Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
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Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
Hermann Goering. With Goering's death, the Third Reich was over. Its highest leaders were dead, along with their Fuehrer. It is sometimes said, but has never been proven, that Goering's prison guard retrieved a cyanide tablet from his luggage. No charges were ever brought aginst the man.
U.S, Britain, France, U.S.S.R. Of couse Japan was never included in the talks because they were one of the Axis Powers. At the start, things were very difficult because the four Allied Powers each had different laws. It took many months of hard work but by the time of the trial, everything was working smoothly. (Separate trials were held for Japanese war criminals).
22. 22 of the highest ranking Nazi officials were accused. Twelve were hanged, eight received prison terms ranging from ten years to life and two were acquitted. (Politician and diplomat Franz von Papen, and the president of the German Central Bank, Hjalmar Schacht, were acquitted, as was Hans Fritzsche). Goering committed suicide in prison a few hours before he was to be executed. Robert Ley had been charged but had committed suicide before the trial began, and Martin Bormann was tried in absentia.
Joachim von Ribbentrop. Ribbentrop was one of Hitler's most devoted followers. He was a key figure in the conspiracy to launch a war of aggression and was sentenced to death by hanging. Unlike Goering, he was actually hanged.
Robert Jackson. Robert Jackson had doubts about the way the trial would be run. He thought it would fail, just like the trials after World War I. He would be proved wrong, though. The Nuremberg Trials established a basis for international law which is still used today.
Yes. At the beginning of the trial, all defendents pleaded not guilty, but near the end, most had broken down and had said that they had "only been following orders". The judges made their decisions based on one or more of the following counts: 1. Conspiracy to commit aggression, 2. The act of aggression, 3. Crimes in the conduct of warfare (that is, war crimes in the narrower sense), 4. Crimes against Humanity. Those convicted on all four counts were: Goering, Ribbentrop, Keitel, Rosenberg, Jodl and Neurath.
Hermann Goering. Hitler and Goebbels had committed suicide in April of 1945. Himmler, when captured by the British, also committed suicide. So when the trial began Goering was the most senior left. Although he knew a death sentence was imminent, he remained convinced that he was right in all that he did and said.
The Palace of Justice. This is the same building that laws had been made in 1935 to reduce the Jews to second class citizens.
1945. In the same year that World War Two ended, 1945, the allied governments decided to hold the trials in one of the most important cities in Germany. The first executions took place in 1946.
Party rallies. Party rallies were held each year to show the public how strong the Nazi Party and the German military machine were. They moved the people so much that many pledged to die for Nazis. Debate was illegal in Germany under the Nazis. Anyone who dared to do so risked death.
|Although instrumental in the use of slave workers, Albert Speer escaped execution at Nuremberg and was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment.
What decision did Speer make during the closing days of the Second World War that may have reflected on him favourably during the trial?
||Nuremberg - The War Crimes Trial
Speer chose to ignore Hitler's order to destroy Germany's infrustructure. Speer escaped the gallows although his subordinates were not so lucky. Some say Speer was the true architect of slave labour during the Second World War.
Towards the end of the war, Hitler ordered the destruction of Germany's infrastructure such as water and power supplies, but Speer decided to ignore the Fuehrer's command.
Great Britain, France, Russia, United States of America. The war crimes trial at Nuremberg in some circles is considered to be the first, only and last trial of its kind.
This is because uncomfortable comparisons can be made between the behaviour of the victors and that of the defeated. Some regard Allied action during the second world war as inhumane, for example the bombing of Dresden and the alleged massacre of Polish officers by the Russians at Katyn.
Of course, these crimes do not compare to the systematic disposal of human beings due to religion or ethnic background ...
|Airey Neave, a 29-year-old officer in the British Army, who during the war successfully escaped from Colditz, was sent to Nuremberg prison to perform what task?||Nuremberg - The War Crimes Trial
To serve the indictments on those accused of war crimes. In 1940 the British government "sacrificed" their forces at Calais, France. in an attempt to delay the German Panzer divisions which were on their way to Dunkirk to take on the BEF.
Airey Neave was wounded and captured at Calais and later escaped from Colditz Castle, eventually returning to England, where he was engaged in the aid of resistance operations in Europe until the end of the war.
Neave was then summoned to the Nuremberg trials due to his legal qualifications. He was tasked with serving the war crimes indictments on to the accused in thier cells and had several meetings with infamous Nazi's such as Goering and Streicher.
After the war, Airey Neave became a politician but was murdered in 1979. The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) claimed responsibilty for his death. A mercury-tilt based car bomb was placed under his car which detonated resulting in the loss of both of his legs. Neave died in hospital an hour after being freed from the wreckage.
If you are interested in the Nuremberg trials, I recommend you read "Nuremberg" by Airey Neave which contains some interesting accounts of his conversations with the accused.
