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The trial opened with a festival of self-praise. Declarations such as, Nuremberg will commend itself to posterity as fulfilling humanity’s aspirations to do justice. were common. An attentive media echoed the comments around the world.
Crimes Against Peace
Two of the charges were Participation in a Common Plan or Conspiracy for the Accomplishment of a Crime Against Peace and Planning, Initiating and Waging Wars of Aggression and other Crimes against Peace. These charges were thought-up by the British and French as a cover for the fact they declared war on Germany in 1939, blowing a border dispute between Poland and Germany into a major war.
In fact, Germany had the right under the second and third Locarno Treaties to negotiate its eastern border, a treaty right England and France ignored.
Disgracefully, the Tribunal entered into a secret protocol which specifically banned mention of Stalin's 1939 invasion of Poland during the Trial. The Soviet's 1940 invasion of Finland was not mentioned either. These commendations to posterity regarding crimes against peace became an embarrassment to the victors. The Trial is now best remembered for its tales of crimes against humanity.
A Conspiracy Trial
The Trial format was that of a conspiracy trial; meaning that each defendant could be held responsible for acts of other "conspirators" and/or seven organizations. These organizations included the leadership of the National Socialist party, the Reich Cabinet, the Schutzstaffel, the German General Staff and High Command, and three other organizations. In practical terms, this meant that the prosecution could pop up with claims of
soap factories, of distant massacres, or of steam chambers of death but the defendants sitting in the dock had no way of disproving the stories.
It was at Nuremberg where many of the most absurd atrocity tales became embedded as fact. The some of these tales follow:
Dodd's shrunken head
US prosecutor Thomas Joseph Dodd* presented a shrunken head and a human pelvis (allegedly used by SS officers as an ash tray) as evidence in a dramatic manner. He had the evidence wheeled into court under a cloth cover, which he whipped off as a gruesome surprise to the court and the defendants. The defense had no way to challenge the hearsay claim the head was from a Pole who dared to have sexual relations with
a German women. This is now know as clearly false,
see https://archive.org/details/youtube-AItybQgdYFM NAZI shrunken heads
The Defendants were formally charged with the mass killing of Poles at Katyn. But halfway through the trial
the Americans and Brits woke to the fact that the killings were clearly the work of Stalin. Never the less, the
faked Soviet evidence was allowed in and, disgracefully defense evidence refused. The inconvenient Katyn indictment was swept under the rug and never ruled on. The Soviet prosecutor Roman Rudenko went on to become procurator-general in the Ukraine and later the entire Soviet Union.
In this role he was a major source of information to the Office of Special Investigations "Nazi Hunters", providing tips and questionable evidence against anti-Soviet nationalists.
Majdanek million and the Human Fertilizer factory
The number of Majdanek deaths was given as 1, 400,000, many of whom were turned into fertilizer.
The Majdanek State Museum now gives the figure as 78,000 and no fertilizer factory
The Human Soap Factory.
This is one of the sickest of the propaganda showpieces. The fatty residue from the defleshing of human skeletons for medical schools was presented as human soap.
The Death factory at Nordhausen
The 2,500 prisoner victims of a British Bombing attack on the Nordhausen Camp Hospital were used as props in a
video film presented as surprise evidence. For years the USHMM presented the film without comment or explanation.
see https://codoh.com/library/document/lett ... hausen/en/
The Hoess Confession that 4 Million people were killed at Auschwitz.
This number has been shown to be impossible and that Hoess's confession was extracted by torture and threats against his family.
The number has quietly been reduced by 3 million.
The last 75 years have shown that many of the Crimes Against Humanity allegedly proven at the Nuremberg Tribunal were no more than
black propaganda or exploitation and exaggeration of real tragedies presented by shameless prosecutors and allowed into evidence by a disgraceful court. Please note that there is an excellent thread on the Nuremberg Trial in this forum.
*Thomas Joseph Dodd parleyed his Nuremberg theatrics into a political career until he was caught embezzling money from contributors and became one of the few US senators to be formally censored. He was paid $50,000 by the Guatemalan Dictator Carlos Armas, a favor he repaid in spades courtesy of the American taxpayer. Dodd's "business relationship" with right-wing Latin American earned him a mentioned in the Draft Dodger Rag,
I believe in God and Senator Dodd and a-keepin' old Castro down
Nuremberg - Fair Trial or Show Trial?
