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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 93 (May 1947)

Dreyer, H. Peter
[Nuremberg trials],   pp. [2]-[5] PDF (3.5 MB)


Page 4

realized at an early date that it would
not be sufficient to try only Goering
and the top level ministers and Nazi
leaders. The policies which these men
were making-policies which the
International Military Tribunal brand-
ed as criminal-were executed by
others who in so doing rendered
themselves equally guilty. Were these
others who contributed as much as
their leaders to the Nazi crimes to go
unjudged and unpunished, the work
done by the IMT would remain un-
finished and without a chance of
success. It was for this reason that the
suggestion was made for the con-
tinuation, under Allied Control Coun-
cil Law  No. 10, of the trials in
Nuremberg before American tribunals.
This suggestion found its final ex-
pression in the establishment by MG
Ordinance No. 7 of tribunals in the
US Zone for trial of major Axis war
leaders, and in the appointment of
Brig. Gen. Telford Taylor as Chiief
of Counsel for War Crimes.
While the courts now sitting in
Nuremberg are staffed with American
judges and while American attorneys
are now working on the preparation
of the cases and their presentation in
court, Nuremberg has not lost alto-
gether its international character. In
addition to visitors from practically
every country of Europe, there are
many resident foreign delegations re-
presenting  the  interests of their
governments at the trials of the, Ger-
man war criminals. And although the
trials are no longer conducted in the
four languages of the IMT-English,
French, Russian, and German-the
necessity of holding them in English
and German still demands a large
staff of translators and interpreters,
in addition to all the other technical
personnel required to keep this huge
machine in operation.
Four Divisions Functioning
The work of the Office of Chief of
Counsel is split up into four main
divisions-a Military Division, an SS
Division, a Ministries Division, and
an Economics Division-and among
themselves these divisions prepare
their cases individually. To date, each
one has brought in at least one case,
while at the same time continuing
work on other cases.
The one case to be completed so
far was that against the former Luft-
waffe Fieldmarshal Erhard Milch, who
was accused chiefly for his share in
the procurement and allocation of
slave labor to run the Geirmian war
machine. He had occupied a key
place on the Central Planning Board
which supervised Germany's indu-
strial production during the last
years of the war and determined how
the workers obtained from German
occupied countries by every means
of compulsion, ruse, and fraud were
to be allocated and used. Milch was
acquitted on the charge of partici-
pation in the medical experiments
which form the subject of another
-current trial in Nuremberg, since the
court held that his knowlege of these
experiments could not be adequately
proved. He was, however, sentenced
to imprisonment for life for his share
in the control of slave labor. Retrib-
ution for crimes against humanity,
such as those committed by Milch,
must be swift and certain, the tribunal
staeotd. "Future would be dictators and
their subservient satellites must know
what follows their defilement of in-
ternational law and of every type of
decency and fair dealing with their
fellow-men. Civilization will be satis-
fied with nothing less."
The horrors of the concentration
camps both in their general outline
and in their application to some of
the individual inmates are the subject
of two trials currently held by the
SS Division. The first deals with Os-
wald Pohl and 17 other leasers of the
WVHA, the main economic and ad-
ministrative office of the SS which
was responsible, among other things,
for the maintenance of concentration
camps and the allocation of inmates
for labor purposes. The prosecution
has completed its case. It called wit-
nesses who testified to the brutal
murder of children in concentration
camps. Since there were not enough
gas chambers to take care of them,
some of the children were burned
alive, with a band playing the "Blue
Danube Waltz" to drown the cries of
the victims. One of the prosecution
witnesses was Dr. Eugen Kogon, an
inmate of Buchenwald camp and
author of the book "Der SS Staat"
which has been translated into five
languages. (Dr. Kogon's book is re-
viewed in this issue of the Weekly
Information Bulletin in the article
"New Books on Germany's Past.")
Some Admit Experiments
Dr. Kogon also testified in the trial
of the 23 Wehrmacht and SS doctors
who are charged with carrying out
medical experiments on inmates of.
concentration camps. In this trial
which has now gone on for four
months  most of the     defendants
have already been on the stand.
Many have admitted that some of
the experiments they carried out led
to the death of one or several per-
sons, although invariably they have
tried to protect themselves by saying
that they believed these people to be
criminals who had been sentenced to
death. In the ranks of these doctors
are scientists of previous repute and re-
cognized leaders of the German med-
ical  profession  standing  accused
along\ with politically-promoted SS
doctors. One of the men in the dock
is Karl Gebhardt who grew up with
Himmler. In his testimony he has
thrown some light on the strange
development of Himmler, the man-
whose name is linked not only with
the concentration camps in general
but more particularly with nearly
every type of experiment charged by
the prosecution.
Whereas the Doctors' trial shows
the depths into which part of the
German medical profession had sunk,
the Justice case, the first brought by
the Ministries Division, performs a
similar function with regard to the
German legal profession. The 15
Justice  Ministry  officials-judges
and prosecutors who have been on
trial for the past two months-stand
accused of having perverted the rules
and regulations of the German law
and of having turned the German
legal system into a mere tool of Nazi
politics and propaganda. An interest-
ing feature of this case is that these
former judges and prosecutors now
find themselves as defendants before
a court which gives them those rights
which they denied others. One parti-
cular complex of questions presented
by the prosecution deals with the
notorious People's Court which under
the Nazi regime was the first and last
instance in all political crimes. During
WEEKLY INFORMATION BULLETIN
19 MAY 1947
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