"An eye for an eye"

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
ChristopherPerrien
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"An eye for an eye"

Post by ChristopherPerrien » 30 Nov 2004 03:22

[This thread was split by the moderator from the Russelsheim Lynching Trial thread at: viewtopic.php?t=16792 ]

It is a shame those people were tried it is a shame that these airmen were considered "murdered" as that implies a criminal act. Although much has been said trying to justify "stategic bombing" as not a war-crime. It should come as no suprise or even considered a crime when civilians execute enemy flyers who are de facto "war-criminals" when they bomb and kill civilians, even accidentally.

I would call it "justifiable Homocide".

Wouldn't you do the same?

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Post by Panzermahn » 30 Nov 2004 08:01

ChristopherPerrien wrote:It is a shame those people were tried it is a shame that these airmen were considered "murdered" as that implies a criminal act. Although much has been said trying to justify "stategic bombing" as not a war-crime. It should come as no suprise or even considered a crime when civilians execute enemy flyers who are de facto "war-criminals" when they bomb and kill civilians, even accidentally.

I would call it "justifiable Homocide".

Wouldn't you do the same?


I believe the more apropriate term would be an eye for an eye. I know it's a crime, but i did not understand is that the Allies would prosecute Germans killing those unfortunate American airmen while keeping an eye close on collateral murder of tens of thousands German civillians committed by the Anglo-american air-terror campaign.

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Post by David Thompson » 30 Nov 2004 10:14

Chris -- I have some questions for you:

(1) You remarked:
It is a shame those people were tried it is a shame that these airmen were considered "murdered" as that implies a criminal act.

What element or elements of the crime of murder do you think is missing from the killings of those men at Russelsheim?

Here's the way it's defined in Mississippi -- since 1857:

Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-19(1)(a)-(b). The killing of a human being, without the authority of law, by any means, or in any manner, shall be murder in the following cases:--
(a) When done with deliberate design to effect the death of the person killed, or of any human being:
(b) When done in the commission of an act eminently dangerous to others, and evincing a depraved heart, regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual.

http://home.olemiss.edu/~mhoffhei/MISMUR.htm#N_107_


(2) You also said:
It should come as no suprise or even considered a crime when civilians execute enemy flyers who are de facto "war-criminals" when they bomb and kill civilians, even accidentally.


(a) What makes you think those particular murdered airmen bombed or killed anyone?

(b) If the murdered airmen could be shown to have killed someone by accident or mistake, isn't that a defense to a war crimes charge?

viewtopic.php?p=395939#395939
viewtopic.php?p=545466#545466

(c) If you think airmen are "de facto "war-criminals" when they bomb and kill civilians, even accidentally," do you feel the same way about artillerymen who shell a town, or infantrymen engaged in house-to-house combat? Would civilians be justified in lynching them too? Would it be OK for civilians to lynch a POW on the basis that the POW had served in the enemy artillery or infantry before he was captured?

(d) If you concede that those murdered POWs cannot be shown to have killed anyone, do you believe that their murders were justified by the "an eye for an eye" doctrine?

(e) If you believe in and invoke the "an eye for an eye doctrine," why do you have a problem with trial and execution of the Russelsheim defendants? Isn't that "an eye for an eye" too? At least they were shown, in a trial, to be personally guilty of the murders. Isn't that a better result than applying the "an eye for an eye" doctrine to the entire village, and turning it into a Lidice?

If you find the "an eye for an eye" doctrine justifiable, what is your problem with the strategic bombing of German cities and towns? Isn't that "an eye for an eye" too?

Wouldn't the doctrine also excuse the murders and expulsion of the German minority populations in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Romania in 1944-1946?

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Post by john h » 30 Nov 2004 22:24

david whilst i agree with ninety per cent of what you have said i am not sure what happened in dresden could be called strategic bombing i personally would have put bomber harris on trial for mass murder

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WalterS
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Post by WalterS » 01 Dec 2004 00:05

John h wrote


david whilst i agree with ninety per cent of what you have said i am not sure what happened in dresden could be called strategic bombing i personally would have put bomber harris on trial for mass murder


Obviously, you cling to many of the myths surrounding Dresden. As shown in the book by Frederick Taylor "Dresden, Tuesday, February 13, 1945" Dresden was a legitimate military target.


