wrote “Victor’s Justice” on the threadI couldn´t finish my reply to Roberto´s statements on other thread...but he simply can´t believe that the Nuremberg trials were a lynch fairy tale, by any fairly reasonable jurist...it doesn´t take a top University Law degree to conclude that, man...
http://thirdreichforum.com/phpBB2/viewt ... b1ec0ec997
(which was closed due to personal insults, a policy I recommend the moderator to apply more moderately).
The answer to the above statement is: Seeing the Nuremberg trials as a “lynch fairy tale” takes no legal expertise indeed. Legal expertise in fact is likely to be a hindrance. What may help is blind Faith in the virtue of the Führer’s cause and the evil of his opponents, as I see it.
Mr. VJ is kindly invited to demonstrate otherwise. Here’s my assessment, which is based on the brilliant analyses that our fellow posters Stephen Healey and Walter Kaschner, both of them legal professionals, have provided on this forum:
“Revisionists” like to call the Nuremberg trial against the Major War Criminals a “show trial”.
First of all, what is a “show trial”?
As I see it, a show trial is a trial that
a) is held under a blaze of publicity to maximize its
b) does not involve an examination of the issues with a view to determining guilt, because the result of the trial has already been determined in advance. Indicative of this is usually the absence of defense attorneys, inability to call defense witnesses and the extreme brevity of the "trial".
A show trial is thus not a real trial in any sense, but a charade designed to have a certain effect.
The Nuremberg trials were not show trials because:
a) Some of the most distinguished judges and lawyers from the Allied countries participated either on the bench or as prosecutors (who presumably prostituted their talents and independence by pretending to hold a trial, if “Revisionists” are to be believed);
b) The defendants had their choice of defense attorneys, who included some of the most distinguished German attorneys;
c) The defendants could call witnesses;
d) The defendants were entitled to challenge the evidence produced by the prosecution, namely examine documents and cross-examine witnesses;
e) The proceedings took place over 403 sessions, all of which were open to the public and recorded for posterity
f) 33 witnesses were called for the prosecution
g) 19 defendants gave evidence
h) 61 defense witnesses gave oral evidence
i) 143 defense witnesses gave written evidence
j) Several thousand documents were tendered by the prosecution and defense. With very few exceptions the authenticity of these documents was not questioned by the defense
k) The judgment (parts of which the Soviet judge dissented from) carefully examined the guilt of the defendants in respect of each charge. For each charge the evidence in favor and against was described, the arguments of the prosecution and defense considered and a considered judgment reached.
l) There were 74 charges (divided into 4 general categories) brought against 22 defendants
m) 52 of these charges were found to be proven, 22 were dismissed. Three defendants were entirely acquitted. A number of defendants had their culpability in respect of proven charges reduced or eliminated because of extenuating circumstances.
As to the burden of proof, that is upon the defendant in a show trial. “Revisionists” like to make believe that this was so at Nuremberg as well. This is nonsense, as a reading of the Charter and Rules for Procedure make clear. The onus was on the prosecution to establish the guilt of the defendant on each charge beyond a reasonable doubt.
Some quotes from the judgment will illustrate how the judges approached their task (I have bolded some of the particularly interesting passages):
There is evidence showing the participation of the Party Chancellery, under Hess, in the distribution of orders connected with the commission of war crimes; that Hess may have had knowledge of even if he did not participate in the crimes that were being committed in the East, and proposed laws discriminating against Jews and Poles; and that he signed decrees forcing certain groups of Poles to accept German citizenship. The Tribunal, however, does not find that the evidence sufficiently connects Hess with these crimes to sustain a finding of guilt.
The Anschluss, although it was an aggressive act, is not charged as an aggressive war, and the evidence against Kaltenbrunner under Count One does not in the opinion of the Tribunal , show his direct participation in any plan to wage such a war.
The evidence has not satisfied the Tribunal that Frank was sufficiently connected with the common plan to wage aggressive war to allow the Tribunal to convict him on count one.
