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#253246 10/15/2011 10:12 PM
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It goes without saying that, had Goebbels not whacked himself and family and survived for trial, that he would have been executed, due to his close association with Hitler and his fanatical advancement of Nazism.
But what actual charges could have been pinned on him ?
He had no military or SS association, as far as I'm aware, he gave no direct orders which resulted in atrocities.

They probably could have nailed him on count 1, which was: "Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of a crime against peace", but other than that, and as distasteful as his advocacy for extremism was and may be, was he known to have taken any internationally illegal actions ?


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Interesting question. I have not paid attention to him to say for sure. I would say "incitement" in several shades for his relentless anti-Semitic speeches.

I would also suspect that he was deeper in the planning of atrocities than we know. He certainly spent much time supporting them.

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Incitement, for sure ,,, Which is pretty much what count 1 is.
I would have thought they nailed Julius Streicher, notorious and crude anti semite provocateur, on count one, but rather nailed him on count 4,crimes against humanity. He was found innocent on count 1, but nonetheless put to death for the count 4 verdict.
Since their roles as Reich propagandist and agitators were similar, I suppose its reasonable to conclude that the allied strategy against Goebbels would have been about the same. Due to his closeness to the inner circle as opposed to a relative outsider like Streicher, I suspect that count 1 could easily have been stuck on Goebbels.

You are right, its hard to imagine him not being a close party to the planning of atrocities, since he wore he hatred and bitterness on his sleeve for so many brutal years, and had most of the main TR personalities within easy reach ,,, But I'd be interested in anything that is documented, or at least partly supported by evidence/documents, than conjecture.


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Interesting topic!...For sure back then and during the post war times when the trials were still going on, I have to agree that it was the warcrimes laws of that time,,and surely since Goebbels was in the inner circle no doubt he would of been hung. Given the same context if it were during todays age,,more than likely he would of gotten a reprieve since he was not directly involved "physically". Goering the same also! We have seen the pandering of Milosevic and Karadzic, and the amount of wasted time drawn out during their arrest and trial. although Milosevic died of a heart attack,, Karadzic is still alive today. Modern laws up hold the criminals! If it were during the 1940s..these 2 rats would of been hung at the first of the line. So now between today and yesterdays history,,incitement is a mere slap on the hand. Hess got life and was one of the main architects standing behind Hitlers doctrine. Goebbels did the right thing by killing himself, but I would of loved to see him "swing",,,to kill his children??..Goebbels is as small minded weasel like his stature, being a degenerate intellectual, like the rest of that inner circle. No serious repercussions ever became of the the rest of the top Nazis children. and now to this day "Gudrun Himmler" is alive and well doing what she is doing with her interests. To kill your own children is unforgivable. Pisses me off when I see Goebbels children photos when they were alive and after.


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Very true, the murder of those fine children is unfathomable, and a stinging testament to the incurable fanaticism of their warped, degenerate father.
Goering I believe was at one point in time in charge of a group that made use of slave labor [4 year plan?], that later morphed into much longer than 4 years, and there were many deaths attributed to it. By the time of the war, Goering had largely given up his role in this group to men like Todt, but remained nominally in charge. In this fashion, direct blood could be put on his hands, and I don't believe that is the case with Goebbels. I think it was also alleged or proven at the trial that he gave orders tantamount to orders to kill during some of the early pogroms ,,, Unlike Goebbels who, again, was never in a position to give orders to any military or paramilitary groups.


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As the war was ending in the spring of 1945, the leaders of the TR had ample time to reflect on their potential fate when the curtain finally fell ... as did the puppets of their conquered territories.

Goebbels figured the future and bowed out. ... as did many others.

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Well, suicide in itself, under such circumstances, is understandable.
Whether or not they feared the noose and being propelled boots first into the next world, they obviously knew they would be paraded in cages like rats, generally be made a spectacle of, face a long trial, and very likely be put to death.
I'd like to think that I'd do myself in as well, before submitting to the enemies justice ,,, But there is no excuse for taking out his kids, an act so heinous that most of the surviving TR personalities must have been revolted by it as well.


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I have been googling a bit for info on any direct war crimes committed by Goebbels, so far have drawn a blank.
Did find a snippet that he "personally supervised the expelling of Jews from Berlin", but that allegation came with no references.

