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.


British writer Montgomery Belgion:


The accusation and conviction of former German leaders at Nuremberg of responsibility for ‘crimes against peace’ had a feature so bewildering as to appear incredible. The responsibility of which the former German leaders were accused and convicted included that for the invasion of Poland in September 1939. On this point the words of the international military tribunal, in its Judgement, were as follows:

‘The tribunal is fully satisfied by the evidence that the war initiated by Germany against Poland on the 1st of September 1939 was most plainly an aggressive war.’

Yet on 17 September 1939 Russia too invaded and promptly occupied half of Poland. That is to say, the Russian government had apparently done exactly what the German government had done. But while members of that former German government were in the dock, and were convicted, the Russian government was represented among the prosecutors and the Russian government was represented on the bench. We there had something which, according to Dr. M. J. Bonn,

“has affronted the conscience of all those to whom justice is not a mere formal observation of rules of procedure, especially when those rules have been drafted for a particular purpose.”

reds invade poland

Regarding an affront to the conscience of people who still care for justice, Dr. Bonn may have been right, and yet up to the time at which he wrote the conscience of such people had proved singularly inarticulate. But at any rate you will agree that if an ordinary decent man from the moon had landed at Nuremberg in 1946 and had been offered the spectacle of the Trial, he would have concluded that irrationality was master. Two parties had committed an act alleged to be a crime, and on the charge of having therefore been criminal one of the two parties was being tried by the other…

Poland was not the only country to be invaded, while at peace with Russia, by the Russian armies. After the invasion of Eastern Poland, there was the invasion of the Baltic States. While the German armies were overrunning France in June 1940, Russian armies were marching into Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Thereupon, from these countries also thousands of men and women considered to be unsympathetic in their politics were deported into the Russian hinterland.


The Soviet invasion of Poland was brutal. The mass rape, torture, murder and deportation of Polish POWs and civilians was ignored.


Source: Belgion, Montgomery, Victor’s Justice, Hinsdale, IL: 1949, pp. 22-23, 47.

Additional Comments by John Wear: Mongomery Belgion in this quote forgot to mention that the Soviet Union also invaded Finland.
In October 1939, Stalin’s diplomats continued the Soviet Union’s territorial aggression by demanding the cession of the Karelian Isthmus from Finland in exchange for a territory twice the size of the Isthmus. Stalin’s demands were rejected because the Karelian Isthmus is a direct gateway to the capital of Finland.
The geographical disposition of Finland is such that any aggression against Finland from the Soviet Union could come only through the Karelian Isthmus. For this reason, starting in 1918, Finland began an extensive buildup of defensive fortifications and obstructions on the Karelian Isthmus known as the Mannerheim Line. Finland spent practically all of her military budget for the 10 years preceding the war on the completion of the Mannerheim Line. Stalin’s diplomats in essence had demanded that Finland hand over to the Red Army all of her heavily fortified defenses in exchange for swampland and marshy woods which no one needed.
Stalin issued an order to crush Finland when Stalin’s demands were rejected. After a brief but intense artillery softening-up, the Red Army crossed the Finnish border on November 30, 1939. The Red Army finally broke through the Mannerheim Line on March 12, 1940, after suffering colossal casualties.
Stalin also issued an ultimatum to the government of Romania to give up Bessarabia. Realizing that resistance was futile, Romania handed over both Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to the Soviet Union without even organizing lengthy talks.



Full copy of the Montgomery Belgion’s book available here:

Suggested Reading:

A Blank Check & Forked Tongues: How Britain & Poland Started WWII & Blamed Germany

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