The Failed Second Trial

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Jeffk 1970
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The Failed Second Trial

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:30 am

This is going to be fairly long due to some necessary background. During a my read through of Bloxham’s “Genocide on Trial” I found references to provisions for a second international trial after the IMT that never went forward.

In the lead up to the original IMT an issue occurred over an indictment. Jackson wanted to indict at least one private businessman who helped the Nazi Government prepare for war. Accordingly, the Krupp family came under scrutiny as a main manufacturer of German arms before World War II. The Krupp family was known as a long time supplier of German arms and it seemed fitting to put a representative of the family on trial. There was a catch. Gustav Krupp, the long-time patriarch of the family, stepped down as head of Krupp in 1942 due to age and illness. His son took over until the end of the war.

Jackson insisted on his indictment due to the elder Krupp’s involvement in illegally rearming Germany in violation of the Versailles Treaty. Jackson felt that the charges of criminal conspiracy and crimes against peace fit the elder Krupp while the younger Krupp was indictable for using slave labor in the latter stages of the war. The problem was the elder Krupp was old and sick. While Jackson got his wish with the indictment, Gustav’s dementia grew bad enough that medical opinion prevailed and declared him unfit for trial. The tribunal rejected Jackson’s request that Gustav be tried in absentia because, well, he wasn’t really absent. The tribunal also refused to substitute Alfried in his father’s place.
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
Calel Perechodnik, Polish Jew, 1942

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Re: The Failed Second Trial

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:41 am

This did not satisfy either the French or the Soviets. They both wanted a second trial to deal with economic issues, the French over French industrialists who collaborated with the Germans, the Soviets over their Marxist view that Hitler was nothing more than a tool for bankers and industrialists. The London Conference of June-July 1945 certainly provided the necessary provisions for such trials and the French and Soviets wanted to take advantage of this.

As a result the Chief British Prosecutor, Arthur Showcross, told the French Prosecutor, Francois de Menthon that tbe British would cooperate in future trials of industrialists including Alfried Krupp. Article 14 of the IMT Charter stated that any two chief prosecutors could designate candidates for future trials. On the day the trial began the delegates issued a statement that examination of leading German industrialists would continue with an eye towards future trials.
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
Calel Perechodnik, Polish Jew, 1942

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Re: The Failed Second Trial

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:56 am

The issue regarding future ran into certain political realities that started to develop after the war. By 1946 the British began to realize that some sort of rapprochement with Germany was necessary in order to combat possible Soviet expansion and for the economic health of Europe as a whole. This feeling ran counter to the feelings of the British public as whole that was sympathetic to the Soviet sacrifices during the war. Under Foreign Secretary Ernest Blevin the British walked a tightrope, trying to maintain a facade of cooperation while working on the US to come up with an anti-Soviet coalition. In this they were somewhat luckier with Truman as president as Truman began developing suspicions over Soviet intentions during Potsdam. Truman became more suspicious after Soviet actions in Iran.
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
Calel Perechodnik, Polish Jew, 1942

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Re: The Failed Second Trial

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:17 am

The break became more obvious in 1947. “The Truman Doctrine” drew a definite line in the sand over further Soviet attempts at expansion or increasing their influence in places like Turkey or Greece (though the reality in Greece was murky, Stalin lent no real assistance to the Communist insurgents there. It’s likely that Stalin was to some degree still sticking with Churchill’s “naughty document”

Image

that divided Soviet and British influence in Eastern Europe. Per this the Soviets agreed to leave Greece under British “influence,” whatever that was supposed to mean).

At that time General Lucious Clay essentially ran the American occupation zone as Deputy Military Governor from 1945-1947 and as the actual Miltary Governor from 1947-1949. Clay interpreted the military occupation statute JCS 1067 as he saw fit. Clay agreed with the foreign policy realists in the State Department that Germany or at least a portion of Germany, needed rebuilding in order in order to remove a burden from the Allies and serve as a bulwark against Soviet expansion. Clay started the process of allowing Germans to start producing goods again, halting the dismantling of German industry, easing reparations payments and the combining of British and US occupation zones.
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
Calel Perechodnik, Polish Jew, 1942

https://twitter.com/jonronson/status/10 ... 24832?s=21

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Re: The Failed Second Trial

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:39 am

By July of 1947 JCS 1779 replaced JCS 1067. This new occupation statute formalized the economic recovery of Germany and, more importantly, urged Clay to complete the war crimes programs. America was in the process of formalizing it’s committment to Europe as a counter to Soviet influence.

Which in due course brings us around to the failure of a second IMT ever occurring. The Shawcross-de Menthon statement by no means guaranteed a second trial. While the London Agreement contained provisions for such trial it also carried an out. Any of the agreeing powers could terminate this agreement by giving a month’s notice. The Americans decided by the end of 1945 that such trials were undesirable and it was best for each occupying power to conduct their own trials in their separate zones.

Jackson appointed Telford Taylor as his deputy to prosecute any further trials. Telford disliked what he saw as the rather arbitrary selection of defendants at the IMT. Telford was careful not to discount the possibility of future trials, particularly due to French and Soviet desires for future trials. Showcross himself felt resigned to the fact that his agreement bound the British to the French over future trials. Showcross emphasized that any future trials required the coordination with the Americans. Others in the British Government feared the cost of such trials and the possibility of future trials minimizing the first felt no such reservations.
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
Calel Perechodnik, Polish Jew, 1942

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Re: The Failed Second Trial

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:03 am

Jackson was wary over starting additional proceedings that would cover the same ground as the first trial. He also wanted to avoid the cost and responsibilities of the first trial. In addition certain ideological as well as practical considerations began creeping in. Practical in terms of prosecuting German industrialists might discourage future German prosperity, ideological in terms of feelings about the Soviets. Jackson wrote disparagingly about the Soviets at the IMT and worried about the image of the prosecution of German industrialists by Americans working in tandem with “Soviet Communists and French Leftists.” Jackson also worried about the rotation of the presidency of the tribunal meaning the possible elevation of either a Soviet or French judge who might impose a legal code alien to American legal code. Jackson feared this might lead to doubts about the fairness of the trial. Jackson also feared the Soviets turning the trial into an ideological battleground over Communist and Capitalist ideologies. Essentially by September of 1946 the US announced its opposition to any further trials along the lines of the IMT.
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
Calel Perechodnik, Polish Jew, 1942

https://twitter.com/jonronson/status/10 ... 24832?s=21

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Re: The Failed Second Trial

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:13 am

So, why is all this important?

Well, it shows that the Allies were by no means conspiring to punish Germans and Germany on cooperative scale. There was only one IMT because that was all the British and US really wanted. The “Grand Alliance against Germany” began to break apart very quickly after the war. They managed to get through one trial together but Jackson was very critical of the Soviets during it.

Looking at how events unfolded outside of the trial is also very telling. The US and British quickly turned from punishment to cooperation, realizing that Germany needed to get back on their feet in order to fend for themselves and form a bulwark against the Soviets. The US and Britain wanted to avoid alienating German industrialists for exactly this reason. They needed these industrialists to get the German economy back on its feet.

“Genocide on Trial” 22-32
“They say..that in Slonim they gathered in the town square 14,000 people...and all were machine-gunned. I ask you, is it possible to believe such a thing?...How can the world remain silent? It is probably not true.”
Calel Perechodnik, Polish Jew, 1942

https://twitter.com/jonronson/status/10 ... 24832?s=21