Because there was no suitable prison to hold the accused in Berlin. The Russians at first insisted on Berlin as the location for the trial. After it was found that no prisons existed to hold the accused, Nuremberg was chosen. Nuremberg had many associations with the Nazi movement so it was a meaningful choice.
|Reichsmarschall Goering was detained at Mondorf-les-Bains after his capture. Believing he was on his way to meet Eisenhower he had with him sixteen monogrammed suitcases and he was an unheathy 20 stone in weight. After he was sent to Nuremburg, his heath improved. What was the main reason for this?||Nuremberg - The War Crimes Trial
He no longer had access to the quantity of drugs he was addicted to. When Goering was captured, his luggage contained 20,000 paracodein pills, to which he was addicted. Accounts from the time report that Goering was extremely unheathy in appearance.
Goering visibly improved during the trial which was attributed to his drug free or drug reduced life in his cell. A strong desire to survive could have been another factor.
Goering took his own life with a concealed cyanide capsule a few hours before he was due to be hanged at Nuremberg.
|What was the "Laconia order" issued by Doenitz to submarine crews which the allied prosecution considered to be "inhumanity contary to the laws of war"?||Nuremberg - The War Crimes Trial
Do not rescue crews of sunken ships except for captains, chief engineers or anyone else of strategic importance. This order was a result of the Laconia incident. The Laconia, holding 1800 Italian prisoners of war was sunk by U-156. After realising his allies were in the water, Doenitz sent two U-Boats to rescue them. Both submarines were attacked by Allied aircraft during and after the rescue operation. Hitler was furious.
Hess spent most of the time reading novels. Hess claimed and then denied that he suffered from memory loss throughout the trial. Many thought he was mentally unstable due to his unusual speeches in the court and his general behaviour. Some suspected it was not genuine.
Karl Doenitz. In September 1942 the RMS Laconia, which was carrying around 1,800 Italian prisoners of war, was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-Boat off the coast of West Africa. When the commander of the U-Boat realized that the majority of the passengers were allies of his country, he began rescue operations. Doenitz sent two U-boats to meet up with ships from the Vichy Regime for the rescue when they were attacked by US B-24 bombers. Even though the German and French boats had placed Red Cross banners around them, the senior US officer on duty gave the orders to the bombers to sink the submarines. Doenitz had decided that since the Americans were willing to attack even ships flying the Red Cross flag, any survivors of crippled ships were to be left in the sea (the "Laconia Order"). Nevertheless, at the trial, the judges stated: "The Tribunal is of the opinion that the evidence does not establish with the certainty required that Dönitz deliberately ordered the killing of shipwrecked survivors". Adding to that, Doenitz's lawyer also managed to obtain an affidavit from US Admiral Chester Nimitz, stating that he conducted the same form of "unrestricted submarine warfare" in his campaigns.
Martin Bormann. Bormann's eldest son, Martin Jr., was raised by various foster families along with his nine other siblings after their mother Gerda, who also converted to Catholicism, died of cancer. When his father's remains were positively identified, the family made the decision to cremate the bones and scatter the ashes into the sea, so that no shrine could be made by his grave, such as the one that stands by the Hess family plot. Bormann later left the priesthood and married a former nun, yet remained strong in both his Catholic faith and his love for his father. Keitel and Frick lost their sons to the war, while Hans Frank himself reconfirmed his Catholic Faith and received Holy Communion and Absolution before being led to the gallows.
|Which defendant continually protested his indictment, and was the only one who had been imprisoned by the Nazis in a concentration camp towards the end of the war?||Nuremberg: Tyrants on Trial: Part 1
Hjalmar Schacht. Schacht, former Minister of Economics and President of the Reichsbank, had been implicated in the plot to assassinate Hitler in July of 1944, and was for a time held in Ravensbrueck, Flossenburg, and Dachau until the Allied liberation. Incredulous that he had even been put on trial in the first place, Schacht was acquitted of all charges and went on to become a highly successful financial advisor to developing coutries in Asia and South America, most notably Egypt's President Gamal Nasser. He lived to the ripe old age of 93, passing away in Munich in 1970.
Justice Jackson was said to have been incensed upon hearing the judges' decision to free him. He had desperately wanted to see Schacht convicted not only as part of his conspiracy case, but to also let the Russians know that the Western Powers would have no problems convicting a "capitalist". In the end, however, he had only been acquitted on a technicality. The four judges were deadlocked, and it had been decided early on that deadlocks would resolve in full acquittal. The American and Russian judges had voted for conviction, the French and British had voted against.
The atrocity film introduced by the Russians was started upside down.. Whoever was behind the projector during this part of the trial did indeed start the film upside down. A shot of the defendants in the dock showed that even the ones who were trying to absolve themselves and remain serious, such as Frank and Speer, were laughing. Rosenberg and Ribbentrop were both almost doubled over, even Hess, who was still in his state of "amnesia" was seen smiling and wiping his eyes. Fortunately for the prosecutors, when the film was righted, the defendants found that what was being shown was nothing to laugh about. Schacht refused to watch, Funk was seen openly crying, and Speer and Fritzsche were doing their best to hold back tears. Even their own lawyers seemed horrified at that they were viewing.