Did stumble on this interesting quote of his, made in a 1943 speech where he was trying to exhort the population for a supreme effort:
"We have burned our bridges behind us. ... We shall either go down in history as the greatest statesmen of all time, or as the greatest criminals."
This quote came up at quite a few different points in a search, so is likely authentic.
Shows he certainly had no illusions as to the outcome of defeat for the leadership, including himself.

Last edited by Skynyrd; 10/17/2011 08:27 AM.

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In an excellent well researched biography, "Goebbels - Mastermind of the Third Reich" (pub., Focal Point 1996), historian David Irving gives a particular insight, amongst several examples, into Goebbels criminal thought processes and his influence on Hitler. On February 17 1945 Goebbels proposed to Hitler that Germany formally repudiate the Geneva Convention and execute all allied POWs' - "one for each German air raid victim". Hitler told him to draft the proposal. This Goebbels did, but the twelve page secret document was never put into effect due to the opposition of other leading TR personalities. The order was reluctantly rescinded by Hitler.
Elsewhere,in a diary entry, Goebbels noted - "This Jewish plague must be eradicated (ausradiert). Totally. Nothing must be left." Goebbels written directives to the Berlin SD regarding deportation of Jews are forceful and strident in the extreme.
I personally have little doubt that, under the terms and circumstances in which the Nuremburg trials were held, had Goebbels stood trial the Allied legal teams would have produced irefutable documentary evidence spanning his TR career that would have lead to his conviction and the death penalty as a leading participant and accessory to crimes as defined by the Tribunal.
For any forum members interested in Goebells life and TR career I recomend David Irving's well referenced biography as outstanding.

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Thanks for the tip, I'll check into it.
Never read any of Irvings book, I am of course aware of the controversy surrounding him.
Doesn't faze me a bit, what I look for most in any historic writings is documented references, the lack of which makes a history book nearly worthless.
I have heard Irving is very good in that regards, so I'm about due to check him out and see what I think.
Checked my local library, which has a world class selection of books, at least volume wise - Not a single one by Irving, I'm thinking PC considerations are at play here.

They do have another I've recently heard about, "Nuremberg Interviews" Goldensohn, Leon. Never knew these interviews existed, sounds pretty interesting.
I read some snippets, and Goering was asked that, if he had somehow succeeded Hitler and tried to make peace with the allies, would he have turned over Himmler as a gesture of good will ?
He said "Hell no I would not have turned him over - I would have killed the bastard myself!"
Might have been easier said than done, even for Goering, but certainly there was no good will lost between those men.


During the Nuremberg trials, Dr. Leon Goldensohn–a psychiatrist for the U.S. Army–monitored the mental health of two dozen German leaders charged with carrying out genocide. These recorded conversations have gone largely unexamined for more than fifty years, until Robert Gellately–one of the premier historians of Nazi Germany–made them available to the public in this remarkable collection.Here are interviews with the likes of Hans Frank, Hermann Goering, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, and Joachim von Ribbentrop–the highest ranking Nazi officials in the Nuremberg jails. Here too are interviews with lesser-known officials essential to the inner workings of the Third Reich. Candid and often shockingly truthful, The Nuremberg Interviews is a profound addition to our understanding of the Nazi mind and mission.

http://www.randomhouse.com/book/68825/the-nuremberg-interviews-by-leon-goldensohn


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Virtually anyone in Germany could be indicted for war crimes.

There was no body of international law that addressed war crimes. No crimes enumerated, no sentences spelled out, no authority at all to convene a trial or tribunal.

The Allied leaders decided punishment was needed but shooting the Nazi leaders out of hand was not what they wanted to do as it was too much like what the Nazis were doing. It was pretty much "lets give them a fair trial and then hang them."

But how ?

Therefore the entire Third Reich was declared to be a criminal conspiracy that conspired to arm Germany, make war with its neighbors, enslave and exploit them, kill minorities, etc, etc. Then they made up the various counts that were used by the IMT in the indictments.

The allies further declared all the Nazi party organizations (SS / SA / etc) to be Criminal Organizations. Therefore if they caught an SS guy, they did not have to prove that he killed this person or that person ... all they had to do was determine a punishment.

Dave

Dave #253448 10/19/2011 12:31 AM
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We need to keep an open mind also, that David Irving is a Holocaust denier so it is possible that his writings may be some what biased, concerning Goebbels thoughts and comments on the Jewish question. There is no doubt in my mind about Irvings writings about Goebbels participation in the Nazi party. Below is one of many links that can be researched about Irving.
http://schikelgruber.net/irving.html


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Pretty sure the SA was not declared a criminal organization.
SS, SD, Gestapo, NS party, were.
Concept makes sense, same set of "guilt be association" laws that we use against the mafia today.

