What were the Nuremberg Trials?
They were a series of 13 trials of accused World War II German war criminals held from 1945 to 1949 in Nuremberg, Germany. The first trial, the International Military Tribunal (IMT), was prosecuted by the four Allied powers against the top leadership of the Nazi regime in 1945-1946. The other twelve trials were prosecuted by the United States in the Nuremberg Military Tribunals (NMT) from 1946 to 1949, against a variety of governmental, military, industrial, and professional leaders.
Giving Hitler Hell
By Matthew Brzezinski
Sunday, July 24, 2005; W08
The setting is the Tarara Vineyard just outside Leesburg, and the date is summer 2002. The suburban winery has been transformed into a mini-amusement park for the occasion. Portable generators hum, powering all sorts of play stations, slides and rides. Overhead, a hot-air balloon rises and falls on its tether like a giant red yo-yo. Kids run in every direction, trailed by harried parents, the occasional nanny and a professional photographer hired to memorialize the corporate outing. A group of executives huddles near the outdoor buffet. They wear baseball caps em-blazoned with the logo of their employer, EMP, or Emerging Markets Partnerships, one of Washington's largest international investment firms. Some sip merlot, but in the presence of their bosses most of the assembled MBAs have opted for the safer soft-drink selections.
By this juncture in the tale, the executives huddled around Weiss are riveted.But Weiss seems anxious to wrap up his reminiscing just as the war ends and the real work of his Army intelligence unit begins: tracking down fugitive Nazis. He has grown visibly tired by the retelling, as if suddenly burdened by some great weight.
His employees can't conceal their disappointment. They clamor for more details. Weiss deflects the queries, summoning his half-century of experience as a Washington lawyer to carefully craft each response. The questions, however, keep coming.
Since Arnold Weiss's signature adorns my wife's paycheck, I thought it prudent not to push too hard during that 2002 picnic. My curiosity, however, had been aroused, and I made it clear that if he ever wanted to tell the full story of what did happen in the weeks and months after Nazi Germany's capitulation, I would be an obliging listener.
Three years passed, and I did not hear from Weiss. I'd run into him at the occasional Christmas party or EMP function requiring black tie and spousal attendance, but he never brought up the subject. Then, a few months ago, Weiss left me a message: If I was still interested in hearing his story, he was at last prepared to tell it.
Weiss is almost 81 now, officially -- and grudgingly -- retired, though you'd never know it, since he still gets up each morning, dons a tailored suit and drives his big Mercedes to EMP's offices on Pennsylvania Avenue. He's married and has two grown sons. He missed three months of work last year recovering from a triple bypass and heart valve surgery, and while he certainly looks fit and healthy, perhaps an impending sense of mortality has made the time seem right.
Ironically, an almost identical consideration recently prompted Adolf Hitler's devoted nurse, Erna Flegel, to break her 60-year silence on Hitler's deteriorating mental and physical health in his final days. "I don't want to take my secret with me into death," the 93-year-old Flegel told a German newspaper in May. There are still many missing pieces of the WWII puzzle, and every time one is found history gets rewritten a bit. Sometimes, as in the case of the unrepentant Flegel, whose existence became known only a few years ago when the CIA declassified old OSS interrogation transcripts, the added testimony merely warrants a footnote. But on other occasions, material surfaces that requires entire chapters of the official record to be scrapped. It was only after the collapse of communism, for instance, that the Kremlin grudgingly admitted that the Soviet secret police, not the German SS, murdered thousands of Polish POWs during WWII. In 2000, it was Poland's turn to reexamine its war record, and the larger issue of anti-semitism, when an American scholar uncovered evidence that the massacre of the entire Jewish population of a village called Jedwabne was the work of Polish compatriots and not the Nazis, as had been the official version.
History has a habit of sweeping the inconvenient under the carpet. Despite the passage of more than half a century (not to mention the passage of U.S. legislation in the late 1990s ordering WWII records unsealed) there are still countless documents from the era that the CIA has deemed either too sensitive or embarrassing to declassify. Like those partially opened files, parts of Weiss's account have also emerged slowly over the years, and the snippets of the past they offer contain eerie parallels to some of the things happening in the world today. But he, too, has held back crucial portions of the narrative. Now, for the first time, he's willing to tell the whole story, from its improbable beginning to the strange new relevancy of its long-buried end.
Munich in autumn of 1945 was a devastated and demoralized city. With every passing week, the arrest lists sent from American intelligence headquarters in Frankfurt only seemed to grow longer. The teletype machine next to Weiss's desk spat out names almost round-the-clock: rocket scientists, nuclear engineers, chemists and physicists; party clerks, accountants and financiers; valets, chauffeurs and cooks. Anyone closely associated with the fallen regime had to be hauled in and detained. And in a town like Munich, whose smoky beer halls had hosted the earliest Nazi rallies, that meant a great many people.
Life In Nuremberg
From Gauleiter Haus, Weiss's beat -- Region IV of the American Occupied Zone -- stretched south through the lakelands and forests of Bavaria to the Alpine passes and mountainous redoubts along the Austrian border. Bavaria was the cradle of the Nazi movement, the birthplace and home of many of its leading figures. And because of its mountainous terrain and the fanaticism of some of its inhabitants, it was the one area in the American Sector that posed the greatest risk of insurgency, the German equivalent of the Sunni Triangle.
Throughout Germany, the Allies were anxious to restore basic services and get local governments up and running again, and one of Weiss's responsibilities was to vet potential officials for past Nazi Party membership. It was an important and time-consuming duty, but he still kept a special eye out for high-value targets who had evaded capture. Many of Hitler's henchmen, particularly from the dreaded SS, were still at large, along with mountains of gold bullion, and if there was to be an uprising, they would surely lead and finance it. Already, sporadic attacks by a group of insurgents ominously known as the Werewolves had prompted standing orders for GIs to execute insurgents by firing squad. This wreaked havoc on the morale of U.S. servicemen, especially since many of the troublemakers were 16- and 17-year-old former Hitler Youth members.
More worrisome, though, were the persistent rumors that Hitler was still alive. "We were certain that he had committed suicide at his bunker," Weiss recalls. "But since Berlin was part of the Russian zone, and no witness and no body had been produced by the Soviets, many Germans refused to believe the Fuhrer was gone."
The Russians, who knew full well where the late Fuhrer was since they had his charred remains in a secret laboratory in Moscow, further stirred the pot. Izvestia, the official Communist daily, ran a front page story claiming that he and Eva Braun had installed themselves in bourgeois splendor in a castle (complete with moat) in Westphalia, in the British Zone.
Hitler sightings soon spanned the globe, from Sweden and Ireland all the way to Argentina, where Hitler, having undergone plastic surgery, was said to be developing long-range robot bombs in an underground hideout. Even Washington caught the paranoia bug, sending an urgent classified cable to its embassy in Buenos Aires to run down the lead: "Source indicates that there is a western entrance to the underground hideout, which consists of a stone wall operated by photo-electric cells, activated by code signals from ordinary flashlights." The matter was apparently taken seriously enough, according to a 1989 book on the CIC, America's Secret Army, by Ian Sayer and Douglas Botting, that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover became involved in the investigation. By October 1945, speculation over Hitler's whereabouts had reached such a fever pitch that a decision "at the highest level," says Weiss, was made to put the mystery to rest once and for all. The British -- who were particularly incensed at the Soviet suggestion that Hitler was living untrammeled under their noses -- were charged with finding definitive proof that Hitler was dead. Messages now clattered off the CIC teletype machines to give the highest priority to the search for eyewitnesses who may have been in the bunker with Hitler during his last days.
"The highest-ranking Nazi who was still on the loose was Bormann," says Weiss. Martin Bormann, the Brown Eminence, had been the Nazi Party secretary and Hitler's gatekeeper. He had controlled access to the Fuhrer. If anyone knew what had happened to Hitler, it was Bormann. "I remembered vaguely that his adjutant was from Munich."
Weiss tortures mother and sister?
|Weiss scoured the records, and discovered
that Bormann's right-hand man, SS
Standartenfuhrer Wilhelm Zander, indeed hailed from Munich, and was
still unaccounted for. Zander not only might know where his boss was
hiding, there was a good chance that he had been in his bunker just before
the Red Army stormed it. Weiss picked up the Munich phone book. Sure
enough, there were several Zanders listed.
"I rounded up his mother and sister," Weiss recalls. He was struck by how ordinary they seemed. That was something Weiss would grow accustomed to: how monsters could come from such seemingly normal families.
|Though the mother and sister
were defensive and insisted that Zander had done nothing wrong, eventually
one of them let slip that he had a much younger girlfriend in Munich.
She was a striking 21-year-old
brunette who still lived with her parents. Weiss had her arrested.
Though he himself was barely old enough to legally buy beer by today's
standards, Weiss could back then cordon off entire city blocks and
incarcerate everyone for any period of time. Warrants were not needed, and
there was no judicial oversight. "We had absolute power," he says, with a
small smile. "The Germans were already calling us the American Gestapo."
Weiss sent the girlfriend not to CIC headquarters at the posh Gauleiter Haus, but to a larger jail filled with common criminals on the outskirts of Munich. There, he let her sit alone in a cell for two days to contemplate her fate. "I wanted her frightened, to give her time to think" of all the terrible things that could happen to her. It was a standard interrogation technique with subjects who were considered weak. Breaking hard cases required a completely different approach, and Weiss, since he was one of the few American officers who spoke German, was rapidly gaining experience as a skilled interrogator.
When he had deemed that she had stewed long enough, Weiss had the woman brought to a barren interrogation room. He made her stand, another small but apparently effective psychological tactic. "She was ready to talk," he recalls. "She immediately admitted to being Zander's lover." Weiss asked when she had last seen him. He expected her to say that it had been years, but instead she said six weeks earlier. "My teeth just about dropped," Weiss recalls. That meant the trail might still be hot. The woman had another surprise for Weiss. Zander had foolishly told her the alias he was using and where he was hiding. Weiss immediately sent a coded communique to CIC headquarters in Frankfurt. U.S. intelligence notified British Intelligence, which dispatched its lead investigator to join Weiss in the chase.
Maj. Hugh Trevor-Roper made an unlikely secret agent. Tall, gaunt and nearsighted, he seemed more like a distracted academic, which in fact he was in civilian life, a history professor at Oxford. Weiss briefed Trevor-Roper. Zander was using the name Paustin and was posing as a farmhand for someone named Irmgard Unterholzener in a village not too far from Munich called Tegernsee. The pair made hasty arrangements to raid the place, but by the time they arrived, Zander had bolted. For the next three weeks, Weiss chased down blind leads without luck. Then, just before Christmas, Weiss got a call from the CIC field office in Munsingen, Germany. A Paustin had registered for a residence permit -- the Germans, apparently even when on the lam, were very punctilious about recordkeeping -- with the local police in a small German village near the Czech border called Vilshofen. Weiss got on the horn to Trevor-Roper. "We found him," Weiss said excitedly. It took 24 long hours for Trevor-Roper to get to Munich, during which Weiss paced impatiently.
When he finally arrived, the pair shouldered their weapons -- Weiss had a holstered .38; Trevor-Roper opted for the larger Colt .45 -- and set out in an open jeep for the chilly 90-minute drive to Vilshofen.
Hollywood, in Weiss's own words, could not have cast a more unlikely pair of Nazi hunters. In photos, Trevor-Roper, in an ill-fitting uniform and Coke-bottle glasses, towers thinly over Weiss, who though he weighed a scant 120 pounds when he enlisted, had rounded out his diminutive frame, thanks to the Gauleiter Haus' well-provisioned mess table. But looks can be deceiving. The aristocratic Oxford don (Trevor-Roper, who became one of the most preeminent WWII historians, died Lord Dacre) and the brash Jewish-American refugee made a formidable team.
At the Munsingen field office, they called for backup -- several MPs and a junior CIC officer. Weiss is fuzzy on the latter's full name; a military intelligence document of the period lists him only as Special Agent Rosener.
Weiss, Rosener and Trevor-Roper found the farmhouse shortly before 4 a.m. It was an old stone building, prosperous and well kept, and all was quiet despite the impending holiday. (At this stage, there seems to be some discrepancy as to the chronology of events. Petrova and Watson list the raid as occurring on Boxing Day, or December 26. Sayer and Botting have the date as December 28. But Weiss, whose key role is noted in both books, still has a memo he wrote at the time on CIC letterhead that puts the raid as having taken place on Christmas Eve.) As the MPs broke down the door, a shot rang out from the house. Weiss's first instinct after diving for cover was to disarm Trevor-Roper. "He was pretty much legally blind, and I was more afraid of getting shot by him than Zander," Weiss recalls. The MPs found the startled Zander naked in bed with a woman (not his girlfriend) and quickly overpowered him. Weiss grabbed Zander's Italian Beretta -- a memento he has kept to this day.
The family who owned the house had come running downstairs, shocked at all the commotion. There followed a good deal of yelling, not the least from Zander, who was demanding to know who his captors were and what they wanted.
"We're Americans, and we've come to arrest you," said Weiss.
"Why?" Zander demanded.
"What's your name?"
"Do you have ID?"
Zander produced an identity card: It listed him as in his late thirties, a shade under 6 feet, and of medium build, which was all accurate. The photo too showed a good likeness; dark hair and cool, light eyes forming an arrogant gaze that had apparently made Zander/Paustin a ladies man.
"This is a fake," said Weiss. "You're coming with us."
The whole way back to Munich, as Weiss drove and Rosener guarded the handcuffed prisoner, Zander maintained his innocence. "He kept screaming, 'What do you want from me?'" Weiss recalls. "And we kept saying, 'We'll tell you when we get there.'"
When they arrived at Gauleiter Haus, they began the interrogation immediately. "We wanted to go after him while the shock of the arrest was still fresh." Trevor-Roper, as the senior officer, led the questioning, and Weiss acted mostly as interpreter. For 10 hours they grilled Zander, who initially continued to insist that his was a case of mistaken identity.
"We confronted him with all the facts of his life," Weiss recalls. The aim was to show Zander that Allied intelligence already knew everything about him, that there was no point in continuing the charade. Zander's answers started growing contradictory. Weiss turned up the heat.
"We have your mother and sister," he said. This wasn't true. Weiss had arrested only the girlfriend. But Zander didn't know that.
Finally, and with great formality, he said: "You are correct. I am SS Standartenfuhrer Wilhelm Zander."
It wasn't particularly dramatic, but they had broken him. The real questioning could now begin. When had he last seen Nazi leaders Goebbels? Goering? Himmler? Who was in the bunker with the Fuhrer during his last hours? What were the circumstances of Zander's last meeting with Bormann? How did he get out of the Fuhrer's bunker? What route did he take? Trevor-Roper was particularly interested in the names of lesser officials present during Hitler's last 48 hours, support staff such as Erna Flegel, cooks, drivers, guards and so on.
Once Zander had given up the ghost of Paustin, he talked nonstop for six hours. Almost as an afterthought, Weiss asked why he had left the bunker.
"I was sent on an important mission as a courier," said Zander, matter-of-factly. "I suppose you want the documents."
Absolutely, said Weiss, even though he had no idea what Zander was taking about. "Where are they?"