Taylor shows the following:

1. Dresden was a legitimate military target. Taylor shows that over 100 shops and factories were making war-related materials in Feb 45.

2. Dresden was a legitimate communications target. Taylor shows that in Feb 45 some twenty-eight troop transport trains passed though Dresden each day.

3. The Russians specifically requested that the RAF and USAAF bomb Dresden and other transport hubs.

4. The death toll in Dresden, while tragic, was nowhere near the numbers put forth by people such as David Irving, a proven liar and fraud.

5. That the stories about American fighters strafing civilians are not supported by any available evidence and that current German historians discount the validity of those stories.

Parenthetically, I note you do not state that any American generals should be tried for mass murder, yet American bombers participated in the Dresden raids.

To further your education about Dresden, I refer you to the following:

HISTORICAL ANALYSIS OF THE 14-15 FEBRUARY 1945
BOMBINGS OF DRESDEN

Prepared by:
USAF Historical Division
Research Studies Institute
Air University

http://www.earth-lights.net/dresden/Dre ... cument.htm


and a discussion in this forum about Taylor's book:

viewtopic.php?p=383173#383173

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WalterS
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Post by WalterS » 01 Dec 2004 00:52

ChristopherPerrien wrote

It is a shame those people were tried it is a shame that these airmen were considered "murdered" as that implies a criminal act. Although much has been said trying to justify "stategic bombing" as not a war-crime. It should come as no suprise or even considered a crime when civilians execute enemy flyers who are de facto "war-criminals" when they bomb and kill civilians, even accidentally.

I would call it "justifiable Homocide".

Wouldn't you do the same?


OK..... American troops are alleged to have killed SS guards at Dachau because of the horrors that the Americans uncovered there. If true, is that not also "justifiable homicide?'

I suppose you would also excuse Malmedy as "justifiable homicide" as well?

The Einsatzgruppen murdered hundreds of thousands of Jews in the Baltic States. Jews were considered "Bolsheviks" and "enemies of the state." Was this also a case of "justifiable homicide?"

If you believe that the Allies were "de facto criminals" for practicing strategic bombing, please enlighten us all on how they should have gone about winning the war.

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Post by David Thompson » 01 Dec 2004 01:00

Readers interested in finding out more about the controversy over strategic bombing may find some of these threads helpful:

US Air Operations in Europe Apr-May 1945
viewtopic.php?t=25318
Can the bombing of cities be considered as "Warcrimes"?
viewtopic.php?t=9136
Dresden 1945
viewtopic.php?t=1000
Dresden 1945
viewtopic.php?t=4838
Bombing of Dresden
viewtopic.php?t=20370
Destruction of Dresden
viewtopic.php?t=43901
Dresden bombing & post-liberation Euro gas chambers
viewtopic.php?t=33480
Dresden photos
viewtopic.php?t=27506
USAF Historical Analysis of the 14-15 February 1945 Bombings of Dresden
viewtopic.php?p=304620#304620
Churchill & Harris Terror Raids
viewtopic.php?t=29691
Debate over UK WWII strategic bombing
viewtopic.php?t=25898
Terror bombing -- The Nazis started it
viewtopic.php?t=25592
US Strategic Bombing Survey (Europe) on bombing accuracy
viewtopic.php?p=395939#395939
Carpet-bombing towns and cities
viewtopic.php?t=44286
Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- War crimes?
viewtopic.php?t=9209
Lessons of Hiroshima
viewtopic.php?t=5507

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Post by notimetowaste » 01 Dec 2004 01:05

WalterS wrote:John h wrote


david whilst i agree with ninety per cent of what you have said i am not sure what happened in dresden could be called strategic bombing i personally would have put bomber harris on trial for mass murder


Obviously, you cling to many of the myths surrounding Dresden. As shown in the book by Frederick Taylor "Dresden, Tuesday, February 13, 1945" Dresden was a legitimate military target.


