“Out-of-school education was my responsibility” [70 Years After Nuremberg]

Nuremberg Palace

The defense of Baron von Schirach began on May 23, 1946. Baldur von Schirach was indicted on charges of Crimes against Peace, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity for his activities associated with the policies of the Nazi  government, specifically with the Nazi Youth Movement (appointed head of the Hitler Youth in 1933) and his participation in the persecution of Jews and Christians as Governor of Vienna appointed 1940).   Schirach was responsible for sending 65,000 Viennese Jews to German concentration camps. [1]

His defense before the Tribunal would highlight his “moderate” position due to his statements on the treatment of the eastern European peoples and criticism of the living conditions of Jews in the camps.  However, his September 1942 speech clearly outlined his earlier opinion that their deportation was a “contribution to European culture.”[2] Continue reading

Danger and Importance [70 Years After Nuremberg]

Nuremberg Palace

By the middle of May, the Justices were presiding over the defense, cross-examinations and review of documents associated with the cases of Doenitz, Funk, Raeder and Schirach.  Jackson was in London and Paris and Dodd was managing the now routine tasks of keeping the trial progressing.  Intermittent violence surfaced more regularly, although Dodd does not explain the justifications that may have been circulating around the city as soldiers were killed by unknown assailants.  Continue reading

The swing of the pendulum [70 Years After Nuremberg]

Nuremberg Palace

Routine continued as the defense of Karl Doenitz began on May 8th and continued through the next day.  Cross-examination was the responsibility of Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe and began on May 10th, the 126th day of the Nuremberg Trial. Court recessed later in the afternoon, after which Dodd and others flew to Prague.

We had a fine trip down and arrived about five p.m.  We went to the Ancron Hotel where I stayed last January.  Yesterday morning we all breakfasted early and at nine thirty were taken Continue reading

Turning the corner [70 Years After Nuremberg]

Nuremberg Palace

“The Justice did a good job at examining Gisevius–as you no doubt saw in the press” Tom Dodd wrote to Grace in late April [p. 294, 4/28/1946, available on YouTube]. Recounting the details of his recent activities–closed sessions of the court, ongoing discussions about the length and effectiveness of cross-examinations and the lack of correspondence–Dodd reminded his wife that “we must be patient–I think it is worthwhile and link most worthwhile things we have to put up some sacrifices for it.” [p. 295, 4/28/1946] Continue reading

Translations and Definitions [70 Years After Nuremberg]

Nuremberg Palace

During his April 17th cross-examination of the “evasive laying rogue” Alfred Rosenberg, Thomas Dodd spent a considerable amount of time asking Rosenberg to confirm his involvement in policies, speeches and actions undertaken and enforced by the German government as administered and overseen by the Nazi leaders currently on trial.[p. 287, 4/17/1946] In his cross-examination, Dodd attempted to decisively illustrate clarify Rosenberg’s role as the “Nazi Party’s chief racial theorist” who “oversaw the construction of a human racial “ladder” that justified Hitler’s racial and ethnic policies” [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Rosenberg, accessed 4/26/2016]. Continue reading

A week of contrasts [70 Years After Nuremberg]

Nuremberg Palace

 Two more days are gone.  I cross-examined Alfred Rosenberg this morning and think I did an adequate job–everyone seemed highly pleased with it…I did it in about two hours and thereby set a new record here–and I trust a new pattern for the rest of the case…I tell you, Grace, if I had command of each defense case I could cut this trial in half.  [p. 287, 4/17/1946]

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“I assume responsibility for every wrong that was committed” [70 Years After Nuremberg]

Nuremberg Palace

On 11 April 11 1946, Defendant Kaltenbrunner took the stand at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg.

THE PRESIDENT: Will you state your full name, please?

ERNST KALTENBRUNNER (Defendant): Ernst Kaltenbrunner.

THE PRESIDENT: Repeat this oath after me: “I swear by God- the Almighty and Omniscient-that I will speak the pure truth and will withhold and add nothing-so help me God.”

[The defendant repeated the oath In German.]

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“I believe I can truthfully say” [70 Years After Nuremberg]

Nuremberg Palace

3 April 46

DR. NELTE (Counsel for the Defendant Keitel): …But you are not only a soldier, you are also an individual with a life of your own. When facts brought to your notice in your professional capacity seemed to reveal that a projected operation was unjust, did you not give it consideration?

KEITEL: I believe I can truthfully say that throughout the whole of my military career I was brought up, so to speak, in the old traditional concept that one never discussed this question. Naturally, one has one’s own opinion and a life of one’s own, but in the exercise of one’s professional functions as a soldier and an officer, one has given this life away, yielded it up. Therefore I could not say either at that time or later that I had misgivings about questions of a purely political discretion, for I took the stand that a soldier has a right to have confidence in his state leadership, and accordingly he is obliged to do his duty and to obey.  [http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/04-03-46.asp#keitel1, accessed 4/5/2016]

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“And 17 to go for a touchdown” [70 Years After Nuremberg]

Nuremberg Palace

The final week in Nuremberg in March, 1946, belonged to the Foreign Minister of Nazi Germany (1938-1945), Joachim von Ribbentrop. On the 29th, von Ribbentrop continued with his defense, which Dodd thought “…woefully weak” [p. 273, 3/29/1946]. He objected to the delay of the defendant and the judge agreed as he redirected the lawyer back on track. Dodd’s statement clearly illustrates his ongoing frustration with the lack of progress of the trial. Continue reading

Göring on the stand [70 Years After Nuremberg]

Nuremberg Palace

March 20th, 1946 marked a more than hectic day in the courtroom, as defendant Hermann Göring was excruciatingly difficult, even going so far as to correcting those who questioned him. The first to question Göring was Jackson, and Dodd reported his cross examination as,”…[It] continued all day with the Justice looking very good and Göring looking very poorly”[p. 267, 3/20/1946]. Justice Jackson along with the President asked Göring, “You have stated that on the Jewish question, some of the members of the government were more radical than you. Would you state who these were?” He replied, “Excuse me, I did not understand the question to mean who were more radical, but in what way they were more radical. If you ask who, then I would say that those were primarily Minister Goebbels and Himmler” [http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/03-20-46.asp#Goering7, accessed 3/21/2016]. Continue reading