That same day Zander led Weiss and Trevor-Roper back to Tegernsee, where he had originally lain low. There was a dry well at the back of the Unterholzener property, and he pointed down it. Weiss retrieved a fake-leather suitcase from the bottom. At first glance it contained only Zander's discarded SS uniform. But upon closer inspection, a hidden compartment was found. In it was a plain manila envelope.
Weiss tore it open. "Oh my God," he cried, involuntarily switching to his native German. He was staring at Hitler's "Last Will and Political Testament."
"Let me show you something," says Weiss, breaking off his narrative. It takes me a second to make the leap from 1945 to the pres-ent, to readjust to the office surroundings. I take in the plush ex-ecutive decor, the crystal tombstones that investment bankers use to commemorate big deals, the framed notice from the June 6, 1994, edition of the Wall Street Journal: $1,086,460,000, it reads in bold banner-headline print, the amount of money raised for the first of six funds EMP manages. A scale model of a Boeing 757 flying the corporate colors of an Asian airline (one of the firm's investments) sits on the window sill, competing for airspace with the real planes that cruise over the Potomac on final approach to Reagan National Airport.
"Here, I brought it with me." Weiss fishes through his briefcase, which is definitely not fake leather. Everyone dresses well at EMP's posh Pennsylvania Avenue headquarters, but only the chairman -- a former prime minister of Pakistan and World Bank senior vice president -- is nattier than Weiss.
"There," says Weiss, handing me an old sheaf of papers.
They are 1946 photostats. What is startling is the simplicity of the documents. With all the pageantry that surrounded the Third Reich, these humble pages don't even contain an official seal. Printed on plain white typing paper of the sort found lying around any office, they have an almost suspect humility about them. But they are real, authenticated by the FBI in early 1946, according to America's Secret Army.
Mein privates Testament, reads the underlined heading of the first page. It is dated April 29, 1945, 4 a.m., and at the back are five signatures. The first is small and tightly wound, like a compressed thunderbolt: Adolf Hitler. The others are more expansive and boldly ambitious: witnesses Martin Bormann and Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda minister who killed himself and his family in the room next to Hitler in the bunker.
The same signatures grace a second, considerably longer document titled Mein politsches Testament, in which Hitler rails against his generals, expels Himmler and Goering from the Nazi Party, and appoints Grand Adm. Karl Doenitz as his successor and names the entire 17-member Cabinet. A third document had been in the package found by Weiss that Zander was to have delivered to Doenitz -- the death-bed marriage certificate between Hitler and his longtime mistress, Eva Braun. But Weiss did not get a copy of it. (Weiss received a photostat of Hitler's wills along with a congratulatory memo dated January 7, 1946, from an American brigadier general whose signature is illegible. The originals are stored in the National Archives.) "The wills were to be used to re-honor Hitler, when at some future date the Germans would rise again," Weiss wrote in his own sure hand in a 1946 memo that ends in a triumphant, "Case closed." (Weiss had reason to sound exultant: For finding definitive proof that Hitler was dead -- in his will, Hitler explains that he prefers ending his own life to being paraded around like a zoo exhibit -- he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, a citation from the commanding general of the Intelligence Services and a recommendation for the Bronze Star.)
As to why Zander failed to deliver the documents to Doenitz, Weiss's memo, now yellowed with age, hints that such information was above his pay grade. Trevor-Roper, however, had access to further debriefings with the wayward SS courier. "A half-educated, stupid, but honest man," he wrote in his final report, published in 1947, "Zander only wished by a silent death to end a wasted life and expiate the illusions which it was too late to shed." Apparently, the loyal SS man had begged for permission not to carry out his last mission. An idealist, he wished to die alongside his Fuhrer. But, according to Trevor-Roper, Hitler refused his request and ordered him to carry the succession documents. Once he thought Hitler was gone, Zander no longer believed that Nazi Germany had any future and simply ditched the documents instead. Weiss never found Bormann, whose skeleton was discovered in Berlin in 1972, prompting speculation that he had killed himself not long after leaving Hitler's bunker.
Weiss still marvels at Hitler's mix of naiveté and arrogance for thinking that the Third Reich could survive defeat or that his orders would be carried out after death. "Can you imagine?" he says. "Hitler was still trying to run Germany from the grave. Talk about chutzpah!" But more mundane matters also preoccupied Hitler's last thoughts: He wanted his paintings donated to a picture gallery in his home town of Linz and some personal mementos distributed to his secretaries, particularly Frau Winter. "As executor, I appoint my most faithful Party comrade, Martin Bormann," Hitler wrote. "He is given full legal authority to hand over to my relatives . . . especially to my wife's mother . . . everything which is . . . necessary to maintain a petty-bourgeois standard of living."
Hitler's final written words, however, commanded Germany's future leaders to "mercilessly resist the universal poisoner of all nations, international Jewry." It is, thus, one of history's ironies that the first person to read those words was a young German American Jew who had survived the Holocaust as a victim of Nazi persecution and was now acting as an instrument of justice.
Weiss was born Hans Arnold Wangersheim to a middle-class family of assimilated Jews that had lived peacefully in German Franconia for nearly four centuries. Weiss's father, Stefan, covered the sports beat for the Nuremburg Acht-Uhr Abendblatt, and his flashy, opinionated columns on the rising or falling fortunes of the local soccer clubs lent him an aura of minor celebrity enjoyed by the contemporary likes of a Tony Kornheiser. Sportswriters in those days didn't have production deals with ESPN, and the Wangersheims lived modestly in a working-class neighborhood where the nascent forces of fascism and communism competed fiercely, and often violently, for the residents' affections.
Weiss's earliest memories of his father are of a muscular man in a crisp, white gymnastics uniform, swinging gracefully from the parallel bars. "He cut a dashing figure, or so it seemed to someone who was very young."
Weiss was 6 when his parents divorced in 1930.
His father apparently preferred the sweaty company of fellow sports lovers, and long, languid evenings in beer halls, to ministering to his three children. There might have been another woman in the picture, but the subject was too painful, and Weiss never raised it with his mother. By all accounts, the divorce proceedings were messy and bitter. Weiss's mother, Thekla Rosenberg, an avid athlete and tennis player herself, got custody of young Arnie and his two sisters, Beate and Evelyn, but no financial support from Stefan, who walked away from all parental responsibility.
At the time, the Great Depression raged on both sides of the Atlantic. In Weimar Germany, the added burden of war reparations demanded by the Treaty of Versailles at the end of WWI made the situation particularly dire. Weiss's mother had a difficult decision to make. On her bookkeeper's salary, she could not afford to raise three children. "There was just not enough money to feed all of us," Weiss recalls. "The girls needed to be more protected, so I was the candidate to be placed in an orphanage."
The Orthodox Jewish orphanage to which Weiss was sent in 1930 (or 1931 -- he no longer remembers) was in a suburb of Nuremberg known as Furth. The routine was harsh: up before dawn for morning prayers at the synagogue next door, then off to school and three hours of Hebrew lessons, followed by two more hours of Talmudic studies before evening prayers. The food was lousy; privacy was nonexistent; and between the hazing from the older kids and the harsh discipline meted out by orphanage administrators, beatings were a regular feature of life.
Weiss described the details in an oral testimony he gave in 1996 to the U.S Holocaust Memorial Museum. "It was pretty grim," he said in the taped testimony, "even before the Nazis came to power."
Asked by the curator if he felt a sense of abandonment, Weiss responded, "Yes," after a long pause. "I would say that's a fair comment."
The separation from his 2-year-old sister, Evelyn, was the hardest to bear. "I simply adored her. She was like a toy." Weiss still got to see his mother and sisters for a few hours every few months, but it wasn't the same. They inevitably grew apart. But the orphanage was within walking distance of his maternal grandmother's apartment, which afforded him at least one decent meal a week and generous helpings of affection.
Still, he says, orphanage life wasn't all bad. You always had someone to play with, so you were never lonely. Those hidings thickened the skin, and you learned quickly to fend for yourself. "Community living, once you got used to it, had all kinds of pluses, which came in handy at later stages in life." Weiss credits his upbringing in the orphanage for his ease in institutional settings, whether the military, in which he enlisted in 1942 as a gunner on B-17 bombers before being recruited into intelligence, or the Treasury Department, which he joined in 1952 after getting his law degree on the GI bill, or at the helm of the big international development banks and law firms where he spent the bulk of his Washington career.
"One of the things it taught you," he says of orphanage life, "was to internalize your feelings, to surround yourself with walls and, above all, never to show emotion or weakness."
That mental toughness was a critical survival tool in Furth, as Weiss had the added disadvantage of being small for his age. "I was a shrimp," he explains in the Holocaust Museum tapes. "I don't think I ever reached more than 5-foot-4 or 5 inches. The Aryan race seemed a little better set up in our neighborhood."
With his yarmulke and distinctive side-curls, Weiss was a natural target for local bullies, particularly the young toughs from the Hitler Youth, who were all too eager to practice on Jewish orphans what their adult leaders preached. "Did you try to fight back?" the Holocaust Museum interviewer asks. "I ran most of the time," Weiss replies. "But they'd still catch me sometimes and beat the tar out of me."
It was from this unhappy vantage point that Weiss watched the Nazi ascendancy. By the mid-1930s, the ranks of the orphanage had doubled, as Jewish parents began disappearing into the growing network of Nazi prison camps. Weiss vividly remembers the last time he saw his own father in 1935. "He came to the orphanage, which was odd since I had not heard from him in over two years. We went for a walk along the canal, and I remember he did something very strange. He put his hands on my head and said a prayer. This was very unusual because my father was not a religious man. 'We will probably never see each other again,' he said, 'I'm going to try to leave Germany.' That was the last I ever saw of him." Stefan Wangersheim was arrested soon after visiting his son.
There were other ill omens that not even an 11-year-old could miss. By 1937, food at the orphanage had become scarce. The orphanage was financed by Nuremberg's shrinking Jewish community, and as more and more Jews fled, were arrested or had their businesses seized, there was less money available for the orphans. "To earn a few extra marks, we were rented out at funerals to say the mourner's prayer," Weiss recalls. "None of us particularly looked forward to that."
At the same time, there was a massive influx of new students at Furth's sole Jewish school, as Jews were expelled from all other academic institutions. The transfers included Henry Kissinger and his younger brother, who was in Weiss's class. (Kissinger many years later at a dinner party told Weiss that, alas, he had no recollection of him.) By 1938, the orphanage's ranks had almost tripled, and the children's diet was reduced mostly to potatoes. Some of the kids' teeth started falling out from malnutrition, and Weiss's gums and molars were badly weakened from vitamin deficiency.
Then one day in February 1938, salvation. Weiss was handed a cardboard suitcase and told to pack. "You are going to America," he was informed. How and why he, out of all the children at the orphanage, had been selected for evacuation he does not know. Luck of the draw perhaps, or maybe the good will of some distant family relation. How it was that Weiss was chosen for the small American allotment was even more of a mystery, since compared with Britain, Russia and other havens, the United States placed tight restrictions on Jewish refugees.
Weiss didn't care about the whys and hows of his rescue. He just wanted out. "Since I didn't have any real attachment to my mother or sisters anymore because we had been apart for eight years, I saw this as a big adventure, and was delighted to go."
The street smarts he had developed in Furth served him well in the United States, where he landed to a decidedly frosty reception. He couldn't find a place to live in New York when he got off the boat, and he was put on a train to Chicago, where there were fewer refugees competing for homes. "We got into Chicago at 3 a.m., and I noticed a train departing for Milwaukee," he remembers. "I'd heard they spoke German there, so I got on it and locked myself in the bathroom." In Milwaukee, he lived with the homeless at the train station and ate in soup kitchens until the police picked him up. He was sent to an orphanage, but kept running away. "I shined shoes and picked up a paper route." Eventually a shop-owning family in the small town of Janesville, Wis., took him in. He went to high school and then watchmaker's college because his foster father believed that everyone should have a trade. "That period was among the happiest of my life," Weiss recalls. "I had a loving home and a completely normal teenage existence, which I never took for granted."
The soldier who returned to Nuremberg in 1945 with the 45th division was a different person from the refugee who had left seven years before. He had a new name, for one, borrowed from the back of the jersey of a fleet-footed University of Wisconsin football star; a new family back in Janesville; and a new nationality and mother tongue, which he spoke with a flat Midwestern accent. Nor was he a boy any longer, forced to run away from Nazi bullies. He was a man, part of the most powerful army the world had ever seen, and it was his turn to do the chasing.
Advancing through sniper-filled Nuremberg, Weiss barely recognized the city he grew up in. Its narrow streets were too littered with rubble for U.S. tanks to pass. The block where his parents had lived was a smoldering hulk; his old orphanage stood silent and empty. Virtually everyone he had been close to was dead: the stern but kind-hearted orphanage director, the kids he had bunked with, the friends he had gone to school with. His uncles had shot themselves rather than face deportation to the death camps. And his grandmother, the person he was probably closest to in the whole world, the warm, loving woman he would sneak out of the orphanage to visit, had been sent to the ghetto at Theresienstadt in the Czech Republic, and then to Auschwitz in Poland to become one of the 6 million.
His mother and sisters, at least, had managed to bribe their way out of Germany, then to England and Portugal, and eventually, with Weiss's help, to the United States. But Weiss had little time for reflection or sorrow. Orders had come from 7th Army head-quarters for advance elements of the 45th to rush to Dachau, to liberate the camp before a group of highly valued political prisoners held there was moved or killed. (As Weiss recalls, the VIPs included Leon Blum, the French prime minister; Austria's former chancellor; the deposed head of state of Hungary; some bishops and cardinals; and a German relative of the British royal family.) What he remembers most about Dachau, though, was the smell. "I still have dreams about it," he says. A revolt had broken out in the camp before the 45th's arrival, and while the SS retained control of parts of the peri-meter, the crematoriums had not worked for some days. Bodies just piled up, or lay decomposing between the long rows of low, wooden barracks. Where SS guards still manned the watchtowers, near the main rail embankment, an entire trainload of corpses rotted. "The SS had prevented anyone from unloading it. The people locked inside the cattle cars slowly suffocated or died of thirst," Weiss says.
Even though the camp was technically liberated, the prisoners were so weak and skeletal that they perished at a rate of several hundred per day. Some would crawl on their hands and knees to get outside through holes cut in the barbed wire, so that they could die free. Others were "hell bent" on finding and killing kapos, the club-wielding prisoner turnkeys who, in exchange for extra rations, were as brutal as the SS guards they worked for. "Mobs would descend on them and rip them limb from limb."
Weiss never found the prisoners his unit was sent to rescue. They had been moved by the retreating German regular army, so that the SS would not senselessly butcher potentially valuable bargaining chips. But sifting through an unofficial record of Dachau's victims that had been secretly compiled by prisoners since the mid-'30s and hidden in hollowed-out rafters, Weiss came across a name he immediately recognized: Stefan Wangersheim, his father. (Weiss would learn many years later that his father had survived and immigrated to Brazil with a new wife. He died before Weiss had the chance to reconnect with him.)
When the war ended, Weiss's real work began. The vast death machine Hitler assembled had untold parts and myriad accomplices, and most of them did not simply vanish with Hitler's suicide. The job of identifying and accounting for those with the blood of millions on their hands would be neither quick nor easy. Weiss had a daunting list of thousands of wanted Nazis to find. He remembers one in particular, a man who had not even bothered to move from his pre-war address or take on an assumed name. Weiss had simply looked him up in the Munich phone book and knocked on his door early one morning in 1946.
