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The Holocaust: Role of German and American Law

Nazi lawyer Wilhelm Frick (second right), Joseph Goebbels (far right) and Catholic Bishops giving Nazi salute in honor of Hitler. Click image for more information on the role of the Church.

The Holocaust: Role of German and American Law

Trailer for the BBC/HBO production of Conspiracy staring Kenneth Branagh. Note Branagh’s opening statement "Today each of us becomes a bearer of secrets". YouTube

Conspiracy is a BBC/HBO television film which dramatizes the duplicity of the legal profession in The Holocaust. But Nazi lawyers like Wilhelm Frick, Hans Globke, and Wilhelm Stuckart are largely unknown today for their role in making and passing laws that led to The Final Solution.



Wikipedia: The film delves into the psychology of Nazi officials involved in the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question" during World War II.

BBC Press Release - Conspiracy

Review by Alan E. Steinweis, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Perversion of the Rule of Law

The Nazis advocated Aryan white supremacy and anti-Semitism.

Nazi lawyer Wilhelm Frick and his colleagues created the Final Solution through the use of law and official policy. In 1933 the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service banned Jews from government jobs. Other laws followed, culminating with the Nuremberg Laws, the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour, and the Reich Citizenship Law.

The Final Solution was made official policy at the Wannsee Conference January 20, 1942 in suburban Berlin. Reinhard Heydrich chaired the conference, assisted by Adolf Eichmann. Lawyers present at Wannsee were Erich Neumann, Josef Bühler, Roland Freisler, Rudolf Lange, Gerhard Klopfer, and Wilhelm Stuckart. After Heydrich’s death in June, 1942, he was succeeded by Ernst Kaltenbrunner, a lawyer.

 

Four Nazis responsible for allowing the legal system of Germany to be taken over by Nazi ideology.

 

L to R, Roland Freisler, Franz Schlegelburger, Otto Thierack and Curt Rothenberger

The scale of atrocities that made the Holocaust were only possible with the cooperation of the legal profession, the instrumentality of government, and participation of corporations and their corporate lawyers. The legal profession must be identified for its role in the Holocaust. To discount this role is to ignore the banality of evil.

 

 

The villa at 56–58 Am Großen Wannsee, near Berlin, Germany, where the Wannsee Conference was held January 20, 1942 to plan the "Final Solution"

American anti-miscegenation laws, Jim Crow, eugenics

The Nuremberg Laws and Nazi policy were predated by American anti-miscegenation laws, Jim Crow and other segregation, and the American eugenics movement. These laws advocated white supremacy and opposed the civil rights of African-Americans and other minorities.

Ku Klux Klan

Following the American Civil War the Ku Klux Klan, a domestic terror organization, arose and counted lawyers and judges amongst its members. The Ku Klux Klan advocated white supremacy, anti-Semitism, anti-Catholicism, and opposed the civil rights of African-American and other minorities.

 

KKK terrorists in the 1950s and 1960s often forged alliances with Southern police departments, as in Birmingham Alabama, or with governor's offices, such as Gov. George Wallace of Alabama, both of which enjoyed the support of lawyers and judges. Ku Klux Klan members in United States politics are discussed here.

Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927)

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote the US Supreme Court opinion in the 1927 case Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927) upholding Virginia law that authorized the involuntary sterilization of those in state custody deemed "hereditary imbeciles." Justice Holmes’ oft cited quote in the case was "Three generations of imbeciles are enough". Not only does this predate Nazi eugenics (1933-1945) by six years, American eugenics remained lawful until 1983, although the last known forced sterilization was 1978.

Racial Integrity Act of 1924

As for American anti-miscegenation laws, Virginia's Racial Integrity Act of 1924 stood until the US Supreme Court overturned this law in 1967 in Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967). Arguably German jurisprudence was merely following the example set by American lawyers, courts and judges, even the US Supreme Court.

Japanese-American internment

The Internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II occurred about the same time as the Wannsee conference. President Roosevelt authorized the internment with Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, which allowed local military commanders to designate military areas as exclusion zones, from which "any or all persons may be excluded." This power was used to declare that all people of Japanese ancestry were excluded from the entire Pacific coast, including all of California and most of Oregon and Washington, except for those in internment camps.

Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944)

In 1944 the US Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the exclusion orders in Korematsu v. United States 323 U.S. 214 (1944), with the majority opinion by Justice Hugo Black. The Court sidestepped an important issue, noting that the provisions that singled out people of Japanese ancestry were a separate issue outside the scope of the proceedings. It has been revealed that the United States government suppressed the fact that its own intelligence had established that the interned Japanese Americans were not a security risk, even as the matter was litigated before the Supreme Court.

Civil Liberties Act of 1988

In 1988 Congress passed and President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 which apologized for the internment on behalf of the US government. The legislation stated that government actions were based on "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership". Over $1.6 billion in reparations were later disbursed by the US government to Japanese-Americans who had either suffered internment or were heirs of those who had suffered internment.

Confession of Error: The Solicitor General’s Mistakes During the Japanese-American Internment Cases

Neal Katyal

Confession of Error: The Solicitor General’s Mistakes During the Japanese-American Internment Cases
May 20, 2011

The following post appears courtesy of Neal Katyal, Acting Solicitor General of the United States

It has been my privilege to have served as Acting Solicitor General for the past year and to have served as Principal Deputy Solicitor General before that. The Solicitor General is responsible for overseeing appellate litigation on behalf of the United States, and with representing the United States in the Supreme Court. There are several terrific accounts of the roles that Solicitors General have played throughout history in advancing civil rights. But it is also important to remember the mistakes. One episode of particular relevance to AAPI Heritage Month is the Solicitor General’s defense of the forced relocation and internment of Japanese-American during World War II. Read more here

Katyal Speaks of SG 'Mistakes' in Japanese Internment Cases
The Blog of Legal Times
May 23, 2011

In an unusual statement posted on the Justice Department's blog, Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal on Friday spoke of the "mistakes" made by a long-ago predecessor in defending the U.S. government's World War II Japanese-American internment program before the Supreme Court.

Katyal reviewed evidence unearthed in the 1980s that in 1943 and 1944, then-Solicitor General Charles Fahy failed to tell the Court of relevant reports minimizing the danger posed by Japanese-Americans living on the west coast. His omissions and misstatements came in the cases of Korematsu v. United States and Hirabayashi v. United States, in which the Court upheld the internment program. The rulings, never overturned, are widely viewed now as embarrassments to the Court. Read more here

California man saved Japanese farms during WWII

Friends, family mark 100th birthday of a Florin hero
The Sacramento Bee
by Stephen Magagnini
July 25, 2011

 

Fletcher was called a "Jap lover" and dodged a bullet fired into the Tsukamotos' barn. A local business posted a sign reading, "We don't want Japs back here – EVER."

 

More than 150 relatives, friends and neighbors filled Florin Community Center on Sunday to celebrate a true American war hero.

Bob Fletcher – who officially turns 100 on Tuesday – didn't see combat in World War II. But he was shot at for being a Japanese sympathizer when he quit his job to save three local Japanese American farms whose owners were sent to internment camps.

