Chapter V — THE NUREMBERG TRIALS
The story of the Six Million was given judicial authority at the Nuremberg Trials of German leaders between 1945 and 1949, proceedings which proved to be the most disgraceful legal farce in history. For a far more detailed study of the iniquities of these trials, which, as Field Marshal Montgomery said, made it a crime to lose a war, the reader is referred to the works cited below, and particularly to the outstanding book Advance to Barbarism (Nelson, 1953), by the distinguished English lawyer F.J.P. Veale.
From the very outset the Nuremberg Trials proceeded on the basis of gross statistical errors. In his speech of indictment on November 20, 1945, Mr. Sidney Alderman declared that there had been 9,600,000 Jews living in German occupied Europe. Our earlier study has shown this figure to be wildly inaccurate. It is arrived at (a) by completely ignoring all Jewish emigration between 1933 and 1945 and (b) by adding all the Jews of Russia, including the two million or more who were never in German occupied territory. The same inflated figure, slightly enlarged to 9,800,000, was produced again at the Eichmann Trial in Israel by Prof. Shalom Baron.
The alleged Six Million victims first appeared as the foundation for the prosecution at Nuremberg and after some dalliance with ten million or more by the Press at the time, it eventually gained international popularity and acceptance. It is very significant however that, although this outlandish figure was able to win credence in the reckless atmosphere of recrimination in 1945, it had become no longer tenable by 1961, at the Eichmann Trial. The Jerusalem court studiously avoided mentioning the figure of Six Million and the charge drawn up by Mr. Gideon Haussner simply said “some” millions.
LEGAL PRINCIPLES IGNORED
Should anyone be misled into believing that the extermination of the Jews was “proved” at Nuremberg by “evidence” he should consider the nature of the Trials themselves, based as they were on a total disregard of sound legal principles of any kind. The victors were putting on trial the vanquished. (Among the judges of course were the Russians, whose numberless crimes included the massacre of 15,000 Polish officers, a proportion of whose bodies were discovered by the Germans at Katyn Forest, near Smolensk. The Soviet Prosecutor attempted to blame this slaughter on the German defendants.) At Nuremberg, ex post facto legislation was created, whereby men were tried for ‘crimes’ which were only declared crimes after they had been (allegedly) committed. Hitherto it had been the most basic legal principle that a person could only be convicted for infringing a law that was in force at the time of the infringement. “Nulla Poena Sine Legi.”
The Rules of Evidence, developed by British jurisprudence over the centuries in order to arrive at the truth of a charge with as much certainty as possible, were entirely disregarded at Nuremberg. It was decreed that “the Tribunal should not be bound by technical rules of evidence” but could admit “any evidence which it deemed to have probative value,” that is, would support a conviction. In practice this meant the admittance of hearsay evidence and documents, which in a normal judicial trial are always rejected as untrustworthy. That such evidence was allowed is of profound significance because it was one of the principal methods by which the extermination legend was fabricated through fraudulent written affidavits.
Although only 240 witnesses were called in the course of the Trials, no less than 300,000 of these “written affidavits” were accepted by the Court as supporting the charges, without this evidence being heard under oath. Under these circumstances, any Jewish deportee or camp inmate could make any revengeful allegation that he pleased. Most incredible of all, perhaps, was the fact that the defendants personally were not permitted to cross examine prosecution witnesses. A somewhat similar situation prevailed at the trial of Adolf Eichmann, when it was announced that Eichmann’s defence lawyer could be cancelled at any time “if an intolerable situation should arise” which presumably meant if his lawyer started to prove his innocence.
The real background of the Nuremberg Trials was exposed by the American Judge, Justice Wenerstrum, President of one of the Tribunals. He was so disgusted by the proceedings that he resigned his appointment and flew home to America, leaving behind a statement to the Chicago Tribune which enumerated point by point his objections to the Trials (cf. Mark Lautem, Das Letzte Wort über Nümberg, p. 56). Points 3 — 8 are as follows.
- The members of the department of the Public Prosecutor, instead of trying to formulate and reach a new guiding legal principle, were moved only by personal ambition and revenge.
- The prosecution did its utmost in every way possible to prevent the defence preparing its case and to make it impossible for it to furnish evidence.
- The prosecution, led by General Taylor, did everything in its power to prevent the unanimous decision of the Military Court being carried out — i.e. to ask Washington to furnish and make available to the court further documentary evidence in the possession of the American Government.