Taylor shows the following:

1. Dresden was a legitimate military target. Taylor shows that over 100 shops and factories were making war-related materials in Feb 45.


Making war-related materials for whom? The glorious Wehrmacht from 1941 or some shabby dressed old men and children who would run at the first shot? Use your judgment please.

Just for the record, do you consider concentration camps legitimate military targets since inmates fabricated war-related materials in those places?

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Post by ninoo » 01 Dec 2004 02:01

Hi,

I once read (if I didn't wrong in this forum) an incident about British civilians who murdered German flyer. But it seem that they didn't got sentence for their's crimes.
Also there are some incidents about Japanese civilians who killed US flyers but I never read that there were some trials for them.

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David Thompson
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Post by David Thompson » 01 Dec 2004 02:38

notimetowaste wrote:
Making war-related materials for whom? The glorious Wehrmacht from 1941 or some shabby dressed old men and children who would run at the first shot? Use your judgment please.

A state of war continues until concluded by an armistice or surrender. No belligerent country cuts its enemy any slack until that time.

The reasons for bombing Dresden are well-known:
5. At the outbreak of World War II, Dresden was the seventh largest city in Germany proper. With a population of 642,143 in 1939, Dresden was exceeded in size only by Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Leipzig, and Essen, in that order. The serial bombardments sustained during World War II by the seven largest cities of Germany are shown in Chart A.

6. Situated 71 miles E.S.E. from Leipzig and 111 miles S. of Berlin, by rail, Dresden was one of the greatest commercial and transportation centers of Germany and the historic capital of the important and populous state of Saxony.4 It was, however, because of its geographical location and topography and as a primary communications center that Dresden assumed major significance as a military target in February 1945, as the Allied ground forces moved eastward and the Russian armies moved westward in the great combined operations designed to entrap and crush the Germans into final defeat.

7. Geographically and topographically, Dresden commanded two great and historic traffic routes of primary military significance: north-south between Germany and Czechoslovakia through the valley and gorge of the Elbe river, and east-west along the foot of the central European uplands. The geographical and topographical importance of Dresden as the lower bastion in the vast Allied-Russian war of movement against the Germans in the closing months of the war in Europe.

8. As a primary communications center, Dresden was the junction of three great trunk routes in the German railway system: (1) Berlin-Prague-Vienna, (2) Munich-Breslau, and (3) Hamburg-Leipzig. As a key center in the dense Berlin-Leipzig railway complex, Dresden was connected to both cities by two main lines. The density, volume, and importance of the Dresden-Saxony railway system within the German geography and economy is seen in the facts that in 1939 Saxony was seventh in area among the major German states, ranked seventh in its railway mileage, but ranked third in the total tonnage carried by rail.

9. In addition to its geographical position and topography and its primary importance as a communications center, Dresden was, in February 1945, known to contain at least 110 factories and industrial enterprises that were legitimate military targets, and were reported to have employed 50,000 workers in arms plants alone. Among these were dispersed aircraft components factories; a poison gas factory (Chemische Fabric Goye and Company); an anti-aircraft and field gun factory (Lehman); the great Zeiss Ikon A.G., Germany’s most important optical goods manufactory; and, among others, factories engaged in the production of electrical and X-ray apparatus (Koch and Sterzel A.G.), gears and differentials (Saxoniswerke), and electric gauges (Gebruder Bassler).

10. Specific military installations in Dresden in February 1945 included barracks and hutted camps and at least one munitions storage depot.

USAF Historical Analysis of the 14-15 February 1945 Bombings of Dresden
viewtopic.php?p=304620#304620


See also "Surface and subterranean petroleum, oil and lubricant facilities in the Dresden area," which were serviced by the Dresden rail hubs, at:
viewtopic.php?p=395916#395916

Just for the record, do you consider concentration camps legitimate military targets since inmates fabricated war-related materials in those places?

The allies did. That's why they bombed the V-2 rocket slave labor production facilities around Nordhausen, and some of the plants at KL Auschwitz, among other locations.

Now let's get back on topic -- the justification for the Russelsheim lynchings in particular, and the "an eye for an eye" concept generally.

