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25 December 2015

Wooden Soldiers and Bogeymen as Racial Allegory

I first made the point that the character of Silas Barnaby in Hal Roach's Babes in Toyland represented a synthesis of Jewish stereotypes with a post dated 24 December 2012. (That first stab at the topic has some flaws, mainly because I had not read the libretto for the original stage-production.) Thereafter other bloggers wrote on the same thesis. One year after, the quasi-outraged Rainer Chlodwig von Kook wrote "March of the Wooden National-Socialists" then there was an article by Tomato Bubble's Mike King, who even used images from my original post.

The article below was submitted to The Occidental Observer in time for Christmas 2015, but was rejected for publication

An Interpretation of Hal Roach's Babes in Toyland 
by Hadding Scott

Hal Roach's 1934 film Babes in Toyland was later given the alternate title March of the Wooden Soldiers. Here, to avoid confusion with the 1903 operetta and 1904 children's book of the same name (or the 1961 Disney film, which is slightly closer to the operetta), I will consistently use the alternate title to refer to Hal Roach's film. There is, after all, good reason for not referring to these very different works by the same title.

March of the Wooden Soldiers is a 1934 film from Hal Roach's production company, starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. It pretends to be based on the 1903 operetta Babes in Toyland by librettist Glen MacDonough and composer Victor Herbert. While Roach's film includes some elements of the famous operetta, however, including some of the great music, it is a very different work, with different characters and a different story. I argue that what Hal Roach and his writers created is a racial allegory.

First, it is necessary to know what happens in the film.


After a fairly lengthy familiarization with what kinds of pleasant and innocent people inhabit Toyland, mostly characters from nursery-rhymes, the story begins with sinister old Silas Barnaby visiting the Old Woman in the Shoe to ask about the Old Woman's nubile daughter, Little Bo-Peep, who has just gone out. Bushy-browed Barnaby locates Bo-Peep, a slender blonde beauty, and proposes marriage. 
When Bo-Peep refuses, Barnaby becomes threatening and returns to Mother Peep demanding a mortgage-payment on the Shoe, which she is unable to make.

Stannie Dum and Ollie Dee live in an upstairs room of the Shoe. Ollie Dee has saved up some money that he will give to Mother Peep to keep up with the mortgage, but Stannie Dum has borrowed it to buy “peewees,” leaving an “IOU.”

Stannie Dum and Ollie Dee are workers in the Toy Factory. Ollie hopes to get the money for Mother Peep from the Master Toymaker, with whom he claims to be on good terms, but Stannie made a blunder that ruined any possibility of that. Santa Claus has ordered 600 toy soldiers 1 foot high, but Stannie garbled the order so that 100 soldiers 6 feet high were made. Santa Claus says, “I couldn't give those things to my children to play with!” and the one toy-soldier that Stannie and Ollie have brought out for demonstration proceeds to make a wreck of the Toy Factory, making it impossible to ask the Master Toymaker for any favors.

Tom-Tom the Piper's Son has proposed marriage to Little Bo-Peep and she has accepted, but Silas Barnaby will not be deterred. He returns to issue an ultimatum to Mother Peep: either Little Bo-Peep will marry him or Mother Peep and the other residents of the Shoe will be cast out onto the street.

After an attempt to solve Mother Peep's problems by sneaking into Barnaby's house, Stannie Dum and Ollie Dee are convicted of burglary and sentenced by Old King Cole to dunking, to be followed by banishment to Bogeyland. At this point Little Bo-Peep agrees to marry Silas Barnaby, with the result that he drops the charges against Stannie and Ollie.

Bo-Peep is given a way out of the marriage when Stannie, covered in a bridal veil, takes her place at the wedding, to be unveiled only after Barnaby hands over the mortgage on the Shoe. Ollie gets the mortgage in his hands and tears it up before Silas Barnaby detects the trick.

After this fortunate turn, Tom-Tom tells Bo-Peep that he will take her away, and sings “Castle in Spain.” But this is not the end of the film: there is nearly half an hour to go, enough time for Barnaby to attempt revenge. Like the Big Bad Wolf, Barnaby blows over Elmer the Pig's house of straw and abducts him. Barnaby then has the pig's hat and fiddle and some sausages planted in Tom-Tom's house to frame him for “pignapping.” Old King Cole banishes Tom-Tom to Bogeyland.

Stannie and Ollie accidentally discover that the sausage used to frame Tom-Tom was beef, not pork, then find Elmer the Pig bound and gagged in Barnaby's cellar, but Tom-Tom has already been carried away to Bogeyland. Barnaby flees as Old King Cole offers 50 thousand guineas for the scoundrel's capture “dead or alive.”

Bo-Peep goes looking for Tom-Tom in Bogeyland and finds him. Then Barnaby finds the two of them sleeping in a cave and a struggle ensues. Barnaby summons his minions, the apelike Bogeymen, to help him capture Tom-Tom and Bo-Peep.

Stannie and Ollie, pursuing Barnaby, happen upon Tom-Tom and Bo-Peep, and, panicking at the site of the onrushing Bogeymen, flee with them back to Toyland, where, recounting their experience, they play the role of heroes.
Meanwhile Barnaby vows “to destroy the whole of Toyland” by leading the onslaught of the Bogeymen. The gates of Toyland are thrown open with Silas Barnaby at the head of a mob of furry brown men, who seem primarily occupied with getting into the dwellings where people are hiding and then carrying them away.