Streicher was a staunch Nazi and supporter of Hitler's main policies. There is no evidence to show that he was ever within Hitler's inner circle advisers; nor during his career was he closely connected with the formulation of the policies which led to war. He was never present, for example, at any of the important conferences when Hitler explained his decisions to his leaders. Although he was a Gauleiter there is no evidence to prove that he had knowledge of those policies. In the opinion of the Tribunal, the evidence fails to establish his connection with the conspiracy or common plan to wage aggressive war as that conspiracy has been elsewhere defined in this Judgment.
It is clear that Schacht was a central figure in Germany's rearmament programme, and the steps which he took, particularly in the early days of the Nazi regime, were responsible for Nazi Germany's rapid rise as a military power, But rearmament of itself is not criminal under the Charter. To be a crime against peace under Article 6 of the Charter it must be shown that Schacht carried out this rearmament as part of the Nazi plans to wage aggressive wars.....On this all important question evidence has been given for the prosecution, and a considerable volume of evidence for the defense. The Tribunal has considered the whole of this evidence with great care, and comes to the conclusion that this necessary inference has not been established beyond a reasonable doubt.
In the view of the Tribunal, the evidence shows that Doenitz was active in waging aggressive war.
It is also asserted that the German U-boat arm not only did not carry out the warning and rescue provisions of the Protocol but that Doenitz deliberately ordered the killing of survivors of shipwrecked vessels, whether enemy or neutral. The prosecution has introduced much evidence surrounding two orders of Doenitz, War Order No. 154, issued in 1939, and the so-called " Laconia " Order of 1942. The defense argues that these orders and the evidence supporting them do not show such a policy and introduced much evidence to the contrary. The Tribunal is of the opinion that the evidence does not establish with the certainty required that Doenitz deliberately ordered the killing of shipwrecked survivors.
Despite the warlike nature of the activities of the Hitler Jugend, however, it does not appear that von Schirach was involved in the development of Hitler's plan for territorial expansion by means of aggressive war, or that he participated in the planning or preparation of any of the wars of aggression.
The evidence has not satisfied the Tribunal that Sauckel was sufficiently connected with the common plan to wage aggressive war or sufficiently involved in the planning or waging of the aggressive wars to allow the Tribunal to convict him on Counts One and Two.
The evidence shows that Sauckel was in charge of a programme which involved deportation for slave labour of more than 5,000,000 human beings, many of them under terrible conditions of cruelty and suffering.
The evidence leaves no doubt that von Papen's primary purpose as Minister to Austria was to undermine the Schuschnigg regime and strengthen the Austrian Nazis for the purpose of bringing about Anschluss. To carry through this plan he engaged in both intrigue and bullying. But the Charter does not make criminal such offences against political morality, however bad these may be. Under the Charter von Papen can be held guilty only if he was a party to the planning of aggressive war. There is no showing that he was a party to the plans under which the occupation of Austria was a step in the direction of further aggressive action, or even that he participated in plans to occupy Austria by aggressive war if necessary. But it is not established beyond a reasonable doubt that this was the purpose of his activity, and therefore the Tribunal cannot hold that he was a party to the common plan charged in Count One or participated in the planning of the aggressive wars charged under Count Two.
It appears that Fritzsche sometimes made strong statements of a propagandistic nature in his broadcasts. But the Tribunal is not prepared to hold that they were intended to incite the German people to commit atrocities on conquered peoples, and he cannot be held to have been a participant in the crimes charged. His aim was rather to arouse popular sentiment in support of Hitler and the German war effort.
The evidence does not show that Bormann knew of Hitler's plans to prepare, initiate or wage aggressive wars. He attended none of the important conferences when Hitler revealed piece by piece these plans for aggression. Nor can knowledge be conclusively inferred from the positions he held. It was only when he became Head of the Party Chancellery in 1941, and later in 1943 secretary to the Fuehrer when he attended many of Hitler's conferences, that his positions gave him the necessary access. Under the view stated elsewhere which the Tribunal has taken of the conspiracy to wage aggressive war, there is not sufficient evidence to bring Bormann within the scope of Count One.
