Was any other Axis power punished?

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Panzer94
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Was any other Axis power punished?

Post by Panzer94 » 10 Jan 2004 05:51

It really was quite odd,at least to me,that after the war Italy and even Russia were not charged with any war crimes at Nuremberg. Were any charges ever brought against these countries? After all,Italy invaded Ethiopia(sp?)and Greece(amoung others),and Russia,of course,helped start the war by invading Poland(and Finland;etc). I would think that because Russia was our ally :roll: ,every crime committed by the Soviet regime was swept under the rug. :x

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R-Bob The Great!
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Post by R-Bob The Great! » 10 Jan 2004 08:50

Italy was ignored because they had switched sides in 1943. As did Romania,Bulgaria, Hungary(?), Finland(?). And of course I know way side with the defenders at Nuremburg (save for a couple) it was victors justice (ie. not trying Air Marshal Harris for war crimes).

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DrG
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Post by DrG » 10 Jan 2004 12:15

R-Bob The Great! wrote:Italy was ignored because they had switched sides in 1943.
The attitute of the Allies towards Italy was rather benevolent also before the armistice and the cobelligerence of Badoglio's govern. Read for example this letter of Roosevelt to the King Victor Emanuel III in Dec. 1941 (shortly after the Italian DoW on the USA): http://www.bdp.it/costituzione/doc/d01_04.htm (the original English text starts after the first 2 paragraphs).

About war crimes, Gen. Bellomo was hanged because he ordered to execute 2 British airmen fled from a PoW camp.
Fascist leaders were all murdered by partizans in April 1945, while other leaders like Ciano and De Bono had already been executed after the Verona trial in January 1944 (they had voted against Mussolini on 25 July 1943).
As for Ethiopia and Yugoslavia, the protagonists of the alleged crimes (Ambrosio, Roatta) were among the most implicated in the anti-fascist coup of 25 July 1943; for this reason the Anglo-Saxons themselves protected them (Badoglio was even hid in the British embassy when Italian juidges started a trial for the crimes in Ethiopia). Gen. Mario Roatta fled in Spain when he was put on trial. Another possible war criminal in Ethiopia, Gen. Pietro Maletti, was killed while he was bravely fighting in Sidi El Barrani in Dec. 1940.
Colonel Vincenzo Cuiuli, commander of the concentration camp of Arbe (thus a possible war criminal), was killed by the inmates after the armistice.
The only one who has been put on trial was Marshal Graziani, and in fact he was imprisoned for some years, but then he was leiberated because of the amnesty (he then joined the neo-Fascist party MSI and died in 1954).
Also some Italian PoWs in USSR were put on trial for alleged crimes in that country (the charge was usually of having taken part to the "Fascist aggression" or having sabotaged Soviet production during their work as PoWs), but nobody was sentenced to death and they were liberated after a few years.
Needless to say that no trial was made for Ethipian (use of Dum-Dum bullets, murder and mutilation of PoWs and Italian civilians) and Allied crimes on Italians.

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DrG
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Post by DrG » 10 Jan 2004 13:11

By the way, Mussolini himself wanted to be put on trial, as he told to many people before the end of the war. In fact he told he had documents that could save him (example: letter of the Duce to Graziani, 9 Jan. 1945: "At the moment, I think it is of great importance to bring these documents in a safe place, first of all the exchange of letters and the agreements with Churchill. These will be the testimonies of the English bad faith. These documents are worther than a won war."; document given by Gen. Karl Wolff to the Italian historian Ricciotti Lazzero and recently published in "La pista inglese" by Luciano Garibaldi).
But communist partizans, maybe advised by British agents, killed him (and where, how, when and why he was shot is still rather a mistery).

There is an interesting book written by Cassius (the pseudonym of an English Labourist politician, maybe George Brown) in 1943: "The Trial of Mussolini". Here you may read an excellent and, as usual, very clever review of that book written by George Orwell: http://orwell.ru/library/articles/crimi ... _crime.htm.

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Post by David Thompson » 10 Jan 2004 17:58

Panzer94 -- You remarked:
It really was quite odd,at least to me,that after the war Italy and even Russia were not charged with any war crimes at Nuremberg. Were any charges ever brought against these countries?
Your initial premise is mistaken. The idea of the Nuernberg trials was not to seek out and punish all war crimes committed anywhere and everywhere. The idea was to punish those war crimes which were known to have been committed by Nazi officials. That's why the accused Japanese war criminals were put on trial by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East at Tokyo, and not at Nuernberg.

At the end of WWII, Germany did not have a government of its own. The Nazi regime was extinguished by the "Declaration Regarding the Defeat of Germany and the Assumption of Supreme Authority by Allied Powers" of 5 Jun 1945. The authority of the German government was replaced by that of the four allies -- the USSR, France, Great Britain and the United States. These allies, acting in lieu of the government of Germany, put the Nazi officials on trial.

Governments of other countries, which continued to exist after the end of the war, held their own trials. There were war crimes and collaboration trials in all of the axis countries, including Italy, at the end of and after WWII. Many of them were quite extensive.

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Hannu
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Post by Hannu » 10 Jan 2004 20:19

The 13th article of the first peace treaty between Finland and USSR stated that Finland would punish those kept guilty for the war. Many Finnish politicians were convicted, including president Risto Ryti, who was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment.

This trial was held under pressure from Soviet Union, and many Finnish communists took part in it. However, it may have beent neccesary in order to avoid annoying USSR.