Why the man had not bothered to conceal his tracks was a puzzle. Perhaps he thought that after all these months no one would come looking for him. Or maybe he believed he could hide beneath his low rank. He was an enlisted man; there were plenty of bigger fish for the Americans to fry. But he had belonged to the SS Death's Head, the notorious battalions tasked with liquidating Europe's Jews, and Weiss, if he could help it, wasn't going to let the even lowliest private from any of those killing squads go free.
"This guy was walking around Munich without a care while most of the people I knew were dead," he says. "And at the time we still didn't even comprehend the enormity of what they had done."
Of all branches of the SS, it was the Death's Head, and specifically its Einsatzgruppen and sonderkomandos units, who ran the death camps and herded entire villages into synagogues to be burned alive. They were the ones who dug the mass burial pits on the outskirts of towns and dumped truckloads of earth on women and children gasping for air. It was the Death's Head that was responsible for devising ever more efficient ways of killing. At Auschwitz, the pinnacle of their industriousness, they "processed" 60,000 people a day.
The man had been a guard at Auschwitz and Theresienstadt. It said so in his military service ID record, which, astonishingly, he was still carrying when Weiss nabbed him, as if these posts were somehow marks of distinction. Nor did he make an effort to deny who he was or where he had worked, once Weiss had him in a concrete cell flanked by two MPs.
"I had interrogated some very bad people," Weiss recalls, "but there was something about this guy, an utter lack of remorse. He was oblivious, like he'd done nothing wrong."
The man was in his mid-forties, unshaven and pale. He'd been drunk when Weiss picked him up, but two days in the cell had sobered him up sufficiently for the realization to start dawning that he was in trouble. It was clear to Weiss that the man had probably never gotten beyond elementary school, and his German was of the guttural Bavarian dialect spoken throughout the lowest ranks of the blue-collar class.
Weiss says he spent less than an hour in the cell, getting the information he needed: names of superiors, other guards and so on. "I just wanted to get out of there and take a shower.
"I guess what got me was the complete absence of humanity. To him, Auschwitz had just been a job. The fact that more than a million people were killed there didn't seem to faze him in the least bit. He didn't see Jews as people."
Weiss thought of his father, his friends at the orphanage, his grandmother. The SS man had worked at the same two camps where she had been sent. He was only a lowly cog in the killing machine, and that meant he was of little value to intelligence headquarters in Frankfurt. Unlike Zander, he didn't have to be kicked up the intelligence food chain. In that sense, the man had been right about not needing to go into hiding. No one at Allied Command was particularly interested in someone of his status. But if he believed that his low rank would somehow spare him from justice, he was dead wrong.
Weiss used Jewish killers
Ferencz -- who went on to a distinguished legal career, became a founder of the International Criminal Court and is today probably the leading authority on military jurisprudence of the era -- cannot specifically address Weiss's actions. But he says it's important to recall that military legal norms at the time permitted a host of flexibilities that wouldn't fly today. "You know how I got witness statements?" he says. "I'd go into a village where, say, an American pilot had parachuted and been beaten to death and line everyone one up against the wall. Then I'd say, 'Anyone who lies will be shot on the spot.' It never occurred to me that statements taken under duress would be invalid."
Weiss says that his unit had its own system of ethics when it came to handing former death camp guards over to the DPs. "You couldn't do that by yourself," he says. "You consulted with the other CIC agents, and usually there was a duty officer. We would have never done this," he adds, "without at least some nod from a superior."
The key was to make certain that there were no cases of mistaken identity. The SS men would have to own up to their participation in mass murders of their own volition, never as a result of torture, since people tend to admit to anything under such circumstances, says Weiss. As a backup, "I'd make them write out a detailed history of their war record, including who they served with, when and under who." This was double-checked against captured Nazi records to make sure that the person was indeed who they claimed to be. Only then was the decision taken, Weiss says.
Took prisoners to DP camps for execution
The overwhelming majority of the lower-level SS guards did in fact escape justice.
Ferencz prosecuted members of the Einsatzgruppen. "There were 3,000 members of these killing squads who did nothing but kill women and children for three straight years," he says. "These 3,000 men alone were responsible for almost 1 million murders. Do you know how many I brought indictments against? Twenty-two. The rest were never tried.
"I remember talking to Soviet officers," he adds. "And they were baffled. 'You know they're guilty,' they'd say. 'Why don't you just shoot them?' There was a lot of that kind of feeling in postwar Germany."
Weiss, for his part, says he never went to Germany bent on revenge. "Whatever anger I might have had was dissipated by the devastation and destruction I witnessed of German society. The German people paid dearly for their infatuation with Hitler. But there were times when justice just had to be done."
Matthew Brzezinski last wrote for the Magazine about a Chechen rebel leader. He will be fielding questions and comments about this article Monday at 1 p.m. at washingtonpost.com/liveonline.
This is yet another example of the irrationality of David Irving. He simply cannot grasp that Peter Stahl and Gregory Douglas are two different persons. Also, the author of this article does not know Konrad Kujau, has not helped the Swiss authorities against anyone, and does not live in Freeport, Illinois. Also, I did not assassinate Abraham Lincoln, assist in the sinking of the Titanic nor was I a lead pilot in the Pearl Harbor attack. Where Irving comes up with these fictions quite escapes me.
The only reason that I can determine that could possibly explain his prolonged hysteria concerning myself is that some years ago, I bought a collection of the correspondence between Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun. These letters were in the Schloss Fischhorn collection and came from a Eugene Frankenfeld of Philadelphia. Frankenfeld was a CIC operator that was part of a team that discovered the papers of Hermann Fegelein that were buried at the SS Riding School run by his brother, Waldemar. Instead of turning these letters, and other important historical papers, in to the U.S. Army authorities, Frankenfeld kept many of them and sold them off to various collectors
CIC's overseas mission did not end with the conclusion of hostilities. It served as the Army's chief agency in occupied Austria, Germany, and Italy, rounding up individuals subject to "automatic arrest" because of their Nazi affiliations or activities. At the same time, CIC was on the lookout for a resurgent underground Nazi movement as well as efforts to circumvent Allied occupation directives. CIC spent a considerable amount of time handling problems associated with thousands of displaced persons in Western Europe as well as ensuing black market activities. By 1946, the 970th CIC Detachment (later designated as the 7970th CIC Detachment in 1948 and then as the 66th CIC Detachment in 1949) in Germany and the 430th CIC Detachment in Austria handled the bulk of the early post-war CIC operations.
When Mahl was interrogated by Michel Thomas, a Jewish agent with the US Counter Intelligence Corps, in early May 1945, he made a handwritten statement in which he confessed that, as the executioner of the camp, he had hanged 800 to 1,000 people including a pregnant woman.
Although most Americans are familiar with the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, at which 22 top-level German war criminals were prosecuted after World War II ended, few people today are aware that there were many other Military Tribunal proceedings going on simultaneously in a building inside the former Dachau concentration camp. The "Dachau trials" were conducted by the American military specifically to punish the administrators and guards at the concentration camps that were liberated by American soldiers and to educate the public about the unbelievable atrocities committed in these horror camps.
Between November 1945 and August 1948, there were 489 cases brought before the American Military Tribunal at Dachau. There was a total of 1,672 persons who were tried and 1,416 of them were convicted. There were 297 death sentences, and 279 sentences to life in prison. These 1,672 war criminals who faced the American Military Tribunal at Dachau had been selected from a group of 3,887 people who were initially accused. The last of those who were not put on trial were finally released from their imprisonment at Dachau in 1948.
"WANNSEE CONFERENCE: conference of chief representatives of the highest Reich and Party bodies, held on January 1, 1940 in Berlin at 'Am Großen Wannsee 56/58' under the chairmanship of R. Heydrich. On the order of A. Hitler, the participants decided on measures for the annihilation of the Jews in those parts of Europe under German control ('Final Solution of the Jewish Question'): the establishment of extermination camps (concentration camps) in Eastern Europe, where Jews were to be killed." (1)
Documents are objects containing
encoded information about a process or condition. For example, one
differentiates between photographic and written documents as well as, recently,
between all kinds of data storage (sound carriers, electronic data carriers, and
many more). The present discussion will focus on the criticism of written
documents, which represent the main of the documents relating to the Holocaust.
If a document is to prove anything, it is first necessary to establish that the document is genuine and the information it contains is factually correct. The authenticity of a document requires, for one thing, that the materials and techniques of information encoding and storage involved already existed at the alleged time of document creation. Today, technical, chemical and physical methods frequently permit the verification of whether the paper, the ink, the writing tools etc. that make up the document or went into its production even existed at the alleged time of creation. If this is not the case, the document has been proven to be fake. For example, a document allegedly dating from the 1800s but typed on a typewriter from our own century would definitely be a fake. Unfortunately this kind of analysis is not generally possible where the items to be analyzed are Holocaust documents, since in those few cases where original documents are known to exist, these originals are jealously guarded in archives and any attempt at scientific and technical analysis is nipped in the bud.
Another element in the verification of authenticity is the determination of whether the form of the document at issue corresponds with that of similar documents of the same presumptive origin. For handwritten documents this means a similarity of handwriting and style of expression to other documents by the same author, while for official documents it requires the congruence of official markings identifying the issuing body, such as letterheads, rubber stamps, signatures and initials, reference numbers, titles and official names, notices of receipt, distributors, correctness of the administrative channels and authority etc., as well as, again, similarity to the regional and bureaucratic style of expression. The greater the discrepancies, the more likely it is that the document is a fabrication.
And finally, it must also be determined whether the contents of the document are factually correct. One aspect of this is that the conditions and events described in the document must agree with the information we already have from other reliable sources. But the fundamental question is whether what is described in the document is physically possible, and consistent with what was technically feasible at the time and whether the contents are internally logical and consistent. If this is not the case, the document may still be genuine, but its contents are of no probative value, except perhaps where the incompetence of its author is concerned.
Concerning document criticism in the context of the Holocaust, we encounter the remarkable phenomenon that any such practice is dispensed with almost entirely by the mainstream historians around the world. Even a call for impartial document criticism is considered reprehensible, since this would admit the possibility that such a document might be false, in other words, that certain events which are backed up by such documents may not have taken place at all, or not in the manner described to date. But nothing is considered more reprehensible today than to question the solidly established historical view of the Holocaust. However, where doubts about scientific results are deemed censurable, where the questioning of one's own view of history or perhaps even of the world is forbidden, where the results of an investigation must be predetermined from the start, i.e. where research may produce only the 'desired' results--where such conditions prevail, the allowed or allowable lines of inquiry have long since forsaken any foundation in science and have instead embraced religious dogma. Doubt and criticism are two of the most important pillars of science.
The present volume contains many instances of criticism of a wide range of documents, frequently proving them to be fabrications. No one will deny that particularly after the end of World War Two a great many forgeries were produced in order to incriminate Germany.(2 ) That opportunities for such forgeries were practically limitless is a fact also undisputed in view of all the captured archives, typewriters, rubber stamps, stationery, state printing presses etc. etc. And considering these circumstances, no one can rule out beforehand that the subject of the Holocaust may also have been the object of falsifications. Unconditionally honest document criticism is thus vitally important here. In the following, the Wannsee Conference Protocol --the central piece of incriminating evidence pertaining to the Holocaust--is subjected to an in-depth critical analysis such as all historians worldwide ought to have done for decades but failed to do. At the same time, this analysis may serve as challenge to all conscientious historians to finally subject all Holocaust documents --be they incriminating or exonerating-- to professionally correct and unbiased document criticism.
In any analysis of the Wannsee Conference Protocol, the other documents directly related to this Protocol must of course be considered as well. These documents are:
1) Göring's letter of July ?, 1941 to Heydrich, instructing Heydrich to draw up an outline for a total solution of the Jewish question in German-occupied Europe.
2) Heydrich's first letter of invitation to the Wannsee Conference, dated November 29, 1941.
3) Heydrich's second invitation to the Wannsee Conference, dated January 8, 1942.
4) The Wannsee Conference Protocol itself, undated.
5) The letter accompanying the Wannsee Conference Protocol, dated January 26, 1942.
According to his own statements,(3 ) Robert M. W. Kempner, the prosecutor in the Wilhelmstraßen Trial of Ernst Weizsäcker, had been expecting a shipment of documents from Berlin in early March 1947. Among these papers, he and his colleagues discovered a transcript of the Wannsee Conference. The author of the protocol, it was claimed, was Eichmann. In 1983 the WDR (West German Radio) broadcast Kempner's original taped statement, according to which he had discovered the protocol in autumn of 1947.(4) Beyond Kempner's verbal statements quoted here, no other documentation verifying the place and circumstances of the discovery were found. Kempner: "Of course no one doubted the authenticity [of the protocol]." The Court, he said, introduced the protocol as Number 2568. In the court records it appears as G-2568.
The Wannsee Conference Protocol which Kempner submitted to the Court always writes 'SS' in this way, i.e. in Latin letters, not as the runic '[..]' which was customary in the Third Reich. It would appear to be the oldest copy in circulation.(5)
Hans Wahls has mentioned numerous other versions which are also in circulation. The Political Archives at the Foreign Office in Bonn maintains that the version held there is the definitive one. This version uses the runic '[..]'. When and how this version came to be in the archives of today's Foreign Office remains unknown. Since the other versions can also not be traced back to their origins, we will dispense with any further details here. The present compilation is thus based only on the copy held by the Foreign Office.(6)
Where the letter accompanying the protocol is concerned, two versions have surfaced to date, one using 'SS', the other with the runic '[..]' as well as other differences.
The literature pertaining to the Wannsee Conference Protocol fills many volumes. The following summarizes the most important analyses and critiques, all of which prove conclusively that all the various versions of the protocol as well as all the versions of the letters accompanying the protocol are fabrications. As yet, no proof of the authenticity of the protocol, nor any attempt at refuting the aforementioned analyses and critiques, has been advanced by any source.
This discussion draws on:
Hans Wahls, Zur Authentizität des 'Wannsee-Protokolls';(7)
Udo Walendy, "Die Wannsee-Konferenz vom 20.1.1942";(8)
Ingrid Weckert, "Anmerkungen zum Wannseeprotokoll";(9)
Johannes Peter Ney, "Das Wannsee-Protokoll";(10)
Herbert Tiedemann, "Offener Brief an Rita Süßmuth".(11)
Other important studies shall just be mentioned briefly.(12)
Form: We only have a copy of this document, as no original has ever been found. This copy is missing the letterhead, the typed-in sender's address is incorrect, and the date is incomplete, missing the day.(14) The letter has no reference number, no distributor is given, and there is no line with an identifying 're.:' (cf. Ney(10)).
Linguistic content: The repetition in "all necessary preparations as regards organizational, factual, and material matters" and "general plan showing the organizational, factual, and material measures" is not Göring's style, and is beneath his linguistic niveau.(15) The same goes for the expression "möglichst günstigsten Lösung" [grammatically incorrect, intended to mean "best possible way"].(16)
Form: The classification notice "top secret" is missing (cf. Ney10 and Tiedemann11). It is also strange that the letter took 24 days, from November 29, 1941 to December 23, 1941, for a postal route within Berlin (Ney(10)).