Far as Irving, I know all about the controversy.
I think it is safe to assume that most, if not all, authors have their biases. They are not bots, they are humans with their own biases and pre conceived notions.
That is why I look for documented references for any historical works. That fact that some call him a denier/sympathizer doesn't bother me a bit, and wouldn't drive me to read his writings, or not, based solely on those allegations.
The term "denier" itself is used willy nilly, and in many instances has lost all real meaning.
What if I said that only 5,555,000 died, and not the magic 6,000,000 ? That make me a denier ?
No, I'm afraid that the only real intention with these folks is to stick labels on people, in a transparent attempt to kill the messenger.
Unfortunately, the technique is very effective, and once people have these labels stuck on them, they are all but impossible to get off.

Last edited by Skynyrd; 10/19/2011 01:17 AM.

Doug
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I dont think that the SA is not a criminal org., but a bunch of inciters and brawlers but not responsible on a grand scale as the SS.
Unless photos have been doctored, then History can not be denied, if the Acronym SS is denied then it stands for "Sunday School"
My point and not to get far away from the Goebbels subject, anything that is written is subject to scrutiny and its true,,even well documented references are questionable, but the only source of truth is the photo itself and from that point,, refrences can be made from the source photos,interviews, collected items etc.. then writings of an Author can begin. Hard to imagine denying the Einsatzgruppes in Russia, or the well documented liberations of the camps. Goebbels? yes guilty by association and being in the center of the web and an inciter of hatred to the last days. Every author collector and dealer are labeled also, so yes I agree in that respect but we still patronize them regardless of their short comings. If a collector or dealer is selling bogus collectibles and its proven, then they deny history and are self serving. Its hard to patronize a convenient store with outdated inventory. "See for yourself" as they say,, so with that the journey begins in researching History and the people behind the writings. Personal thoughts on a topic are seen frequently when the Author says "It is in this writers opinion",, but how can an Author write about a heinous figure in time, and in His personal opinion say that the Holocaust did not happen,( in so many words) but paint some one as a bad guy for participating in it? Maybe im confused!
Originally Posted By: Skynyrd
That is why I look for documented references for any historical works.

Same here! and in this hobby we as collectors and some honest dealers want the truth as close as possible. Irving has some great writings on alot of subjects no doubt, but when playing baseball at night.. all the lights need to be on, including the outfield. Great topic! grin


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Originally Posted By: Skynyrd
Pretty sure the SA was not declared a criminal organization.
SS, SD, Gestapo, NS party, were.......................
.............. ...........
...................................

Hi Doug,
The SA was declared as a C. Org.
See below:

"After the capitulation of the German Reich in 1945, the SA and SS and Nazi party was banned by the Control Council Law No. 2 and dissolved."

Interesting Topic,guys!

Gerd

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I think there are legitimate grounds for doubting many aspects of history, the holocaust to me is not some magical exception.
Clearly, to deny in whole a criminal conspiracy, to deny atrocities on a mass scale by Germans, is ludicrous. I personally don't think it should be illegal, but obviously nations which have suffered under Nazi tyranny have a different view.
"History by decree" I shall never agree with, and I don't think it can stand the test of time.
We must remember the extreme political motivations of Jews in the wake of WW2, which culminated in the founding of Israel. It was in their interest to exaggerate their losses, and I have but little doubt that they did just that.
But this is illegal to propose, research or even discuss in some nations - My view is, the truth does not need the force of law to make it stand.

But you are right, a possible bias of the author should be kept in mind when reading his books. I think there is substance behind some at least of the accusations against him, he appears just a little too fond of the TR.


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Hey Doug.. I invite you for a beer!...........Gerd is buying!! He knows all the best SS eagle Taverns. grin,, but watch out for the bartender who will give you a tough serving of Runes buttons!


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Gerd - SA was found not guilty, as was the General Staff and High Command of the German Armed Forces.
So they were never declared guilty.
SS, Gestapo, and NS leadership Corps was, of course, found guilty.
Reasoning is fairly obvious - SA had faded into insignificance well before any international atrocities occurred, and the High Command Staff were of such a limited number that it was felt better to deal with them as individuals.

