After Germany’s defeat in WWII, the Nuremberg and later trials were organized primarily for political purposes rather than to dispense impartial justice. Wears War brings to you each week a quote from the many fine men and women who were openly appalled by the trials. All of these people were highly respected and prominent in their field, at least until they spoke out against the trials.
German historian Udo Walendy writes:
“…the distinguishing feature of the Nuremberg proceedings was the countless infringements of the law. It is in contravention of every legal norm
1) when the victor is also the judge and has nominated himself for this office;
2) when his function is world prosecuting attorney and lawmaker at the same time;
3) when he condemns actions which hitherto were neither provided for by statute nor were in contravention of international law (e.g. the preparatory planning of a campaign by a General Staff officer or the supplying of arms by a contractor);
4) when he repeals legal clauses and systems of values which were binding on the defendants and the entire defeated Nation and establishes arbitrarily new norms that fulfill his purposes: “Crimes against Peace”, “Crimes against Humanity”, “Support of an unlawful State” etc., and then will interpret these norms dialectically;
5) when he declares German reprisals in partisan warfare retroactively as crimes and punishable as criminal acts, while the causes provoking them are disregarded;
6) when he withholds documents from the defence while serving other documents at short notice, refuses witnesses for the defence and rejects the motion to hear evidence, and when the defence is threatened also with arrest and, indeed, is taken into custody just as soon as they make a protest against some breach of the law;
7) when he distorts the meaning of documents by means of shortening, by falsifying or by shifting of emphasis, and when he then adjudges as authentic these papers so badly mangled or totally falsified;
8) when he trivializes or conceals decisive interconnections and contexts;
9) when witnesses are being kept in long-term imprisonment and are put under pressure with threats of handing them over to the GPU or bringing charges against them, thus coercing them into making false statements and committing perjury;
10) when he allows agents of the Victor Power to appear as witnesses;
11) when he brings in procedures that label just about everybody as members of a “criminal organization” and, therefore, can be treated as a criminal offender;
12) when he, after having availed himself of his newly created “legal clauses” for his vengeful purposes, cancels them again immediately, thus denying them to all other nations—and, consequently, to future international law.
Source: Walendy, Udo, Truth for Germany: The Guilt Question of the Second World War, Washington, D.C., The Barnes Review, 2013, pp. 442-443.