Linguistic content: "Fotokopie" was spelled with a 'ph' in those days; the spelling that is used is strictly modern German. "Auffassung an den [...] Arbeiten" (@"opinion on the [...] tasks") is not proper German; it ought to read "Auffassung über die [...] Arbeiten". "Persönlich" ["personal"] was scorned as classification; the entire style of the letter is un-German (Ney, ibid.).
Form: This document exists only in
copy form, no original has ever been found. The letter bears the issuing
office's running number "3076/41", while the letter accompanying the protocol,
dated later, bears an earlier number, "1456/41" (Tiedemann(11)). The letterhead
is different from that of the first invitation (Tiedemann, ibid.). The letter is
marked only as "secret" (Ney(10)).
Linguistic content: On one occasion the letter "ß" is used correctly ("anschließenden"), but then "ss" is used incorrectly ("Grossen"). (Ney, ibid.)
Stylistic howlers: "Questions pertaining to the Jewish question"; "Because the questions admit no delay, I therefore invite you...." (Ney, ibid.)
While it is claimed that the copy of
the Wannsee minutes held by the Foreign Office is the
original, this cannot in fact be the case, since it is identified as the 16th
copy of a total of 30. Regardless whether it is genuine or fake, however, its
errors and shortcomings as to form render it invalid under German law, and thus
devoid of documentary value:
The paper lacks a letterhead; the issuing office is not specified, and the date, distributor, reference number, place of issue, signature, and identification initials are missing (Wahls(7) and Walendy(8)). The stamp with the date of receipt by the Foreign Office, which is (today!) named as the receiver, is missing (Tiedemann(11)). The paper lacks all the necessary properties of a protocol, i.e. the minutes of a meeting: the opening and closing times of the conference, identification of the persons invited but not attending (Tiedemann, ibid.), the names of each of the respective speakers, and the countersignature of the chairman of the meeting (Tiedemann, ibid., and Ney(10)). The paper does, however, bear the reference number of the receiving(!) office, namely the Foreign Office - typed on the same typewriter as the body of the text (Tiedemann(11)). The most important participant, Reinhard Heydrich, is missing from the list of participants (Wahls(7) and Walendy(8)).
3.2.2 Linguistic Content
The Wannsee Conference Protocol is a treasure-trove of stylistic howlers which indicate that the authors of this paper were strongly influenced by the Anglo-Saxon i.e. British English language. In the following we will identify only the most glaring of these blunders; many of them have been pointed out by all the authors consulted, so that a specific reference frequently does not apply.
The expressions "im Hinblick" ("considering",* 8 times), "im Zuge" ("in the course of", 5 times), "Lösung" ("solution", 23 times), "Fragen" ("questions", 17 times), "Problem" (6 times), "Bereinigen" ("to clarify", 4 times), frequently even more than once in the same sentence, bear witness to such a poor German vocabulary that one may assume the author to have been a foreigner.
Further, the expressions "Lösung der Frage" ("solution of the problem"), "der Lösung zugeführt" ("brought near to a solution"), "Lösungsarbeiten" ("tasks involved" [in a solution; -trans.]), "Regelung der Frage" ("to settle the question"), "Regelung des Problems" ("to settle the problem"), "restlose Bereinigung des Problems" ("absolutely final clarification of the question" [i.e. the "problem"; - trans.]), "Mischlingsproblem endgültig bereinigen" ("securing a final solution of the problem presented by the persons of mixed blood"), "praktische Durchführung" ("practical execution"; is there such a thing as a theoretical execution?), and especially the frequent repetition of these expressions, are not at all the German style (Walendy(8)).
"der allfällig endlich verbliebene Restbestand [...]" ("the possible final remnant")
may perhaps appear in a prose text, but certainly not in the minutes of a conference. The text is interspersed with empty phrases such as;
"Im Hinblick auf die Parallelisierung der Linienführung" ("in order to bring general activities into line") (Tiedemann(11))
and nonsensical claims such as;
"Die evakuierten Juden werden Zug um Zug in [...] Durchgangsghettos gebracht [...]" ("The evacuated Jews will first be sent, group by group, into [...] transit-ghettos [...]").
Since the evacuation of the Jews was not then ongoing, but rather was planned for the future, this would have to have read:
"Die zu evakuierenden Juden [...]" ("The Jews to be evacuated [...]").
"Bezüglich der Behandlung der Endlösung" ("Regarding the handling of the final solution")
How does one handle a solution? (Walendy(8))
"Wurden die jüdischen Finanzinstitutionen des Auslands [...] verhalten [...]"
Does the author mean "angehalten"?*
"Italien einschließlich Sardinien" ("Italy incl. Sardinia")
Why the need to specify? In Europe people knew very well what all was part of Italy.
"Die berufsständische Aufgliederung der [...] Juden: [...] städtische Arbeiter 14,8%" ("The breakdown of Jews [...] according to trades [...]: [...] communal workers 14.8%" [i.e. "municipal" workers; -trans.]
Were all of these people common laborers? (Ney(10)) "Salaried employees" is probably what the author meant here. "[...] als Staatsarbeiter angestellt" (the Nuremberg Translation renders this as "employed by the state", which glosses over the difference between "Arbeiter", i.e. blue-collar workers, and "angestellt", i.e. the condition of employment enjoyed by salaried and public employees; -trans.): so what were they, laborers or government employees? Did the author mean civil servants? (Ney, ibid.)
"In den privaten Berufen - Heilkunde, Presse, Theater, usw." ("in private occupations such as medical profession, newspapers, theater, etc.").
In German these are called "freie Berufe", not "private Berufe". Such persons are known as doctors, journalists, and artists. "usw." is never preceded by a comma in German, whereas the English "etc." almost always is.
"Die sich im Altreich befindlichen [...]"
Well, German is a difficult language. (Ney, ibid.)
"[...] werden die [...] Juden straßenbauend in diese Gebiete geführt": literally, "the Jews will be taken to these districts, constructing roads as they go".
Migratory road crews?! Not a single road was constructed in this fashion! (Wahls(7) and Walendy(8))*
"Im Zuge dieser Endlösung [...] kommen rund 11 Millionen Juden in Betracht." ("Approx. 11,000,000 Jews will be involved in this final solution [...]."
Even the orthodox prevailing opinion holds that there were never more than 7 million Jews in Hitler's sphere of influence. In actual fact there were only about 2.5 million. (Wahls(7) and Walendy(8))(19)
"[...] teilte [Heydrich] eingangs seine Bestellung zum Beauftragten für die Vorbereitung der Endlösung [...] durch den Reichsmarschall mit" ("Heydrich gave information that the Reich Marshal had appointed him delegate for the preparations for the final solution [...])
Göring did have the authority to appoint Heydrich to the position of his choice, but he would have done so via the proper channels. Heydrich's superior was Himmler, and it would have taken Himmler's orders to appoint ("ernennen", not "bestellen", which means "to summon") Heydrich to anything. (Ney(10))
"Mit der Endlösung im Generalgouvernement zu beginnen, weil hier das Transportproblem keine übergeordnete Rolle spielt [...] Juden müßten so schnell wie möglich aus dem Gebiet des Generalgouvernements entfernt werden" ("[...] the implementation of the final solution [...] could start in the Government General, because the transportation problem there was of no predominant importance. [...] The Jews had to be removed as quickly as possible from the territory of the Government General [...]"
"To be removed as quickly as possible" and "constructing roads as they go" is quite a contradiction. But none of those attending the conference spoke up. Clearly Germany could muster only mental defectives as her Under Secretaries of State! (Walendy(8))
"Von den in Frage kommenden 2
"[...] Dr. Bühler stellte weiterhin fest, daß die Lösung der Judenfrage im Generalgouvernement federführend beim Chef der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD liegt [...]" ("[...] Bühler further stated that the solution of the Jewish question in the Government General as far as issuing of orders was concerned was dependent upon the chief of the Security Police and the SD [...]".
On the date of the conference at Wannsee Bühler could not have known this, for according to the 'Protocol' Heydrich had only just "announced his appointment as delegate" and his overall authority for the preparations involved. Dr. Bühler certainly did not have the authority to simply declare his superior, Dr. Hans Frank, the Governor General of Poland, removed from office! (Walendy, ibid.)
"Der Beginn der einzelnen Evakuierungsaktionen wird weitgehend von der militärischen Entwicklung abhängig sein" ("The carrying out of each single evacuation project of a larger extent will start at a time to be determined chiefly by the military development").
This statement is false, for the eastward evacuation transports of Jews from the Reich territory, including the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, had already been ongoing since October 1941 - as Heydrich's first invitation to the Wannsee conference had explicitly stated, by the way. (Walendy, ibid.)
"Die berufsständische Aufgliederung der im europäischen Gebiet der UdSSR ansässigen Juden war etwa folgende [...]" ("The breakdown of Jews residing in the European part of the USSR, according to trades, was approximately as follows [...]"
This clearly gives away the forger, at work years after the conference; at the time of the Wannsee Conference one would not have written "was", but "is". (Tiedemann(11))
3.2.4 Internal Consistency
Why were only the "seconds-in-command" invited to this conference if it was really so crucial, and why did not even these seconds-in-command bother to attend? Why, for example, would Dr. Hans Frank send, as his stand-in, Dr. Bühler, who lacked the authority to make any decisions since he was obliged to report anything of significance to his superior? (Tiedemann, ibid.)
Is it conceivable that subordinates decided on the genocide? (Tiedemann, ibid.)
Why was no one invited from offices whose cooperation would have been indispensable to the implementation of such an enormous murder scheme, such as the top management of the German Railway? (Tiedemann, ibid.)
Like the Wannsee Conference Protocol, the accompanying letter reveals at first glance that it cannot be genuine: the letter is dated January 26, 1942, but the letterhead shows reference number 1456/41. Thus the letter was registered at the office of the Chief of the Security Police and the SD in 1941, before the protocol that it was to accompany (Weckert,(9) Ney,(10) Tiedemann(11)). There are 35 days between the date of the letter and the date of its arrival at the Foreign Office, given a delivery route within Berlin and a subject matter Heydrich has called urgent! (Weckert,(9) Ney,(10) Tiedemann(11)) Luther, however, added a handwritten comment (to be examined later) to this letter even before it was received by the correspondence department of the Foreign Office; this handwritten comment is dated with the month "II", i.e. February (the day is illegible). (Weckert,(9) Ney(10)) Like the conference protocol itself, the letter bears a rubber stamp recording its receipt at the Foreign Office, with the reference number D.III29g.Rs, which, however the Foreign Office had already assigned to a different document it had received, namely to a report dated January 6, 1942, sent by the German envoy in Copenhagen. (Ney, ibid.)
The letter is missing the sender's address, which is normally printed on the stationery. The new meeting place in the Kurfürstenstraße is incorrectly spelled with an "ss" rather than an "ß". The typed-in sender's reference number, "IV B 4", indicates Eichmann's office, but Eichmann used stationery which had this identifier already printed on it. The letterhead is different from that of the two letters of invitation. The letter lacks a "re.:"-line and a distributor. This "accompanying letter" makes no mention of 30 copies of the protocol whose 16th copy it allegedly accompanies. The space to indicate enclosures - though provided for in the stamp of receipt - is empty, even though this letter was supposed to accompany an enclosure of momentous importance. (Ney, ibid.) Ripske has criticized that there were no "Undersecretaries of State" ("Unterstaatssekretär") at the German Foreign Office; this rank had been done away with during the Weimar Republic, and was never reintroduced.(20)
The accompanying letter as well shows a pathetically un-German style: "practical execution of the final solution" - is there any such thing as a theoretical execution? (Tiedemann(11)) And again we encounter this redundant sentence with its long-winded description of the tasks involved: "[...] the organizational, factual, and material prerequisites for the practical commencement of the tasks involved." What this calls for, then, is: the detailed discussion of the preparation of the submission of the prerequisites for the practical commencement of the tasks involved. (Ney(10)) No comment necessary.
The protocol is titled "Minutes of Discussion", and if it were genuine, that would be precisely the right description. Today even the officially sanctioned historians concede that nothing at all was decided at the conference, in other words, that it was not as highly significant as is sometimes claimed.(21) The accompanying letter, however, now suddenly refers to "arrangements made". It further claims that "the essentials have been decided on." But nothing could be decided there. (Tiedemann,(11) Walendy(8))
Even though Göring is said to have called for haste in July 1941 ("soon"), his orders are carried out in rather lackadaisical fashion. But suddenly speed is of the essence: the next discussion is set for March 6. (Ney,(10) Tiedemann(11))
Two versions of the accompanying
letter are in circulation. The first was submitted by Kempner,(5) while the second is held at the Foreign
Office in Bonn. In terms of content they are identical, but there is
incontrovertible proof that both versions are fabrications:
Each of the two versions was typed on a different typewriter. The typists tried to make their keystrokes, line breaks and text format identical, and it is unknown who copied from whom in the process. But even this did not quite work: the "Heil Hitler" is shifted by one space, the "Ihr" preceding the signature by another. The signature itself - whether genuine (not likely) or done with a facsimile stamp - has slipped badly.
On closer examination one finds even more differences: the spacing between the two major paragraphs; the underlines, which are supposed to be identical but don't quite manage to be so; the slightly different "6" in the meeting date. The discrepancy between 'SS' in the one version and the runic ' ' in the other is already familiar to us from the protocol itself. Typing mistakes galore populate the second half of this line:
"ich am 6. März 1942, 10.30 Uhr , in Berlin,Kurfürsten-".
The other version reads:
"ich am 6. März 1942, 10.30 Uhr. in Berlin, Kurfürsten-".
Clearly: it was supposed to be
identical, but the attempt failed somewhat.*
To expose this fraud conclusively, one needs a ruler. This reveals: the rubber stamp on each version is perfectly identical, but in the 'SS' version it is stamped precisely parallel to the typed lines while in the '[..]' version it droops down and to the left at about a 3 degree angle.
And the most conclusive proof: no one can write a multi-line text by hand twice in such a way that both versions are precisely and absolutely identical! But the handwritten comments added by Luther, running diagonally across the page in both versions, are identical. However, these handwritten comments are not in the exact same position on both versions, and are of different size. This proves irrefutably that both versions are fake. The forger had separate access to the three text elements - text, stamp, and handwriting. He compiled both versions, but unfortunately he could not make them exactly alike. It's not difficult to guess why he might try this in the first place, though: the older version, submitted to the IMT by Kempner, has the Latin-font 'SS', while the version that surfaced at the Foreign Office later has the runic '[..]', which seems more genuine; the forger no doubt wished to correct his earlier carelessness, and in the process went a little overboard!
1. The creation of fabricated documents is an indictable offense. For details see Section 7.
2. Submission of an unsigned paper whose sender is not specified, which bears no date, etc., is of no substance. It is not a public document.
3. Public discussion about the authenticity of a document is not an indictable offense. Under current German law, however, the qualification or trivialization of the murders of Jews by authorities of the Third Reich is a criminal offense. For this reason the possible or actual direct consequences of the Wannsee Conference will not be discussed here.
4. In the Third Reich, just as in all other nations, all documents not intended for the public eye due to the War had to be kept secret. In the Third Reich the handling and processing of such documents, which were generally known as 'classified documents', were controlled by the 'Classified Information Regulation'. Excerpts:(22)
"36. Classified documents are to be gathered by the departments or sections in complete files.