Most of Sacramento's 3,000 Japanese Americans who were shipped off to barbed-wire camps from 1942 to 1945 lost everything – even though most were U.S. Citizens. Their farms and homes were stolen or foreclosed on by the banks. Read more here

Conclusion

Carrie Buck

During the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials the Nazi defense relied upon the U.S. Supreme Court opinion in the 1927 case Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927), delivered by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, upholding Virginia law that authorized the involuntary sterilization of those in state custody deemed "hereditary imbeciles." Carrie Buck was the young woman ordered to undergo compulsory sterilization. Justice Holmes’ oft cited quote in the case was "Three generations of imbeciles are enough". This U.S. Supreme Court precedent precedes Nazi eugenics (1933-1945) by six years.

The online Encyclopedia Virginia, describes the legacy of Buck v. Bell as follows:

"Between 1927 and 1972, doctors at Virginia's state hospitals sterilized another 8,300 Virginians. At the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, Nazi defendants testified that their eugenics laws were based on Virginia's precedent. The Nazis sterilized more than 400,000 people—a prelude to the extermination of approximately seventeen million "unfit" people, six million of whom were "inferior" Jews, in the Holocaust."

This is one example of how the U.S. legal system was responsible for the Holocaust, through U.S. Supreme Court precedent, according to evidence presented at the Nuremberg Trials.

Individuals may be inclined to prejudice, but without the cooperation of lawyers, judges, courts, governments, and corporations, those individuals are relatively powerless. Without the help of Nazi lawyer Frick and his colleagues, Hitler may have remained a crazy loud-mouth with a book to sell. That book was Mein Kampf (1925).

The lapse in personal responsibility plays a significant role in understanding the Shoah. But when will the so-called rule of law, the lawyers, the judges, and the courts that created and facilitated the Holocaust be called to justice?

Photo of a Nazi prison number tattooed on a person

Identification in Nazi camps, Wikipedia

IBM and the Holocaust
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

IBM and the Holocaust is a book by investigative journalist Edwin Black which details the business dealings of the American-based multinational corporation International Business Machines (IBM) and its German and other European subsidiaries with the government of Adolf Hitler during the 1930s and the years of World War II. In the book, Black outlines the way in which IBM's technology helped facilitate Nazi genocide against the Jewish people through generation and tabulation of punch cards based upon national census data...

…"Mankind barely noticed when the concept of massively organized information quietly emerged to become a means of social control, a weapon of war, and a roadmap for group destruction.... Hitler and his hatred of the Jews was the ironic driving force behind this intellectual turning point. But his quest was greatly enhanced and energized by the ingenuity and craving for profit of a single American company and its legendary, autocratic chairman. That company was International Business machines, and its chairman was Thomas J. Watson." Read more here

IBM's Role in the Holocaust -- What the New Documents Reveal
Huffington Post
by Edwin Black
February 27, 2012

Newly-released documents expose more explicitly the details of IBM's pivotal role in the Holocaust -- all six phases: identification, expulsion from society, confiscation, ghettoization, deportation, and even extermination. Moreover, the documents portray with crystal clarity the personal involvement and micro-management of IBM president Thomas J. Watson in the company's co-planning and co-organizing of Hitler's campaign to destroy the Jews.

IBM's twelve-year alliance with the Third Reich was first revealed in my book IBM and the Holocaust, published simultaneously in 40 countries in February 2001. It was based on some 20,000 documents drawn from archives in seven countries. IBM never denied any of the information in the book; and despite thousands of media and communal requests, as well as published articles, the company has remained silent.

The new "expanded edition" contains 32 pages of never-before-published internal IBM correspondence, State Department and Justice Department memos, and concentration camp documents that graphically chronicle IBM's actions and what they knew during the 12-year Hitler regime. On the anniversary of the release of the original book, the new edition was released on February 26, 2012 at a special live global streaming event at Yeshiva University's Furst Hall, sponsored by the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists together with a coalition of other groups.

Read more here

Hollerith Machine

IBM and the Holocaust website

Author Edwin Black website

IBM and the Holocaust Facebook

IBM and the Holocaust

Jewish Virtual Library

IBM and the Holocaust Amazon.com

How IBM Helped Automate the Nazi Death Machine in Poland Final Solutions, THE VILLAGE VOICE, by Edwin Black

Revisiting The Horrors Of The Holocaust
60 Minutes CBS News
Scott Pelley reporting
February 11, 2009

For the first time, secrets of the Nazi Holocaust that have been hidden away for more than 60 years are finally being made available to the public. We're not talking about a missing filing cabinet - we're talking about thousands of filing cabinets, holding 50 million pages. It's Hitler's secret archive.

The Nazis were famous for record keeping but what 60 Minutes found ran from the bizarre to the horrifying. This Holocaust history was discovered by the Allies in dozens of concentration camps, as Germany fell in the spring of 1945.

As correspondent Scott Pelley reports, the documents were taken to a town in the middle of Germany, called Bad Arolsen, where they were sorted, filed and locked way, never to be seen by the public until now. Read more here

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Federal support guarantees the Museum's permanent place on the National Mall, and its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors. Read more here

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum YouTube Channel

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Facebook

A Community of Survivors Dwindles

A Community of Survivors Dwindles
The New York Times
by John Leland
November 25, 2011

ONE thing about life in New York: wherever you are, the neighborhood is always changing. An Italian enclave becomes Senegalese; a historically African-American corridor becomes a magnet for white professionals. The accents and rhythms shift; the aromas become spicy or vegetal. The transition is sometimes smooth, sometimes bumpy. But there is a sense of loss among the people left behind, wondering what happened to the neighborhood they once thought of as their own.

For Sophia Goldberg, change has meant the end of a way of life.

On a recent morning Ms. Goldberg sat in her tidy seventh-floor living room, surrounded by needlepoint portraits stitched by her own hands, and sighed over the changes immediately around her.

Ms. Goldberg, 98, lives in a 19-story apartment house in Flushing, Queens, one of two neighboring buildings that were erected for survivors of the Holocaust. When she moved there in 1978, she said, her neighbors formed a tight community of predominantly Jewish refugees like her who had fled to the United States from Austria or Germany. Read more here

The Claims Conference

Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc. (Claims Conference)
1359 Broadway, Room 2000
New York, NY 10018
Tel: (646) 536-9100
E-mail: info@claimscon.org

 

Claims Conference Blog
Claims Conference
Facebook

The mission of the Claims Conference over its history has always been to secure what we consider a small measure of justice for Jewish victims of Nazi persecution. We have pursued this goal since 1951 through a combination of negotiations, disbursing funds to individuals and organizations, and seeking the return of Jewish property lost during the Holocaust. Read more here

Claims Conference Kavod, an electronic journal designed especially for professionals who care for aging Holocaust survivors and their families. Read more here

Connect2 offers vital companionship and support to Holocaust Survivors living throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan. Volunteers make regular visits to survivors in their homes. Volunteers hear extraordinary stories, learn courage and perseverance by living example, and have the honor of sharing with a very deserving group. These inter-generational friendships ensure the past will not be forgotten. Read more here

 

Connect2 is a program of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island, supported by Claims Conference funding.

"Coming of Age in the Holocaust": Connecting students to history

On May 21, 1942, the eve of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, the sudden sound of gunshots woke the Kransnostawski family just before dawn. Soldiers broke into Meir’s house and forced everyone out onto the street and marched them, along with many neighbors, to a nearby gathering point.

