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01 August 2015

Shylock as Judge, by Heinrich Haertle -- part 9


For 300 years ...

From Freispruch für Deutschland by Heinrich Haertle
Translated by Hadding Scott, 2015

This retributive justice stands in gross contradiction to those peace-treaties whose goal had been genuine peace. After the victory over Russia in 1917, in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, it was explicitly stated that the prosecution of all crimes and offenses committed in relation to the conduct of the war was waived. Germany granted this although the First World War had been caused not least by Russian foreign policy.

In June 1940 in the Forest of Compiègne the vanquished were not treated like the Germans in 1919, as defendants, but instead with all honors that a chivalrous victor can accord to a defeated adversary. Hitler maintained the same manner toward conquered France that Prince Bismarck had used with Napoleon III. What a contrast to the disreputable and insulting measures with which the Allied politicians and commanders tried to humiliate the Reich's government and Grand Admiral Doenitz! What a contrast between the events in Flensburg [where the short-lived successor to Adolf Hitler's government  surrendered in May 1945] and the capitulation of Sedan [where Napoleon III was captured in September 1870]. Once upon a time the Treaty of Frankfurt [after the Franco-Prussian War] was concluded according to the “tabula rasa principle.” In article II, section 2, was stated:

Neither the person nor the property of any inhabitant of the ceded territory may be prosecuted, harassed, or arrested because of his military or political actions during the war.

That was 1871, and it was the foundation for a 43-year European peace.

Do not come protesting that this was a less cruel war than that of 1939-1945. After all, those brutalities at least happened on both sides. To whatever barbarities the Second World War may also have degenerated, even more atrocities were committed and victims claimed in the Thirty Years' War. But these disturbing atrocities lasting three decades finally ended at Muenster in 1648 with the Treaty of Westphalia, wherein §2 holds this as a “sacred principle”:

On both sides, whatever hostilities have happened from the beginning of this discord, however and wherever, by whichever side, in whichever direction, should be eternally forgotten.... Moreover each and every offense, outrage, and hostility inflicted both before the war and during the war, in whichever direction, without any regard for the person, should be entirely dismissed in such a way that whatever one could claim against the other because of it be buried in eternal forgetfulness.

That was 300 years ago, in the dim past, and now in the neon-light of the present, after centuries of liberalization and democratization, a European people of culture is subjected to a tribunal that, behind a legal façade, knows only primitive retribution.

Even at the end of the First World War, in Article VI of the armistice of 11 November 1918 the victorious states voluntarily ruled out that any inhabitant of the German territory to be occupied by the Allies would be prosecuted because of participation in acts of war. Only when the Germans laid down their arms, putting faith in this document, was International Law violated and the extradition of the Kaiser and “punishment” of his political and military leaders demanded in Versailles.

Despite an insane international agitation against conquered Germany, there was still an attempt to preserve at least the appearance of law, and the conduct of so-called trials of war-criminals were left to the Reich's Court at Leipzig, which conducted twelve such trials, of which six led to acquittals and the others to imprisonment.

The extradition of the Kaiser ran aground on the constitutional stance of the neutral Dutch government.

As an oversized Versailles after the Second World War was demanded, the war against the defeated was continued with juristic means. From this un-peace (Unfrieden) no genuine reconciliation could come. The consequences are familiar. They led to that condition that one can properly designate only as the armistice between the Second and Third World Wars. The peace was not prepared during the war, as Fichte demanded, but instead in the middle of the war, on [13 January 1942] in St. James's Palace, the Allies' chief goal was proclaimed as waging war for the punishment of “war-criminals.”[1]

With the London Charter the legal principles seem finally to be secured. With the adoption of the Soviet legal ideology and show-trial methods, the pseudo-juristic preparations are concluded. On 8 August 1945 the convention about the constitution of the military tribunal is completed, and the charter is signed by the delegates of France, England, America, and the Soviet Union.

Article 24 of the charter resembles normal procedure, until one recognizes the prerequisites for a one-sided victor's justice in the restriction provided under “(d),” that the Tribunal can decide arbitrarily “about the admissibility of any such evidence,” or in part “(e)” which specifies that only “such rebutting evidence as may be held by the Tribunal to be admissible” is allowed.