50. At least once a year the collection of classified documents is to be examined by a third-party officer or official.
77. Every document whose content renders it classified must be fully accounted for from its creation to its destruction.
83. The number of copies supplied to the various departments or sections is to be kept to a minimum."
In his analysis, Udo Walendy(8) cites many examples of witness statements made by participants in the Wannsee Conference, of which only a few examples shall be mentioned here. Dr. G. Klopfer, for example, testified with respect to this conference:
"Therefore no decisions could be reached at this session [...]. After the session on March 3, 1942, I learned from a letter from the Chief of the Reich Chancellery that subsequent to a report by Dr. Lammers Hitler had deferred the 'final solution of the Jewish question' until after the War."(23)
According to his testimony, Secretary of State Ernst von Weizsäcker of the Foreign Office never saw the conference protocol during his time in office, even though his office allegedly received one of the 30 copies (specifically, that 16th copy). He also made no mention of any such conference to the traitor Canaris, to whom he leaked, or claims he leaked, everything else of importance.(24)
Dr. H.-H. Lammers, Chief of the Reich Chancellery, testified:
"I announced the report [to Hitler] and got it after some time. I managed to learn [his] view of the matter. This time once again, the Führer would not enter into any discussion of the matter with me and cut short my intended, lengthy report with words to the effect of 'I don't want to hear any more reports about Jewish matters during the War. I have more important things on my hands right now, and others should, too.' And then he said quite bluntly that he wished to finally see the end of all these Jewish issues. He added that he would decide after the War where to put the Jews."(25)
Dr. Bühler, testifying before the IMT, said:
"I gained the definite conviction from this message [of Heydrich's] that the resettlement of the Jews would proceed in a humane manner - if not for the sake of the Jews themselves, then for the sake of the reputation and the status of the German people."(26)
Oddly enough, the Wannsee Conference was considered of no importance at all immediately after the War and at the 'War Crimes Trials'. Even though charges of genocide would have been the logical consequence of the accepted reading of the protocol, none of the alleged or actual participants in the conference were convicted (not even on minor issues). See Walendy.(8)
Like all other persons in leading positions, G. Klopfer was under arrest from 1945 to 1949 and was charged with war crimes in Nuremberg. However, the Allies dropped their charges for lack of evidence (in 1949, in other words after Kempner's discovery of the Wannsee Conference Protocol). After Klopfer's release from custody, the Attorney General tried again to obtain an indictment in 1960; preliminary proceedings were abandoned on January 29, 1962 on the grounds that despite Klopfer's participation in the conference there was no evidence on which to convict him of any indictable offense.(27) Klopfer was later able to resume his work as attorney.
G. Leibbrand was also released from Allied custody in 1949 and passed away later without ever being bothered again.
In 1949, in the Wilhelmstraßen Trial, W. Stuckart was convicted for other alleged misdemeanors, and sentenced to 3 years and 10 months in prison. He died in a car accident in 1953, a free man.
Ernst von Weizsäcker was sentenced to 7 years in prison at the Wilhelmstraßen Trial, also for other reasons: not because of his participation in the Wannsee Conference, which was never proven anyhow, but for his role in the 'deportations'. He was granted an early discharge and died shortly afterwards.
O. Hoffmann's participation in the conference was examined by the Court in the "Volkstum" Trial of Military Court I, Case 8, but not mentioned in the verdict.
Neumann was classed as 'less incriminated person' by a German Denazification Court following his discharge from automatic arrest.
Even in the Jerusalem Trial of Adolf Eichmann, his participation in the conference was of not even the slightest importance. He was interrogated only for his alleged function as secretary i.e. author of the protocol, but his conviction was for other crimes.
None of the other alleged participants, whom we shall not mention individually here, were ever charged with or convicted for war crimes.
For a long time the Wannsee Conference was also of no significance where the public condemnation of the Wehrmacht, the Waffen-SS, the 'Nazis' and, ultimately, the entire German people was concerned. The 'proof' of German atrocities in the '50s were so-called lampshades from human skin, shrunken heads, gas chambers in Dachau, soap from dead Jews, the 'Bitch of Buchenwald' Ilse Koch, and Katyn. The Wannsee Conference Protocol lived on in Holocaust literature, not in public awareness. This only changed gradually, and eventually culminated in the endeavors of parties with vested interests to publicize the villa on the Große Wannsee and the conference that had been held there by means of the creation of a memorial site.
Meanwhile, judicial notice has all but been attained in German courts with respect to the Wannsee Conference Protocol. While it is not an indictable offense to 'qualify', to 'trivialize', to question or to dispute the authenticity of the conference or the protocol, it has by now become useless in court to cite the axiom that, to quote Emil Lachout, "for historians fabricated documents are proof that the opposite [in this case, no 'Final Solution of the Jewish Question' in the sense of deliberate mass extermination] of the forger's claim is true",(12) even if this theorem could be substantiated with reference to document science, whose principles are binding for historians.(28)
The constant repetition of the allegation that the Wannsee Conference represents the act of planning the genocide of the Jews, as the media have injected it into the conscious and (what is worse) the subconscious minds of mankind for many years now, has resulted in this allegation being considered to be gospel truth today.
In recent times, however, more and more persons who previously regarded the Wannsee Conference Protocol as one of, if not the most significant proof for the 'Führer order for the destruction of the European Jews' have been changing their minds. In early 1992, for example, the renowned Israeli Holocaust researcher Yehuda Bauer dismissed the significance of the Wannsee Conference, which hardly deserved the title 'conference'. He said that the claim that the destruction of the Jews had been decided there was nothing more than a 'silly story', since 'Wannsee' was "but a stage in the unfolding of the process of mass murder" (op. cit., Note (21)). Bauer's remark corresponds with the interpretations advanced by several German historians who have since also dared to disassociate themselves from the established position regarding the Wannsee Conference. K. Pätzold reports (cf. Bauer, ibid.):
"The unbiased study of the conference protocol convinces one that those assembled there decided nothing that could be considered to be a theoretical or directive starting point for the crime. - Nevertheless, there now appears to be a growing realization that the decision to kill the European Jews [...] was already made prior to the Wannsee Conference, and that the gruesome deed was already in progress before the SS Generals and the Secretaries-of-State gathered for their conference on January 20, 1942."
In short, what both authors are saying is: the Wannsee Conference Protocol doesn't prove anything, but that which it was supposed to prove is true anyway:
"Whether presented authentically or inauthentically [in other words: whether it is genuine or fabricated] [...], the Holocaust has become a ruling symbol of our [whose?] culture." (Bauer, ibid.)
And if there is no evidence for it, then it's just simply true without evidence. Case closed.
To substantiate the claim that millions of Jews were deliberately murdered in concentration camps during World War Two, on the orders of German authorities, two and only two contemporaneous papers have been presented: the 'Franke-Gricksch Report' and the 'Wannsee Conference Protocol'. The Franke-Gricksch Report was recently exposed as fabrication by Canadian researcher B. A. Renk.(29) It is a particularly clumsy fabrication and is thus hardly ever cited any more today.
That a conference between high officials and Party leaders took place in January 1942 in the villa 'Am Großen Wannsee' is probably true, although the precise date is unknown. No other documentation of this conference exists other than the 'protocol' and its accompanying letter(s). There is no entry in a guest book, an appointment calendar, or any other kind of incidental evidence.
The invitations specify thirteen invitees. According to the 'protocol', however, eighteen persons showed up. Whether the discussion pertained to the Jewish question is not certain, but it is likely. What actually was discussed there is unknown.
No legally valid transcript or protocol of the discussion exists. The 'Minutes of Discussion' of unknown origin, first submitted in 1947 by Kempner, deposited in the Foreign Office and copied repeatedly, is a fabrication in the sense that the text of this paper was concocted years after the alleged discussion, by a person not involved in the conference, and this assessment is supported not only by the as yet unrefuted analysis by the five authors quoted herein, but also by the opinion of many earlier and more recent researchers.
In English: Fabrication;
The crucial points which the media, leading politicians of all political parties in Bonn, and Holocaust experts allege time and again as being at the heart of the discussion in the Wannsee villa are not even present in this fabricated protocol. Specifically, the commonly-held opinions about the protocol, and the most common allegations, are:
1. Hitler had participated in the discussion, according to Simon Wiesenthal.(30) There is no evidence to indicate this.
2. Ernst von Weizsäcker had counter-signed the protocol. This is Reitlinger's claim.(31) No such version has ever turned up.
3. Eichmann had taken the minutes, i.e. had written or at least dictated them. This is according to Kempner.(32) There is no evidence for this.
4. In thousands of newspaper articles, books, textbooks, radio broadcasts, memorial speeches and television shows, the claim has been advanced that the mass murder of the Jews was decided on at the Wannsee Conference, or at the least, that the plan to carry out Adolf Hitler's order in this respect had been worked out there. As well, it is claimed, the means of killing had been discussed and the establishment of extermination camps was decided on. This is not in the protocol, and leading Holocaust historians are now repudiating it (cf. Jäckel (21)), even if Eichmann did give testimony to this effect in the course of his show trial in Jerusalem.(33)
5. On the occasion of the 1987 anniversary, Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl said that this conference had been "an extermination of the Jews in the German sphere of influence, launched with bureaucratic perfection." A glance at the text of the 'protocol' would have shown Kohl that what we have here is not bureaucratic perfection, it is amateurish blabber at best.
For the actual text of the 'protocol', the reader is referred to the Appendix.
On the fiftieth anniversary of the "Wannsee Conference", on January 20, 1992, the Memorial Site "Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz" ["House of the Wannsee Conference"] was inaugurated in Berlin/Großer Wannsee 56/58, as "the place of the perpetrators". On this occasion Federal Chancellor Kohl called for the remembrance of the "countless victims of National-Socialist race mania". Rita Süßmuth, President of the Bundestag, gave the commemorative speech. Among those present were the Mayor of Berlin, Eberhard Diepgen, and the Chairman of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, H. Galinski. In 1990, "Erinnern für die Zukunft" ["Remembering for the Future"] was founded as society sponsoring the Memorial Site; the society's staff are paid out of tax funds.(34) The founding members of this society are: the Association, the Land [province] of Berlin, the Central Council of Jews in Germany, the Jewish Community of Berlin, the Diocese of Berlin, the Protestant Church of Berlin-Brandenburg, the German Historical Museum, and the Association of Persons Persecuted by the Nazi Regime.
In August 1992 the Society "Remembering for the Future", the Diocese of Berlin, and the Protestant Church of Berlin-Brandenburg requested and were sent the report published in the Huttenbrief. (cf. Ney(10))
First, the Chair of the German Episcopal Conference responded on behalf of the Diocese of Berlin:
"The events of the Wannsee Conference have been exhaustively investigated. We do not intend to devote further study to your theory of the fabrication of the documents in question."(35)
Second, the Berlin Diocese itself replied:
"In my opinion there is not the slightest doubt about the authenticity of the original protocol of the Wannsee Conference that is held by the Foreign Office in Bonn [...]. I am not in the position to adequately assess matters of detail, [...] as I do not have access to the documents you refer to. [signed] Knauft, Counsel, Bishop's Palace."(36)
The Protestant Church of Berlin-Brandenburg did not respond.
Dr. Klausa, who is also the Head of the Department "Memorial Sites for Victims of National-Socialism" of the Senate of Berlin, responded via telephone:
"Our experts do not consider this report interesting enough to examine it. Objections to the authenticity of this protocol have been refuted. This sort of thing keeps being brought up by the lunatic fringe of the radical right."
It is strange enough that one would presume to pass judgement on the quality of an expert report before ever having bothered to look at it. Further, it is an untruth, plain and simple, to claim that such objects have already been refuted. A free discussion between the advocates of the standard view of the Holocaust (most of them civil servants) and the subject experts summarized in this chapter has not taken place to this day: U. Walendy received no factual reply; J. P. Ney is still waiting for a relevant response; H. Tiedemann was not favored with any reply; neither was I. Weckert; and H. Wahls is also still waiting for a statement.
In the villa Am Großen Wannsee 56/58, however, it is business as usual. Entire school classes are being led through the rooms, which have been remodeled into a museum, and are told the tales of Hitler's order, of the plan for mass murder in extermination camps, and of the refreshments served after the conference to the participants. Foreign groups are also routinely shown through the Museum. At the commemorations held at all the various sites of German collective guilt, untrue allegations continue to be happily spouted to all the world, yet could not be supported with details from the protocol even if it were genuine. This is how freedom of thought is valued today in the land of Schiller and Friedrich the Great!
According to the Brockhaus Encyclopedia, (1) the falsification of documents includes the creation of a fabricated document (eg. a document indicating an incorrect issuer), the falsification of an authentic document, as well as the use of a forged or falsified document when doing so is intended to facilitate deception under the law (§267 StGB [German Criminal Code]).
Anyone who causes legally significant statements, agreements or facts to be documented in public books or registers as having been given or as having taken place, without these actually having been given, or having taken place at all or in the manner or by the person specified, commits the crime of indirect misdocumentation (§271 StGB). The falsification of documents carries a penalty of up to five years' imprisonment, or monetary fine; indirect misdocumentation is subject to up to one year's imprisonment, or monetary fine, and up to five years' imprisonment where the offense was committed for personal gain or with the intent to cause injury to others (§272 StGB).
Misdocumentation by holders of public office carries a penalty of up to five years' imprisonment, or monetary fine (§348 StGB). Further, the Criminal Code provides for terms of imprisonment and for monetary fines for the use of false documentation i.e. misdocumentation of the kind described under §271 StGB (§273 StGB), and for the destruction or suppression of official documents (§274 StGB)...
(1) Der Große Brockhaus, Wiesbaden: F. A. Brockhaus, 1979.
(2) To name just a few examples: the Hitler diaries (Die Hitler-Tagebücher and Rauschnings Gespräche mit Hitler - both: K. Corino, ed.; Gefälscht!, Reinbek: Rowohlt, 1992; cf. also E. Jäckel, A. Kuhn, H. Weiß, Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 32 : 163-169), Katyn (F. Kadell, Die Katyn-Lüge, Munich: Herbig, 1991), SS identification card for Demjanjuk (D. Lehner, Du sollst nicht falsch Zeugnis geben, Berg: Vowinckel, n.d.).
(3) According to Sozialdemokratischer Pressedienst of Jan. 21, 1992, p. 6.
(4) R. Derfrank, Ihr Name steht im Protokoll, WDR broadcast manuscript, January 1992.
(5) R. M. W. Kempner, Eichmann und Komplizen, Zurich: Europa-Verlag, 1961.
(6) Akten zur deutschen Auswärtigen Politik 1918-1945, Serie E: 1941-1945, v. I, Dec. 12, 1941 to Feb. 28, 1942 (1969): 267-275.
(7) Hans Wahls, Zur Authentizität des 'Wannsee-Protokolls', Ingolstadt: Zeitgeschichtliche Forschungsstelle, 1987.
(8) Udo Walendy, "Die Wannsee-Konferenz vom 20.1.1942", in Historische Tatsachen no. 35, Vlotho: Verlag für Volkstum und Zeitgeschichtsforschung, 1988.