While everyone waited in the courtyard, the Nazis slowly removed the young people and the elderly people from the crowd. Meir watched the Nazis take his mother, grandmother, and siblings. He feared that they would soon be murdered. Finally, with all his relatives gone except his father, Meir wondered whether it was worth trying to stay alive. Read more here

Simon Wiesenthal Center

 

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is a global Jewish human rights organization that confronts anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism, promotes human rights and dignity, stands with Israel, defends the safety of Jews worldwide, and teaches the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations. With a constituency of over 400,000 households in the United States, it is accredited as an NGO at international organizations including the United Nations, UNESCO, OSCE, Organization of American States (OAS), the Latin American Parliament (PARLATINO) and the Council of Europe.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, the Simon Wiesenthal Center maintains offices in New York, Toronto, Miami, Paris, Buenos Aires, and Jerusalem.

Simon Wiesenthal on Wikipedia

 

Simon Wiesenthal KBE (December 31, 1908 – September 20, 2005) was an Austrian-Jewish Holocaust survivor who became famous after World War II for his work as a Nazi hunter who pursued Nazi war criminals.

Following four and a half years in the German concentration camps such as Janowska, Plaszow, and Mauthausen during World War II, Wiesenthal dedicated most of his life to tracking down and gathering information on fugitive Nazis so that they could be brought to justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity. In 1947, he co-founded the Jewish Historical Documentation Center in Linz, Austria, in order to gather information for future war crime trials. Later he opened Jewish Documentation Center in Vienna. Wiesenthal wrote The Sunflower, which describes a life-changing event he experienced when he was in the camp.
Read more on Wikipedia

Night, by Elie Wiesel

Night is a work by Elie Wiesel about his experience with his father, Shlomo, in the Nazi German concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald in 1944–1945, at the height of the Holocaust and toward the end of the Second World War. In just over 100 pages of sparse and fragmented narrative, described as devastating in its simplicity, Wiesel writes about the death of God and his own increasing disgust with humanity, reflected in the inversion of the father-child relationship as Shlomo devolves to a helpless state and Wiesel becomes his resentful teenage caregiver. "If only I could get rid of this dead weight ... Immediately I felt ashamed of myself, ashamed forever." In Night, everything is inverted, every value destroyed. "Here there are no fathers, no brothers, no friends," a Kapo tells him. "Everyone lives and dies for himself alone." Read more here on Wikipedia.


Buy Night by Elie Wiesel on Amazon.com

Nazis Were Given ‘Safe Haven’ in U.S., Report Says

Arthur L. Rudolph

Nazis Were Given ‘Safe Haven’ in U.S., Report Says

The New York Times

By ERIC LICHTBLAU

November 13, 2010

 

WASHINGTON — A secret history of the United States government’s Nazi-hunting operation concludes that American intelligence officials created a "safe haven" in the United States for Nazis and their collaborators after World War II, and it details decades of clashes, often hidden, with other nations over war criminals here and abroad.

 

The 600-page report, which the Justice Department has tried to keep secret for four years, provides new evidence about more than two dozen of the most notorious Nazi cases of the last three decades.

 

The report also concluded that the number of Nazis who made it into the United States was almost certainly much smaller than 10,000, the figure widely cited by government officials.

 

The report also examines the case of Arthur L. Rudolph, a Nazi scientist who ran the Mittelwerk munitions factory. He was brought to the United States in 1945 for his rocket-making expertise under Operation Paperclip an American program that recruited scientists who had worked in Nazi Germany. (Rudolph has been honored by NASA and is credited as the father of the Saturn V rocket.) Read more on The New York Times.

The American Experience: The Nuremberg Trials

Long-Forgotten Film on the Nuremberg Trials Helps Rekindle Interest in the Holocaust

Long-Forgotten Film on the Nuremberg Trials Helps Rekindle Interest in the Holocaust
ABA Journal Law News Now

By Terry Carter

February 11, 2011

Associate Justice Robert H. Jackson was cussing mad when he wrote a letter to Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall on Oct. 21, 1948. And it had nothing to do with the business of the Supreme Court. In two single-spaced pages, Jackson was detailing why the Army should OK the U.S. release of a documentary film it had made about the first Nuremberg trial, where Jackson had served as lead prosecutor. He had learned that the government denied the New York City Bar Association's request to show the film.

Jackson described to Royall a profanity-laden letter he'd already sent to the city bar's president, Harrison Tweed, decrying what he saw as a bone-headed decision. He said Tweed had asked whether the letter could be read to the group—minus the profanity. "I told him he could read it if he would not cut out the profanity," Jackson wrote Royall, underlining his displeasure.

Read more here

Benjamin B. Ferencz
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Benjamin B. Ferencz (born March 11, 1920) is a Romanian-born American lawyer. He was an investigator of Nazi war crimes after World War II and the Chief Prosecutor for the United States Army at the Einsatzgruppen Trial, one of the twelve military trials held by the U.S. authorities at Nuremberg, Germany. Later, he became a vocal advocate of the establishment of an international rule of law and of an International Criminal Court. From 1985 to 1996, he was Adjunct Professor of International Law at Pace University. Read more here

Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today

NUREMBERG: ITS LESSON FOR TODAY
The Schulberg/Waletzky Restoration

One of the greatest courtroom dramas in history, Nuremberg: Its Lesson For Today shows how the four allied prosecution teams — from the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union — built their case against the top Nazi leaders. As documented in the film, the trial established the "Nuremberg principles," laying the groundwork for all subsequent prosecutions, anywhere in the world, for crimes against the peace, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
Read more here

Harvard Law School Library Nuremberg Trials Project

Prosecutor Sadie B. Arbuthnot

The Harvard Law School Library has approximately one million pages of documents relating to the trial of military and political leaders of Nazi Germany before the International Military Tribunal (IMT) and to the twelve trials of other accused war criminals before the United States Nuremberg Military Tribunals (NMT).

The documents, which include trial transcripts, briefs, document books, evidence files, and other papers, have been studied by lawyers, scholars, and other researchers in the areas of history, ethics, genocide, and war crimes, and are of particular interest to officials and students of current international tribunals involving war crimes and crimes against humanity. Read more here

Nuremberg Trials on Wikipedia

Defendants in the dock

Nuremberg Trials
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Nuremberg Trials were a series of military tribunals, held by the main victorious Allied forces of World War II, most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany. The trials were held in the city of Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany, in 1945-46, at the Palace of Justice. The first and best known of these trials was the Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal (IMT), which tried 24 of the most important captured leaders of Nazi Germany, though several key architects of the war (such as Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and Joseph Goebbels) had committed suicide before the trials began.
Read more here

Subsequent Nuremberg Trials

Kupp Case Judges

Subsequent Nuremberg Trials
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

The Subsequent Nuremberg Trials (more formally, the Trials of War Criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals) were a series of twelve U.S. military tribunals for war crimes against surviving members of the military, political, and economical leadership of Nazi Germany, held in the Palace of Justice, Nuremberg, after World War II from 1946 to 1949 following the Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal.

