Judge Van Roden on Germans being tortured / kicked in testicles "exaggerated" / Malmedy trial

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Judge Van Roden on Germans being tortured / kicked in testicles "exaggerated" / Malmedy trial

Postby Lamprecht » 1 year 7 months ago (Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:26 pm)

Apparently the following quote attributed to Judge Van Roden is an exaggeration, not authored by him but published in a magazine after someone took notes after having a conversation with him:
Our investigators would put a black hood over the accused's head and then punch him in the face with brass knuckles, kick him, and beat him with rubber hose. Many of the German defendants had teeth knocked out. Some had their jaws broken. All but two of the Germans, in the 139 cases we investigated, had been kicked in the testicles beyond repair. This was Standard Operating Procedure with American investigators. Perl admitted use of mock trials and persuasive methods including violence and said the court was free to decide the weight to be attached to evidence thus received.

Ultimately we do not know the exact amount of torture used against the German prisoners, but it does not seem Van Roden is properly quoted here. He did admit that some were injured in the testicles but the "All but two were" is a misquote. Further, this was for the Malmedy trial and is not in reference to Nuremberg or any "Holocaust" trial. It was a trial for claimed killings of American POWs and Belgian civilians.

On 5 May 1949, Van Roden commenting on the individual passages of the article in Progressive (MMI, vol I, p. 312):
Now, in the next paragraph where it says "All but two of the Germans, in the 139 cases we investigated, had been kicked in the testicles beyond repair," I did not say that. What I said was that all but two were recommended for commutation to life imprisonment, and the other two for other sentences.I do not know how many we heard or how many may or may not have been kicked or kneed in the testicles. We learned some had been but that figure is absolutely wrong. I do not know how many were kicked or abused in the testicles.

Some more of the discussions:

Gordon Simpson, of the Simpson Commission (composed of Simpson and Judge Van Roden), a former justice of the Texas Supreme court, was examined about the claim in 29.04.1949 (MMI, vol I, p. 197):
Mr. CHAMBERS. Today in the examination of other witnesses and in some of the printed stories based on the Simpson report, there is reference made to the fact that a rather surprising percentage - I think out of 139 cases all but 2 of the Germans had had their testicles damaged beyond repair. Where did you find the evidence on that?
Mr. SIMPSON. None at all.
Mr. CHAMBERS. Were there charges made to that effect?
Mr. SIMPSON. No; no claim was made to that effect in any of the records we inspected, and we diligently tried to find them.
Senator MCCARTHY. Just a second. Did you read Colonel Everett's affidavit, Judge?
Senator MCCARTHY. You say there was no claim made. You read that before you conducted your investigation?
Mr. SIMPSON. I suppose you are correct. When I say no claim was made, I am too broad in that. I like to separate between the realm of allegation and the realm of proof. I want to say I found no proof of that.

Judge Van Roden was examined on 04.05.1949 (MMI, vol I, p. 244):
Senator MCCARTHY. Yes. Am I correct in saying that you did find evidence to indicate that a sizable number of those men sentenced to die were crippled to at least some extent because of having been kicked in the testicles?
Judge VAN RODEN. We found that to be so. But I have seen some of the articles in the papers and some were exaggerated. I read one the other day saying that all but two of the men had been injured for life. We did not find that.
Senator MCCARTHY. But you found -
Judge VAN RODEN. That some of them had been injured in their testicles. We could not find out how many.

More of Van Roden's evidence (MMI, vol I, p. 250):
Senator BALDWIN. In your statement sometime ago that was made in February 1949, you said American investigators of the United States Court in Dachau, Germany, used the following methods to obtain confessions: Beating and brutal kickings. What evidence can you tell us there was of that?
Judge VAN RODEN. The only evidence I can recall was what the person who came before us talked to us about, and the petitions that were filed, and I suppose Colonel Everett, of course, spoke to us and told us what he knew, and he presented, I think, two affidavits he had while in Washington, either then or before that time. I cannot remember the specific stories for each of those various things, but we learned that in the course of our investigation over there.