(9) Ingrid Weckert, "Anmerkungen zum Wannseeprotokoll", in Deutschland in Geschichte und Gegenwart 40(1) (1992): 32-34.
(10) Johannes Peter Ney, "Das Wannsee-Protokoll", in Huttenbrief, special issue, June 1992.
(11) H. Tiedemann, "Offener Brief an Rita Süßmuth", Moosburg, March 1, 1992; pub. in Deutschland in Geschichte und Gegenwart 40(2) (1992): 11-18.
(12) E. Lachout, Gutachten - Begleitschreiben vom 26.(1.)(2.)1942 zum Wannseeprotokoll vom 20.1.1942, Vienna, Aug. 6, 1991; W. Stäglich, Der Auschwitz-Mythos, Tübingen: Grabert, 1979; Bund der Verfolgten des Naziregimes (BVN), Das Wannsee-Protokoll zur Endlösung der Judenfrage und einige Fragen an die, die es angeht, Bundesvorstand des BVN, 1952; R. Aschenauer (ed.), Ich, Adolf Eichmann, Leoni: Druffel, 1980, pp. 478ff.; H. Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, Leipzig: Reclam, 1990; J. G. Burg, Zionnazi Zensur in der BRD, Munich: Ederer, 1980; G. Fleming, Hitler und die Endlösung, Wiesbaden: Limes, 1982; W. Grabert (ed.), Geschichtsbetrachtung als Wagnis, Tübingen: Grabert, 1984; L. Poliakov, J. Wulf, Das Dritte Reich und die Juden, Berlin: Arani, 1955; P. Rassinier, Debunking the Genocide Myth, Torrance: Institute for Historical Review, 1978; G. Reitlinger, Die Endlösung, Berlin: Colloquium Verlag, 1989; R. Bohlinger, J. P. Ney, Zur Frage der Echtheit des Wannsee-Protokolls, Viöl: Verlag für ganzheitliche Forschung und Kultur, 1992, 1994; W. Scheffler, "Zur Entstehungsgeschichte der 'Endlösung'", in Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte 3(43) (1982): 3-10.
(13) Politisches Archiv des Auswärtigen Amtes, Inland IIg, v. 117, copy; cf. P. Longerich, Die Ermordung der europäischen Juden, Munich: Piper, 1990, p. 78.
(14) During the International Military Tribunal proceedings the date was arbitrarily set as July 31, cf. Der Prozeß gegen die Hauptkriegsverbrecher vor dem Internationalen Militärgerichtshof Nürnberg 14. November 1945 - 1. Oktober 1946 (IMT), Nuremberg, 1947, photomechanical reprint: Munich: Delphin, 1984; v. IX pp. 518ff., v. XXVI pp. 266f.
(15) cf. Göring's letter to Heydrich, Jan. 24, 1939, in: U. Walendy, op. cit. (Note 8), p. 21.
(16) J. P. Ney, op. cit. (Note 10), based on the white-on-black copy in the Wannsee Museum. P. Longerich, op. cit. (Note 13), and W. Stäglich, op. cit. (Note 12), mistakenly write "möglichst günstigen Lösung".
(17) Politisches Archiv des Auswärtigen Amtes, K 2104-19, -20.
(18) ibid., K 2104-15.
*Except where otherwise specified, the translations of phrases from the Protocol are taken from the official Nuremberg translation of this document. -trans.
*The Nuremberg Translation contains a reasonably corrected version: "The Jewish financial establishments in foreign countries were [...] made responsible [...]"; "were urged" might have been more accurate. In any case, "verhalten" makes no sense. -trans.
*Note that, strictly speaking, the Nuremberg Translation is incorrect at this point, giving a "corrected" version instead of an accurate translation of the absurd original; -trans.
(19) cf. G. Rudolf's chapter, this volume. The Basler Nachrichten of June 13, 1946 mentioned approximately 3 million Jews in Hitler's sphere of influence.
(20) pers. comm., W. Ripske, former Reich official holding various Reich government offices.
(21) Y. Bauer, The Canadian Jewish News, Jan. 30, 1992, p. 8; K. Pätzold, "Die vorbereitenden Arbeiten sind eingeleitet", in Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte 42(1-2) (1992); cf. E. Jäckel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, June 22, 1992, p. 34.
*The first line of the body of the text is also shifted by one letter. -trans.
(22) Wehrmacht-Dienstvorschriften, Verschlußsachenvorschriften HDv 99, MDv 9, LDv 99, revision of Aug. 1, 1943.
(23) Affidavit of Dr. G. Klopfer, IMT Doc. 656, Doc.-v. VI, Case 8; quoted from U. Walendy, op. cit. (Note 8), p. 27.
(24) Weizsäcker Exh. 273; Doc. v. 5, summation, H. Becker, Case 11. Re. Canaris, cf. his wife's sworn statement, quoted from U. Walendy, op. cit. (Note 8), pp. 28f.
(25) Case 11 of the war crimes trials, protocol, H. Lammers, pp. 21470-73; quoted from U. Walendy, op. cit. (Note 8), pp. 29f.
(26) Testimony of Dr. Bühler, April 23, 1946, IMT v. XII p. 69, quoted from U. Walendy, op. cit. (Note 8), p. 21.
(27) Prosecuting Attorney, District Court Nuremberg, Ref. 4 Js 15929/60.
(28) re. document science cf. K. Fuchs, H. Raab, Wörterbuch zur Geschichte, v. 2, Munich: dtv, 1993.
(29) B. A. Renk, "The Franke-Gricksch 'Resettlement-Action Report'. Anatomy of a Falsification", in Journal of Historical Review 11(3) (1991): 261-279.
(30) S. Wiesenthal, Doch die Mörder leben noch, Munich: Droemer Knaur, 1967, p. 40.
(31) G. Reitlinger, Die Endlösung, Berlin: Colloquium Verlag, 1953, p. 106.
(32) cf. W. Derfrank, op. cit. (Note 4), p. 1, as well as R. M. W. Kempner, op. cit. (Note 5).
(33) cf. P. Longerich, Die Ermordung der europäischen Juden, Munich: Piper, 1990, pp. 92ff.
(34) Director: Dr. Klausa; Managers of the Memorial Site: Dr. Schönberner and Dr. Tuchel.
(35) Letter of the Secretary of the German Episcopal Conference to the author, Bonn, June 2, 1992, Ref. IL/le, sgd. Dr. Ilgner.
(36) Letter of the Berlin Diocese, Bishop's Palace, Broadcast Section, to the author, Oct. 14, 1992, Ref. Kn/De, sgd. Wolfgang Knauft, Counsel, Bishop's Palace.
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"But the confessions..." you splutter. False. Every one of them. All those German officers were tortured by Jews prior to the Nuremburg show trials, most of them having had their testicles crushed in the process, which is why they signed all those confessions. What's more, they signed confessions written mainly in English, a language most of them could neither read nor speak. You know the torture that Jews inflict upon Palestinians today when they catch them? That's nothing compared to what Jewish interrogators did to their German prisoners at Nuremburg. What's even more telling, most of the prosecutors and judges at Nuremburg were Jews.
Jewish News Nuremberg prosecutor recalls when U.S. led the way
Far too old to be drafted in 1940, Marcus volunteered for Army service when he was 38 years old. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Marcus was appointed executive officer to the military governor of Hawaii. In 1942 he was appointed commandant of the Army Ranger school, which developed a number of new tactics for jungle fighting. From there he was sent to England to participate in the invasion of Europe.
Because Marcus was also a graduate of the Brooklyn law school, he participated in drawing up the surrender terms of Germany and Italy. Thereafter he served in the occupation government of Berlin. Soon he was asked to deal with the starving survivors of the Nazi horrors and also assumed responsibility for clearing out the German death camps, which contained thousands and thousands of rotting corpses.
In 1946, Marcus served as chief of the U.S. war crimes commission which prepared the Nürnberg trials of the major Nazi bosses. These experiences impressed on Marcus the depth of European hatred for Jews, a hate which is unabated to this day and continues to produce daily attacks on Jews from Sweden to Italy and from Russia to England.
|Greville Ewan Janner, Baron Janner of Braunstone
He was born in Cardiff, and trained as a lawyer, attending Trinity Hall, Cambridge where he was President of the Cambridge Union Society in 1952, and Harvard Law School. He became a barrister and was appointed a QC (Queens Counsel) in 1971.
He represented Leicester North West and then Leicester West in the House of Commons from 1970 until his retirement in 1997. His predecessor in the seat was his father, Sir Barnett Janner. It is now held by Patricia Hewitt.
Assistant U.S. prosecutor, later prosecutor at subsequent war crimes trials
Sir Hartley Shawcross
John Harlan Amen
U.S. colonel, associate trial counsel, head of interrogations.
Assistant U.S. prosecutor.
War Department lawyer who drafted the initial proposal for prosecuting international war criminals
Former U.S. Attorney General, American justice on the court.
Sir Norman Birkett
Alternate British justice on the court.
Assistant U.S. prosecutor
Herbert L. Markow. Office of Chief Counsel, assigned to
the SS Division Case and the Concentration Camp Case.
Assistant U.S. prosecutor.
Assistant U.S. prosecutor.
Sir Geoffrey Lawrence
British justice and president of the court.
Chief legal advisor to American justice Francis Biddle.
H. W. William Caming. Chief Prosecutor and Deputy
Director of the Political Ministries Division, Office
of the US Chief of Counsel for War Crimes at Nuremberg.
(Formerly Senior Counsel AT&T).
Theodore Fenstermacher. Chief Prosecutor in the Field
Hon. Cecelia H. Goetz. Member of the Office of Chief
Counsel for War Crimes. (Retired US Bankruptcy Judge,
Eastern District of NY)
Whitney R. Harris. Assistant Trial Counsel before the
International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg.
William E. Jackson. Personal Assistant to the US Chief
Counsel before the IMT at Nuremberg. (Consulting Partner,
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy).
Henry T. King, Jr. US Prosecutor at the Nurember Trials.
Robert D. King. Prosecutor in the Justice Case.
Herbert L. Markow. Office of Chief Counsel, assigned to
the SS Division Case and the Concentration Camp Case.
Jack W. Robbins. One of eight prosecutors in the Doctors
Case, Chief Prosecutor in the Pohl Case. (General Counsel
Emeritus, Pitcair Trust).
Walter J. Rockler. Assistant Counsel for the Ministry Cases
before the US Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. (Partner,
Arnold & Porter).
Richard W. Sonnenfeldt, was born on July 3, 1923, the son of two German Jewish physicians.
William (Bill) Zeck
Chief Prosecutor James M. McHaney
Robert Mills Donihi
US Nuremberg prosecutor Sidney Alderman
At the 1945 trials, he presented the case against Ernst Kaltenbrunner, head of the Third Reich’s security apparatus and now known as one of the most notorious criminals of the war
Bernard D. Meltzer
Judge Marvin F. Atlas during his talk on the Nuremberg Trials at Temple Beth Shalom.
From the time he was a young lawyer at
the Nuremberg trials after World War II, Morris B. Abram has played a vigorous
role in public life.
Zeck also met attorney Belle Mayer, his future wife. Both Zeck and Mayer were involved in preparing the indictment in the I.G. Farben trial held at Nuremberg
http://www.ushmm.org/lcmedia/viewer/wlc/testimony.php?RefId=WCTDS003 drexel sprecter
THE TWO American judges appointed for the Nuremberg Tri
bunal, Francis Biddle and John J. Parker, were sworn in on
the last day of September in Washington. Biddle was
a Democrat, Parker a Republican. They took an oath which bound
them among other things
September 15, 1944
Colonel Murray Bernays, of the War Department's Special Project Branch, proposes part of the framework that will be used in Nuremburg. Bernays proposes treating the Nazi regime as a criminal plot. William Chanler, a friend of Secretary of War Stinson, suggests another part of the framework: making the waging of a war of aggression a crime.
Two Jewish officers in the US Army -- Lieutenant Colonel Murray Bernays and Colonel David "Mickey" Marcus -- played key roles in the Nuremberg enterprise. In the words of historian Robert Conot, Bernays was "the guiding spirit leading the way to Nuremberg." Bernays, a successful New York attorney, persuaded US War Secretary Henry Stimson and others to accept the idea of putting the defeated German leaders on trial. (note 10)
Marcus, a fervent Zionist, became the "number three man in making American policy" in occupied Germany. As chief of the US government's War Crimes Branch in 1946 and 1947, he selected almost all of the judges, prosecutors and lawyers for the Nuremberg NMT Trials. (He later became a commander of Zionist "Haganah" military forces in Palestine.) (note 11)
Some of the Americans who participated in the Nuremberg trials became disillusioned with the entire business. One of the few to make public his feelings was Charles F. Wennerstrum, an Iowa Supreme Court justice who served as presiding judge in the Nuremberg trial of German generals. "If I had known seven months ago what I know today, I would never have come here," he declared immediately after sentences were pronounced. "The high ideals announced as the motives for creating these tribunals have not been evident," he added. (note 12)
Wennerstrum cautiously referred to the extensive Jewish involvement in the Nuremberg process. "The entire atmosphere here is unwholesome ... Lawyers, clerks, interpreters and researchers were employed who became Americans only in recent years, whose backgrounds were imbedded in Europe's hatreds and prejudices." He criticized the one-sided handling of evidence. "Most of the evidence in the trials was documentary, selected from the large tonnage of captured records. The selection was made by the prosecution. The defense had access only to those documents which the prosecution considered material to the case." He concluded that "the trials were to have convinced the Germans of the guilt of their leaders. They convinced the Germans merely that their leaders lost the war to tough conquerors." Wennerstrum left Nuremberg "with a feeling that justice has been denied."
Virtually all of the US investigators who brought cases before American military courts at Dachau were "Jewish refugees from Germany" who "hated the Germans," recalled Joseph Halow, a US Army court reporter at the Dachau trials in 1947. "Many of the investigators gave vent to their hated by attempting to force confessions from the Germans by treating them brutally," including "severe beatings." 
Two Jewish officers in the US Army -- Lieutenant Colonel Murray Bernays and Colonel David "Mickey" Marcus -- played key roles in the Nuremberg enterprise. In the words of historian Robert Conot, Bernays was "the guiding spirit leading the way to Nuremberg." Bernays, a successful New York attorney, persuaded US War Secretary Henry Stimson and others to accept the idea of putting the defeated German leaders on trial. (note 10)
Marcus, a fervent Zionist, became the "number three man in making American policy" in occupied Germany. As chief of the US government's War Crimes Branch in 1946 and 1947, he selected almost all of the judges, prosecutors and lawyers for the Nuremberg NMT Trials. (He later became a commander of Zionist "Haganah" military forces in Palestine.) (note 11)
In western Europe, which was highly visible to the outside world, Germany was careful to observe Geneva Convention guidelines. Consequently, their actions were not a matter of international concern. In the east, particularly in Poland, atrocities had been committed, blatantly, from 1939 onward. The escape of Slovakian Jews, Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Weczler, from Auschwitz in April of 1944 brought the brutal treatment of camp inmates to the attention of western authorities. Even earlier, following the invasion of Poland, members of the exiled Polish government, in particular Edvard Benes, had reported on the Nazi treatment of civilians in eastern Europe where slave labor was commonplace from 1939 on and where extermination was the order of the day after 1942. In response to these reports, the United Nations forms the United Nations' War Crimes Commission in October, 1943 and a list of war criminals was already in process over a year before the war ended. The Commission met in London on October 26, 1943 and drafted the London Agreement to prosecute war criminals.