Although it had been initially planned to hold more than just one international trial at the IMT, the growing differences between the victorious allies (the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Soviet Union) made this impossible. However, the Control Council Law No. 10, which the Allied Control Council had issued on December 20, 1945, empowered any of the occupying authorities to try suspected war criminals in their respective occupation zones. Based on this law, the U.S. authorities proceeded after the end of the initial Nuremberg Trial against the major war criminals to hold another twelve trials in Nuremberg. The judges in all these trials were American, and so were the prosecutors; the Chief of Counsel for the Prosecution was Brigadier General Telford Taylor. In the other occupation zones similar trials took place. Read more here

Judges' Trial at Nuremberg, one of 12 subsequent Trials

Witness testifies, Judges' Trial

Judges' Trial at Nuremberg 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

The Judges' Trial (or the Justice Trial, or, officially, The United States of America vs. Josef Altstötter, et al.) was the third of the 12 trials for war crimes the U.S. authorities held in their occupation zone in Germany in Nuremberg after the end of World War II. These twelve trials were all held before U.S. military courts, not before the International Military Tribunal, but took place in the same rooms at the Palace of Justice. The twelve U.S. trials are collectively known as the "Subsequent Nuremberg Trials" or, more formally, as the "Trials of War Criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals" (NMT).

The defendants in this case were 16 German jurists and lawyers. Nine had been officials of the Reich Ministry of Justice, the others were prosecutors and judges of the Special Courts and People's Courts of Nazi Germany. They were — amongst other charges — held responsible for implementing and furthering the Nazi "racial purity" program through the eugenic and racial laws.

Read more here

Judgment at Nuremberg, film staring Spencer Tracey

Judgment at Nuremberg

Judgment at Nuremberg is a 1961 fictionalized film account of the post-World War II Nuremberg Trials. It was written by Abby Mann, directed by Stanley Kramer, and starred Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Maximilian Schell, Werner Klemperer, Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, William Shatner and Montgomery Clift. An earlier adaptation had been broadcast as a television movie. It was among the first films to be made about the Holocaust.
Read more here

Command Responsibility

 

Command Responsibility is an omission mode of individual criminal liability: the superior is responsible for crimes committed by his subordinates and for failing to prevent or punish (as opposed to crimes he ordered).

 

Left: The International Criminal Court in

The Hague

Nazi Perpetrators In The Legal Profession

Nazi lawyer Wilhelm Frick

Wilhelm Frick
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Wilhelm Frick (12 March 1877 – 16 October 1946) was a prominent German Nazi official serving as Minister of the Interior of the Third Reich. Frick was born in Alsenz, Bavaria, Germany, the last of four children of teacher Wilhelm Frick the elder and his wife Henriette (née Schmidt). Between 1896 and 1900, he studied at the University of Munich, the University of Göttingen and the University of Berlin and completed his degree in law in Munich. Frick earned a doctor of laws from the University of Heidelberg in 1901. He joined the Bavarian civil service in 1903, working as a lawyer at the police headquarters in Munich.

Wilhelm Frick was appointed Minister of the Interior and of Education in the state government of Thuringia during 1930–31, being the first Nazi to hold any ministerial-level post in pre-Nazi Germany. When Hitler came to power in January 1933, Frick was appointed Minister of the Interior of the Reich. Frick was instrumental in passing laws against Jewish people, like the notorious Nuremberg Laws.

Frick was arrested and tried before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, where he was the only defendant besides Rudolf Hess who refused to testify on his own behalf. His
role in formulating the Enabling Act as Minister of the Interior, the later
Nuremberg Laws (as co-author with Wilhelm Stuckart) and as controller of German concentration camps led to his conviction for planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Read more here

 

Frick was accused of being one of the highest persons responsible for the existence of the concentration camps. Wilhelm Frick was sentenced to death and was hanged October 16, 1946.

Nazi lawyer Ernst Kaltenbrunner

Ernst Kaltenbrunner
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Ernst Kaltenbrunner was the son of a lawyer, and was educated at the State Realgymnasium in Linz and at Graz University. He obtained a law degree in 1926, and briefly worked as a lawyer in Linz and Salzburg. He was promoted to SS Obergruppenführer und General der Polizei on 21 June 1943. He replaced Reinhard Heydrich as President of the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC), the organization today known as Interpol.

Toward the end of the war, Kaltenbrunner's power increased greatly, especially after the attack on Hitler of July 20, 1944 upon which he gained direct access to the Führer. He was also responsible for conducting kangaroo trials and calling for the execution of all the people who were accused of plotting against Hitler. Read more here

At the Nuremberg Trials, Kaltenbrunner was charged with conspiracy to commit crimes against peace, war-crimes and crimes against humanity. The most notable witness in this trial was Rudolf Hoess, the camp commander of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Kaltenbrunner was executed by hanging October 16, 1946. Kaltenbrunner's body after execution.

Nazi lawyer Wilhelm Stuckart

Wilhelm Stuckart (November 16, 1902 – November 15, 1953) was a Nazi Party lawyer and official, a state secretary in the German Interior Ministry and later, a convicted war criminal. Stuckart studied law at the university of München and Frankfurt am Main. He became a legal adviser for the party in 1926. Stuckart received his doctorate in 1928. From 1930 he served as a district court judge and from 1932 to 1933 he worked as a lawyer and legal secretary for the SA in Pomerania. Stuckart was a member of the SA from 1932 onward. From June 1933 to July 1934 Stuckart served in the Prussian Ministry of Culture, then as a Permanent Secretary in the Reich Ministry of Education and finally from March 1936 in the Reich Ministry of Interior, leading the "Constitution and Legislation" department. Stuckart joined the SS in 1936 (number 280,042), eventually reaching the rank of SS Obergruppenführer in 1944.

Read more on Wikipedia

Nazi lawyer Hans Globke

Hans Globke studied Law and Political Sciences at the universities of Bonn and Cologne, graduating in 1922 from the University of Gießen with a dissertation on the immunity of the members of the Reichs and Landtags.

Globke was briefly active as a judge in the police court of Aachen, after which he climbed to vice police-chief of Aachen in 1925 and Regierungsassessor in 1926. In December 1929 Globke became administrative councilor to the Prussian Ministry of the Interior.

Globke helped to formulate the "emergency" legislation that gave Hitler unlimited dictatorial powers. He was also the author of the law concerning the dissolution of the Prussian State Council on 10 July 1933, and of further legislation which 'coordinated' all Prussian parliamentary bodies. He wrote a law commentary on the new Reich Citizenship Law (The Nuremberg Laws -introduced at Hitler's request at the Nazi Party Congress in September 1935, it revoked the citizenship of German Jews). He also served as chief legal advisor in the Office for Jewish Affairs in the Ministry of Interior.

Globke survived the war and served in post-Nazi Germany as Director of the Federal Chancellory of West Germany between 1953 and 1963 and as such was one of the closest aides to Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. Read more on Wikipedia

Nazi lawyer Gerhard Klopfer

Gerhard Klopfer (February 18, 1905 - January 29, 1987) was an official of the Nazi Party and assistant to Martin Bormann in the Office of the (Nazi) Party Chancellery. He studied law and economics and in 1931 became a judge in Düsseldorf, Germany. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, he joined the Nazi Party and the SA (Sturmabteilung) along with the Gestapo (Secret State Police) the following year.