- Ninety percent of the Nuremberg Court consisted of biased persons who, either on political or racial grounds, furthered the prosecution’s case.
- The prosecution obviously knew how to fill all the administrative posts of the Military Court with “Americans” whose naturalization certificates were very new indeed, and who, whether in the administrative service or by their translations etc, created an atmosphere hostile to the accused persons.
- The real aim of the Nuremberg Trials was to show the Germans the crimes of their Fuehrer, and this aim was at the same time the pretext on which the trials were ordered ... Had I known seven months earlier what was happening at Nuremberg, I would never have gone there.
Concerning Point 6, that ninety percent of the Nuremberg Court consisted of people biased on racial or political grounds, this was a fact confirmed by others present. According to Earl Carrol, an American lawyer, sixty per cent of the staff of the Public Prosecutor’s Office were German Jews who had left Germany after the promulgation of Hitler’s Race Laws. He observed that not even ten percent of the Americans employed at the Nuremberg courts were actually Americans by birth. The chief of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, who worked behind General Taylor, was Robert M. Kempner, a German-Jewish emigrant. He was assisted by Morris Amchan. Mark Lautern, who observed the Trials, writes in his book: “They have all arrived: the Solomons, the Schlossbergers and the Rabinovitches, members of the Public Prosecutor’s staff ...” (ibid. p. 68).
It is obvious from these facts that the fundamental legal principle: that no man can sit in judgement on his own case, was abandoned altogether. Worse, the majority of witnesses were also Jews, when only a minority of the concentration camp inmates had been Jewish. According to Prof. Maurice Bardache, who was also an observer at the Trials, the only concern of these witnesses was not to show their hatred too openly, and to try and give an impression of objectivity (Nuremberg ou la Terre Promise, Paris, 1948, p. 149).
‘CONFESSIONS’ UNDER TORTURE
Altogether more disturbing, however, were the methods employed to extract statements and ‘confessions’ at Nuremberg, particularly those from S.S. officers which were used to support the extermination charge. The American Senator, Joseph McCarthy, in a statement given to the American Press on May 20, 1949, drew attention to the following cases of torture to secure such confessions.
In the prison of Swabisch Hall, he stated, officers of the S.S. Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler were flogged until they were soaked in blood, after which their sexual organs were trampled on as they lay prostrate on the ground. As in the notorious Malmedy Trials of private soldiers, the prisoners were hoisted in the air and beaten until they signed the confessions demanded of them. On the basis of such ‘confessions’ extorted from S.S. Generals Sepp Dietrich and Joachim Peiper, the Leibstandarte was convicted as a “guilty organization.”
In dealing with these cases, Senator McCarthy told the Press: “I have heard evidence and read documentary proofs to the effect that the accused persons were beaten up, maltreated and physically tortured by methods which could only be conceived in sick brains. They were subjected to mock trials and pretended executions, they were told their families would be deprived of their ration cards. All these things were carried out with the approval of the Public Prosecutor in order to secure the psychological atmosphere necessary for the extortion of the required confessions. If the United States lets such acts committed by a few people go unpunished, then the whole world can rightly criticise us severely and forever doubt the correctness of our motives and our moral integrity.”
The methods of intimidation described were repeated during trials at Frankfurt-am-Main and at Dachau, and large numbers of Germans were convicted for atrocities on the basis of their admissions. The American Judge Edward L. van Roden, one of the three members of the Simpson Army Commission which was subsequently appointed to investigate the methods of justice at the Dachau trials, revealed the methods by which these admissions were secured in the Washington Daily News, January 9, 1949. His account also appeared in the British newspaper, the Sunday Pictorial, January 23, 1949. The methods he described were: “Posturing as priests to hear confessions and give absolution; torture with burning matches driven under the prisoners finger- nails; knocking out of teeth and breaking jaws; solitary confinement and near starvation rations.” Van Roden explained: “The statements which were admitted as evidence were obtained from men who had first been kept in solitary confinement for three, four and five months...
“The investigators would put a black hood over the accused’s head and then punch him in the face with brass knuckles, kick him and beat him with rubber hoses ... All but two of the Germans, in the 139 cases we investigated, had been kicked in the testicles beyond repair. This was standard operating procedure with our American investigators.”