How that evidence looks that is “held by the Tribunal to be admissible,” we shall yet depict. The almost incomprehensible mass of documents, key documents, affidavits, and interrogation-transcripts that the occupying powers have provided for themselves in their own unaccountable proceedings, these massive heaps of “documents,” are to this day the intellectual arsenal of the whole literature and journalism of reeducation; they still show up again and again in all political trials. According to the desire of the prosecutor they are supposed to have effects for decades to come. The very famous leftist attorney-general Dr. Bauer[2] openly admits that that material prepared according to Nikitchenko's method has been and will be made the foundation for all other prosecutions. In a broadcast of 15 and 18 August 1963 via Norddeutsche Rundfunk, Bauer affirms:

“The decision in all our trials is reached through documents. Thus it was already in Nuremberg. The foundation of all trials today is, as always, the documentation from Nuremberg.” 
[1]. Haertle gives the date as 15 January 1941, but that seems to be incorrect. The Associated Press reported on 13 January 1942 that on that day “the governments in exile of the Netherlands, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Norway, Greece, Luxemburg, Poland, Czecho-Slovakia and the Free French committee laid the groundwork for postwar machinery which may someday doom axis officials and solders judged to have behaved contrary to the 'accepted ideas concerning acts of war'.”
[2]. Fritz Bauer was a Jew and Social-Democrat who had been imprisoned during Hitler's rule. After the war, as Attorney-General of Hesse, Bauer played a central role in the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials of 1963-1968.

29 July 2015

Shylock as Judge, by Heinrich Haertle -- part 8

A veteran judge of the Moscow Show-Trials played an important role in determining procedure for the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg.

The Law of Nikitchenko

From Freispruch für Deutschland by Heinrich Haertle
Translated by Hadding Scott, 2015

Jackson's staunchest ally, both now in the preparation and later in the conduct of the trial, is Comrade Nikitchenko, vice-president of the Supreme Court of the Soviet Union, now Stalin's representative in the negotiations at London, major-general of the Red Army, soon to be Soviet judge in Nuremberg. Nikitchenko sweeps away Sir David's concerns about Norway with the pronouncement from the table that such a question would not even be allowed to be raised before the tribunal. The tribunal would simply deem it as “given” that the Germans wanted to attack Norway. Nikitchenko's recommendations become law. Anti-Bolshevik and Bolshevik agree on a procedure whereby only such deeds as could be blamed on the conquered would be allowed to be discussed.

International Law, to which alone whoever claims the judgeship may appeal, must be accordingly stretched for the purpose, to be able to reach the goal of retribution. Sir David goes so far – and Nikitchenko hears this with amusement – that he dares to demand:

What we want to abolish at the trial is a discussion about whether the acts are violations of International Law or not. We declare what the International Law is so that there won't be any discussion on whether it is International Law or not.[DoS publ. 3080, p.99]

Now all legal impediments seem to be eliminated. Only in one central question does considerable doubt occur to the French expert on International Law, Dr. André [Gros]. He opines that it would be morally and politically desirable to make the defeated statesmen and generals responsible for the war, “but that it is not International Law.” (DoS publ. 3080, p. 297)

But for Jackson this is not a problem. He bends International Law as needed and dares to require something that in itself would certainly have sufficed to expose his trial as a mockery of all principles of justice. Jackson responds that Professor André's criticisms seem to leave the tribunal in such a position that it could be justly affirmed that there is no personal responsibility.

We must declare that they are answerable personally, and I am frank to say that International Law is indefinite and weak in our support on that.... [DoS publ. 3080, p. 331]

Now one understands why the Allies waited until four years after their Nuremberg Tribunal to publish the transcript of the preparatory negotiations about the principles of the charter; only in 1949 was it allowed to appear. On pages 104-106 of The Report of Robert H. Jackson, United States Representative to the International Conference on Military Trials, London 1945, published by the U.S. Department of State, is reported a demand by Nikitchenko that can only be designated as the juristic counterpart to Stalin's Katyn-method. With unprecedented impudence Jackson's colleague admits the fundamental law of Soviet class-struggle justice. Bolshevik partinost, partisanism, is set without any reservation as the legal foundation for the international court: 

[GENERAL NIKITCHENKO.] ... [W]ith regard to the position of the judge -- the Soviet delegation considers that there is no necessity in trials of this sort to accept the principle that the judge is a completely disinterested party with no previous knowledge of the case. The declaration of the Crimea Conference is quite clear that the objective is to bring these criminals to a just and speedy trial. Therefore, the judge, before he takes his seat, already knows what has been quoted in the press of all countries, and it is well known about the criminal as accused and the general outline of the case against him. The case for the prosecution is undoubtedly known to the judge before the trial starts and there is, therefore, no necessity to create a sort of fiction that the judge is a disinterested person who has no legal knowledge of what has happened before. If such procedure is adopted that the judge is supposed to be impartial, it  would only lead to unnecessary delays....