In 1935, he became a member of Rudolf Hess's staff and the SS (Schutzstaffel) with the honorary SS rank of Oberführer (Brigadier General). In 1938, he became responsible for the seizing of Jewish businesses for questions about mixed marriages between Gentile and Jewish Germans and general questions about occupation of foreign states.

As State Secretary of the Parteikanzlerei (Party Chancellery), Klopfer represented Bormann, who was head of the Parteikanzlei, at the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942 in which the details of the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question" were formalized, policies that were to culminate in the Holocaust.

As the Red Army closed in on Berlin in 1945, Klopfer fled the city. He was captured and imprisoned and was charged with war crimes but was released for lack of evidence.

 

After the war Klopfer became a tax advisor in the city of Ulm (Baden-Württemberg). He was allowed to resume the practice of law in 1956. Klopfer was the last surviving attendee of the Wannsee Conference, dying in 1987. His obituary appeared in the New York Times.

Nazi lawyer Erich Neumann

Erich Neumann was born in Forst (Lausitz) into a Protestant family. His father was a factory-owner. Neumann studied law and economics at the universities of Freiburg, Leipzig and Halle. Neumann joined the Nazi Party in May 1933, four months after Adolf Hitler took power. He joined the
SS in 1934, being commissioned as a Major (Sturmbannführer). In 1936, he was appointed the director of the Foreign Currency department of the Office of the Plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan. By 1938, Neumann was promoted to undersecretary and attended Hermann Göring's meeting about the "Aryanization" of the German economy. He represented the Ministries of Economy, Labor, Finances, Food, Transportation, and Armaments and Ammunition at the 1942 Wannsee Conference. Neumann requested that Jewish workers in firms essential to the war effort not to be deported for the time being. Between August 1942 and May 1945, Neumann was the general manager of the German Potassium Syndicate. Read more here on Wikipedia.

Nazi lawyer Josef Bühler

Josef Bühler was born in Bad Waldsee into a Catholic family of 12 children. His father was a baker. After obtaining his degree in law he would come to work under Hans Frank, a legal advisor to Adolf Hitler and NSDAP, and a member of the Reichstag, when Frank was appointed Minister of Justice for Bavaria in 1933. Bühler became a member of NSDAP on April 1, 1933, according to his own testimony at the Nuremberg Trials, and was appointed administrator of the Court of Munich. In 1935 he became district chief attorney. Bühler attended the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942 as the representative from the Governor-General's office. After the war, Bühler testified on Frank's behalf at the Nuremberg Trials. He was later extradited to Poland and tried before the Supreme National Tribunal of Poland for crimes against humanity, condemned to death and the forfeiture of all property on July 10, 1948, and executed in Kraków. His death was announced August 22 by Polish authorities and noted in the New York Times the following day. Read more here on Wikipedia.

Nazi lawyer Rudolf Lange

Rudolf Lange was born to a Protestant family in Weißwasser, Prussian Silesia, in 1910. His father was a railway construction supervisor. Lange studied law in the University of Jena. He received a doctorate in law in 1933, and was recruited by the Gestapo office of Halle. He joined the SA in November 1933. In 1936 Lange joined the SS. As a mid-level Gestapo official, Lange rose rapidly. Lange was called to the Wannsee Conference by Heydrich in January 1942. Along with Adolf Eichmann, the recording secretary of the conference, Lange as a SS-Major was the lowest ranking of the present SS officers. Heydrich however viewed Lange's first-hand experience in conducting the mass murder of deported Jews as valuable for the conference. Instead of Lange, Heydrich could have invited either Karl Jäger or Erich Ehrlinger, who commanded the SiPO and SD in Lithuania and Belarus respectively, and were responsible for similar massacres. He ultimately chose Lange, because Riga was the main deportation destination, and also because Lange's law doctorate made him to be seen more intellectual than either Jäger or Ehrlinger.
Read more here and support Wikipedia.

Nazi judge Roland Freisler

Roland Freisler studied law at the University of Jena and became a Doctor of Law in 1922. He was a prominent and notorious Nazi judge. He became State Secretary of Adolf Hitler's Reich Ministry of Justice and President of the Volksgerichtshof (People's Court), which was set up outside constitutional authority. This court handled political actions against Hitler's dictatorial regime by conducting a series of show trials. Freisler's mastery of legal texts, mental agility and overwhelming verbal force combined well with strict adherence to the party line and the corresponding ideology, so that he became the most feared judge and the personification of the Nazis' "blood justice."

Freisler was conducting a Saturday session of the People's Court on February 3, 1945, when air raid sirens sounded as American bombers made a raid on Berlin. Freisler was killed when an almost direct hit on the building caused him to be struck down by a beam in his own courtroom. Freisler is held up as a notorious and despicable abuser of judicial authority. Read more here and support Wikipedia.

Nazi judge Curt Rothenberger

Curt Ferdinand Rothenberger (born 30 June 1896 in Cuxhaven - died 1 September 1959 in Hamburg) was a German jurist and leading figure in the Nazi Party.

In the immediate aftermath of the Nazi seizure of power Rothenberger was part of an unofficial group within the Nazi Party, led by Hans Frank and Roland Freisler, the aim of which was to transform the legal profession by installing loyal party men in leading positions within the judiciary. Rothenberger was appointed Senator of Justice in Hamburg and set about putting these ideas into practice, insisting that all judges had to be "100% national socialist" and had to be trusted by party officials. Where this was not the case the judges faced summary dismissal. Jewish judges were removed from office as early March 1933 under Rothenberger's orders. Read more here

Nazi judge Otto Thierack

Otto Georg Thierack (19 April 1889 – 22 November 1946) was a Nazi jurist and politician.

Thierack was born in Wurzen in Saxony. He took part in the First World War from 1914 to 1918 as a volunteer, reaching the rank of lieutenant. He suffered a face injury and was decorated with the Iron Cross, second class. After the war ended, he resumed his interrupted law studies and ended them in 1920 with his Assessor (junior lawyer) examination. In the same year, he was hired as a court Assessor in Saxony.

On 1 August 1932, Thierack joined the Nazi Party. After the Nazis seized power in 1933, he managed within a very short time to rise high in the ranks from a prosecutor to President of the People's Court (Volksgerichtshof). The groundwork on which this rise was built was not merely that Thierack had been a Nazi Party member, but rather also that he had been leader of the National Socialist jurists' organization, the so-called Rechtswahrerbund.

On 12 May 1933, having been appointed Saxony's justice minister, it was Thierack's job to "Nazify" justice, which was a part of the Nazis' Gleichschaltung that he had to put into practice in Saxony. After going through several mid-level professional posts, he became Vice President of the Reich Court in 1935 and in 1936 President of the Volksgerichtshof, which had been newly founded in 1934. He held this job, interrupted as it was by two stints in the armed forces, until 1942, when he was succeeded in the position by Roland Freisler.