At the conclusion of the war, the Allied nations formed an International Military Tribunal charged with the task of prosecuting Nazi war criminals. The United States Prosecutor, Robert Jackson, articulated the three areas of prosecution to be pursued:
It is my purpose to open the case, particularly under Count One of the Indictment, and to deal with the Common Plan or Conspiracy to achieve ends possible only by resort to Crimes against Peace, War Crimes, and Crimes against Humanity. (Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal. Volume II. Proceedings: 11/14/1945 -11/30/1945.)
The tribunal, realizing that its task was unprecedented in human history, went to considerable lengths to provide a rationale for a process based on international law. This task was fairly easy with regard to the treatment of prisoners of war. The Hague Convention had spelled out the guidelines in this area very clearly. For the other two areas, however, the Tribunal was on shaky ground and pretty much made up the rules and rationale as the trials unfolded. Three factors account for this circumstance. First, the absence of any precedent and clear statement of international law, second, the recency of the events under examination, and third, the uniqueness of the events under examination. "Crimes against the peace" referred to the act of waging an aggressive war. Of course, war by its very nature is aggressive. However, in the aftermath of World War I, world powers made an attempt, through the United Nations, to create the mechanisms by which world war could be avoided in the future. Germany was certainly in violation of these stated principles forbidding military aggression.
Crimes against Humanity" was the category for the brutal murder of millions of innocent civilians. No specific international agreements existed, simply because the signatories to the Geneva and Hague agreements had never imagined that the kinds of atrocities the Tribunal would have to consider could ever be an issue among civilized nations.
There were four main prosecutors representing the United States, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union. The first issue of the Tribunal was to deal with the charge of "Crimes Against Humanity," specifically the Nazi conspiracy to exterminate the Jews of Europe. The trial opened on November 20, 1945. Justice Robert Jackson, the United States' chief prosecutor, gave the opening address .
In July, 1944, with evidence of Nazi atrocities, not only against European Jews but also against Allied prisoners of war, the U.S. Office of the Chief of Staff appointed Lt. Colonel Murray C. Bernays to head up the investigation on Nazi war crimes against U.S. servicemen. Bernays, a naturalized American Jew of Lithuanian origin, and a graduate of Harvard Law School, was practicing law in New York at the time of his appointment. A brilliant lawyer and meticulous investigator, he began the task of collecting information.
Very early in the process, it became evident to Bernays that it would not be enough to try specific individuals for specific offenses. In his view, it would be a travesty of justice to try individual Nazis and leave the Nazi movement out of which they emerged unpunished. Accordingly, Bernays began looking for a philosophical and theoretical rationale for unmasking the bestiality of the Nazi plan and program as well as its implementation through the instrumentality of accused war criminals. According to Robert E. Conot, Justice at Nuremberg, 1983:12, Bernays found the inspiration he needed in Raphael Lemkin's book, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe. Lemkin had argued that organizations like the SS were criminal conspiracies. In that context, the murder of 6 million Jews and nearly 6 million additional civilians by the Nazi government could be viewed as a monstrous conspiracy against humanity -- a conspiracy based upon the doctrine of racial purity.
The second prong of Bernays' approach was the concept of international law which, in his view, represents the conscience of humanity. If, in fact, the Nazi program was a gigantic conspiracy against humanity, carried out in violation of international law, any legal proceedings against Nazi war criminals should be, first and foremost, a trial of the entire Nazi conspiracy. If the Nazi organization is found guilty of atrocities against humanity, that conviction should also extend to any of its members.
Bernays' ideas were presented to President Roosevelt in late November, 1944, in a memorandum from Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, and Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, entitled "The Trial and Punishment of European War Criminals." Major opposition came from Great Britain. The British that war criminals should be executed without trial created something of a stalemate in Washington. One person in the United States who took strong exception to the British reaction was Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, a Roosevelt appointee and close personal friend of the President.
On April 12, 1945, President Roosevelt died and Vice-President Harry Truman moved in to fill the office. Exactly two weeks later, Truman authorized Justice Jackson to proceed with preparations for the trial pending approval from the United Nations.
Jackson began putting together a staff and developing a prosecution plan. His plan called for the creation of an international military tribunal composed of prosecutors from the United States, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union. British opposition remained strong until it became apparent that the end of the war was near. When Hitler and Himmler and Goebbels committed suicide and Mussolini was executed in Italy, their position shifted significantly. On May 31, 1945, the United Nations War Crimes Commission met in London. General approval was given to the Military Tribunal plan. Churchill appointed Attorney General Maxwell Fyfe as the chief British prosecutor. Andre Gros led the French delegation and Major General I.T. Nikitchenko headed up the Soviet staff.
After some very sharp debate, the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg, Germany was chosen as the site of the trials. On August 8, 1945, in London, the four participating nations signed the Charter of the International Military Tribunal.
In the course of the trial it was Justice Jackson and the other prosecutors who emerged as the principal actors, along with the defendants. Colonel Telford Taylor is generally credited with designing the procedure for gathering evidence and organizing the preparation for the trial. But it was Colonel Murray C. Bernays who first conceived of the trial and identified the fundamental bases upon which it was to be constructed.
Prosecutor William Caming recalls
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View a note on military records arrangement
The predecessor of the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) was the Military Intelligence Service's Counterintelligence Branch (before March 1942 designated the Counterintelligence Branch, G-2), which supervised the general counterintelligence activities of the CIC detachments in the field. CIC Detachments were quite active in post-war activities in Germany and Austria in efforts to locate war criminals, Nazi records, and looted property. Many of NARA's holdings concern investigations of foreign individuals and organizations during and after the war. Declassified records have generally been "sanitized" to protect security-classified information and still remain subject to NARA restrictions on privileged information.
Records of the Investigatory Records Repository
The records of the Investigatory Records Repository (IRR) are arranged in two series: the impersonal and the personal name files. The impersonal files include files on a number of subjects and organizations; the personal name files includes dossiers on individuals.
IRR Case Files : Impersonal Files
This series includes reports, memorandums, interrogations, interviews, cables, affidavits, and other records collected in the investigation of individuals and organizations. Many case files relate to German wartime intelligence, security, and special forces organizations and operations. The following files have been declassified:
The U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) had the major responsibility in the U.S. Zone of Occupation to identify and apprehend war criminals. During just the first ten months of occupation in Germany the CIC apprehended some 120,000 Germans listed for automatic arrest. This group included top Nazi leaders, members of the SS and Gestapo, high ranking officers of the armed forces, and suspected war criminals. The CIC was equally busy in the American Zone of Occupation in Austria.
War Crimes Trials and Denazification Trials
The Allies established the International Military Tribunal (IMT) at Nuremberg which rendered its judgment on twenty-one top officials of the Third Reich on October 1, 1946. The Americans later tried an additional 177 men at twelve subsequent proceedings at Nuremberg. In addition, the four-power Control Council for Germany authorized each of the powers to hold subsequent trials in its zone of occupation. Consequently, the U.S. Army tried over 1,700 individuals at Dachau for concentration camp crimes and other crimes, as well as extradited numerous suspects to Poland and other countries to stand trial.
The Control Council adopted Law No. 10, based on the same principles as the Nuremberg Charter which defined "crimes against humanity" and "war crimes." The Nuremberg Tribunal declared the SS to be a criminal organization guilty of persecuting and exterminating Jews; of brutalities and killings in the concentration camps; of excesses in the administration of the slave labor program; and of mistreatment and murder of prisoners of war.
In defining a war criminal Law No. 10 stated that "a person is declared to have committed a crime if he was a principal; or was an accessory to the commission of any such crimes or; abided or abetted the same or; took a consenting part therein or; was connected with plans or enterprises involving its commission or; was a member of any organization or group connected with the commission of any such crime..."
It is important to note that the Allies did not distinguish between Germans and non-Germans or Nationalist Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP), i.e., Nazi Party, status. As later events have proven, the bulk of "Nazi war criminals" in the United States were neither German by birth nor Nazi Party members. The Third Reich drew upon the support of large numbers of foreign collaborators who aided the German war effort and took part in the campaign to exterminate Jews and others.
In addition to the Nuremberg and Dachau trials, the Allied Control Council authorized each of the four powers to hold "denazification" trials. The Allies registered over 13 million people who were subject to denazification because of their membership in proscribed and criminal organizations. The Allied Control Council operated the denazification tribunals until May 1948 when the German Lander (provincial) courts took over under the general supervision of the Council. The tribunals eventually sentenced over 600,000 individuals to some form of punishment. Some 3,600 were deemed "major offenders" and received prison or labor camp sentences
Wiesenthal, Simon. Born December 31, 1908 in Buczacz,Austria-Hungary, in what is now the Lvov Oblast section of the Ukraine. World's most famous Nazi hunter.Practiced architecture till World War II. In 1936, he married Cyla Mueller. At age 33 Wiesenthal and his wife were put in the labor camp (Holocaust). By September, a total of eighty-nine members of both sides of the family were dead. In 1945, he and his wife, who had believed the other to be dead, were reunited, and in 1946, their daughter Pauline was born. Once WiesenthalŒs health restored he started gathering and preparing evidence that Nazi¹s atrocities for the War Crimes Section of the United States Army. He worked for the Army's Office of Strategic Services and Counter Intelligence Corps and headed the Jewish Central of the United States Zone of Austria.
. US investigator Joseph Kirschbaum brought a Jewish witness named Einstein into court to testify that the defendant, Menzel, had murdered Einstein's brother. But when the accused pointed out that the brother was, in fact, sitting in the courtroom, an embarrassed Kirschbaum scolded the witness: "How can we bring this pig to the gallows if you are so stupid as to bring your brother into court?" (note 65)
Reports of widespread torture at the postwar American-run "war crimes" trials at Dachau leaked out, resulting in so many protests that a formal investigation was eventually carried out. A US Army Commission of inquiry consisting of Pennsylvania Judge Edward van Roden and Texas Supreme Court Judge Gordon Simpson officially confirmed the charges of gross abuse. German defendants, they found, were routinely tortured at Dachau with savage beatings, burning matches under fingernails, kicking of testicles, months of solitary confinement, and threats of family reprisals
Creation of the International Military Tribunal
During World War II, the Allies and representatives of the exiled governments of occupied Europe met several times to discuss post-war treatment of the Nazi leaders. Initially, most of the Allies considered their crimes to have been beyond the scope of human justice -- that their fate was a political, rather than a legal, question.
Winston Churchill, for example, said in 1944 that they should be "hunted down and shot." The French and Soviets also supported summary executions. The Americans, however, pushed for a trial. (A faction within the U.S. government led by Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson had won a domestic battle over the U.S. position on punishment of the Nazis. The other faction, led by Henry Morgenthau, the Jewish secretary of the Treasury, supported a harsh plan designed to prevent Germany from ever rising again as an industrial power.)
In August 1945, the British, French, Americans and Soviets, meeting in London, signed the agreement that created the Nuremberg court, officially the International Military Tribunal, and set ground rules for the trial. The London Charter of the International Military Tribunal, was named to avoid using words such as "law" or "code" in an effort to circumvent the delicate question of whether the trial would be ex post facto.
The London Charter set down the rules of trial procedure and defined the crimes to be tried. (It did not define the term "criminal organizations," although six organizations were indicted under the charter.)
The defendants were charged not only for the systematic butchering of millions of people, but also for planning and carrying out the war in Europe.
The International Military Tribunal combined elements of Anglo-American and civil (continental) law. Defendants' rights and the rules of evidence differed in several ways from those in American courtrooms:
One Dachau trial court reporter was so outraged at what was happening there in the name of justice that he quit his job. He testified to a US Senate subcommittee that the "most brutal" interrogators had been three German-born Jews. Although operating procedures at the Dachau trials were significantly worse than those used at Nuremberg, they give some idea of the spirit of the "justice" imposed on the vanquished Germans.
Virtually all of the US investigators who brought cases before American military courts at Dachau were "Jewish refugees from Germany" who "hated the Germans," recalled Joseph Halow, a US Army court reporter at the Dachau trials in 1947. "Many of the investigators gave vent to their hated by attempting to force confessions from the Germans by treating them brutally," including "severe beatings."86
|Evidence Document Analysts in
the Office of the Chief of Counsel for War Crimes
Staff Evidence Analysts worked for both the IMT and the NMT war crimes staffs, preparing brief identification and analysis forms (Staff Evidence Analysis forms) for the evidence file document sets (NO, PS, R, etc.). In some cases the full name of the analyst is not known. Mostly Jews
Dachau Trial beatings..
Furthermore, the Allied victors blatantly carried on their war against the
Germans by other means long after the shooting had stopped--not by bombs and
bullets but this time by falsely diagnosing psychologists or, worse, by giving torturers a free hand: cynical and
brutal investigators who could, and frequently did, mistreat, beat, whip,
starve, suffocate and mutilate their prisoners into giving confessions and
statements which were as cruelly extracted as were the confessions from
witches during the disgusting witchcraft trials of the Dark Ages.
Wennerstrum pointed out in a celebrated and controversial interview given to
a reporter of the Chicago Daily Tribune that frequently the interrogators and some of the prosecutors
were Jews who had fled Nazi Germany and came back in Allied uniforms to
torment and seek revenge on the National Socialists who had wanted to expel the
Jews from European living space because they considered them harmful to the war
effort and to Western European civilization.
In other words, the Allies supplied the interrogators, most of them Jews--as some of the victims, who had had a lifetime of experience in dealing with Jews and thus recognized them, have stated. Those of us who are German and can speak German can easily discern the ethnicity of some of the accusers by their mere accents and patterns of speech, even in radio broadcasts and newsreels.
We now know from the book "Legions of Death" that Rudolf Hoess was beaten almost to death by Jewish members of the British Field Police Force upon capture and badly mistreated thereafter until he gave this very devastating "testimony" and "affidavit" used by the Allies propagandists ever since
American interrogators (most of them Jews) accused Pohl of killing 30 million people and of condemning ten million people to death
The methods he described were: "Posturing as priests to hear confessions and give absolution; torture with burning matches driven under the prisoners finger-nails; knocking out of teeth and breaking jaws; solitary confinement and near starvation rations." Van Roden explained: "The statements which were admitted as evidence were obtained from men who had first been kept in solitary confinement for three, four and five months ... The 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 hoses ... 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 our American investigators.
" The "American" investigators responsible (and who later functioned as the prosecution in the trials) were: Lt.-Col. Burton F. Ellis (chief of the War Crimes Committee) and his assistants, Capt. Raphael Shumacker, Lt. Robert E. Byrne, Lt. William R. Perl, Mr. Morris Ellowitz, Mr. Harry Thon, and Mr. Kirschbaum. The legal adviser of the court was Col. A. H. Rosenfeld. The reader will immediately appreciate from their names that the majority of these people were "biased on racial grounds" in the words of Justice Wenersturm -- that is, were Jewish, and therefore should never have been involved in any such investigation. Despite the fact that "confessions" pertaining to the extemination of the Jews were extracted under these conditions, Nuremberg statements are still regarded as conclusive evidence for the Six Million by writers like Reitlinger and others, and the illusion is maintained that the Trials were both impartial and impeccably fair. When General Taylor, the Chief Public Prosecutor, was asked where he had obtained the figure of the Six Million, he replied that it was based on the confession of S.S. General Otto Ohlendorf. He, too, was tortured and his case is examined below. But as far as such "confessions" in general are concerned, we can do no better than quote the British Sunday Pictorial when reviewing the report of Judge van Roden: "Strong men were reduced to broken wrecks ready to mumble any admission demanded by their prosecutors."