Stannie and Ollie fight the Bogeymen with darts, until Stannie gets the idea of activating the 100 six-foot-tall toy soldiers. The march of the soldiers out of the toy warehouse to the scene of battle is an awesome sight. The Bogeymen are no match for the Wooden Soldiers and are quickly defeated.

The Bogeymen at the end are pushed out the gate and into the moat, where they are eaten by crocodiles and the townspeople have a great laugh. Ollie then accidentally gets shot in the buttocks with a cannonload of darts.

Babes in Toyland vs. Oliver and Hardy in Toyland

Hal Roach's 1934 film, although it begins with Mother Goose singing “Toyland” as she introduces characters from a book titled Babes in Toyland, tells an entirely different story from the one in the book, and really none of the characters are the same. Only certain elements from MacDonough's Babes in Toyland are retained, and some of those retained elements are given a very different meaning.

Whereas MacDonough's story wanders through several towns and other locales, the 1934 screenplay has only two locales: the charming walled city called Toyland where all the harmless nursery-rhyme characters live (with a villain among them), and on the other hand Bogeyland, a wilderness inhabited by Bogeymen. The Bogeymen play a key part in the 1934 production, insofar as the villain mobilizes them in an attack on Toyland (the main event in what I see as a racial allegory), whereas in the book neither Bogeyland nor Bogeymen exist, and no such attack occurs.

The differences between the villain of the 1934 production and the villain of the book are most important. For one thing, they have different names. The original villain was Uncle Barnaby, whereas the 1934 villain is Silas Barnaby. That is an important difference that relates to the different crimes of the two villains.

Uncle Barnaby's intended victims were his nephew and niece, whom he wanted to kill so that he could steal their inheritance; MacDonough's story revolves entirely around this intention of murder and larceny, and the children's escape. Although the Uncle Barnaby of the book is a greedy usurer, and although he is said to wear a skullcap – considerations that might lead one to ask about his ethnicity – there is a barrier to interpreting Uncle Barnaby as Jewish, insofar as he is a blood-relative of the main characters, his intended victims, about whom there is nothing remotely Jewish. (The innocent niece and nephew, the main characters of the book, do not appear at all in Hal Roach's film.)

By contrast, the Silas Barnaby of the 1934 production is nobody's uncle, which leaves open the possibility of seeing him as a Jew. Indeed he seems to be a composite of negative Jewish stereotypes: he is the usurer, the shyster, the agitator. He has power and influence because of his money, but the central motive for Silas Barnaby has nothing to do with money: rather, he is trying to force the young, pure, idealistic blonde, Little Bo-Peep, to marry him. (That may not seem an especially Jewish motive but it can be taken as a metaphor for the Jewish demand of not being excluded from anything in Gentile society.) The way that Silas Barnaby attempts to force Little Bo-Peep to marry him also happens to anticipate in several respects (or perhaps inspired, given that the later film is not a strictly accurate history) the cinematic representation of Joseph Suess Oppenheimer in Veit Harlan's Jud Süß (1940), where Little Bo- Peep is replaced by Dorothea Sturm.

A blogger named Mike King, who has clearly taken his cue from my original post on this topic from 24 December 2012, makes much of the fact that Barnaby's assistant wears what looks like a yarmulke. By itself, it is hard to know how much to make of that, since the Master Toymaker also wears a skullcap (although different). The headwear of Barnaby's assistant, however, gains significance from the fact that the wearer is also the only swarthy person and the only character with a foreign accent in the film. ("Foreign-born" used to be practically a euphemism for Jewish.) Although inconclusive in itself, all of this together can be taken as corroborative of the other evidence of Barnaby's Jewishness.

Of course, unless it is recorded
somewhere that one of them actually said so, it is impossible to prove absolutely that Hal Roach and his screenwriters, Frank Butler and Nick Grindé – or Stan Laurel, if his influence went that far – intended Silas Barnaby as a Jew. It is certain, however, that Silas Barnaby can be seen as a Jew. The gestalt implying the Jewishness of Silas Barnaby – at least three Jewish stereotypes in one character – is (for me at least) quite compelling.

Bogeymen of the Early 20th Century

Barring inspiration from some non-material realm, creatures of fantasy such as the Bogeymen must be derived from things that actually exist. It is not hard to think of a foundation in reality for the idea of Bogeymen. Ollie Dee tells Old King Cole that the Bogeymen are “half-man and half-animal”; the word Bogeymen already says that they are simultaneously men and not quite men, or a lower type of man.

When the torch-bearing throng of Bogeymen enters Toyland with Silas Barnaby at their head, the residents of Toyland flee into their houses. The Bogeymen rush through the streets and begin climbing on the houses, looking for ways to break in. Torches in the Bogeymen's hands imply arson, but that possibility is never actualized because it would put a blemish on the eventual happy ending. Arson is not the only likely outcome that is omitted. We see a Bogeyman seizing a screaming young woman, and several Bogeyman carrying off children, but of course no one's clothes are torn or removed. Silas Barnaby himself is in the act of abducting his own unwilling bride when the Wooden Soldiers arrive to reestablish order and civilization. In this film for general audiences, of course the real horror of what Silas Barnaby and the Bogeymen represent is only implied. What is implied matches what we know happens when Blacks become lawless.