On 20 August 1942, Thierack assumed the office of Reich Minister of Justice. He introduced the monthly Richterbriefe in October 1942, in which were presented model – from the Nazi leaders' standpoint – decisions, with names left out, upon which German jurisprudence was to be based. He also introduced the so-called Vorschauen and Nachschauen ("previews" and "inspections"). After this, the higher state court presidents, in proceedings of public interest, had at least every fortnight to discuss with the public prosecutor's office and the State Court President – who had to pass this on the responsible criminal courts – how a case was to be judged before the court's decision.

Thierack not only made penal prosecution of all unpopular persons and groups harsher. "Antisocial" convicts on the whole were much more often turned over to the SS. This usually meant Jews, Poles, Russians, and Gypsies. Soon afterwards, though, he utterly forwent any pretense of legality and simply began handing these people over to the SS. Thierack came to an understanding with Heinrich Himmler that certain categories of prisoners were to be, to use their words, "annihilated through work". Ever since coming to office as Reich Minister of Justice in August 1942, Thierack had seen to it that the lengthy paperwork involved in clemency proceedings for those sentenced to death was greatly shortened.

At Thierack's instigation, the execution shed at Plötzensee Prison in Berlin was outfitted with eight iron hooks in December 1942 so that several people could be put to death at once, by hanging (there had already been a guillotine there for quite a while). At the mass executions beginning on 7 September 1943, it also happened that some prisoners were hanged "by mistake". Thierack simply covered up these mistakes and demanded that the hangings continue.

After the Allies arrested him, Thierack committed suicide in Sennelager, Paderborn, by poisoning before he could be brought before the court at the Nuremberg Judges' Trial. Read more here

Nazi judge Franz Schlegelburger

Louis Rudolph Franz Schlegelberger (23 October 1876 – 14 December 1970) was State Secretary in the German Reich Ministry of Justice (RMJ) and served awhile as Justice Minister during the Third Reich. He was the highest-ranking defendant at the Judges' Trial in Nuremberg.

At the Nuremberg Judges' Trial Schlegelberger was one of the main accused. He was sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy to perpetrate war crimes and crimes against humanity.

In the reasons given for the judgment, it says:

    ‘…that Schlegelberger supported the pretension of Hitler in his assumption of power to deal with life and death in disregard of even the pretense of judicial process. By his exhortations and directives, Schlegelberger contributed to the destruction of judicial independence. It was his signature on the decree of 7 February 1942 which imposed upon the Ministry of Justice and the courts the burden of the prosecution, trial, and disposal of the victims of Hitler’s Night and Fog. For this he must be charged with primary responsibility.

    ‘He was guilty of instituting and supporting procedures for the wholesale persecution of Jews and Poles. Concerning Jews, his ideas were less brutal than those of his associates, but they can scarcely be called humane. When the "final solution of the Jewish question" was under discussion, the question arose as to the disposition of half-Jews. The deportation of full Jews to the East was then in full swing throughout Germany. Schlegelberger was unwilling to extend the system to half-Jews.’

In 1950 the 74-year-old Schlegelberger was released owing to incapacity. For years afterward, he drew a monthly pension of DM 2,894 (for comparison, the average monthly income in Germany at that time was DM 535). Schlegelberger then lived in Flensburg until his death. Read more here

Nazi judge Josef Altstötter

Josef Altstötter (4 January 1892 Bad Griesbach (Rottal), Lower Bavaria - 13 November 1979, Nuremberg) was a high ranking official in the German Ministry of Justice under the Nazi Regime. Following World War II, he was tried by the Nuremberg Military Tribunal as a defendant in the Judges' Trial, where he was acquitted of the most serious charges, but was found guilty of a lesser charge of membership in a criminal organization.

After attending elementary and high school in Landshut, Altstötter began the study of law in 1911 Law in Munich and Erlangen. This was interrupted by his participation in the First World War, where he was awarded the Iron Cross First and Second Class.

Altstötter completed his studies in Munich in 1920, passed the state jurisprudence examination and began work in 1921 as deputy judge in the Bavarian Justice Department to. In 1927 he worked in the Reich Ministry of Justice. In 1933, he moved to the Supreme Court for Leipzig and finally in 1936 into Reich Labour Court.

From 1939 to 1942 he was with the Wehrmacht. From January 1943 he was back in the Reich Ministry of Justice (Division VI:Civil Law and Justice), where he was appointed in May 1943 chief of the civil law and procedure division ("Reichministerialdirektor"), and remained there throughout the Second World War. He was awarded the Golden Party Badge for service to the Nazi party.

Part of Altstötter's department included the Nuremberg racial laws enacted to isolate Jews from German life and deprive them of civil rights. His office also had responsibility for revising the German inheritance and family law by, so that after death, the property of Jews would not go to their children, but by law would be forfeited to the German government. Read more here

Dr. Martin Sandberger, last high ranking Nazi lawyer dies, age 98

Sandberger studied law at the University of Tübingen, earned the highest grade in nine years in the state bar examination

The Quiet Death of a Nazi

Spiegel Online International

By WALTER MAYR
April 15, 2010

 

Spiegel Conducts the Last and Only Interview with Martin Sandberger

 

Sandberger was the last living member of the leadership of the special commandos in Himmler's murdering system. He used to appear, whether in Tallinn or Verona, as a demigod in the field-gray uniform of the SS. A total of 5,643 executions were carried out under his command on Estonian soil during the first year alone of the Nazi occupation. At the height of the power bestowed upon him by Hitler, all it took was Sandberger's signature to order the execution, behind the Eastern Front, of what he called "a subject of absolutely no value to the ethnic community." Read more here. 

Sandberger in the Stuttgart nursing home where he died

He was a Nazi officer on the front lines of the Holocaust, sentenced to death at Nuremberg -- yet with the help of powerful friends, he walked free. For decades, Martin Sandberger lived in Germany undisturbed. Shortly before his death, SPIEGEL found him in a retirement home. A final meeting with a criminal.

 

He must have been convinced that no wanted to find him anymore. His name, Dr. Martin Sandberger, was printed for all to see on the mailbox next to the gray door of his apartment in a Stuttgart retirement home, until he died on March 30, 2010. Read more here

 

 

Martin Sandberger was a Nazi officer on the front lines of the Holocaust, sentenced to death at Nuremberg -- yet with the help of powerful friends, he walked free. Read more here

Buchenwald slave laborers

These Russian, Polish, and Dutch slave laborers interned at the Buchenwald concentration camp averaged 160 pounds each prior to entering camp 11 months ago. Their average weight is now 70 pounds. Germany, April 16, 1945.

Holocaust Survivor Describes Ghetto and Death Camp

Holocaust Survivor Gutman Describes Ghetto and Death Camp

 

Yisrael Gutman was born in Warsaw in 1923. His parents and older sister perished in the ghetto, and his younger sister was a member of Janusz Korczak's orphanage. As a member of the Jewish Underground in the Warsaw ghetto, Yisrael Gutman was wounded in the uprising. From Warsaw he was taken to Majdanek, and from there to Auschwitz. In May 1945 he was sent on the death march to Mauthausen. In total, he spent two years in the camps. After the war he helped in the rehabilitation of survivors, was active in the Bericha movement, and immigrated to Palestine in 1946. A world-renowned scholar of Holocaust studies, Prof. Gutman has dedicated his life to studying the Holocaust and perpetuating its lessons for the next generations.