... [I]t has been decided that they shall go through a process of trial, but the object of that trial is, of course, the punishment of the criminals, and therefore the role of the prosecutor should be merely a role of assisting the court in the actual cases. [...] [T]he prosecution would assist the judge, and there would be no question that the judge has the character of an impartial person.

That is the classic method of the Bolshevik show-trials. The only totally new thing in it is the fact that legal representatives of cultured European nations themselves in their quest for vengeance lower themselves to the point of applying this anti-justice to a cultured nation. The delegates of English, French, and American justice have never proclaimed it so brutally. But then they accused, judged, and sentenced according to that Stalinist principle that Nikitchenko was permitted to demand from them in all openness:

GENERAL NIKITCHENKO. [...] We are dealing here with the chief war-criminals, who have already been convicted and whose conviction has been already announced by both the Moscow and Crimea declarations by the heads of the governments, and those declarations both declare to carry out immediately just punishment for the offenses which have been committed. [DoS publ. 3080, pp.104-105]

That was on 20 June 1945. One month later, on 19 July 1945, Nikitchenko can again summarize his ideas about an international court in two sentences:

GENERAL NIKITCHENKO.The fact that the Nazi leaders are criminals has already been established. The task of the tribunal is only to determine the measure of guilt of each particular person and mete out the necessary punishment -- the sentences. [DoS publ. 3080, p. 303]

That is Bolshevik legal philosophy from GenrikhYagoda to Hilda Benjamin. The only new part, we must repeat, is that proletarian class-justice is now adopted by the jurists of the Western democracies. No less a figure than the supreme representative of the English legal system, Lord Justice Geoffrey Lawrence, just four years later on 14 May 1949 praised the “competence and impartiality” of the juristic functionaries of Soviet partinost.

“One hand washes the other.” That is also a Russian saying. In exchange for the adoption of Russian trial-methods by the West, the East is ready to suppress a problem that is dangerous for the American and English justice-fanatics: the Anglo-American air-terror.

The silence about this was so complete that the debates about this conundrum are even prevented from being recorded in the transcript of the London negotiations. Only years later did Chief Justice Jackson admit that this question was discussed, and that it was agreed not to charge the Germans with the air-attacks upon civilian populations of which they were supposedly guilty. Otherwise, it would inevitably have been revealed in Nuremberg that the main guilt for terror-bombing, for the most brutal barbarity of the 20th century, belongs to those powers that play the accusers before the International Military Tribunal. With unsurpassable brazenness Jackson admitted:

“This subject would have immediately given rise to a demand for making counter-accusations, which would not have been useful in the trial.”

After they have indefatigably made their conception prevail, the Soviets savor the mockery of justice. Since 1943 they have already liquidated hundreds of thousands of German “Nazis and militarists”; now they begin the complementary “juristic” persecution and plan no less than 200,000 such “trials.” 

27 July 2015

Shylock as Judge, by Heinrich Haertle -- part 7

A Neutral World Court?

From Freispruch für Deutschland by Heinrich Haertle
Translated by Hadding Scott, 2015

That is the signal for Washington: Chief Justice [of the Supreme Court of the United States] Robert H. Jackson is obsessed with the plan to stage a trial of such magnitude as world history has never before seen. Just as the Second World War burst previously existing boundaries and dimensions, so should it end with a legal extravaganza, with a world court such as had never been staged.

Jackson wants to play the role of a lifetime in it as the American lead prosecutor. As President Truman's special commissioner he agitates his way through the continents, promoting his plan for prosecution. In Washington meanwhile the legal snares are being crafted from which no prominent German was supposed to escape. There in the White House Commission Judge Samuel Rosenman examines the legal prerequisites for a trial, aided by Secretary of State Stimson, the Army's advocate-general Bernays, Attorney-General Biddle, and his assistant Herbert Wechsler.

