets defined by Allied orders were trains and vehicles, not the population. But many passenger trains were attacked and casualties were huge amongst their civilian passengers.

What happens in Hamburg, Darmstadt, Dresden, Hiroshima,... or Belgrade in 1941 is another case...

User avatar
Scott Smith
Member
Posts: 5602
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 21:17
Location: Arizona

WHO'S ON FIRST?

Post by Scott Smith » 01 May 2002 09:01

timoa wrote:
By the logic of Nuremberg, however, all of dead of WWII are the fault of the Germans, including their own.

Yep, hopefully someone in Germany will now think twice about starting a war again. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea at all, was it?

The losers always start the wars, don't they? The first shot is seldom the first provocation or casus belli.
8O

Gwynn Compton
Member
Posts: 2840
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 22:46
Location: United Kingdom

Post by Gwynn Compton » 01 May 2002 09:35

The losers always start the wars, don't they? The first shot is seldom the first provocation or casus belli.


Indeed, though Poland, as has been mentioned on this Forum, was partially to blame for war breaking out in 1939. And it paid for it's over estimation of Allied intentions.

User avatar
Scott Smith
Member
Posts: 5602
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 21:17
Location: Arizona

CASUS BELLI...

Post by Scott Smith » 01 May 2002 11:03

Gwynn Compton wrote:
The losers always start the wars, don't they? The first shot is seldom the first provocation or casus belli.

Indeed, though Poland, as has been mentioned on this Forum, was partially to blame for war breaking out in 1939. And it paid for it's over estimation of Allied intentions.

Indeed, she did. Not a happy episode, for sure.
:|

User avatar
timoa
Member
Posts: 68
Joined: 13 Mar 2002 15:58
Location: helsinki

Post by timoa » 02 May 2002 09:31

The losers always start the wars, don't they? The first shot is seldom the first provocation or casus belli.


We are not talking "losers always starting a war", we are talking about 2nd world war, aren't we? And I thought we all know who started it. Or please tell me who did? Germany? Or did Poland start it? Did poland invade Russia, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, France, Norway, Greece, Hungary, Austria, Czech and whatever others? OR did Poland cause these countries to be invaded?

Indeed, though Poland, as has been mentioned on this Forum, was partially to blame for war breaking out in 1939. And it paid for it's over estimation of Allied intentions.


Yep, that's a good point, "partially", whatever it means. Maybe we can blame the whole war on Poland?

quote from Hitler 22 august 1939:
"Close your hearts to pity! Act brutally! Eighty million people must obtain what is their right." <- ¿Europe?

"I shall give propagandist reason for starting the war- never mind whether it is plausible or not. The victor will not be asked afterwards whether he told the truth. In starting and waging a war, it is not right that matters but victory"

And in the evening of 31 august, didn't Heydrich's men, dressed as Polish soldiers created "incidents" to fake attacks against Germans to "justify" german attack to Poland?

timo

User avatar
Scott Smith
Member
Posts: 5602
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 21:17
Location: Arizona

WHO'S ON FIRST?

Post by Scott Smith » 02 May 2002 10:16

timoa wrote:
The losers always start the wars, don't they? The first shot is seldom the first provocation or casus belli.

We are not talking "losers always starting a war", we are talking about 2nd world war, aren't we? And I thought we all know who started it. Or please tell me who did? Germany?

Although Hitler gave the order to use military force with Poland in 1939, to say that Germany started the war unilaterally is nonsense. And we can get away with this Simplicismus today only because Germany unconditionally LOST the war. The Good Guys always win.

World War II didn't start because of phony atrocities engineered for propaganda by Heydrich. WWII history does not by any means begin on September 1st, 1939; indeed, it could be said that conflict involving the superpowers became all but inevitable on June 28th, 1919 with the imposition of the Versailles treaty. One can go back even furhter to see the roots of the conflict to 1871 and the unification of the German States by Prussia.