Read more here.

wedding rings

A few of the thousands of wedding rings the Germans removed from their victims to salvage the gold. U.S. troops found rings, watches, precious stones, eyeglasses, and gold fillings, near Buchenwald concentration camp. Germany, May 5, 1945.

Viktor Frankl
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Viktor Emil Frankl M.D., Ph.D. (March 26, 1905, Leopoldstadt, Vienna – September 2, 1997, Vienna) was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. Frankl was the founder of logotherapy, which is a form of Existential Analysis, the "Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy". His best-selling book, Man's Search for Meaning (published under a different title in 1959: From Death-Camp to Existentialism, and originally published in 1946 as trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen: Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager), chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate based on his psychotherapeutic method of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most sordid ones, and thus a reason to continue living. Frankl was one of the key figures in existential therapy and a prominent source of inspiration for humanistic psychologists. Read more here

Man's Search for Meaning
by Viktor Frankl

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of those he treated in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl's theory—known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos ("meaning")—holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.

At the time of Frankl's death in 1997, Man's Search for Meaning had sold more than 10 million copies in twenty-four languages. A 1991 reader survey by the Library of Congress and the Book-of-the-Month Club that asked readers to name a "book that made a difference in your life" found Man's Search for Meaning among the ten most influential books in America. Read more here

Children at the Lambach Concentration Camp

Lambach Concentration Camp, halfway between Linz and Salzburg, in Austria, taken in May 1945 by American Army Signals Corps photographer Sgt Robert Holliway.

 

Reportedly worse than Buchenwald, Dachau or Belsen, the Lambach camp was seized on the 6th of May 1945. Each building housed 1,600 and a total of more than 18,000 were originally held in the camp. There were no sanitary facilities. An estimated 200 to 300 prisoners died daily, mostly from starvation or exhaustion. The dead lay where they fell. The living, too weak to remove them, slept with the dead.

British Mandate for Palestine, 1920-1948

The British Mandate for Palestine, also known as the Palestine Mandate and the British Mandate of Palestine, was a legal commission for the administration of Palestine, the draft of which was formally confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations on 24 July 1922 and which came into effect on 26 September 1923. The document was based on the principles contained in Article 22 of the draft Covenant of the League of Nations and the San Remo Resolution of 25 April 1920 by the principal Allied and associated powers after the First World War. The mandate formalized British rule in the Southern part of Ottoman Syria from 1923–1948. Read more here and support Wikipedia 

 

David Ben-Gurion wrote 20 years later: "Had partition [referring to the Peel Commission partition plan] been carried out, the history of our people would have been different and six million Jews in Europe would not have been killed---most of them would be in Israel. Read more here on Wikipedia 

Peel Commission, 1936-1937

The Peel Commission of 1936-1937, formally known as the Palestine Royal Commission, was a British Royal Commission of Inquiry set out to propose changes to the British Mandate of Palestine following the outbreak of the 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine. It was headed by the Earl Peel. On 11 November, 1936, the commission arrived in Palestine to investigate the reasons behind the uprising. It returned to Britain on 18 January 1937. On 7 July, 1937, it published a report that, for the first time, recommended partition. Although initially endorsed by the government, changing political conditions led it to declare the proposal unworkable and formally reject it following publication of the Partition Commission report in 1938. Read more here and support Wikipedia

Woodhead Commission, 1938

The Woodhead Commission was established in 1938 in the British Mandate of Palestine after the Peel Commission failed to achieve resolution to the Arab Revolt and the rejection of its recommendations by the three major parties in the conflict: Zionist Jews, Palestinian Arabs, and the British government. Read more here and support Wikipedia 

Adolf Hitler: Man of the Year, 1938
Time Magazine
January 2, 1939

Greatest single news event of 1938 took place on September 29, when four statesmen met at the Führerhaus, in Munich, to redraw the map of Europe. The three visiting statesmen at that historic conference were Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain of Great Britain, Premier Edouard Daladier of France, and Dictator Benito Mussolini of Italy. But by all odds the dominating figure at Munich was the German host, Adolf Hitler.

Führer of the German people, Commander-in-Chief of the German Army, Navy & Air Force, Chancellor of the Third Reich, Herr Hitler reaped on that day at Munich the harvest of an audacious, defiant, ruthless foreign policy he had pursued for five and a half years. He had torn the Treaty of Versailles to shreds. He had rearmed Germany to the teeth— or as close to the teeth as he was able. He had stolen Austria before the eyes of a horrified and apparently impotent world. Read more here

MS St. Louis surrounded by smaller vessels, Havana, June 1939

Voyage of the Damned, MS St. Louis

The MS St. Louis was a German ocean liner most notable for a single voyage in 1939, in which her captain, Gustav Schröder, tried to find homes for more than 900 German Jewish refugees after they were denied entry to Cuba. The event was the subject of a 1974 book, Voyage of the Damned, by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts. It was adapted for a film with the same title, released in 1976. Read more here and support Wikipedia.

US plan to move Jews from Nazi Germany to Alaska

The Slattery Report, officially titled "The Problem of Alaskan Development," was produced by the United States Department of the Interior under Secretary Harold L. Ickes in 1939–40. It was named after Undersecretary of the Interior Harry A. Slattery. The report, which dealt with Alaskan development through immigration, included a proposal to move European refugees, especially Jews from Nazi Germany and Austria, to four locations in Alaska, including Baranof Island, the Mat-Su Valley and Sitka. Skagway, Petersburg and Seward were the only towns to endorse the proposal.

In November 1938, two weeks after Kristallnacht, Ickes proposed the use of Alaska as a "haven for Jewish refugees from Germany and other areas in Europe where the Jews are subjected to oppressive restrictions." Resettlement in Alaska would allow the refugees to bypass normal immigration quotas, because Alaska was a territory and not a state. That summer Ickes had toured Alaska and met with local officials to discuss improving the local economy and bolstering security in a territory viewed as vulnerable to Japanese attack. Ickes thought European Jews might be the solution. Read more here and support Wikipedia.

Alaska

Imperfect Justice: Looted Assets, Slave Labor, and the Unfinished Business of World War II

Imperfect Justice: Looted Assets, Slave Labor, and the Unfinished Business of World War II, on Amazon.com

From Publishers Weekly
Think of this book as one-stop shopping to learn about the Holocaust restitution negotiations of the late 1990s. Eizenstat was at the center of the tornado, as European companies and banks belatedly made compensation for their WWII-era behavior. In this comprehensive, well-written and unsparing reflection on those negotiations, the former Clinton administration official offers a behind-the-scenes look at how agreements were reached to provide Holocaust survivors with monies they or their families had lost during the war. He begins with the unusual pair of World Jewish Congress (whose president, Edgar Bronfman, was a friend of Clinton's) and Republican Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, who teamed up to make this an issue that Europe could not ignore. Whether writing about the most well-publicized of these negotiations-the German slave labor agreement or the "Swiss gold" affair, which eventually led to a $1.25-billion settlement-or some of the lesser-known accords, Eizenstat tells his story with flair and with due regard for the role of politics (D'Amato, for instance, "milked the Swiss controversy for everything it was worth"). According to Eizenstat, some elements of the survivors' cases carried little legal weight, but European governments and firms wilted under public relations pressure, often purposefully intensified by lawyers on behalf of the survivors. While other books have been written about this subject, none has been as comprehensive or as balanced. 8 pages of b&w photos, not seen by PW. FYI: The New York Times recently reported on the furor created by the book jacket-a gold swastika superimposed on the Swiss flag -in Switzerland.

