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.
U.S. historian Thomas Goodrich:
With a more-than-willing army of apologists, polemicists, journalists, film-makers, and “historians” to cover their tracks, none of the major, or minor, Allied war criminals ran any risk of being called to account for their acts. Far from it. At the lower levels, those who actually committed the atrocities at Dachau, Nemmersdorf and a thousand other points on the map, were quietly forgiven while at the upper end, U.S. generals became American presidents and English prime ministers became British knights.
Meanwhile, as the voices of conscience were drowned in a flood of Allied adulation and celebration, much of the world’s attention was riveted on Nuremberg. There, the victors sat in judgment over the vanquished. There, the accused German leaders were tried, there they were convicted, and there they were dutifully hung, for planning aggressive war…for waging criminal war…for crimes against peace and humanity…for crimes planned…for crimes committed…for crimes against… And all this, it may be presumed, spoken slowly, solemnly, and with a straight face.
From afar, Austin J. App watched the ongoing charade in Nuremberg with mounting indignation. Like a good many others, the American academic had followed closely the course of the war and he, for one, was appalled and outraged by the utter hypocrisy displayed.
“Germans still have much to feel guilty of before God. But they have nothing to feel guilty of before the Big Three. Any German who still feels guilty before the Allies is a fool. Any American who thinks he should is a scoundrel.”
Source: Goodrich, Thomas, Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany, 1944-1947, Sheridan, CO: Aberdeen Books, 2010, p. 345.
About Professor Austin J. App:
The book had to be reprinted only two months after the original press run.
“One of the titanic figures of postwar revisionist historiography, Professor Austin J. App, died of kidney failure on 4 May 1984. A well-established author and scholar of English literature at the outbreak of World War II, Dr. App was soon appalled at the human suffering and political disaster caused by that “unnecessary conflict,” and for the next four decades he was in the very forefront of those courageous scholars who, often in the face of severe academic and press hostility, sought to determine the historical truth about the war, and to publicize that truth far and wide. His engaging and candid 1977 Autobiography was subtitled German-American Voice for Truth and Justice. This he certainly was, right to the end. His career as historical scholar and publicist, as recounted in his memoir and manifest in his many publications, is in essence the story from its very beginnings of the fight for the historical truth about the European war of 1939-45, and for a postwar political justice predicated upon recognition of that truth… App remarked…
That is the truth of it. In World War I the U.S. finally turned on Germany rather than Russia or England, because Germany was, not more wrong, but more strong. In World War II it turned on Hitler, not on Stalin, for the same reason. On every count Stalin was a barbarian, compared to Hitler. Any attempt to equate our intervention against the third Reich with crusadism or idealism is a calculated swindle against the people…
… It was while in San Antonio, learning about the wreckage of Europe caused by the American-Soviet invasion and those two allies’ obscene occupation policies, that Dr. App really began his “second career” as a contemporary historian and samizdat publisher of an age of calamity. All through the war he had, in fact — and in spite of the danger, acute within a nation at war, of stern official disfavor — kept up a steady barrage of letters to newspapers, magazines, and public figures, expressing his frank opinions about the origins of the war and the need for a negotiated peace with Germany. In the Spring of 1946, sickened by the Potsdam-sanctioned policy of mass-expulsion of the Eastern Germans, and particularly shocked by the terrible atrocities visited upon helpless German women in the East by the conquering Red hordes, App self-published his first pamphlet, the ten-page Ravishing the Women of Conquered Europe. Its success was immediate and unexpected; orders came in by the thousands, periodicals far and wide picked it up, it was translated into four languages — all this with the “advertising” being almost solely by word-of-mouth. Additionally, invitations by the dozens came to App to speak in front of patriotic groups. There seemed to exist a genuine thirst on the part of a considerable segment of the American public for knowledge of a situation, exposure to a viewpoint, about which the mainline press, by-and-large, was keeping silent. In July 1946 he published the 24-page Slave-Laboring German Prisoners of War, and at the end of the year collected 13 original and republished articles and speeches in the book History’s Most Terrifying Peace, the first major work to bring to the attention of significant numbers of Americans the facts about the Carthaginian treatment being meted out to conquered Germany, by the West as well as the East. The book had to be reprinted only two months after the original press run“.