Rosenman's jurists are in no way inhibited by the most obvious objection: that one could not be simultaneously accuser and judge, that it would contradict all American principles of justice if the victors were suppose to act as judges in their own case.

The planned world court could retain the majesty of justice in the eyes of the present and future only if the case of the conquered would be heard not before their enemies but before neutral judges. At least four old cultured states with highly developed jurisprudence were available for this assignment: Switzerland, Spain, Sweden, and Portugal. It seemed to be a pivotal moment in the Law of Nations. Have not states that shirk such an opportunity already thereby proven that they wanted vengeance rather than justice?

With a pretext that could not be more questionable, the later American prosecutor, Brigadier-General Telford Taylor, torpedoes this plan. Such a proposal was “unrealistic,” he opined, “because the number of genuinely neutral countries was so small that this solution would have proven thoroughly unworkable.”

As if it were a question of number, notwithstanding the fact that the requisite number of judges could have been supplied by the neutral states without further ado. The fact that no credible reason for the refusal could be found proves unambiguously that there were other reasons why a genuinely neutral and thus legitimate court would not be allowed. Would not an objective court deserving of the name necessarily have brought the accusations that could be made against German officers and politicians also against American, English, French, and especially Russian war-criminals, if they had committed the same crimes? From that one should not be allowed to exempt oneself!

It would have been most simple if every state had judged its own war-criminals according to its own applicable laws, if a “tabula rasa” was not wanted.

The later denazification demonstrated sufficiently that the Germans were ready to fulfill in an exemplary manner all demands of their occupying powers even in this case. The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, in order to maintain the appearance of objectivity, acquitted Hans Fritzsche, the director of Goebbels' ministry, Hitler's vice-chancellor Franz von Papen, and Hitler's president of the Reichsbank and economic minister, Dr. Schacht. It became immediately apparent that the victors could have trusted their Germans: Attorney-General and Chief of Denazification Dr. Dehler[1] solicited additional denunciations from the public so as to be able to prosecute Fritzsche. A prosecutor named Bernhard Mueller lamented before the Nuremberg Denazification Court that he could not demand the death-penalty; Fritzsche was sentenced to ten years in a KZ or labor-camp[2].

The Bavarian Premier of the time, Dr. Hoegner[3], immediately decreed house-arrest for Franz von Papen until the court sentenced him to eight years of KZ or labor-camp. Dr. Schacht was arrested again a few days after his release from Nuremberg and sentenced by the [Stuttgart] Denazification Court to eight years of KZ or labor-camp[4]. The Allies' distrust of German post-war justice was thus thoroughly without cause.

After two months of hectic activity Truman's prosecutor Jackson is on target. On 26 June 1945 the representatives of the four victorious powers meet in London to agree on the basic principles for the planned mammoth process. Although one wants – as formerly in the League of Nations – precisely to do away with secret diplomacy, these deliberations are conducted behind closed doors; their outcome must remain strictly secret. For four years the content of these discussions was to be withheld from the global public. When finally it was deemed no longer dangerous to air this secret, the peoples of the world learn for the first time that there was an intention, already in preparing the tribunal's charter and procedure, to violate all principles of justice that the cultured peoples had developed in a millennium of constant struggle.

There are four conflicts above all that must be concealed, because they deprive the tribunal of legitimacy from the start:

1. How should the court conduct itself if the German defense brings up the fact that other countries also conducted wars of aggression and committed war-crimes?

2 How can men who have committed no crimes be charged and condemned anyway?

3 Could not the politicians of the countries that now are supposed to sit in judgment themselves be held responsible under the same law at some future time?

4 What about the air-attacks on residential areas and the civilian population?

Ultimately, through sophistic manipulations, Jackson succeeds in calming these concerns. He wants to have a tribunal no matter what. Even such justified concerns as those of the British delegate and later English chief prosecutor David Maxwell Fyfe are dispelled. Sir David fears, for example, that the Germans could counter the charges relating to the occupation of Norway with the fact that Hitler had only narrowly prevented Britain's wartime prime minister Churchill from occupying Norway himself.

The Western prosecution-experts must ultimately suppress such concerns, if even their Soviet colleagues, despite being guilty of all the accusations that could be made against the Germans, are now finally ready to take all the risks of such a tribunal.