The “American” investigators responsible (and who later functioned as the prosecution in the trials) were: Lt.-Col. Burton E Ellis (chief of the War Crimes Committee) and his assistants, Capt. Raphael Shumacker, Lt. Robert E. Byme, Lt. William R. Perl, Mr. Morris Ellswitz, Mr. Harry Thon and Mr. Kirschbaum. The legal adviser of the court was Col. A. H. Rosenfeld. The reader will immediately appreciate from their names that the majority of these people were “biased on racial grounds’’ in the words of Justice Wenersturm — that is, were Jewish, and therefore should never have been involved in any such investigation.
Despite the fact that “confessions” pertaining to the extermination of the Jews were extracted under these conditions, Nuremberg statements are still regarded as conclusive evidence for the Six Million by writers like Reitlinger and others, and the illusion is maintained that the Trials were both impartial and impeccably fair. When General Taylor, the Chief Public Prosecutor, was asked where he had obtained the figure of the Six Million, he replied that it was based on the confession of S.S. General Otto Ohlendorf. He, too, was tortured and his case is examined below. But as far as such ‘confessions’ in general are concerned, we can do no better than quote the British Sunday Pictorial when reviewing the report of Judge van Roden: “Strong men were reduced to broken wrecks ready to mumble any admission demanded by their prosecutors.
THE WISLICENY STATEMENT
At this point, let us turn to some of’the Nuremberg documents themselves. The document quoted most frequently in support of the legend of the Six Million, and which figures largely in Poliakov and Wulf’s Das Dritte Reich und die Juden: Dokumente und Aufsatze, is the statement of S.S. Captain Dieter Wisliceny, an assistant in Adolf Eichmann’s office and later the Gestapo chief in Slovakia. It was obtained under conditions even more extreme than those described above, for Wisliceny fell into the hands of Czech Communists and was “interrogated” at the Soviet controlled Bratislava Prison in November, 1946. Subjected to torture, Wisliceny was reduced to a nervous wreck and became addicted to uncontrollable fits of sobbing for hours on end prior to his execution. Although the conditions under which his statement was obtained empty it entirely of all plausibility, Poliakov prefers to ignore this and merely writes: “In prison he wrote several memoirs that contain information of great interest” (Harvest of Hate, p. 3).
These memoirs include some genuine statements of fact to provide authenticity, such as that Himmler was an enthusiastic advocate of Jewish emigration and that the emigration of Jews from Europe continued throughout the war, but in general they are typical of the Communist-style ‘confession’ produced at Soviet show-trials. Frequent reference is made to exterminating Jews and a flagrant attempt is made to implicate as many S.S. leaders as possible. Factual errors are also common, notably the statement that the war with Poland added more than 3 million Jews to the German-occupied territory, which we have disproved above.
THE CASE OF THE EINSATZGRUPPEN
The Wisliceny statement deals at some length with the activities of the Einsatzgruppen or Action Groups used in the Russian campaign. These must merit a detailed consideration in a survey of Nuremberg because the picture presented of them at the Trials represents a kind of “Six Million’’ in miniature, i.e. has been proved since to be the most enormous exaggeration and falsification. The Einsatzgruppen were four special units drawn from the Gestapo and the S.D. (S.S. Security Service) whose task was to wipe out partisans and Communist commissars in the wake of the advancing German armies in Russia. As early as 1939, there had been 34,000 of these political commissars attached to the Red Army. The activities of the Einsatzgruppen were the particular concern of the Soviet Prosecutor Rudenko at the Nuremberg Trials. The 1947 indictment of the four groups alleged that in the course of their operations they had killed not less than one million Jews in Russia merely because they were Jews.
These allegations have since been elaborated; it is now claimed that the murder of Soviet Jews by the Einsatzgruppen constituted Phase One in the plan to exterminate the Jews, Phase Two being the transportation of European Jews to Poland. Reitlinger admits that the original term “final solution” referred to emigration and had nothing to do with the liquidation of Jews, but he then claims that an extermination policy began at the time of the invasion of Russia in 1941. He considers Hitler’s order of July 1941 for the liquidation of the Communist commissars, and he concludes that this was accompanied by a verbal order from Hitler for the Einsatzgruppen to liquidate all Soviet Jews (Die Endlosung, p. 91). If this assumption is based on anything at all, it is probably the worthless Wisliceny statement, which alleges that the Einsatzgruppen were soon receiving orders to extend their task of crushing Communists and partisans to a “general massacre” of Russian Jews.