The White world had experienced numerous bloody Negro insurrections in the 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Outbursts of Black mass-violence against Whites continued long after slavery was abolished. In the early 20th century there was a Negro uprising in Cuba staged by the Partido Independiente de Color that developed into the Cuban Race War of 1912, which was accompanied by rape, murder, and “unspeakable outrages” against White women (Crawfordsville Review, 6 June 1912). Order was reestablished only after the United States sent in marines and bluejackets.

In 1915 D.W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation, one of the most influential films of all time, represented the Negro takeover and accompanying abuses after the War of Southern Independence. These troubles, as represented in the film, were caused fundamentally by a White congressman of perverse will named Stoneman, and his mulatto protégé Silas Lynch. In the finale, the Negroes' rampage is suppressed by the arrival of the Ku Klux Klan on horseback.

In 1917, the bloody Bolshevik takeover in Russia cast a long shadow over the first half of the 20th century. Lothrop Stoddard's 1922 book, The Revolt Against Civilization: The Menace of the Underman, explained this event as the result of a proliferation of congenital misfits and throwbacks, which he called "the underman."

In the 1920s Lothrop Stoddard added scholarly respectability to the proposition that the White race must act to preserve itself against the encroachment and aggression of non-White races. Stoddard's influence was such that his book The Rising Tide of Color against White World Supremacy (1920) was even mentioned in a 1921 speech given by President Warren G. Harding in Birmingham, Alabama. That book attracted attention again in 1933 because of concerns about the expansion of Imperial Japan, about which Stoddard had been prescient.

Stoddard's warnings focused mainly on the human material for revolution, not so much on the instigators. Not infrequently, behind the Negro insurrections of the 19th century there stood an instigator or inspirator who was himself not a Negro but a White man obsessed with Biblical morality, John Brown being the most famous example. In the 20th century, however, agitation of the Negro and of the "underman" against the majority was largely taken over by Jews pursuing power for their ethnic group.

The Great Depression, which had begun in 1929, created favorable conditions for a revolutionary movement – notoriously led by Jews  (e.g., at that time Herbert Benjamin, Israel Amter, Mike Gold) in the USA as it had been in Russia – to recruit new members with the intention of eventually bringing Bolshevism to the United States. They were especially successful in recruiting Negroes.

Thus, when March of the Wooden Soldiers appeared in 1934, bloody insurrections by Negroes and other lower humanity were a matter of living memory and of present concern, and there was widespread awareness of the role of Jews as instigators. Meanwhile, the vision of a violent Negro rampage suppressed by an armed force of White men constituted the finale of the greatest motion picture yet created.

In fact, Babes in Toyland can be seen as in some ways the same story as Birth of a Nation, with Bogeymen in the place of Blacks and wooden soldiers in the place of Klansmen, and Silas Barnaby playing a role somewhat analogous to that of Congressman Stoneman and Silas Lynch. In that light, the copying of the name Silas from Birth of a Nation, where Silas was the mulatto who transgressed with his intention to marry a White woman, seems to be a hint about how the villain of Babes in Toyland is to be understood. In other words, Silas Barnaby is transgressing against a racial barrier when he seeks to marry Bo-Peep – because he is a Jew.

Hal Roach's Differences with Jews

The producer is the idea-man behind the movie. Hollywood producer Hal Roach was an Irish American who, after starting as an actor in Hollywood, was able to start his own production-company because of an inheritance. His best-known productions are the Our Gang shorts, and films featuring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.

One of Hal Roach's silent productions in 1927 was a short called Jewish Prudence, written by Stan Laurel and starring Jewish character-actor Max Davidson. It portrays Jews in a thoroughly stereotypical manner that must
Stan Laurel was no dummy.
inevitably have a cautionary effect. It shows Jews for example as swindlers. Of course this does not mean that Hal Roach categorically disliked all Jews, but it suggests that for him Jews as a group were no object of reverence. 

It may also be significant that Stan Laurel, the writer of Jewish Prudence, is said by various sources to have exerted considerable influence over how March of the Wooden Soldiers turned out (e.g., Danny Lawrence, The Making of Stan Laurel, 2011, p. 82, writes that Roach "yielded to Stan on the creative side of the production").

In 1937, three years after March of the Wooden Soldiers, Hal Roach formed the RAM (Roach And Mussolini) production company, with Vittorio Mussolini, the 20-year-old son of the Italian Duce. The company started with capital from the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (a subsidiary of the Italian government at that time) and from Roach himself. Once the deal was sealed, Roach met the Duce, a great fan of motion-pictures who hoped that Hal Roach would bring Italian productions up to the Hollywood standard. Perhaps it was March of the Wooden Soldiers that had particularly impressed the Italian leader!

When Roach came under attack for this deal, he made no bones about the fact that the trouble was coming from Jews. To the Jews, Roach gave a half-pleading, half-scolding response, recorded in Sheilah Graham's “Hollywood Today” column:

“Mussolini has never expressed himself against the Jews,” said Roach. “As a matter of fact, Italy is full of non-Aryans driven out of Germany by Hitler. But if one day Mussolini adopted Hitler's racial policy, a man close to him could be of great use. I'm convinced that my association with Mussolini is the finest thing that could have happened for the Jews. If they're smart, they'll stop antagonizing Mussolini by showing bad feeling toward his son.” [Sheilah Graham, 5 October 1937]

When Vittorio Mussolini visited the United States in 1937, he first had to avoid Communist protestors in New York City (AP, 24 September 1937), then was under heavy police protection during his 20 minute layover in Kansas City (AP, 25 September 1937), then had his presence “deplored” in paid advertisements by Hollywood's “Anti-Nazi League for the Defense of American Democracy” (AP, 25 September 1937). With a candor that would later become quite rare, The Day, a newspaper in New London, Connecticut, stated unequivocally that the troubles befalling Roach And Mussolini were due to the prevalence of Jews in Hollywood:

Moreover, considering the large number of Jews in executive, directorial and screen acting parts, in Hollywood, it was not surprising to find a fairly well established antagonism toward Mussolini's son in the colony. Il Duce is the father of Fascism; in many matters he is supposed to be working hand and glove with Hitler. Hitler has persecuted the Jews, and the members of this race in Hollywood think it not unreasonable to hold that Mussolini is at least indirectly connected with the troubles that have beset their people.