They dare it because they have unique experience with tribunals of this kind. If judges of the most brutal tyranny of all times are determined to portray themselves as fanatics for justice toward the Germans, if the aggressors against Finland, the Baltic States, Poland, Romania, and Japan dare to officiate as prosecutors against German peace-breakers, if jurists of the state that originated from and can continue exist only through crimes against humanity, now pose as advocates for humanity – then the Western jurists would have to suppress their scruples too.
[1]. The attorney Dr. Thomas Dehler was a Freemason married to a Jewish woman. He lived in Germany throughout the period of National-Socialist rule and, as one might expect, had some friction with that government, finally leading to his expulsion from the Wehrmacht and a sentence of forced labor in 1944.
[2]. The Associated Press on 31 January 1947 reported Fritzsche's sentence as nine years of hard labor. 
[3].  Wilhelm Hoegner was a Social-Democrat installed as Premier of Bavaria in 1945 by Eisenhower, replacing the more conservative Fritz Schaeffer, who had been installed by Patton.
[4]. Haertle misidentifies the location of the tribunal that sentenced Schacht to eight years of labor-camp as Nuremberg in Bavaria. According to the Glasgow Herald, 14 May 1947, it was Stuttgart in Baden-Wuerttemberg. The fact that Schacht received any punishment at all after the war seems to be widely overlooked, giving rise to conspiracy-theories about Schacht as a banker.

24 July 2015

Shylock as Judge, by Heinrich Haertle -- part 6

Stalin knew that he was not in a position to make the kinds of accusations that were made at the post-war International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. The British and French also had misgivings about how such a trial might turn out, but Washington insisted.

Stalin's Worry

From Freispruch für Deutschland by Heinrich Haertle
Translated by Hadding Scott, 2015

There are obvious reasons for Stalin's distrust of a legalistically structured mammoth process. If, by chance, the counsel for the defense reviewed the defensive war of the tiny Soviet Union against gigantic Finland, the Western judges could find themselves in a dilemma. Stalin also knows what his democratic confederates still do not know, that he was not entirely uninvolved in the preparation for the war against Poland, that he had already made a treaty to secure Polish booty for himself in advance,
in case of German victory. Also, not everyone could have forgotten that he had delivered the coup de grâce to Poland's back as it collapsed. Could it be concealed in such a trial that Stalin had undertaken peaceful plundering-raids in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and southeastern Europe, and had removed entire population-groups? Now he had attacked the Japanese, still in their death-throes, to whom he was obligated by a non-aggression pact.

Stalin had reasons upon reasons to regard these legalistic zealots with distrust.

Indeed his Western accomplices were also initially far from being so unanimous as it might later seem. At the beginning of 1945 Roosevelt, apparently recalling his babblings in Teheran, sent to London a prominent member of his “Brain Trust,” Mr. Rosenman, to talk Churchill out of his earlier scruples and to clear the way for the punishment of all German political and military leaders. In his memoirs Rosenman reports that the English would have accepted the plan to shoot leading personages of the Third Reich without trial, but they opposed a public trial because they feared that such an affair could turn into a powerful sounding-board for a reawakening National-Socialist propaganda.

In response to Rosenman's mission to London, on 23 April 1945 Sir Cadogan handed to him a memorandum of the English government stating that the procedure that Rosenman had suggested would necessarily generate the impression of a rigged game in which the Allies intended only to ratify a decision already made.

Attacking the pre-war policy of the German leadership seemed especially worrisome to the English. Even Germany's military actions were not war-crimes in the usual sense. It is not at all certain “whether according to the Law of Nations they can be regarded as crimes.”

France had treated the Great German Reich as legitimate and equal, not only at “Munich” but before and after, and until the beginning of the war. Was it possible that men with whom one had dealt diplomatically for years, and whom one had acknowledged as European partners, could then be treated as bandits whose criminal intentions were already known 20 years earlier?

Such concerns oppressed the English even more strongly. Had they not a few years earlier completed the Anglo-German Naval Agreement with the current universal enemy of all humanity and democracy, and recognized de jure and de facto the National-Socialist state and its rearmament? Had not Chamberlain dealt with that “bloodhound” on equal terms, and come to an agreement in a friendly tête à tête with him for “peace in our time”? Did anyone still remember the words of praise from Lloyd George and from Churchill, for Hitler as the Savior of Germany, and as the Defender of the West against the global Communist menace? In Paris and London there is agreement only about this insurmountable discomfort.