It is very significant that, once again, it is a “verbal order” for exterminating Jews that is supposed to have accompanied Hitler’s genuine, written order — yet another nebulous and unprovable assumption on the part of Reitlinger. An earlier order from Hitler, dated March 1941 and signed by Field Marshal Keitel, makes it quite clear what the real tasks of the future Einsatzgruppen would be. It states that in the Russian campaign, the Reichsfuhrer S.S. (Himmler) is to be entrusted with “tasks for the preparation of the political administration, tasks which result from the struggle which has to be carried out between two opposing political systems” (Manvell & Frankl, ibid. p.115). This plainly refers to eliminating Communism, especially the political commissars whose specific task was Communist indoctrination.
THE OHLENDORF TRIAL
The most revealing trial in the “Einsatzgruppen Case” at Nuremberg was that of S.S. General Otto Ohlendorf, the chief of the S.D. who commanded Einsatzgruppe D in the Ukraine, attached to Field Marshal von Manstein’s Eleventh Army. During the last phase of the war he was employed as a foreign trade expert in the Ministry of Economics.
In his affidavit of November 5, 1945, Ohlendorf was “persuaded” to confess that 90,000 Jews had been killed under his command alone. Ohlendorf did not come to trial until 1948, long after the main Nuremberg Trial, and by that time he was insisting that his earlier statement hdd been extracted from him under torture. In his main speech before the Tribunal, Ohlendorf took the opportunity to denounce Philip Auerbach, the Jewish attorney-general of the Bavarian State Office for Restitution, who at that time was claiming compensation for “eleven million Jews” who had suffered in German concentration camps. Ohlendorf dismissed this ridiculous claim, stating that “not the minutest part” of the people for whom Auerbach was demanding compensation had even seen a concentration camp. Ohlendorf lived long enough to see Auerbach convicted for embezzlement and fraud (forging documents purporting to show huge payments of compensation to non-existent people) before his own execution finally took place in 1951.
Ohlendorf explained to the Tribunal that his units often had to prevent massacres of Jews organised by anti-Semitic Ukrainians behind the German front and he denied that the Einsatzgruppen as a whole had inflicted even one quarter of the casualties claimed by the prosecution. He insisted that the illegal partisan warfare in Russia, which he had to combat, had taken a far higher toll of lives from the regular German Army — an assertion confirmed by the Soviet Government, which boasted of 500,000 German troops killed by partisans. In fact, Franz Stahlecker, commander of Einsatzgruppe A in the Baltic region and White Russia, was himself killed by partisans in 1942.
The English lawyer F.J.P. Veale, in dealing with the Action Groups, explains that in the fighting on the Russian front no distinction could be properly drawn between partisans and the civilian population, because any Russian civilian who maintained his civilian status instead of acting as a terrorist was liable to be executed by his countrymen as a traitor. Veale says of the Action Groups: “There is no question that their orders were to combat terror by terror,” and he finds it strange that atrocities committed by the partisans in the struggle were regarded as blameless simply because they turned out to be on the winning side (ibid. p. 225). Ohlendorf took the same view, and in a bitter appeal written before his execution, he accused the Allies of hypocrisy in holding the Germans to account by conventional laws of warfare while fighting a savage Soviet enemy who did not respect those laws.
ACTION GROUP EXECUTIONS DISTORTED
The Soviet charge that the Action Groups had wantonly exterminated a million Jews during their operations has been shown subsequently to be a massive falsification. In fact, there had never been the slightest statistical basis for the figure. In this connection, Poliakov and Wulf cite the statement of Wilhelm Hoettl, the dubious American spy, double agent and former assistant of Eichmann. Hoettl, it will be remembered, claimed that Eichmann had “told him” that six million Jews had been exterminated — and he added that two million of these had been killed by the Einsatzgruppen. This absurd figure went beyond even the wildest estimates of Soviet Prosecutor Rudenko, and it was not given any credence by the American Tribunal which tried and condemned Ohlendorf.