When the Hal Roach studios arranged a testimonial dinner for young Mussolini, before he hurriedly left the movie center, more than half of the 300 invited guests failed to appear.... [“Snub to Young Mussolini”,The Day, New London, Conn., 2 November 1937]

One author describes the demise of Roach And Mussolini as having been forced on Roach by the company that distributed his films:

“The industry as a whole let Roach know, but fast, that they weren't happy,” said Roach special effects man Roy Seawright. “But Roach could be stubborn; he used to be a truck driver and he ran his business the way he did a truck He saw a road to take, and he was going to go down that road come hell or high water.”

The upshot of all this was that an appalled Nick Schenck pulled Loew's distribution out from under Roach. His last MGM release was the Laurel and Hardy feature Blockheads, after which, in May of 1938, he began releasing through United Artists....

Roach had no apparent regrets; as an old man living in Beverly Hills, one of the prominent features of his house was a warmly autographed portrait of Benito Mussolini. [Scott Eyman, Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer, 2008]

Incidentally, the highly conditional nature of the Hollywood Jews' opposition to Fascism is evident in the fact that four years prior to the short life of Roach And Mussolini, Jack Cohn, a vice-president of Columbia Pictures, had made the encomiastic documentary Mussolini Speaks, and was thereafter invited to visit the flattered Duce (“From the Studios”, Lewiston Daily Sun,6 February 1933). The difference is that in the years between Jack Cohn's Mussolini Speaks and Hal Roach's deal with Vittorio Mussolini, a positive relationship developed between Italy and National-Socialist Germany, which was seen as contrary to Jewish interests. This consideration of Jewish interests made all the difference in whether it was acceptable for anyone in Hollywood to do business with Fascist Italy, and whether Fascist Italy must be portrayed positively or negatively.

Thus, Hal Roach backed out of the deal with Mussolini because Jews forced him and he could not do otherwise. 

It is apparent that Hal Roach's political and social outlook was different from and somewhat opposed to that of Jewish Hollywood. It does not seem unlikely that Hal Roach would have made a film with implied negative messages about Jews such as I believe March of the Wooden Soldiers to be, especially since his studio had already made at least one short film with overt negative messages about Jews in 1927.  

21 December 2015

Racial Differences in Suitability for Police-Work

It should be no surprise that Negroes are much less suited than Whites for police-work, given the self-control and judgment that are required, and also no surprise that "Hispanics," who generally have some Negro ancestry, turn out to be intermediate between Whites and Negroes in this regard. The surprise (without knowledge of the specific criteria) is that "Asians" perform the worst on the psychological evaluation used by the Philadelphia Police Department:

From 2011 through 2014, 72.5 percent of the 262 black applicants passed the psych evaluation, compared with 81.2 percent of the 823 white candidates. Hispanic applicants fell in between, at 75 percent of 176 job-seekers. Applicants of Asian descent fared the worst, at less than 58 percent, but their overall numbers were small - just 66 applicants over the four-year period. [Source: Philly.com]


14 December 2015

Leftist Indifference to the Bombing of German Civilians

A famous image from the vastly overrated "London Blitz." According to one estimate, about nine times as many German civilians were killed by Anglo-American bombing, compared to British civilians killed by German bombing, during the Second World War.

Recently I heard Jewish radio talker Michael Savage ( Weiner) claim during one of his usual rants that nobody ever hears about the bombing of British cities by Germans during the Second World War

Really? Nobody ever mentions the so-called Battle of Britain? In my experience, this is rubbish.

Perhaps they are not quite as loudly publicized nowadays, but the "London Blitz" and the supposedly unprovoked bombing of Coventry, as subjects of Anglo-American war-propaganda, for a long time received attention that was quite disproportial, given the compared tolls in civilian deaths and wrecked cities wrought by Anglo-American vs. German bombs. 

On just one night in one city, Darmstadt on 11 September 1944, about ten times as many civilians were intentionally killed by the RAF as were inadvertently killed by the Luftwaffe's bombs in Coventry -- "targeted due to its high concentration of armaments, munitions and engine plants which contributed greatly to the British war effort," says Statemaster Encyclopedia -- during the entire war. Yet the bombing of Darmstadt is nowhere near as well known as "the bombing of Coventry." An RAF-officer named F.W. Winterbotham stated in his book The Ultra Secret that Churchill had advance notice of one of the raids, but rather than take steps to avoid civilian casualties in Coventry, Churchill kept the information to himself. There are denials, but if the story is true it means only that Churchill did not have much more regard for British civilian lives than for German civilian lives.

Dresden, February 1945. If you want to see corpses, those are online too.