Conversations with History: Stuart E. Eizenstat

Conversations with History: Stuart E. Eizenstat, author of Imperfect Justice: Looted Assets, Slave Labor, and the Unfinished Business of World War II. Watch on YouTube

The Other Holocaust

Rail leading to Auschwitz II

The Other Holocaust

Some scholars maintain that the definition of the Holocaust should also include the Nazis' systematic murder of millions of people in other groups, including ethnic Poles, Romani, Soviet civilians, Soviet prisoners of war, people with disabilities, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, and other political and religious opponents. By this definition, the total number of Holocaust victims would be between 11 million and 17 million people. Read more here on Wikipedia

A Teacher’s Guide To The Holocaust

A Teacher's Guide To The Holocaust

Produced by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology,
College of Education, University of South Florida


Approximately 11 million people were killed because of Nazi genocidal policy. It was the explicit aim of Hitler's regime to create a European world both dominated and populated by the "Aryan" race. The Nazi machinery was dedicated to eradicating millions of people it deemed undesirable. Some people were undesirable by Nazi standards because of who they were,their genetic or cultural origins, or health conditions. These included Jews, Gypsies, Poles and other Slavs, and people with physical or mental disabilities. Others were Nazi victims because of what they did. These victims of the Nazi regime included Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, the dissenting clergy, Communists, Socialists, asocials, and other political enemies. Read more here

Who Were the 5 Million Non-Jewish Holocaust Victims?

Who Were the Five Million Non-Jewish Holocaust Victims?

 

Of the 11 million people killed during the Holocaust, six million were Polish citizens. Three million were Polish Jews and another three million were Polish Christians and Catholics. Most of the remaining mortal victims were from other countries including Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, Russia, Holland, France and even Germany. Read more here

 

Holocaust victims

....................................Holocaust denial.....................................

Holocaust denial consists of claims that the genocide of Jews during World War II did not occur at all, or that it did not happen in the manner or to the extent historically recognized. Read more here and support Wikipedia

I Neil Gillespie bear witness to Holocaust Survivors I met in the 1970’s. The survivors were still identifiable by the Nazi prison numbers tattooed on their body. Some were further revealed by their gaunt appearance and vacant expressions.

At that time thirty years had passed since US troops liberated the concentration camps in 1945. Some of the Holocaust survivors I met were Russian Jewish immigrants. Others were from Eastern Europe and spoke Yiddish. They had come to Pennsylvania to buy cars at my business and neighboring dealerships.

A number of my employees and colleagues were American WWII veterans who fought the Axis. As original witnesses to the The Holocaust pass away, others must continue to bear witness.


General Eisenhower visits concentration camps

Dwight Eisenhower, Allied commander-in-chief, speaks with Generals Patton and Bradley at Ohrdurf, a subcamp of Buchenwald. Photo dated April 12, 1945.

In 1945 US General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, anticipated that someday an attempt would be made to recharacterize the Nazi crimes as propaganda and took steps against it:

The same day I saw my first horror camp. It was near the town of Gotha. I have never been able to describe my emotional reactions when I first came face to face with indisputable evidence of Nazi brutality and ruthless disregard of every shred of decency. Up to that time I had known about it only generally or through secondary sources. I am certain however, that I have never at any time experienced an equal sense of shock. I visited every nook and cranny of the camp because I felt it my duty to be in a position from then on to testify at first hand about these things in case there ever grew up at home the belief or assumption that "the stories of Nazi brutality were just propaganda". Some members of the visiting party were unable to go through with the ordeal. I not only did so but as soon as I returned to Patton's headquarters that evening I sent communications to both Washington and London, urging the two governments to send instantly to Germany a random group of newspaper editors and representative groups from the national legislatures. I felt that the evidence should be immediately placed before the American and the British publics in a fashion that would leave no room for cynical doubt.

Eisenhower, upon finding the victims of the death camps, ordered all possible photographs to be taken, and for the German people from surrounding villages to be ushered through the camps and even made to bury the dead. He wrote the following to General Marshall after visiting a German internment camp near Gotha, Germany:

The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick. In one room, where they [there] were piled up twenty or thirty naked men, killed by starvation, George Patton would not even enter. He said that he would get sick if he did so. I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to "propaganda." Read more here on Wikipedia

Ike and the Death Camps

As Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in World War II, General Eisenhower had been given information about the Nazi concentration camp system well before he led the invasion to liberate Western Europe (June, 1944). Reports on the massive genocide inflicted on Jews, Gypsies, political prisoners, homosexuals, dissidents, and other groups by the Schutzstaffel (SS) had been circulated among all the Allied leaders. Very few of the Allied commanders, however, had an accurate conception of what is now known to the world as the Holocaust until their troops began to encounter the death camps as they marched into Western Germany. Read more here

Profile in Courage: Oskar Schindler

Oskar Schindler

Oskar Schindler
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Oskar Schindler (28 April 1908 – 9 October 1974) was an ethnic German industrialist born in Moravia. He is credited with saving almost 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust by employing them in his enamelware and ammunitions factories, which were located in what is now Poland and the Czech Republic respectively. He is the subject of the novel Schindler's Ark, and the film based on it, Schindler's List. Read more here

Profile in Courage: Raoul Wallenberg

Raoul Wallenberg

Raoul Wallenberg
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Raoul Wallenberg (August 4, 1912 – July 17, 1947?) was a Swedish businessman, diplomat and humanitarian. He is widely celebrated for his successful efforts to rescue thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary from the Holocaust, during the later stages of World War II. While serving as Sweden's special envoy in Budapest between July and December 1944, Wallenberg issued protective passports and sheltered Jews in buildings designated as Swedish territory, saving tens of thousands of lives.

On January 17, 1945, during the Siege of Budapest by the Red Army, Wallenberg was detained by Soviet authorities on suspicion of espionage and subsequently disappeared. He was later reported to have died on July 7, 1947 in Lubyanka prison in Moscow. The motives behind Wallenberg's arrest and imprisonment by the Soviets, along with questions surrounding the circumstances of his death and his possible ties to US intelligence, remain mysterious and are the subject of continued speculation.

Due to his courageous actions on behalf of the Hungarian Jews, Raoul Wallenberg has been the subject of numerous humanitarian honors in the decades following his presumed death. In 1981, Congressman Tom Lantos, among those saved by Wallenberg, sponsored a bill making Wallenberg an Honorary Citizen of the United States. He is also an honorary citizen of Canada, Hungary, and Israel. Israel has also designated Wallenberg one of the Righteous among the Nations. Monuments have been dedicated to him, and streets have been named after him throughout the world. A Raoul Wallenberg Committee of the United States was created in 1981 to "perpetuate the humanitarian ideals and the nonviolent courage of Raoul Wallenberg". It gives the Raoul Wallenberg Award annually to recognize persons who carry out those goals. A postage stamp was issued by the U.S. in his honor in 1997.

Read more here

Auschwitz

Treblinka