No Finns were charged at Nüremberg.

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Post by Dan » 11 Jan 2004 01:49

The question that I have is "which countries were the most loyal" Perhaps a different thread?

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 11 Jan 2004 09:48

R-Bob The Great! wrote:Italy was ignored because they had switched sides in 1943. As did Romania,Bulgaria, Hungary(?), Finland(?). And of course I know way side with the defenders at Nuremburg (save for a couple) it was victors justice (ie. not trying Air Marshal Harris for war crimes).
Actually in Romania, there were trials for war crimes, but they were also used by the Communists to get rid of potential opponents. Some were truly guilty, but others were not.

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Post by Witch-King of Angmar » 11 Jan 2004 12:05

Hannu wrote:The 13th article of the first peace treaty between Finland and USSR stated that Finland would punish those kept guilty for the war. Many Finnish politicians were convicted, including president Risto Ryti, who was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment.

This trial was held under pressure from Soviet Union, and many Finnish communists took part in it. However, it may have beent neccesary in order to avoid annoying USSR.

No Finns were charged at Nüremberg.
Finland was punished twice - the Soviets imposed also the legalization of the Communist Party (food for thought for Oleg).
Victor wrote:Actually in Romania, there were trials for war crimes, but they were also used by the Communists to get rid of potential opponents. Some were truly guilty, but others were not
Hardly accurate. Communists (most specifically Soviet ones) had little reason to exterminate various political and military leaders, which could be coerced to work for them(General Mihail Lascăr, Emanoil Ionescu & Co). The trials were aimed to destroy some people for other reasons than "potential opposition to the USSR". Reasons which our friend Victor knows, or at least suspects.

~The Witch-King of Angmar

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 11 Jan 2004 21:40

Witch-King of Angmar wrote: Hardly accurate. Communists (most specifically Soviet ones) had little reason to exterminate various political and military leaders, which could be coerced to work for them(General Mihail Lascãr, Emanoil Ionescu & Co).
Well, many were not that eager to cooperate. IIRC, gen. Emanoil Ionescu was incolved in the "Trial of the generals".

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Post by Mek » 12 Jan 2004 07:55

Hi,
Hannu wrote:The 13th article of the first peace treaty between Finland
and USSR stated that Finland would punish those kept guilty for the war. Many Finnish politicians were convicted, including president Risto Ryti, who was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment.
I always found it interesting why Mannerheim was not charged,
but people like Ryti, Tanner, and other politicians were. I mean
Mannerheim must've had his say on Finlands political and military
directions.

Weren't those trials more like "War Guilt Trials" than War Crimes
Trials? If my memory serves me right, Zdanov (the leader of Allied
Controll Comission here) presented a list (List #1) to the Finns, of
accused War Criminals, but not a lot were done with them. They were
kinda forgotten in jail for a little while and then let go. Or have I missed
something or missunderstood something? Were any of these ppl on the
Zdanov's list convicted eventually?

The war guilt trials could've been more harsh had the Russians
demanded (from what I read in a book about it, Finns were really sluggish
getting it organized, and when they asked Russians what should they do,
the answer was eqvivalent to "its up to you to decide" and pointing a
finger to the 13th arcticle of the interim peace treaty). A kind of test even,
what will Finns do.. but eventually, of course, they stepped in to demand
heavier jail terms than the was in the original verdict.


Regards,
-Pete

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Hannu
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Post by Hannu » 12 Jan 2004 13:01

Mek wrote:Hi,
Hannu wrote:The 13th article of the first peace treaty between Finland
and USSR stated that Finland would punish those kept guilty for the war. Many Finnish politicians were convicted, including president Risto Ryti, who was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment.
I always found it interesting why Mannerheim was not charged,
but people like Ryti, Tanner, and other politicians were. I mean
Mannerheim must've had his say on Finlands political and military
directions.

Weren't those trials more like "War Guilt Trials" than War Crimes
Trials? If my memory serves me right, Zdanov (the leader of Allied
Controll Comission here) presented a list (List #1) to the Finns, of
accused War Criminals, but not a lot were done with them. They were
kinda forgotten in jail for a little while and then let go. Or have I missed
something or missunderstood something? Were any of these ppl on the
Zdanov's list convicted eventually?

The war guilt trials could've been more harsh had the Russians
demanded (from what I read in a book about it, Finns were really sluggish
getting it organized, and when they asked Russians what should they do,
the answer was eqvivalent to "its up to you to decide" and pointing a
finger to the 13th arcticle of the interim peace treaty). A kind of test even,
what will Finns do.. but eventually, of course, they stepped in to demand
heavier jail terms than the was in the original verdict.


Regards,
-Pete
Hi,

You're certainly right. People convicted were only those who Soviet Union saw guilty for the war
(Hence the name sotasyyllisyysoikeudenkäynti)
or maybe wanted to remove from political arenas. War-time political elite in short.
Many were released earlier than they were originally supposed to, for example, Risto Ryti was released in 1949 and
minister Väinö Tanner who was sentenced to 5 1/2 years of imprisoment in 1948.

I'm not sure why Mannerheim wasn't charged, maybe Stalin respected him too much?

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Post by David Thompson » 12 Jan 2004 17:55

For interested readers -- There is more infoirmation on Finnish war crimes trials at:

Did any of Germany’s allies commit war crimes?
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=27113

Finland and the “final solution” in WWII
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=36016

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