The real number of casualties for which the Action Groups were responsible has since been revealed in the scholarly work Manstein: his Campaigns and his Trial (London, 1951) by the able English lawyer R. T. Paget. Ohlendorf had been under Manstein’s nominal command. Paget’s conclusion is that the Nuremberg Court, in accepting the figures of the Soviet prosecution, exaggerated the number of casualties by more than 1000 per cent and that they distorted even more the situations in which these casualties were inflicted. (These horrific distortions are the subject of six pages of Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, pp. 1140-46.) Here then is the legendary 6 million in miniature; not one million deaths, but one hundred thousand. Of course, only a small proportion of these could have been Jewish partisans and Communist functionaries. It is worth repeating that these casualties were inflicted during savage partisan warfare on the Eastern front, and that Soviet terrorists claim to have killed five times that number of German troops. it has nevertheless remained a popular myth that the extermination of the Jews began with the actions of the Einsatzgruppen in Russia.
In conclusion, we may briefly survey the Manstein trial itself, typical in so many ways of Nuremberg proceedings. Principally because Action Group D was attached to Manstein’s command (though it was responsible solely to Himmler), the sixty-two year old, invalid Field Marshal, considered by most authorities to be the most brilliant German general of the war, was subjected to the shameful indignity of a “war-crimes” trial. Of the 17 charges, 15 were brought by the Communist Russian Government and two by the Communist Polish Government. Only one witness was called to give evidence at this trial and he proved so unsatisfactory that the prosecution withdrew his evidence. Reliance was placed instead on 800 hearsay documents which were accepted by the court without any proof of their authenticity or authorship. The prosecution introduced written affidavits by Ohlendorf and other S.S. leaders, but since these men were still alive, Manstein’s defence lawyer, Reginald Pager K.C. demanded their appearance in the witness-box. This was refused by the American authorities and Paget declared that this refusal was due to fear lest the condemned men revealed what methods had been used to induce them to sign their affidavits. Manstein was eventually acquitted on eight of the charges, including the two Polish ones which, as Pager said, “were so flagrantly bogus that one was left wondering why they had been presented at all.”
THE OSWALD POHL TRIAL
The case of the Action Groups is a revealing insight into the methods of the Nuremberg Trials and the fabrication of the Myth of the Six Million. Another is the trial of Oswald Pohl in 1948, which is of great importance as it bears directly on the administration of the concentration camp system. Pohl had been the chief disbursing officer of the German Navy until 1934, when Himmler requested his transfer to the S.S. For eleven years he was the principal administrative chief of the entire S.S, in his position as head of the S.S. Economy and Administration Office, which after 1941 was concerned with the industrial productivity of the concentration camp system.
A peak point of hypocrisy was reached at the trial when the prosecution said to Pohl that “had Germany rested content with the exclusion of Jews from her own territory, with denying them German citizenship, with excluding them from public office, or any like domestic regulation, no other nation could have been heard to complain.” The truth is that Germany was bombarded with insults and economic sanctions for doing precisely these things, and her internal measures against the Jews were certainly a major cause of the declaration of war against Germany by the democracies.
Oswald Pohl was an extremely sensitive and intellectual individual who was reduced to a broken man in the course of his trial. As Senator McCarthy pointed out, Pohl had signed some incriminating statements after being subjected to severe torture, including a bogus admission that he had seen a gas chamber at Auschwitz in the summer of 1944. The prosecution strenuously pressed this charge, but Pohl successfully repudiated it. The aim of the prosecution was to depict this dejected man as a veritable fiend in human shape, an impression hopelessly at variance with the testimony of those who knew him.
Such testimony was given by Heinrich Hoepker, an anti-Nazi friend of Pohl’s wife who came into frequent contact with him during the period 1942-45. Hoepker noted that Pohl was essentially a serene and mild-mannered person. During a visit to Pohl in the spring of 1944, Hoepker was brought into contact with concentration camp inmates who were working on a local project outside the camp area. He noted that the prisoners worked in a leisurely manner and relaxed atmosphere without any pressure from their guards. Hoepker declared that Pohl did not hold an emotional attitude to the Jews, and did not object to his wife entertaining her Jewish friend Annemarie Jacques at their home. By the beginning of 1945, Hoepker was fully convinced that the administrator of the concentration camps was a humane, conscientious and dedicated servant of his ‘task, and he was astonished when he heard late in 1945 of the accusations being made against Pohl and his colleagues.