Then Churchill's dapper foreign minister, Anthony Eden, has one of his rare inspirations; he finds an elegant way out: the “war-criminals” on the German side should not be immediately shot, nor judged by a lengthy legal process; rather, like Napoleon before them, they should be banished to some godforsaken island. There they could no longer be dangerous, and the need to stage such a problematic mass-murder, or mass-trial, would be obviated.

But, as in their conduct of the war, so too in the treatment of “war-criminals,” France and England had not been independent for a very long time. It was made unmistakably clear to these satellites that Washington would insist on a trial. And almost simultaneously Stalin fired a torpedo in London's direction. On 19 May 1945, Radio Moscow's agitator Yermashev screamed at the Western World:

“One should finally stand them against a wall and shoot them!”

23 July 2015

Shylock as Judge, by Heinrich Haertle -- part 5

In this installment Churchill shows that he was not really so concerned with "the British concept of justice" after all.

Churchill Dissembles

From Freispruch für Deutschland by Heinrich Haertle
Translated by Hadding Scott, 2015

Such and similar cares could have motivated the wartime prime minister at the time. But there is another, later statement from Churchill that seems to confirm that his overloud protest in Teheran was what Stalin had immediately assumed it to be, a fit of histrionics unleashed by brandy.

The contradiction between judicially cloaked revenge in the form of a victors' tribunal, and an indiscriminate mass-execution such as occurred at Katyn, at first remained overt. It crops up again on 9 February 1945, on the sixth day of the Yalta Conference. There, after the Moscow Declaration of 1 November 1943, finally the practical implementation was supposed to follow. Stalin's influence had increased greatly since Teheran. In Yalta now Churchill approaches Stalin cautiously and says something to assure him that his protest at Teheran had been theatrical bluster:

“Originally I was in favor of making a list of the main war-criminals, to identify the specified persons after their capture, and then simply to have them shot.”

(This fact is confirmed yet again in the recent book by Arthur Conte, Yalta, ou le Partage du Monde (1964). Already during this conference at Yalta, Churchill required that a list be compiled of the main war-criminals who should be shot immediately without a trial.)

Now however, Churchill affirms to his “comrade” Stalin that he has in any case reverted to the Moscow Declaration [on Atrocities] that he himself had edited, thus to the preparation for a trial. Stalin does not remain inflexible. By now he has perceived that it would be possible to make some concessions to Western prepossessions without necessarily giving up his own plan of extermination.

As soon as Stalin could get control over German “Nazis,” by which he meant, above all and quite unabashedly, German officers, he initiated his usual swift procedure. Already on 15 December 1943, two weeks after Teheran, three captured German officers were interrogated for show and then publicly shot.

It did not always necessarily happen so ostentatiously. Thousands were liquidated quietly, or died in the so-called prisoner-of-war camps,  the destructive function of which, since Stalingrad, should no longer be in question. Roosevelt wanted to have 49,500, Stalin 50,000, and the younger Roosevelt hundreds of thousands shot en masse without trial. The Red dictator, however, had exceeded these figures with his death-camps long before the plan for a gigantic show-trial against defenseless captives could become reality in such a way as to combine both, the “democratic” and the Stalinist methods.

Shylock as Judge, by Heinrich Haertle -- part 4

Stalin finds that he has friends in the Roosevelt family after Churchill objects to his proposal to murder 50,000 Germans.

Roosevelt Smiles

From Freispruch für Deutschland by Heinrich Haertle
Translated by Hadding Scott, 2015

Stalin has no use for a scandal now and acts as if he had not understood Churchill's “infamy.” The “Generalissimo” turns to Roosevelt, who is still playing keep smiling. In a jesting, flippant tone the American president answers the Bolshevik dictator:

“It is clear that a compromise must be found between your conception, Mr. Stalin, and that of the Prime Minister. We can say perhaps that we agree to, not 50,000 but perhaps a smaller number, let us say about 49,500 war-criminals that should be summarily executed.”

“Compromise,” the American magic formula for solving insoluble problems at this time also has something disturbing about it for the English. Also disturbing is the menacing laughter with which not only the Russians but even the Americans approve the “wit” of their president.