I just happened to run across an essay from 1972 by syndicated newspaper-columnist John Chamberlain that touches on the disparity:

A careful researcher, Benjamin Coleman of Washington, D.C., has estimated that during World War II 537,000 German civilians were killed by bombing. The Colby account has it that 61 German cities, with a total population of 25 million, either were destroyed or devastated beyond recognition. Britain, by contrast, got off lightly, with a loss of 60,000 civilians.

Cologne, save for its cathedral, and Hamburg were gutted; Dresden was gratuitously ruined after the Allies had the war all wrapped up.

At this point, Chamberlain unintentionally indicates why, in 1945, false accusations about gas-chambers, etc., may have seemed necessary:

Because Hitler was what he was, a monster, I don't weep much for what happened to his country, which had become a totalitarian war-machine.

Take away the gas-chamber story, rebranded 35 years later as "the Holocaust," and what was done to Germany no longer seems justified, Chamberlain implies.

The point of the essay, however, was to show the hypocrisy of the Democratic Party's leftist 1972 presidential candidate, George McGovern, who moralized about inadvertent civilian casualties in the U.S. bombing of North Vietnam, but seemed to have no second thoughts about the bombing of civilians in which he had participated during the Second World War:

Senator George McGovern, who goes about the land weeping for the North Vietnamese Prussians, is fully cognizant of the nature of air warfare. After all, he flew 35 World War II missions. By his own admission, he bombed through overcast, which means that he could have hit civilians and even, if they had been present, a dike or two.[1]

His admiring biographer, Sam Anson, quotes him as saying to a friend after the war, "You just dropped those damn bombs where you could and got the hell out of there." On one occasion, his plane, Dakota Queen, jettisoned its bombs over Yugoslavia, vaporizing a farmhouse. It wasn't bomber-pilot McGovern's fault that the bombs hit where they did, and he subsequently kicked the careless bombardier off his crew. But he made no issue of the episode, nor did he report a conversation he heard about a possible war crime involving fighter pilots who shot Italian civilians off a bridge for sport. If he had, we might have had a My Lai[2] then.

McGovern never has made excuses for being part of something in World War II that he condemns in Vietnam now. We must assume, then, that he makes a distinction between the spread of fascism and the spread of communism. It was alright to hit civilians inadvertently in the course of doing away with the Nazis. But when a General Giap, pursuing his Communist objectives, stages an invasion of another country through a demilitarized zone and through bordering neutrals, it is not the same thing as Hitler swinging through the neutralized North European lowlands[3] or descending on neutral Norway[4]

Not, at least, in the mind of George McGovern.


So let it be understood: McGovern isn't against bombing per se. It was all right to knock the Rhineland to pieces. But it is wrong to bomb Communists in Asia. Stated baldly, that is McGovern's position. He is entitled to it, but let us be spared his tears. [The Evening Independent, 4 October 1972]

George McGovern, in 1972, seems to have been ahead of his time with an axiom that could be stated: white lives don't matter.
1. Bombing dikes to create floods that interrupt supply-lines was a strategy used successfully against the Communists in Korea, forcing them to make peace, but during the Vietnam War a propaganda-offensive by the Communists, echoed by American leftists like McGovern, prevented the same method from being used.

2. The My Lai Massacre was a war-crime by soldiers of the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War that was heavily publicized by news-media in the early 1970s.

3. The Anglo-French strategy in 1940 was based on the expectation that Germany would cross Belgium to invade France, since going through the Maginot Line or the Ardennes Forest was considered too difficult. This strategy of declaring war, then waiting to be attacked, was understood to mean that Belgium must become a battleground; thus Britain and France deliberately precipitated a German invasion of Belgium, although Germany would get the blame.

4. In early 1940 Britain and France were waging war against Germany by means of a blockade. To tighten the blockade by cutting off a route whereby raw materials were still reaching Germany, First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill proposed to invade and occupy Norway. Without the prospect of a British occupation of Norway, there would have been no pressing need for Hitler to occupy Norway, but as it happened the British intention was discovered and German forces barely beat the British forces to it. In the case of Norway, as in the case of Belgium, the British forced a German action then blamed the Germans for it.

11 September 2015

A Court without Law, by Heinrich Haertle -- part 6

Ultima ratio regum -- the last argument of kings -- was an inscription on the cannons of Louis XIV. William Whewell, in his encyclopaedic work The Elements of Morality (1845), explains this Latin expression's significance for international law in a way that seems to resonate with Haertle's use of it. Whewell wrote:

Again, War is an armed contest: for States, having no common superior who can decide their disputes, have no other ultimate authority to which they can appeal. On this account War has been termed "ultima ratio regum." But still, though the contest is armed, it is a just, that is, a professedly just one. Though War is appealed to, because there is no other ultimate tribunal to which states can have recourse, it is appealed to for justice. [William Whewell, The Elements of Morality]

Hitler then, waging war as an ultima ratio, was seeking justice. It is interesting to compare Haertle's suggestion that Hitler's decision to go to war in 1939 exemplified ultima ratio -- in other words, war as the last resort after peaceful efforts had failed -- and Robert H. Jackson's declaration that the Nuremberg Tribunal represented "a continuation of the war-effort of the Allied nations." One side used war to achieve justice; the other used the pretense of justice for essentially warlike aims.

Prohibited War

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

Prosecutors and Judges had to walk on eggshells, because only in this way could they reach their chief goal: condemnation of the Germans for crimes against world-peace.