It is legitimate to debate the correctness of some of the individual verdicts, but to claim that the whole process was a charade and a fraud is just ridiculous.
People who are interested in the Nuremberg trials can find transcripts as well as copies of many of the important documents at:
“Revisionists” like to make a fuss about certain provisions of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, which can be read under the following link:
One of the provisions targeted is Article 19:
The Tribunal shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence. It shall adopt and apply to the greatest possible extent expeditious and nontechnical procedure, and shall admit any evidence which it deems to be of probative value.
“Revisionists” try to make believe that an assessment of evidence without technical rules of evidence is not a proper assessment of evidence. This is nonsense, of course. No rules of evidence means only that the judges were free in how to assess the various elements of evidence and what elements of evidence to base their verdict upon, instead of being obliged to give certain elements of evidence priority over others, like a document over a testimonial or a sworn testimonial over one not sworn. This is quite a reasonable principle, in my opinion, because it doesn’t force the judge to give preference to an element he considers less credible over one he sees as more so just because the former ranges higher in the hierarchy of evidence. It is actually applied in a number of continental European legal systems, including those of France and Germany. As half the members of the tribunal were continental lawyers, and as as none of the defense lawyers were familiar with the highly technical evidentiary rules that are applied in the US, this concession to the legal systems of continental Europe can even be said to have benefited the defense at the Nuremberg trials. I’m told that even in the US, in cases where a judge, rather than a jury is the trier of fact, evidentiary rules are often ignored and the judge is allowed to give the evidence whatever weight he deems it’s worthy of.
The Tribunal shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge but shall take judicial notice thereof. It shall also take judicial notice of official governmental documents and reports of the United Nations, including the acts and documents of the committees set up in the various allied countries for the investigation of war crimes, and of records and findings of military or other Tribunals of any of the United Nations.
“Revisionists” pretend that this provision allowed the Tribunal to take in as evidence claims made in newspapers, rumors and propaganda, whatever. That is also nonsense. Article 21 contains nothing unusual in criminal justice, and the Revisionist reading of it is just laughable. “Facts of common knowledge” are not whatever the newspapers say, but ancillary occurrences outside the subject matter of the tribunal’s investigation that are part of the (cultivated) public’s common information background at the time – like the death of Julius Cesar, the coronation of the Queen of England, the Zeppelin disaster at Lakehurst or the fact that the sky is blue, grass is green, water flows, dogs bark and babies cry. It is understood that the term never applies to such facts that are the subject of the tribunal’s investigation. As to taking judicial notice of governmental documents, that is current practice in many legal systems (including that of the US)in regard to documents that have been prepared in the ordinary course of business or purport to reflect official acts or decisions.
Last but not least, “Revisionists” kick up a row about certain somewhat less than reliable elements of evidence that were offered at or introduced into the procedures, as if such would put in question the legitimacy of the trials as a whole. Such contentions not only reveal a standard that would leave hardly a single judicial decision in human history standing if it were to be applied, but also an utter lack of knowledge of the duration and dimensions of the Nuremberg trials. OF COURSE you will find confusing, contradictory, self serving, biased, muddled and purely erroneous testimony in those trials. They lasted 10 months. Feelings were high. Thousands of documents were offered into evidence, and as to the eyewitness testimonials, see above. There was BOUND to be some chaff with the wheat. Any lawyer who has engaged in trial work will testify to that. To expect perfection in the workings of any system of justice is simply to blink at reality. And the fact that testimony is entered or a document is presented in evidence doesn't mean its veracity or authenticity is accepted, nor does it indicate that the trier of fact gave it any weight whatsoever. So an attempt to vitiate the legitimacy of the entire trial process by picking at a few isolated examples of phony-baloney testimony suggests a sophomoric idealism or - as is rather obvious in the case of the “Revisionists” – some ulterior motive. It has nothing to do with the real world.