Decades later, one would still like to doubt whether a democratic president who had led his population into war to preserve humanity and justice could, with such cynicism, consent to the murder-plan of the Red Genghis Khan. But we get our account of this scene from his own son, Elliott. The younger Roosevelt participated in the evening session of the Teheran Conference. In his book As He Saw It (Duell, Sloan,and Pearce), published in New York in 1946, he narrated all the details for us (pp.188-191). Eleanor Roosevelt wrote the foreword, so that that this account is authenticated by the president's own family.

Son Elliott reveals that Papa Roosevelt “smiled furtively” during Stalin's first toast to the murder of 50,000 officers.

Stalin seems to have been wounded by Churchill's reproach of “infamy” not so lightly as it initially seemed. That Staling was not merely trying to make one of his uncouth jokes, Elliott's revelation proves; Stalin subsequently approached the scion of the war-president, seeking support.

The younger Roosevelt answers instantly:

"Isn't that all a fairly academic question? Russian, American, and British soldiers are taking care of this problem on the battlefield
for most of these 50,000. And I hope that fate overtakes not only the 50,000 war-criminals but also many hundreds of thousands of Nazis besides.”

Son Elliott thus leaves the mass-murder of officers quite clearly to the “Christian Soldiers,” to American, and – despite Churchill's outburst – to British soldiers, but not without escalating the toll from 49,000 to many hundreds of thousands. He has far surpassed his father's example; the younger Roosevelt pleased Stalin:

Stalin beamed with satisfaction. He came around the table and laid an arm around my shoulders. An outstanding answer! He drank to my health. I blushed with joy.

Churchill was still furious, finding no relief even in brandy, and left the opulent table early, apparently in a thoroughly bad mood. Perhaps he was harried in his dreams by the disturbing crimes of Katyn, about which he must already have known at that time. Why was Stalin supposed to proceed more cautiously with Germany's military elite than with the Polish military elite? Why was he supposed to exterminate German and Polish class-enemies less brutally than the Czarist nobility, the Russian intelligentsia, the Slavic farmers, and all other opponents of his dictatorship?

Roosevelt's assent to Stalin's Mongolic methods – the slaughter without trial, the total negation of all Western principles of justice – had shocked Churchill because it was unexpected. How would the public of the democratic world react to such brutalities?

21 July 2015

Shylock as Judge, by Heinrich Haertle -- part 3

Churchill tries retrospectively to explain why, at the 1943 Teheran Conference, Stalin proposed that at least 50,000 German "war-criminals" must be shot after the war.

The Law of Genghis Khan

From Freispruch für Deutschland by Heinrich Haertle 
Translated by Hadding Scott, 2015

Does Stalin now suddenly want to demolish this laboriously constructed pretense of a pseudo-legal procedure in order to follow the example of Genghis Khan or Tamerlane? --
not to punish but to exterminate, cruelly, but swiftly and thoroughly, without protracted, unconvincing judicial farces? Or do yet other causes motivate Stalin's pointedly deliberate provocation in Teheran?

Nearly a decade later Churchill would examine Stalin's notorious toast for its underlying intentions. In his memoirs he suggested a purely military explanation for it:

Stalin was thinking that the German general staff must be liquidated. The whole striking power of Hitler's mighty armies would depend on about 50,000 officers and specialists. If they were captured and shot at the end of the war, Germany's military strength would be forever broken.

That would be consistent with the ways of Genghis Khan. In that case it is not a matter of democracy, justice, or humanity, or similar Western pretexts: the Katyn Forest Massacre was supposed to be repeated on a larger scale. Just as the intention there was, through the elimination of 15,000 captured Polish officers, at the same time to annihilate the militarily capable Polish nobility and therewith a people's elite, so now was the most militarily and technically gifted class of the German people supposed to be culled through a three-fold Katyn.

Churchill seems to have had scruples about this. Did he already have some foreboding that this military elite, the best in the world at the time, could become a necessary aid for the defense of his island against the Stalinist empire that was victoriously advancing into Europe? Perhaps he foresaw the development, a few years after the catastrophe of 1945, that had to lead to the re-establishment of the German military – and to NATO.

Moral reasons and his brandy-fueled argumentativeness alone would not have triggered his outburst. During that banquet in Teheran it was also Stalin's dismissive smirk that enraged him:

"I would rather have myself led out into the garden and shot right here and now, than to stain my honor and that of my people with such an infamy."