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Here's a lofty assessment that is probably how most people think of it, from Robert Jackson's day 2 of the trial address:
That four great nations, flushed with victory and stung with injury stay the hand of vengeance and voluntarily submit their captive enemies to the judgment of the law is one of the most significant tributes that Power has ever paid to reason.
SOURCE: Nuremberg Trial Transcript, Yale University
Archie wrote:Nuremberg is really the key to the Holocaust. Without the concept of "Nazi war criminals" I don't see how the Holocaust could have taken over like it did. There's no statute of limitations, so they've been able to stretch these prosecutions out for decades and decades, finding more and more Nazis who'd "evaded justice." This state of affairs has made it very difficult for Germans to dispute the claims. The incentive has been to keep you head down and your mouth shut.
You are right. The criminal prosecution of tens of thousands of Germans and the threat of prosecution crushed any discussion or challenge to
the Victor's Narrative.
The Nuremberg Trials crystalized the Wartime propaganda Tales into "evidence" in the mind of the Western public.
In France the Gayssot Act, voted into law on July 13, 1990, makes it illegal to question the existence of crimes that fall in the category of crimes against humanity as defined in the London Charter of 1945, on the basis of which Nazi leaders were convicted by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg in 1945–46. That is, it is a crime to publicly question the wacky factual findings of the Nuremberg Tribunal.
However, modern scholarship has, in the last 20 years, exposed the Nuremberg factual findings as ranging from impossible to highly exaggerated.
Thus, when compared to the Nuremberg findings everyone is a Revisionist to some degree.
An example that I didn't post was the extreme Intentionalist findings of the Tribunal, a position now totally discredited.
The search for the origins of the Holocaust began almost as soon as World War II ended. At the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials of 1945–46, the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question in Europe" was represented by the prosecution as part of the long-term plan on the part of the Nazi leadership going back to the foundations of the Nazi Party in 1919.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functiona ... ism_debate
Because the factual findings of the Nuremberg Tribunal were so obviously wrong, exaggerated or faked, I don't expect to hear much celebration of "the most significant tributes that Power has ever paid to reason." Great quote BTW
Friday, 30 November 1945. Morning Session
DR. STAHMER: Mr. President, I must return to the matter raised by Doctor Nelte, namely his [Jackson's] statement that before the beginning of the Trial the Defense and the Prosecution reached an agreement to the effect that the next day's program should always be made known to the Defense on the previous day. Such an agreement was actually reached, and I cannot understand why the Prosecution was not informed of it....
The Prosecution stated that for security reasons the Defense could not be furnished with the names of witnesses to be called during the next day's proceedings. The press however received, as early as yesterday, information on the witnesses to be called today."
This discussion occurred during the "pop-up" surprise witness Erwin Lahousen.
Merlin300 wrote:The Trial format was that of a conspiracy trial; meaning that each defendant could be held responsible for acts of other "conspirators" and/or seven organizations. These organizations included the leadership of the National Socialist party, the Reich Cabinet, the Schutzstaffel, the German General Staff and High Command, and three other organizations.
The development of this conspiracy component is attributed to Murray Bernays, a Jewish US Army lawyer. In the United States, we have what are called RICO laws which were developed to prosecute the mafia, as it's often difficult to establish the individual guilt of a mobster for a particular crime. In practice, most people don't seem to mind the government using such laws to crush the mob, but many have expressed concern with the general legal principle as it's ripe for abuse. There are similar issues with the government's expansive powers to fight "terrorism" and we see these tools initially developed to thwart Islamic terrorism now applied to "domestic terrorists" and "far right extremists."
Here is a Bernays quote from his NYT obituary.
https://www.nytimes.com/1970/09/22/arch ... ormat.html
There has always been very real agreement among the Allies that well‐run trials are far preferable to courts‐martial and field executions. Fascist myths would be more likely to spring up if defendants weren't given their day in court, and in any case it goes against the grain to condemn even the lowest criminal without trial.
He says right there that a key intention of the trials was to cement the Allied account of German villainy lest "fascist myths" spring up later on. That is to say, they wanted to make it more difficult for people to come along later and give an objective account of the Third Reich and WWII.
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