Lord Justice Lawrence was the presiding judge at Nuremberg. It was actually Robert Jackson, chief US prosecutor, who ended up losing his temper with Goering during his cross-examination of him.
Baldur von Schirach. Henriette Hoffmann and Schirach had three sons and a daughter during their marriage, yet she divorced him a few years into his twenty-year sentence. He did not contest the divorce. When he was released from Spandau in 1966, his son Robert described him as a "Half-blind, broken man". Robert also said he never really forgave his mother for abandoning his father when he needed her the most.
I've seen footage of Schirach with his sons on his release, and he almost looked older than Albert Speer. Robert's description of his father seemed pretty accurate.
3. Wilhelm Keitel, Alfred Jodl, and Hermann Goering, the "Military" men, all stated to the prison psychologist after their sentences were read that they knew death was coming, but did not expect to go out in such an undignified manner. They also submitted petitions to the court asking that they be shot as soldiers, rather than hung.
Constantin von Neurath. According the Nuremberg judges it was stated that von Neurath intervened on behalf of many Czechs held by the Gestapo and Security Police. He was also personally told by Hitler that he was not being harsh enough with the Czech population during his time as Protector of Bohemia and Moravia. This was a direct result of a complaint sent to Hitler by Neurath's deputy, Karl Frank, a fanatical Nazi. Neurath later pleaded with Hitler not to send Reinhard Heydrich to take his place. When this failed, he tried to resign, but this was not accepted. In the end, he merely left, his resignation finally becoming official in 1943. The revelation of these events saved his life.
|Who became known as "The Man Without a Signature" after claiming no knowledge of any atrocities, even when presented with documents personally signed by him that ordered the very things he was denying?||Nuremberg: Tyrants on Trial: Part 1
Ernst Kaltenbrunner. Kaltenbrunner took over as chief of Himmler's Reich Security Headquarters after the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich by Czech partisans in mid-1942. He was a latecomer to the procedings, having been hospitalized twice during the early stages of the trial for subarachnoid hemorrhages. Like Julius Streicher, the other defendants tended to avoid him.
3. Martin Bormann, Hitler's Private Secretary, was tried in absentia. It is believed he committed suicide or was killed during the escape from Hitler's Bunker in early May of 1945. Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, the armaments tycoon, was found to be medically unfit for trial, after suffering from a stroke and increasing senility. (His inclusion in the indictment was actually an error. His son Alfried was supposed to have been tried, and later was.) Robert Ley, head of the Reich Labor Front, committed suicide on October 25, 1945 by tearing a towel into strips and hanging himself from an exposed pipe behind the toilet in his cell. He had stuffed a rag in his mouth so that no one could hear him if he made any noise, then leaned forward and slowly strangled to death.
|Which defendant had been removed from his post as Gauleiter of Franconia, ostensibly for alleging that Hermann Goering's daughter Edda had been conceived by artificial insemination?||Nuremberg: Tyrants on Trial: Part 1
Julius Streicher. Goering himself apparently used influence with Hitler to get Streicher removed from his post. Streicher, the editor of Der Stuermer, a highly pornographic newspaper, was a vulgar, rabid anti-Semite, possibly second only to Hitler. Even many of the other defendants at the trial tended to stay away from him, he was disliked so much.
He slapped him hard in the face. Although there were some who initially thought the slap was a sign of contempt, the judge was actually checking for any sign of reflexes, to make sure that Goering was truly dead.
Hermann Goering. Edda waved happily to her father through the pane of glass that separated them, causing Hermann to sob. "You've grown" were the first words out of his mouth when he saw his now 7-year old daughter. Edda had been told by her mother to try not to cry and to be brave, so Edda recited poetry to her father as her mother watched. After the trial, Emmy Goering was declared a Nazi in 1948 by a German denazification tribunal, and the former actress was banned from the stage for 5 years. She passed away in 1973. Edda Goering never married, and to the best of my knowledge is still alive.
3. All three of the defendants, right after being given their letters certifying that they had been freed, were almost immediately arrested again after leaving the prison. Hans Fritszche went so far as to ask prison psychologist Gustave Gilbert to give him a gun, as he couldn't take it anymore. Franz von Papen was reclassified in 1947 by a German court as a "major offender" and sentenced to eight years of hard labor. He was released after two years and died in 1969. Also in 1947, Fritzsche was given a prison term by a German court who had re-examined his role in the deceit of the German people regarding their true situation during the last years of the war. He was released in 1950, dying 3 years later. Hjalmar Schacht was also reclassified as "major offender" by a Stuttgart court in 1946 and sentenced to hard labor, though this was overturned on appeal in 1948. He was definitively cleared of all charges in 1950.
2. According to Leon Goldensohn's book "Nuremberg Interviews", both Alfred Jodl and Walther Funk had no children. No reason was given as to why Jodl had none, but Walther Funk stated that his wife had fibroid problems that resulted in a full hysterectomy. According to others, however, Funk was a homosexual with no wish to father children.