Frau Pohl noted that her husband retained his serenity in the face of adversity until March 1945, when he visited the camp at Bergen-Belsen at the time of the typhus epidemic there. Hitherto the camp had been a model of cleanliness and order, but the chaotic conditions at the close of the war had reduced it to a state of extreme hardship. Pohl, who was unable to alleviate conditions there because of the desperate pass which the war had reached by that time, was deeply affected by the experience and, according to his wife, never regained his former state of composure.
Dr. Alfred Seidl, the highly respected lawyer who acted as principal defence counsel at the Nuremberg Trials, went to work passionately to secure the acquittal of Pohl. Seidl had been a personal friend of the accused for many years, and was thoroughly convinced of his innocence with respect to the fraudulent charge of planned genocide against the Jews. The Allied judgement which condemned Pohl did not prompt Seidl to change his opinion in the slightest. He declared that the prosecution had failed to produce a single piece of valid evidence against him.
One of the most eloquent defences of Oswald Pohl was made by S.S. Lieutenant Colonel Kurt Schmidt-Klevenow, a legal officer in the S.S. Economy and Administration Office, in his affidavit of 8th August, 1947.
Schmidt-Klevenow pointed out that Pohl had given his fullest support to Judge Konrad Morgen of the Reich Criminal Police Office, whose job was to investigate irregularities at the concentration camps. Later on we shall refer to a case in which Pohl was in favour of the death penalty for camp commandant Koch, who was accused by an S.S. court of misconduct. Schmidt Klevenow explained that Pohl was instrumental in arranging for local police chiefs to share in the jurisdiction of concentration camps, and took personal initiative in securing strict discipline on the part of camp personnel. In short, the evidence given at the Pohl trial shows that the proceedings involved nothing less than the deliberate defamation of a man’s character in order to support the propaganda legend of genocide against the Jews in the concentration camps he administered.
FALSIFIED EVIDENCE AND FRAUDULENT AFFIDAVITS
Spurious testimony at Nuremberg which included extravagant statements in support of the Myth of the Six Million was invariably given by former German officers because of pressure, either severe torture as in the cases cited previously, or the assurance of leniency for themselves if they supplied the required statements. An example of the latter was the testimony of S.S. General Erich Bach-Zelewski. He was threatened with execution himself because of his suppression of the revolt by Polish partisans at Warsaw in August 1944, which he carried out with his S.S. brigade of White Russians. He was therefore prepared to be “cooperative.” The evidence of Bach-Zelewski constituted the basis of the testimony against the Reichsfuhrer of the S.S. Heinrich Himmler at the main Nuremberg Trial (Trial of the Major War Criminals, Vol. IV, pp. 29, 36). In March 1941, on the eve of the invasion of Russia, Himmler invited the Higher S.S. leaders to his castle at Wewelsburg for a conference, including Bach-Zelewski who was an expert on partisan warfare. In his Nuremberg evidence, he depicted Himmler speaking in grandiose terms at this conference about the liquidation of peoples in Eastern Europe but Goering, in the courtroom, denounced Bach- Zelewski to his face for the falsity of this testimony.
An especially outrageous allegation concerned a supposed declaration by Himmler that one of the aims of the Russian campaign was to “decimate the Slav population by thirty millions.” What Himmler really said is given by his Chief of Staff, Wolff that war in Russia was certain to result in millions of dead (Manvell & Franki, ibid. p. 117). Another brazen falsehood was Bach Zelewski’s accusation that on August 31, 1942, Himmler personally witnessed the execution of one hundred Jews by an Einsatz detachment at Minsk, causing him to nearly faint. It is known that on this date Himmler was in conference at his field headquarters at Zhitomir in the Ukraine (cf. K Vowinckel, Die Wehrmacht im Kampf, vol. 4, p. 275). Much is made of Bach- Zelewski’s evidence in all the books on Himmler, especially Willi Frischauer’s Himmler: Evil Genius of the Third Reich (London, 1953, p. 148 ff). However, in April 1959, Bach-Zelewski is reported to have repudiated his Nuremberg testimony before a West German court. He admitted that his earlier statements had not the slightest foundation in fact, and that he had made them for the sake of expediency and his own survival. The German court, after careful deliberation, accepted his retraction. Needless to say, what Veale calls the “Iron Curtain of Discreet Silence” descended immediately over these events. They have had no influence whatever on the books which propagate the myth of the Six Million, and Bach Zelewski’s testimony on Himmler is still taken at its face value.