The original investigation team assigned to the case included Captain Dwight Fanton, a graduate of Yale Law School, Captain Raphael Shumacker, First Lieutenant William R. Perl, and two civilian Army employees, Morris Elowitz and Harry Thon. Perl, Thon, Elowitz, Shumacker, and another investigator, Joseph Kirschbaum, were accused, during the trial, of having used physical and psychological duress in order to extract sworn statements from the defendants. The use of mock trials and threats was admitted by the investigators, but all manner of physical abuse was denied.
The following allegations were made by defendant Hendel:
... on 4 April l946 I was led from my cell under a black hood, was put into a cell facing the door and was then beaten in the abdomen and face until I fell to the ground. When a moment later the hood was taken off, Lieutenant Perl and Mr. Thon stood before me. During the subsequent interrogation, I was also beaten several times. No notice was taken of my request to have the interrogation postponed since I was not in condition for it at that time. The facts described happened before my interrogation. During the interrogation, promises were made to me but since I did not know anything and today still do not know anything of an order, all sorts of threats were made to me and since things were immaterial to me and I wanted to avoid further beatings. etc.. I wrote down everything that was dictated to me.
Many additional allegations were made by defendants, all in the same vein.
Later, the Senate investigation would show that at least some of these allegations of physical brutality, denied by the interrogators at the trial, were founded in evidence.
The prosecution team for the trial included interrogators Pert, Thon, Elowitz, Kirschbaum and Shumacker, plus First Lieutenant Robert E. Byrne and Lieutenant Colonels Homer B. Crawford and Burton F. Ellis. Ellis became chief prosecutor. The guards at the prison where the interrogations took place were not under the control of the war crimes team. They also, for a time, included Polish refugees who harbored considerable resentment towards Germans-and especially SS men. Some defendants specifically mention physical abuse by these guards as they were being led between their cells and the interrogation rooms and while waiting in halls, all the time wearing black hoods over their heads. (The hoods were claimed to be necessary to keep the prisoners form recognizing each other and to prevent them form speaking to fellow soldiers.) Kicking, punching, beating about the arms, and pushing prisoners down stairs, in addition to verbal abuse, was conducted frequently, much to the amusement of the perpetrators.
Among other things by the three notorious US officers the schluesselbein was broken to it and it thereupon for weeks medical treatment fails. Impacts and psychological torture (cap blood-smeared over the face, illusory executions etc..) were at the agenda.
The officer officer officers, the late at the same time counsels for the prosecution in the inexpressible Malmedy Scheinprozess in Dachau were were called - whom it surprises -:
William Pearl, Raphael Shoemaker, Ellowitz and cherry tree.
William R. Perl
Lawyer/businessman, psychologist, Jewish leader
Perl was born in Prague and his early years were spent in Vienna. He was a student at the University of Vienna where he was involved in the Zionist movement. He obtained his Ph.D. in Law, a Master's degree in International Business and practice law in Vienna until the Nazi take-over in 1938. Perl helped organize large-scale illegal immigration Jews to Palestine, a number which Perl estimated to be some 40,000. The history of the Jewish immigration operation is told in Perl's books, The Four-front War: From the Holocaust to the Promised Land (1979) and Operation Action: Rescue from the Holocaust (1983).
Perl arrived in the United States in 1940, his wife, Lore Rollig, a Viennese woman, was sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp for giving aid to Jewish children. Perl entered the U.S. Army in 1941 and became an intelligence office. In 1945, in defiance of the Army, he rescued Lore from Vienna which was, at the time, under Russian control.
When the war ended, Perl played a significant role in the prosecution of members of the SS for the killing of American prisoners of war at Malmedy, Belgium in December, 1944.
After the war, Perl studied psychology at Columbia University, continued to serve in the Army as a psychologist and retired from the Army with the rank of Lt. Colonel in 1966.
We know of Perl's poetry by an archivist note that the Perl Papers
at George Washington "contains 6 folders of poems, short stories, essays and
other writings" by Perl. [Source: Biographical
Sketch & Miscellaneous Writings, William R. Perl Papers, Special
Collections Department, Melvin Gelman Library, George Washington University,
Burton French Ellis - Jewish
was born on September 13, 1903 in Troy, Idaho. He spent much of his childhood moving between Lewiston, Idaho; Spokane, Washington; Manchester, Iowa; Humphrey, Idaho; and ranches in Montana. While living in Iowa, he graduated from high school at the age of 15. When he moved back to Idaho, he wanted to go to college at West Point but was not admitted because of an irregular heartbeat. When he turned 17, he enrolled at the University of Idaho.
As a student at the University of Idaho, he was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. He was nicknamed “Hump” or “Humpy” because the university required students to put the first few letters of their hometown on registration forms. Ellis took time off between semesters to work in the oil fields of California. In 1929, Burton Ellis graduated from the University of Idaho with a BA in Political Science. He then earned his Juris Doctorate from the U of I College of Law in 1933. After college, he remained active with the U of I Foundation and Alpha Tau Omega fraternity throughout his life.
After college, he worked as a tax attorney for the Texas Company (Texaco) from 1929 to 1942. He lived in Los Angeles and New York City during that time period. In 1942, after war was declared, he volunteered to become a commissioned officer in the Army. After training, he was sent to India as a trial lawyer, serving as both prosecuting and defense attorney for military personnel.
A week before World War II officially ended, Ellis was assigned to be an investigator at the Europe War Crimes Group, and subsequently was named Chief of Operations. As Chief of Operations, Ellis was in charge of the investigation of the Malmedy Massacre. Since I didn’t know much about the Malmedy Massacre, I had to do some research in Ellis’ papers (photographs and letters to his wife), in the library, and on the Internet.
This process has been quite a learning experience. I think the biggest thing I have learned is how tragic the Malmedy Massacre and the concentration camps were. The graphic photographs of death and prisoners dying hit me hard. I couldn’t imagine what these people went through. After studying the pictures, I wanted to learn more about this time in history.
The Malmedy Massacre happened at the Baugnez Crossroads in the Ardennes Forest in Belgium on December 17, 1944. The massacre took place on the second day of fighting of the “Battle of the Bulge,” which was the largest land battle the United States participated in. The battle went on for 40 days in the bitter December cold and was considered one of the bloodiest battles of World War II with over 81,000 U.S. casualties, 1,400 British killed or wounded, and 100,000 Germans killed, wounded or captured. Nearly 20,000 of the dead were Americans. In addition, a number of American soldiers were taken prisoner in this battle.
On the second day of the “Battle of the Bulge”, Hitler’s Waffen Schutzstaffel (armed defense squad) troops gathered up a group of unarmed American POW’s and opened fire on them. Some escaped, but the SS troops found them hiding in a café nearby. They lit the café on fire, and shot the people who ran out of the building. 72 American solders died in this massacre.
A year and a half later, on May 16, 1946, the Malmedy Massacre Trial began in Dachau, Germany, with Burton Ellis as the Chief Prosecutor. 73 members of the Waffen-SS were put on trial, accused of ordering or participating in the massacre. The verdicts were read on July 16, 1946 and all 73 accused were sentenced to death by hanging; however, the verdicts were later set aside.
After the Malmedy trial, Ellis was appointed Deputy Chief of War Crimes in Dachau, Germany, where he was placed in charge of 900 personnel. He operated eight trial courts and prosecuted 1,100 war crime defendants in a six-month period. The Ellis papers contain photographs and files of documents related to his war crimes prosecution.
The Malmedy Massacre trial is still relevant today. Recently, the University of Idaho College of Law put on the “Post-Conflict Justice: From Malmedy to Halabja” symposium in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The symposium focused on the administration of post-conflict justice and the relevance of international law to the Idaho community; topics particularly relevant with U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. A related event was a series of films concerning the Malmedy Massacre shown at the Kenworthy Theatre in Moscow in March.
After the war crimes trials in Germany, Ellis was stationed at the Presidio in San Francisco from 1948 to 1950 as Executive Officer and Acting Army Staff Judge Advocate. He supervised all legal activities for the Army in eight western states. When the Korean War broke out, Ellis was transferred to I Corps in Korea for one year. Again, he supervised all legal activities, including war crimes.
Subsequently, Burton Ellis was stationed in Washington, D.C. and then Hawaii, representing defendants and later becoming Judge Advocate. In November of 1958, Ellis retired from the military as a Colonel. During his military career, he received the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and the Korean Service medal.
After his military retirement, Burton Ellis and his wife moved to Merced, California, where he began a private legal practice. He had a ranch, raised cattle in Montana with his brother, and traveled extensively with his wife. His wife Dee passed away on May 26, 1998 at the age of 90. Burton Ellis passed away on December 29, 2000 at the age of 97. His entire estate was left to the University of Idaho Foundation to fund the Burton F. "Humpy" Ellis and Dee H. Ellis Academic Excellence Endowment, 20 percent of which is specifically designated to benefit the Law Dean's Development Fund. Included in the estate were his historic papers and photographs which were placed in the university library.
Committee of Former Nuremberg Prosecutors for a Permanent
International Criminal Court
Henry T. King, Jr.
Walter J. Rockler
Drexel A. Sprecher
Whitney R. Harris (coordinator)
Joan McCarter Adrian, John M. Anspacher, Esq., Beatrice Johnson Arntson, Marvin F. Atlas, Carrie Burge Baker, Ruth Holden Bateman, Henry Birnbaum, Esq., Dr. John Boll, Madelaine Bush, Helen Treidell Carey, Edith Simon Coliver, James S. Conway, Esq., Donald H. Cooper, Esq., Raymond D'Addario, Esq., Mr. & Mrs. Vernon W. Dale, Christiane Deroche, Mary Turley Lemon Devine, Nicholas R. Doman, Esq., Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Donovan, Esq., Allan Dreyfuss, Esq., Mr. & Mrs. Demetrius Dvoichenko-Markov, Mary Crane Elliott, Hedy Wachenheimer Epstein, Margo Salgo Fendrich, Theodore F. Fenstermacher, Esq., Mr. & Mrs. Benjamin Ferencz, Dr. Paul G. Fried.
Miroslav Galuska, Anne Royce Garcia, William H. Glenny, Judge Cecilia Goetz, Greta Kanova Goldberg, Elisabeth Stewart Hardy, Professor Whitney R. Harris, Richard Heller, Esq., Mary Madelaine Trumper Husic, William E. Jackson, Esq., Peter & Annette Jacobsen, Arnold Joseph, Esq., Arthur A. Kimball, Henry T. King, Jr., Esq., Florence B. Kramer, Richard H. Lansdale, Esq., Prof. John K. Lattimer, MD, ScD, Jennie Lazowski, Jane Lester, Margot Lipton, Andy Logan Lyon, Herbert Markow, Esq., Maxine Martin.
Ralph S. Mavrogordato, Esq., Alice Blum Mavrogordato, Mary May, Alma Soller McLay, Pat Gray Pigott Mowry, Lady Marjorie Culverwell Murray, Gwen Heron Niebergall, Jeanette Stengel Noble, Betty Richardson Nute, Arthur L. Peterson, Esq., Mlle. Marta Pantleon, Joan Wakefield Ragland, Siegfried Ramler, Esq., William Raugust, Esq., Dorothy Owens Reilly, Jack W. Robbins, Esq., Walter J. Rockler, Esq., Robert Rosenthal, Esq., Phillis Heller Rosenthal, Howard H. Russell, Jr., Esq., Gunther Sadel, Esq., Mildred Clark Sargent, Walter T. Schonfeld, Julian R. Schwab, Victor Singer, Esq.
Vivien R. Spitz, Drexel A. Sprecher, Esq., Prof. Alfred G. Steer, Ruth M. Stolte, Joseph M. Stone, Esq., Annabel Grover Stover, Prof. Telford Taylor, Claire Bubley Tepper, Fred Treidell, Esq., Jean Tuck Tull, Lt. Col.(ret.) Peter Uiberall, Dr. Herbert Ungar, Patricia Jordan Vander Elst, Inge Weinberger, Lorraine White, Rose Korb Williams, M. Jan Witlox, David J. Smith, John M. Woolsey, Esq., Hon. & Mrs. Wiliam Zeck, Werner Von Rosenstiel, and Lawrence L. Rhee.
William E Jackson
Taylor married Toby Golick and their children are Benjamin Wait and Samuel Taylor of Manhattan, and Ursula Rechnagel of Denmark. He is also survived by eight grandchildren.
The American prosecutors in the Dachau proceedings, most of whom were Jewish, had only to walk a few yards to the infamous gas chamber, that was located just outside the former Dachau concentration camp, to know what the Germans were capable of.
Lt. William Perl, an Austrian Jew who had emigrated to America in 1940, was the chief interrogator of the Malmedy Massacre accused. Perl was an active Zionist who had worked to get European Jews into Palestine illegally before he came to America. His wife was a survivor of Ravensbrück, the Nazi concentration camp for women, where she was sent in 1943. Perl was assisted by other Jews on the interrogation staff, including Josef Kirschbaum, Harry Thon and Morris Ellowitz. The Americans needed all the help they could get from native German speakers which is the reason that German Jewish refugees were used in the investigative process.
The chief prosecutor, called the Trial Judge Advocate, was Lt. Col. Burton F. Ellis, a Jewish attorney who had no prior experience in a military courtroom. He took over the case which had been handled by another Jewish prosecutor, Dwight Fanton, during the interrogation phase. His chief assistant prosecutor was another Jew, Raphael Schumaker.
The lawyer for the defense was Lt. Col. Willis M. Everett, who had never been involved in a criminal case before, had never fought in combat, couldn't speak German, and had only just arrived in Germany a few weeks before the proceeding began. On the opening day, Everett and his defense team had not yet interviewed all 73 of the men they were representing in the court room.
Everett was ably assisted by Herbert J. Strong, a civilian attorney who had volunteered to work on the war crimes military tribunals. Strong was a German-born Jew who had emigrated to America after the Nazis came to power. Except for the accused, most of the people in the courtroom were Jews, including two of the court reporters, and it was understandable that they had nothing but hatred and contempt for the ruthless and sadistic SS men.
A panel of high-ranking American army officers acted as both judge and jury. Seven members of the panel are shown in the photograph below. The president of the panel was Brigadier General Josiah T. Dalbey, who is the fourth man from the left in the photo. The dominant member of the panel, Col. Abraham H. Rosenfeld, was the "law member," who ruled on all motions and legal matters during the proceeding.
Col. Rosenfeld was Jewish, and a graduate of Yale. He had had experience in over 200 court martial cases before coming to Dachau in March 1946. "Rosenfeld" was a name that was very familiar to General Dietrich because his close friend, Adolf Hitler, always referred to President Franklin D. Roosevelt by that name, claiming that FDR was both a Communist and a Jew.
Of all the proceedings before the American military tribunal at Dachau, the one that was the most highly publicized was the Malmedy Massacre case. The