Twenty years after the death-sentences at Nuremberg the whole enormity of this rape of international law is becoming apparent. Never before in history did hostile powers face each other armed as in the present era, with an arsenal that, in number of weapons and their mass-murdering destructive potential, surpasses everything that humanity could ever imagine until now. Such a gigantic armament would have no purpose if war were not, as always, treated as an instrument of politics. Of course every power disavows arming for war as the ultima ratio of all politics. No, one arms only against the enemy's threat of war. The enemy however arms with the same rationale. And really it has always been that way, from the war-rhetoric of Homeric heroes to the present. The difference consists only in the fact that the armament today has reached a magnitude that, if used, would necessarily destroy both participants. If however such arsenals are maintained and even continue to be increased, then the strongest demonstration of will is to refuse to renounce war as a political tool despite the risk of destroying humanity. The quantity of armament shows the level of militarism that governs present-day world-politics.

If anything can indicate the corruption of present-day politics, it is the fact that precisely those states that sent German generals to the gallows for going to war as the ultima ratio of politics, intending to make an example of those men so as to prohibit war as an instrument of policy for all times, now face each other as potential belligerents of the Third World War.

The atomic militarists of today presented themselves as immaculate pacifists. On 6 October 1945 the juristic representatives of today's mortal enemies meet: Jackson for the United States of America, François de Menthon for the French Republic, Hartley Shawcross for Great Britain, and R.A. Rudenko for the Soviet Union, for the signing of the bill of indictment. Under Count One, section IV.C.3, we find the classic statement that “war was a noble and necessary activity of Germans.” (Nuremberg Trial Proceedings, vol. 1)

This slander is not new. The whole of Allied war-propaganda from 1914 to 1945, and to some extent even into the present, operates on such assumptions. The only thing new in it is that now they are utilized not by paid agitators but by judges and prosecutors who are regarded as juristic authorities in their countries. The bill of indictment aims with this defamation at the real goal of this trial, “the continuation of the war-effort of the Allied nations,” as Jackson revealed early on. As they orate more loudly about peace, it is supposed to become less perceptible that they are continuing war with the methods of justice.

The Allied peace-angels meanwhile speculate about the understandable longing of all peoples for peace after the horrendous consequences of two World Wars essentially caused by precisely those powers that now would like finally to shackle the old god of war into the chains of their new paragraphs. Could there be a more effective means to divert attention from one's own guilt?

Because they must first invent laws against war, however, they create an appearance opposite to what they would like to simulate: they demonstrate to the world that such laws never existed before. The main crime that they want to punish does not yet legally exist, since as of 1939 there were no accepted international laws efficaciously condemning war as a crime that merited punishment and could be punished. There have been no such laws only for the simple reason that no lawgiver exists who could apply and enforce them. Therein the hypocrisy and double morality of the proceedings becomes apparent.

In the rationale for the verdict of 1 October 1946, after the convincing  refutation by the German defense, it is still asserted:

"The Charter makes the planning or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties a crime; and it is therefore not strictly necessary to consider whether and to what extent aggressive war was a crime before the execution of the London Agreement.”[1] The Law of Rudenko is still regarded as “absolute and binding.”

The so-called “crime against peace” is defined under II, Article 6 of the charter in the following manner:

CRIMES AGAINST PEACE: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing.[Charter of the IMT at Nuremberg: II.6.a]

With consistent application of this retroactive “law”there would be no war in all of history that could not be declared a crime – and no officers, furthermore, that one would not have had to condemn to be hanged on the gallows of Jackson and Rudenko.
[1] The sentence is from a long statement read by Francis Biddle on the afternoon of 30 September 1946 (Nuremberg Trial Proceedings, vol. 22, p.460). The court's findings of guilt and sentences were issued the next day, on 1 October 1946.

27 August 2015

A Court without Law, by Heinrich Haertle -- part 5

Three attorneys for defendants have protested that the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg is based on what amounts to ex post facto law, contrary to all Western legal tradition.

"Continuation of the War-Effort of the Allied Nations"

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

On 26 July 1946 Jackson tries in vain to refute these objections. His excuses convince nobody, since retroactive laws contradict the European legal culture. We can only be thankful to him however for his attempt at justification. That is because the blind zealot in his effluence of verbiage proceeds to a revelation that marks the whole tribunal for present and future:

"The Allies are still technically in a state of war with Germany, although the enemy's political and military institutions have collapsed. As a military tribunal, this Tribunal is a continuation of the war-effort of the Allied nations" [Nuremberg Trial Proceedings, vol. 19, p. 397]

With that he has in his way ended the legal controversy: the Nuremberg Tribunal is the continuation of the war with the methods of justice.

With this clarification Jackson has at the same time confirmed that the real goals of the trial can only be attained through military force, with a transgression against international law.