About the article in Progressive (MMI, vol I, pp. 256-7):
Senator HUNT. Judge Van Roden, I have here before me a magazine known as the Progressive, I believe it is called.
Judge VAN RODEN. I have seen that.
Senator HUNT. Which carries, I presume, a written article by you, at least it accredits the article to you, and that makes some rather serious, very serious and direct charges, and I would like to ask you some questions with reference to the source of your information for making those charges.
Judge VAN RODEN. Before you do so, Senator, I want this to be made very definitely of record. I did not write that article. I had made a talk at a Rotary Club meeting in our county and a gentleman who was there took some notes on the talk, and I understand that is supposed to be a condensation of the things, some of the things that I said at that Rotary Club gathering. The gentleman who actually did write that article, actually is the author of it, telephoned to me that it was to have a byline. I did not know what a byline was, believe it or not, gentlemen. Then I was startled by receiving a copy of that as the author of that article. I am not the author of that article.
Senator HUNT. Let me ask you, Judge, after having read the article, would you like to say that the statements in there are statements made by you, or are they incorrect statements attributed to you?
Judge VAN RODEN. Well, some are correct and some are not correct. Senator HUNT. Judge, in your report of January 6, 1949, which you signed along with Colonel Simpson and Col. Charles W. Lawrence, this paragraph appears:

There was no general or systematic use of improper methods to secure prosecution evidence for the use at the trials.

Now, does that statement reflect your position as a member of the board?
Judge VAN RODEN. I would say so as stated therein.
Last edited by Lamprecht on Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Judge Van Roden on Germans being tortured / kicked in testicles "exaggerated" / Malmedy trial

Postby Lamprecht » 1 year 7 months ago (Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:53 pm)

By the way, the whole article in question can be found here:

American Atrocities in Germany

This is NOT written by Van Roden, but it was falsely attributed to him (read above).

Meanwhile, torture of Commandant Rudolf Hoess, who gave "confessions" for gassings at Auschwitz, is quite well established:

BOOK: Commandant of Auschwitz—Rudolf Höss, His Torture and His Forced Confessions
PDF: https://holocausthandbooks.com/dl/35-coa.pdf
TXT: https://archive.is/hkN4s

Auschwitz Commandant Hoess 'confessions' debunked in review

The Confessions of Rudolf Hoess

The "LIES" of Rudolf Hoess

Please also see the section titled "Torture" here:

The Nuremberg Trials and the Holocaust: Do the "War Crimes" Trials Prove Extermination?

fact: Torture used to get 'confessions' from Germans

The secrets of the London Cage

· Beatings, sleep deprivation and starvation used on SS and Gestapo men
· POW camp in Kensington kept secret and hidden from Red Cross
The London Cage was run by MI19, the section of the War Office responsible for gleaning information from enemy prisoners of war, and few outside this organisation knew exactly what went on beyond the single barbed-wire fence that separated the three houses from the busy streets and grand parks of west London.
The London Cage was used partly as a torture centre, inside which large numbers of German officers and soldiers were subjected to systematic ill-treatment. In total 3,573 men passed through the Cage, and more than 1,000 were persuaded to give statements about war crimes. The brutality did not end with the war, moreover: a number of German civilians joined the servicemen who were interrogated there up to 1948.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2005/nov ... dwar.world or https://archive.is/LSIsV

The interrogation camp that turned prisoners into living skeletons
CSDIC, a division of the War Office, operated interrogation centres around the world, including one known as the London Cage, located in one of London's most exclusive neighbourhoods. Official documents discovered last month at the National Archives at Kew, south-west London, show that the London Cage was a secret torture centre where German prisoners who had been concealed from the Red Cross were beaten, deprived of sleep, and threatened with execution or with unnecessary surgery.

As horrific as conditions were at the London Cage, Bad Nenndorf was far worse. Last week, Foreign Office files which have remained closed for almost 60 years were opened after a request by the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act. These papers, and others declassified earlier, lay bare the appalling suffering of many of the 372 men and 44 women who passed through the centre during the 22 months it operated before its closure in July 1947.
http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2005/dec/ ... opstories3 or https://archive.is/8hnvA