I bet you guys could show a history lover a very good time, Siegfried.
I might bore you to death though, I don't drink beer !

Last edited by Skynyrd; 10/20/2011 03:05 AM.

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You're right Doug.
i was mixed up crazy
my statement was referring to the organisations, banned by law

Of course Larry,if you ever come across my way
,i'll invite you for a couple of beers laugh

Gerd

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Originally Posted By: Skynyrd
I might bore you to death though, I don't drink beer !


I think not!! When it comes to this kind of History, beer is only secondary,like sipping iced tea! Its the unity being like minded in the hobby that matters. I enjoy your posts,, they are well researched and detailed.
Originally Posted By: Skynyrd again!
SA had faded into insignificance well before any international atrocities occurred

This is a great quote because in referring to SA daggers especially the Late RZM types, is that craftmanship and good materials went out the window and nobody seemed to care. SA daggers were being given out left and right in the late years and has lost all honorable significance, as when they were given out during the early period. The SA lost its punch!..and were kept around for ceremonies and small funtions. All thanks can go to Himmler that this organization was saved from the Nuremberg judges. It was Himmler who pulled the teeth out of a Powerful Lion! IMO


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Well, though I don't drink beer, I have been known to slam down a little whiskey or wine on occasion. So I'm not a total stick in the mud at the bar.

The decision not to indict the SA as a criminal organization was correct. I think that there was a bit more to it that the fact that they had faded into insignificance well before any international atrocities occurred ... Much the same could be said about Hess.
For one, the group itself was the victim of Hitlers wrath. Another, there simply was not many SA war criminals, if any. Any SA members that reached a position where they could commit atrocities were likely former SA members who branched over to the SS or party.


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Hey Doug,,you opened the door for me on this one...In theory if Viktor Lutze had not been killed in a car wreck before the war ended and lived to see his capture my thoughts would be that He might not been charged with anything but a little incitement. Since Rohm was put out and he took over, I can say that he had some participation in the "Night of the Long knives" ..AND "kristallnacht" By the near end of the war Lutze was pretty much a "figure head" for the SA. I can only guess he might of served some time for participation. Makes me wonder about his death since he was stepping on some toes and this accident came all of a sudden!


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Larry, Doug, et al,

You might want to dig a little deeper into the activities of the SA before the war. Businesses were destroyed, people killed, vigorous and continued antisemitic intimidation, etc, etc.

Had Rohm or Lutze survived, they would have been at the IMT for sure. The lower level SA guys mostly disappeared into the armed forces as they were subject to conscription. Much less notice was taken of them than of the SS because of the magnitude of SS crimes.

Dave

Dave #253530 10/21/2011 01:39 AM
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Everyone knows that, Dave.
No ones claiming that the men in brown shirts were perfect angles.
On the contrary, they rose to prominence and infamy on a crest of broken bones & blood.
Point is, the actions they took were not international actions, and as devastating as they were to their victims, they did not rise to the level of "war crimes".
They would have had a mighty full docket if they started indicting everyone who mistreated a jew, or broke a window.

Really, if the International Tribunal of War Crimes found the SA not guilty of war crimes, thats good enough for me.
I doubt if Lutze would have been indicted.
The organization he headed found innocent, but he himself guilty ? What would they have tried him on, assisting the SS in Kristallnacht ?
Highly unlikely, he was on the outer fringe of party matters, and less than that on any military/security matters.
Far as Röhm, little use speculating about that.

Last edited by Skynyrd; 10/21/2011 01:45 AM.

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In the early years of the movement a lot of the SAs time was taken up with street battles against Marists like at Coburg in 1922.

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Thought I'd revive this topic to see if anyone else has some perspective.
Still can't find anything to put blood or illegal orders directly on Goebbels hands.


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IMO the Russians and British would have gone after Goering for the destruction of their cities (terror bombing) and the international community would have wanted retribution for the bombing of Guerinca during the Spanish Civil War. I think that the execution of Mussolini in Milan made clear what waited all the Axis leaders and resulted in the wave of Nazi suicides at the end of the war.


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Might have looked a bit too ironic specifically going after Goering for terror bombing when the Allies themselves terror bombed 10x more. 1st thing his defense would have done would be to call Harris & Lemay to remind everyone exactly what they did to the civilian populations of Germany & Japan.
They backed down from charging Doenitz for terror on the high seas precisely because we were even more ruthless against the Japanese using unrestricted submarine warfare - And they in fact called on Nimitz to testify about this before the case was dropped. In any case, Goering had many responsible positions where he formulated policy and gave actual orders, unlike Goebbels.