While the American chief prosecutor alternately invokes military force and international law, his colleague trained in Marxist dialectic, [General Roman Andreyevich] Rudenko, attempts a manoeuvre before the High Judges during which they are able only spasmodically to maintain their serious faces. On 8 February 1946 Comrade Rudenko asserts that the objections to the violation of the principle nulla poena sine lege lose all meaning in view of this "fundamental, decisive fact: the Charter of the Tribunal is in force and in operation and all its provisions possess absolute and binding force." (Nuremberg Trial Proceedings, vol. 7, p. 147) 

This Stalinist buffoon thus asserts that the mere existence of a prefabricated charter can retroactively stamp as crimes actions that were never punishable before. Why this bourgeois respect for ancient principles of justice? We are the law; what we command has "absolute and binding force." La loi, c'est moi![1]
[1]. La loi, c'est moi (I am the law), is a statement apocryphally attributed to Louis XIV. It seems to be well established that the more usual form, L'état, c'est moi (I am the state), is also fictitious, since the statement was supposedly made before parliament in 1655 whereas research has not found that it appeared in print anywhere until 1834, with the publication of Jacques-Antoine Dulaure's Histoire de Paris. It is a nice twist, however, for Haertle to suggest that Soviet officials behaved like a caricature of a divine-right monarch.

23 August 2015

A Court without Law, by Heinrich Haertle -- part 4

Nullum delictum, nulla poena sine praevia lege poenali -- meaning that no action can be considered an offense and no penalty can be imposed unless there was a pre-existing law that both defined the offense and declared a penalty -- is an ancient legal principle respected throughout the West. Francis Wharton, prefacing A Treatise on the Criminal Law of the United States (1874) wrote:

Nulla poena sine lege, an axiom constantly recurring in our old English books, is as ancient as the Quaestiones Perpetuae. In the later Roman jurists it is thus expanded: Nullum delictum, nulla poena sine praevia lege poenali.

In the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg this is particularly important in regard to the accusation of "waging aggressive war," which had never been considered a crime under international law. This in fact had been pointed out at the London conference where the charter for the tribunal was established, by the French delegate, Dr. André Gros.

The argument against ex post facto law has no bearing whatsoever on any accusation about gassing Jews, since a specific accusation like that could have been prosecuted under Germany's own laws against homicide. Never was it made legal in National-Socialist Germany to kill Jews without provocation.

Justinian I


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

At first, the defense-attorney Dr. Stahmer had to accept the taboo-declaration of the “high court." In his pleading for Reich's Marshal Goering however he repeats his attack and renews his argument to the judges and prosecutors against the legal foundations of the proceedings. He dares to demonstrate to the tribunal that even National-Socialist legislation essentially retained the principle: without law no punishment. The Third Reich issued no retroactive laws, but merely applied existing laws with increased punishment. Even this state did not dare to violate the legal principle: nulla poena sine lege praevia.

Precisely the liberal worldview of the signers of the charter would require them to treat the legal principle nulla poena sine lege praevia as especially sacred, Stahmer stresses:

“This is also apparent of course in the fact that the [Allied] Control Council for Germany has newly impressed this principle upon all Germans most acutely by removing analogy again from criminal law, in §2a of the criminal code.”

All the more incomprehensible is it for the German sense of justice when this principle now is not supposed to be valid toward Germans, who are accused here. To the French prosecutor he counters that one cannot begin to strengthen the idea of law by violating it. He admonishes the English chief prosecuting attorney that he himself had called ex post facto legislation one of the most abominable doctrines.

He attacks Jackson even more sharply. He poses the question:

“May a criminal court that wants to effect justice apply concepts of law that, to the accused and to their people's legal scholars, are entirely alien and always have been alien?”

Attorney [Gustav] Steinbauer, Dr. Seyss-Inquart's defender, also opposes with total resolve the construction of retroactive laws. He cites the American weekly periodical Time, which on 26 November 1945 attacks an essential element of the tribunal's legal fictions:

Whatever kinds of laws the Allies attempt to set up for the purposes of the Nuremberg Tribunal, most of these laws did not yet exist at the time when the deeds were committed. Punishment ex post facto has been condemned by jurists since the days of Cicero.

The French national assembly too, on 19 April 1946, thus exactly three months previously, had affirmed in Article X of the Charter of Human Rights:

Law has no retroactive force. No one can be condemned and punished except in accord with law that has been proclaimed and published before the deed to be punished....

On 25 July 1946 the defense-attorney for Rudolf Hess, Dr. [Alfred] Seidl, also attacks the abuse of beginning a renovation of international law with such questionable means: it must have unforeseeable consequences if a principle is violated that is an integrating component of international law – the principle that an action can only be punished when its punishability had been specified in law before the action was committed. A violation of the principle nulla poena sine lege necessarily makes the idea of law in general questionable, he said.

Part 5 

21 August 2015

A Court without Law, by Heinrich Haertle -- part 3

In the autumn of 1945 Hermann Goering chose Dr. Otto Franz Walter Stahmer (1879-1968) from a list of Allied-approved attorneys to be his defender, because Stahmer's was the only name on the list that Goering recognized. 

Stahmer against Jackson

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

Since every defense that could even pretend to be worthy of the name had to point out the paradox of unlawful laws, the charter itself declared itself taboo. The criticism that could not be withstood was simply forbidden: Article 3 of the charter explicitly forbids every motion by the defense that could demonstrate the court's lack of jurisdiction.

In order to prepare a minimal defense, the attorney Dr. Stahmer nonetheless launches an assault from the domain of European principles of justice. At the beginning of the trial, on 19 November 1945, on behalf of the whole defense he dares a spectacular attack:

“The present trial, to the extent that it is supposed to punish crimes against peace, cannot support itself on valid international law, but is a proceeding based on a new criminal law, a criminal law that was created only after the deed. This conflicts with a principle of jurisprudence hallowed in the entire world, the partial violation of which in Hitler's Germany, has been hotly condemned outside and inside the Reich. It is the proposition that only he may be punished who has violated an already existing law that forewarns him of punishment at the time of his deed.”