To say that it-takes-two-to-tango does require a certain amount of intellectual courage, however. Of course, that's just my humble opinion. I could be wrong.
:)

User avatar
timoa
Member
Posts: 68
Joined: 13 Mar 2002 15:58
Location: helsinki

Post by timoa » 02 May 2002 10:26

to say that Germany started the war unilaterally is nonsense


Ok let's forget Poland for a moment then and talk about the world war; whatever Poland did/didn't didn't cause Hitler to invade whole of Europe.

My opinion is that it was Hitler's will of conquer which started this whole business.
:monkee:

User avatar
Scott Smith
Member
Posts: 5602
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 21:17
Location: Arizona

CATEGORICAL IMPERATIVE...

Post by Scott Smith » 02 May 2002 11:05

timoa wrote:
to say that Germany started the war unilaterally is nonsense

Ok let's forget Poland for a moment then and talk about the world war; whatever Poland did/didn't didn't cause Hitler to invade whole of Europe.

My opinion is that it was Hitler's will of conquer which started this whole business.

The Allies declared war on Germany, not the other way around, and they did so not to save their new-found ally, Poland but to reestablish a favorable balance-of-power, and thus set the clock back to Versailles as far as possible. The rest is exactly what any State should have done when at war, gain strategic territory and resources. Even the invasion of Russia was a decision owing much to the original strategic dilemma of how to gain enough resources for Germany to avoid Allied encirclement and blockade.

Perhaps if Germany had not pursued a policy of becoming a competing naval power after 1871, then the alliances would have been Britain-Germany and not Britain-France-Russia. This may or may-not have been a "better" historical outcome, but it is hard to imagine things turning out worse than they did, with two World Wars and the Cold War, short of nuclear war.
:)

User avatar
timoa
Member
Posts: 68
Joined: 13 Mar 2002 15:58
Location: helsinki

Post by timoa » 02 May 2002 11:15

The Allies declared war on Germany


The allies being UK/France. Ok so maybe this justifies invasion of France but not the lowlands and others.

:roll:

Yeah, whatever.. at least UK/Poland/France/allies did something good by starting the war against Germany; now we don't all have to speak german and raise our hands in strange way.
[Of course I should speak german since I work in Germany currently :mrgreen: ]

User avatar
Scott Smith
Member
Posts: 5602
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 21:17
Location: Arizona

IMPERIOUS ALBION or INVASION USA...

Post by Scott Smith » 02 May 2002 15:29

timoa wrote:
The Allies declared war on Germany

The allies being UK/France. Ok so maybe this justifies invasion of France but not the lowlands and others.

Yes it does because these countries were in the Allied orbit and Germany needed to acquire a cordon sanitaire, or strategic buffer to defend against air-attack and economic blockade. The Allies would have strongarmed the monarchist "neutrals" into allowing them to establish bases and station "defensive" troops sooner or later. The British invasion of Norway was beat by a matter of days.

Invasion of small countries by superpowers, especially those at war, to gain strategic territory is not new. The USA invaded Iceland, for example, because it needed the airbases in the Atlantic to patrol shipping lanes and to monitor the weather for forecasting.

Yeah, whatever.. at least UK/Poland/France/allies did something good by starting the war against Germany; now we don't all have to speak german and raise our hands in strange way.
[Of course I should speak german since I work in Germany currently :mrgreen: ]

I suppose all Europeans will eventually move to Germany looking for work. :wink:

Actually, you should probably thank the Germans that you don't have to speak Russian. The Soviets botched the Winter War but if they were able to defeat the Wehrmacht they certainly could have beaten Finland the next go-around, and then brought her back into their traditional empire under Stalin's boot.

Come to think of it, this conversation is in English, not Finnish or French. Could that be because the Anglo-Saxons are successfully conquering the world even as we speak? Even the Chinese are buying into Capitalism these days.
8O

Return to “Holocaust & 20th Century War Crimes”