Mussolini was tortured & murdered by communist partisans, I don't think any responsible Allied policy maker or statesman [Russians excluded] would have held that up as a role model for victors justice. I am trying to get at exactly what Goebbels did that was a war crime, obviously one doesn't need to look too hard for general Nazi atrocities.


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Field Marshal Keitel's defence counsel at the Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal, Dr. Nelte, described Goebbels as; "a very shrewd man, the ideological dynamo of the Third Reich." In Nelte's opinion, apart from the anti- Jewish pogrom of November 1938 (Kristallnacht) "...there was nothing Goebbels could have been accused of in this trial."
However, the Allies took a different view and Goebbel's was named in the list of major war criminals to be prosecuted at the war's end, this list was published in September 1944 as a warning to the Nazi leadership of what was to come.
I believe Goebbel's knew his pre-destined fate was to be death at the hand of the victorious Allies. His last words to his staff have been reported as; "..well, what were you working with me for, gentlemen? we hung together and we'll be hanged together"

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I am interested in a comment the Russian made to the effect "the wave of Nazi suicides at the end of the war."
I don't want to get off Skynyrd's topic, but I have not heard this before and am wondering if the Russian is reciting Soviet Russian history which covered up the immediate execution of anyone associated with the SS.

As to Goebbels. He was guilty of creating the art of propaganda through the media. If you look at the book he would have written, it is used by all political parties in the US.

So, in reality, he is guilty of doing his job. While that is not a crime, I believe he certainly would have been tried and perhaps executed.

But, does anyone know what the Russian is speaking of

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This is an expansive topic, hard to stick to just Goebbels. I think most of us agree that while though he may have done nothing that would render him legally guilty, such as issue orders or formulate programs that resulted in atrocities, he would doubtless have been the 1st to hang due to his long time and close association with Hitler, and for his fanatical advancement of the Nazi agenda.
It is inconceivable, given the heated passions of the time and thirst for vengeance, that anything else but certain death awaited him. If he just "disappeared" ala Bormann, would have been interesting to see the absentia case against him.

As to suicides, there are the obvious and well known ones of Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels, Udet, Kruger to name a few. With the exception of Udet, they ended their lives to deny the pleasure to their enemies. There were many suicides of lesser personalities, as might be expected from any shattered nation. Many of these ended their lives not with thoughts of escaping victors justice or even a guilty conscience, but for the same reason Goebbels had his family killed - They could not conceive of living without Hitler, and under the thumb of enemies.
Don't know if this is what the russian was referring to or not ... Certainly the Soviets did their fair share of murder without trial, knowing that there wasn't anything anyone could do about it and, in any case, sympathy for Germans in general and Nazis is particular was in very short supply.


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Skynyrd: Really interesting to read your writings - obviously you have gone over a book or two about the subject. We covered this period of history pretty thoroughly at the Army War College, but I would be interested to hear your thoughts on why Rudolph Hess was punished so harshly in the trials when he left the war so early and did so in the interest of securing "peace".


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The Russians, from what I recall, literally wanted the head of Hess. Many in the west, in recognition of his bizarre goodwill mission, wanted a light jail term. It was thought best though not to antagonize the notoriously paranoid and sensitive Soviets over the issue, and it was decided that he would never see the light of day again.
So his sentence, which many indeed did view as harsh for a man who left Germany on his own free will and avoided any possible connection to the vast majority of Nazi crimes, was largely a compromise designed to placate the vengeance seeking Russians.

It was also likely recognized at the time, and can certainly be seen in retrospect, that he was just too prominent a figure of a notorious, blood soaked regime to simply set free. Germany itself was probably more than content to see him swept under the rug, so having no advocates outside of his immediate family, his fate was sealed.

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To add to Skynyrd's explanation, Hess's goodwill mission was to make peace with the British which would leave the Russians to deal with Germany by themselves. Stalin would never get over it, nor would the soviet union.

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Never thought about that aspect. Thank you


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The Soviets always considered Hess a major war criminal, not just because he had been Hitler's deputy, but because of the untrue wartime claim of the British government, given to allay Russian suspicions of British intentions, that the purpose of Hess's mission was to persuade the British to join in a crusade against Bolshevism.


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