This proposition belongs to the great principles of the system of government of the very signatory states of the charter for this court, specifically England since the Middle Ages, the United States of America since their birth, France since its great revolution, and the Soviet Union. When recently the [Allied] Control Council for Germany issued a law that is supposed to secure the return to a just German jurisprudence, they ordered in the first line the reestablishment of the proposition: no punishment without a punishment-carrying law that was already in force at the time of the deed. This proposition is not just a regulation of convenience but springs from the insight that every defendant must feel that he is unjustly treated if he is punished in accord with an ex post facto law.

The defense-attorneys of all present defendants would neglect their duty if they accepted the abandonment of the applicable international law and the setting aside of a universally acknowledged principle of modern criminal law, and suppressed their concerns, which today are openly proclaimed even outside of Germany.

Defense-attorney Dr. Stahmer meanwhile in no way opposes the ostensible goal of the court, that crimes against peace should be punished and particular politicians and military-men who are convicted of such a crime should be held legally responsible. The German defense-team demands only that the accepted aim be pursued within the domain of justice. They warn against wanting to create new and better justice with unjust means -- unjust because these laws are applied retroactively and onesidedly. On behalf of the German defense-team Dr. Stahmer adjures the court:

“Precisely where there is an accusation about deeds that at the time of commission were not subject to any penalty, the tribunal must limit itself to comprehensively investigating and then ascertaining what happened, and in this the defense-team will collaborate with all its powers, as a genuine aid to the court. The states of the community of international law, under the weight of this judicial ascertainment must then, standing together as lawmakers, admonish the men who would culpably begin an unjust war in the future that they will be punished by an international court.”

Then Dr. Stahmer puts it all on the line: he demands the review of the court's charter by a neutral committee of internationally recognized legal scholars and, on behalf of the entire defense-team, moves:

“The court should request reports by internationally recognized scholars of international law about the legal foundations of this trial that is based on the court's charter.”

The “judges” and “prosecutors” find themselves in an unenviable position. They outdo each other in counterattacks so as to conceal their insecurity. The old slogans are repeated. In terms of jurisprudence they have already been forced into a defensive posture. Now the defenders are the prosecutors – prosecutors also against judges who lower themselves to abusing their judicial authority for unjust purposes.

The Allied inquisitors still possess one argument that condemns all legal objections to futility. Two days later, on 21 November 1945, the motion of the German defense is quashed with the rationale that it puts the legitimacy of the court into question and thus is found to contradict Article 3 of the charter.

The court is taboo and must remain taboo, because an internal criticism of its foundations would necessarily oust the juristic functionaries of Allied revenge-policy from their judges' chairs.

Nevertheless, Stahmer's assault has historical significance as a magnificent demonstration of courage and conscientiousness amid a world full of the lies, baiting, and violence of the victors, and submissiveness, cowardice, and self-incrimination among the vanquished.

No German defense-attorney would have been permitted at that time without first documenting that he had been an opponent of the political opinion and attitude of the accused. So much the brighter does this flame of the European will to justice shine from the darkness of those days.

16 August 2015

A Court without Law, by Heinrich Haertle -- part 2

Communist Justice

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

Sir Hartley Shawcross, the English chief prosecutor, works himself up in the course of the proceedings to asserting in his closing statement that this tribunal is “a milestone in the history of civilization.” He only neglects to mention that this milestone was sent from Moscow. That is evident in the fact that this trial had transgressed against two fundamental principles of European justice already in the planning-stage: since the days when Rome became the lawgiver for the West, it has been accepted, as the first requirement for arriving at a verdict, that the defendant must have violated an applicable law that is precisely limited in meaning. In the course of centuries criminal law became ever more refined, and the perpetrator's motive was considered more and more carefully, to his favor or his detriment. These two requirements are not met by the charter.

Only in the Moscow show-trials has there been a reversion to pre-Roman barbarity. Communist class-justice has never denied that it serves only one purpose: the extermination of the class-enemy (die Ausrottung des Klassenfeindes); the defendant is therefore already convicted a priori, because he is a member of the enemy class. If we replace proletariat and bourgeoisie with victor and vanquished, then we arrive at the effects of the Nuremberg Charter.

This charter violates the elementary foundation of all dispensation of justice, because it devises “laws” with retroactive force. Actions that happened from 1933 to 1945 are supposed to be punished according to laws that were decreed by the Allies only on 8 August 1945. The construction of such a charter already proves that these “laws” were not previously valid. The charter is the substitute for non-existent laws. One produces such substitutes in order to be able to punish deeds that were regarded in the prior history of law as unpunishable. For the first time politicians and military men are supposed to be judged in accord with laws that had to be invented ex post facto for this purpose.

These retroactive laws however also contradict all prerequisites of justice for another reason: they lack universal validity. In Article 3 of the charter it is explicitly specified that the new laws are only to be applied against German “militarists,” but would have no applicability to soldiers and officers of the democratic and Bolshevik victors.

We gladly concede that the tribunal itself has gotten itself into a bind. If the tribunal had also applied these laws to the Allied militarists, the tribunal's own foundations would have been shattered. The judges could not simultaneously be defendants. Nor would it be acceptable to perform the comedy of justice in Nuremberg. The unjust laws must therefore be limited to Germans, and with this onesidedness the character of justice has already been forfeited. One injustice begets the other.

Part 3