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Post by David Thompson » 01 Dec 2004 02:52

ninoo -- You remarked:
I once read (if I didn't wrong in this forum) an incident about British civilians who murdered German flyer. But it seem that they didn't got sentence for their's crimes.

Lynching of Luftwaffe airmen by British mobs
viewtopic.php?t=38195

See also an excellent post by Iltis at:
viewtopic.php?p=123050#123050

Of course, there was a Nazi policy to encourage and facilitate such lynchings after they lost air superiority over Europe:

"Other" War Crimes -- POW Lynchings
viewtopic.php?t=14467

You also said:
Also there are some incidents about Japanese civilians who killed US flyers but I never read that there were some trials for them.

When I was going through the back issues of the New York Times looking at European war crimes trials, I saw hundreds of articles about Japanese war crimes trials as well, but for some reason the lesser trials of Japanese war criminals are rarely written up in books. Unless you went through thousands of old newspapers or went scrounging in the US-NARA microfilm collections, you'd never know about them.

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WalterS
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Post by WalterS » 01 Dec 2004 04:49

notimetowaste wrote:

Making war-related materials for whom? The glorious Wehrmacht from 1941 or some shabby dressed old men and children who would run at the first shot? Use your judgment please.

Just for the record, do you consider concentration camps legitimate military targets since inmates fabricated war-related materials in those places?


A bullet fired by a "shabby dressed" Volkssturm will kill you just as dead as one fired by a "glorious" 1941 Panzertroop. You seem to conveniently ignore the fact that just prior to February 1945 the German Army had launched a major offensive in the Ardennes which had inflicted a great number of casualties upon the American and British forces. Surely these weren't all "shabby dressed old men."

As to the camps, Mr David Thompson has answered that question quite well. They were, indeed, legitimate targets.

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Post by David Thompson » 01 Dec 2004 08:06

Speaking of concentration camps, guess where slave laborers from nearby KL Flossenbuerg were working on 1 January 1945 -- just six weeks before the bombing of Dresden:

1 FN 735 Bauleitung der Waffen SS u. Polizei Dresden - RM 15,683
1 FN 773 Bernsdorf & Co. Dresden - RM 616
1 FN 773a Bernsdorf Co. Dresden - RM 88
1 FN 774 Bernsdorf & Co. Dresden - RM 25,025
1 FN 775 Bernsdorf & Co. Dresden - RM 3,580
1 FN 782 R.A.W. Dresden - RM 74,998
1 FN 790 Zeiss-Ikon, Goehle-Werk Dresden - RM 58784
1 FN 791 Zeiss-Ikon, Reick-Werk Dresden - RM 19,540
1 FN 792 Universelle Maschinenfabrik. Dresden - 46,416
1 FN 793 Bernsdorf & Co Dresden - RM 32,024
1 FN 794 Bernsdorf & Co. Dresden - RM 4,508


The amount of money remitted by the employers through KL Flossenbuerg to the SS-WVHA for their Dresden slave labor for the month of Dec 1944, can be seen at the right of each entry.
Source: viewtopic.php?p=577160#577160

For readers who would like to understand what the RM figures mean, see: viewtopic.php?p=577120#577120

For the profitability of the slave labor system generally to the SS, see viewtopic.php?p=577161#577161

For sample work conditions for slave laborers, see: viewtopic.php?t=64075

So what about "an eye for an eye"? Is that the way things should work?

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Post by Johan Björklund » 01 Dec 2004 21:07

Well, if Dresden was a legitimit target, how come the allies didn´t bomb every german town to pieces ?
Hell, war is on so lets level the whole country.
How typically american. Use extensive force instead of clinical bombing of say, the railroads leading to various deathcamps.

But then again, if you level a whole city, SURELY you must hit SOMETHING connected with the military forces, but you hardly win hearts and minds that way.

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Post by john h » 01 Dec 2004 21:21

on the eye for an eye theory i find it intresting walter s brings up the subject of malmedy dec 17 1944 maybe that was an eye for an eye for what happened at comise airfield sicily 1943 war crime committed by the american 45th thunderbird division i would like to finish by repeating winston churchill the destruction of dresden remains a serious query against the conduct of allied bombing

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