On the IMT:
Irving described the early investigations of the IMT prosecution as a private event put on by the American Secret Service OSS [Office of Strategic Services], until R. Jackson reduced this influence.[96] Von Knieriem gives a very detailed account of the consequences ensuing from the fact that the prosecution had unlimited access to the entire executive apparatus of all occupation authorities – permitting, for example, their arrest of any witness they chose, the confiscation of all documents and files of the Third Reich, as well as access to the files of the victors – while the defense was completely without means and influence.[97] Since the IMT was conducted in the style of Anglo-Saxon trials, in which – unlike in German trials – the prosecution is not obliged to ascertain and submit any evidence that would serve to exonerate the accused but rather strives to prove the guilt of the accused in a one-sided manner, this unequal ‘arsenal’ of prosecution and defense could not but result in grave miscarriages of justice.[98] Even the Presiding Judges – provided they had been willing to equalize the situation – could not have helped the defense to improve its situation very much, for these judges were merely de facto guests of the prosecution, which latter decided all material and personnel matters in Court.[99] The judges had no authority to issue directives, neither to the Occupation Powers nor to the prosecution – not even with regard to the obtainment or hearing of evidence.[100]

In many and sweeping respects the conduct of the IMT was shockingly similar to that of the trials described previously in Section Von Knieriem and many others recount threats of all kinds, of psychological torture,[101] of non-stop interrogation[102] and of confiscation of the property[103] of defendants as well as of coerced witnesses. Intimidation, imprisonment, legal prosecution and other means of coercion was applied to witnesses for the defense;[104] distorted affidavits,[105] documents[106] and synchronized translations;[107] arbitrary refusal to hear evidence,[108] confiscation of documents[109] and the refusal to grant the defense access to documents;[110] as well as to the systematic obstruction of the defense by the prosecution[111] such as, for example, making it impossible for the defense to travel abroad in order to locate defense witnesses,[112] or censoring their mail.[113] We know of professional witnesses who had been interned in concentration camps for severe crimes.[114] Last but not least, we know of verdicts flying crassly in the face of what the evidence demanded,[115] and justified with "arguments unrivalled in their crudity."[116]

When the American attorney E. J. Caroll was prevented from acting as defense counsel in the Krupp case, he sent a letter of protest to General Clay criticizing the IMT trials for, among other things, lengthy and inhumane detention awaiting trial; the withholding of documents by the prosecution and the Court, hearsay evidence, the random nature of documentary evidence, the suppression of witnesses for the defense, and the mandatory presence of members of the prosecution at any discussions held with witnesses; the disappearance of exonerating evidence; the confiscation of property; testimony under duress; and the intimidation of witnesses.[117]

Irving calls the manner in which the IMT prosecution conducted interrogations "Gestapo methods".[118] The prisoners, cut off as they were from the rest of the world and suffering from hunger and cold, were not granted any medical care for injuries they had sustained through abuse by their captors,[119] and even their defense counsels ran the risk of being arrested if they insisted on the rights they might have expected in legal trials – as it happened, for example, to the defense counsel of von Neurath,[120] or to all the defense attorneys in the Krupp Trial.[121] As far as the incriminating testimony provided by former inmates is concerned, Aschenauer detects significant parallels between the concentration camp trials conducted by the USA in Dachau on the one hand, and the trial of the SS Economic-Administrative Main Office in Nuremberg on the other, since in both cases the testimony was provided by the same criminal "professional witnesses".[122] And of course the VVN’s threats and intimidation of former fellow inmates to prevent exonerating testimony were also not lacking in the IMT trials.[123]

Opinions regarding abuse and torture during the IMT trials are divided. Whereas Irving acknowledges them in the form of constant harassment and minor maltreatment,[124] von Knieriem assumes that "apparently" there were none.[125] We do know, however, of the severe abuse of J. Streicher, which he described during his interrogation before the IMT.[126] His account about having been tortured was stricken from the protocol at the request of the prosecution.[127] Lautern reports the torture of SS-Gruppenführer Petri,[128] and in his last records O. Pohl told of the maltreatment of Standartenführer Maurer.[129] Mark Weber details a number of additional cases of abuse.[130] This suggests that the main defendants who received much public attention suffered only a lesser degree of physical abuse, while those who received less publicity also risked abuse in Nuremberg if they were not quick enough to cooperate.
The Value of Testimony and Confessions Concerning the Holocaust

More on the torture of Julius Streicher:

The Torture of Julius Streicher
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance -- that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
— Herbert Spencer

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