The truth concerning Himmler is provided ironically by an anti-Nazi — Felix Kersten, his physician and masseur. Because Kersten was opposed to the regime, he tends to support the legend that the internment of Jews meant their extermination. But from his close personal knowledge of Himmler he cannot help but tell the truth concerning him, and in his Memoirs 1940–1945 (London, 1956, p. 119 ff) he states that Himmler did not advocate liquidating the Jews but favoured their emigration overseas. Neither does Kersten implicate Hitler. However, the credibility of his anti-Nazi narrative is completely shattered when, in search of an alternative villain, he declares that Dr. Goebbels was the real advocate of “extermination.” This nonsensical allegation is amply disproved by the fact that Goebbels was still concerned with the Madagascar project even after it had been temporarily shelved by the German Foreign Office, as we showed earlier. So much for the false evidence at Nuremberg. Reference has also been made to the thousands of fraudulent “written affidavits” which were accepted by the Nuremberg Court without any attempt to ascertain the authenticity of their contents or even their authorship. These hearsay documents, often of the most bizarre kind, were inrroduced as “evidence”so long as they bore the required signature.
A typical prosecution affidavit contested by the defence in the Concentration Camp Trial of 1947 was that of Alois Hoellriegel, a member of the camp personnel at Mauthausen in Austria. This affidavit, which the defence proved was fabricated during Hoellriegel’s torture, had already been used to secure the conviction of S.S. General Ernst Kaltenbrunner in 1946. It claimed that a mass gassing operation had taken place at Mauthausen and that Hoellriegel had witnessed Kaltenbrunner (the highest S.S. Leader in the Reich excepting Himmler) actually taking part in it. By the time of the Concentration Camp Trial (Pohl’s trial) a year later, it had become impossible to sustain this piece of nonsense when it was produced in court again. The defence not only demonstrated that the affidavit was falsified but showed that all deaths at Mauthausen were systematically checked by the local police authorities. They were also entered on a camp register and particular embarrassment was caused to the prosecution when the Mauthausen register, one of the few that survived, was produced in evidence. The defence also obtained numerous affidavits from former inmates of Mauthausen (a prison camp chiefly for criminals) testifying to humane and orderly conditions there.
ALLIED ACCUSATIONS DISBELIEVED
There is no more eloquent testimony to the tragedy and tyranny of Nuremberg than the pathetic astonishment or outraged disbelief of the accused persons themselves at the grotesque charges made against them. Such is reflected in the affidavit of S.S. Major General Heinz Fanslau, who visited most of the German concentration camps during the last years of the war. Although a frontline soldier of the Waffen S.S., Fanslau had taken a great interest in concentration camp conditions, and he was selected as a prime target by the Allies for the charge of conspiracy to annihilate the Jews.
It was argued, on the basis of his many contacts, that he must have been fully involved. When it was first rumoured that he would be tried and convicted, hundreds of affidavits were produced on his behalf by camp inmates he had visited. When he read the full scope of the indictment against the concentration camp personnel in supplementary Nuremberg Trial No. 4 on May 6, 1947, Fanslau declared in disbelief: “This cannot be possible, because I too would have had to know something about it. It should be emphasized that throughout the Nuremberg proceedings, the German leaders on trial never believed for a moment the allegations of the Allied prosecution.
Hermann Goering, who was exposed to the full brunt of the Nuremberg atrocity propaganda, failed to be convinced by it. Hans Fritzsche, on trial as the highest functionary of Goebbels’ Ministry, relates that Goering, even after hearing the Ohlendorf affidavit on the Einsatzgruppen and the Hoess testimony on Auschwitz, remained convinced that the extermination of Jews was entirely propaganda fiction (The Sword in the Scales, London, 1953, p. 145).
At one point during the trial, Goering declared rather cogently that the first time he had heard of it “was right here in Nuremberg” (Shirer, ibid. p. 1147). The Jewish writers Poliakov, Reitlinger and Manvell and Frankl all attempt to implicate Goering in this supposed extermination, but Charles Bewley in his work Hermann Goering (Goettingen, 1956) shows that not the slightest evidence was found at Nuremberg to substantiate this charge.
Hans Fritzsche pondered on the whole question during the trials and he concluded that there had certainly been no thorough investigation of these monstrous charges. Fritzsche, who was acquitted, was an associate of Goebbels and a skilled propagandist. He recognised that the alleged massacre of the Jews was the main point of the indictment against all defendants.
Kaltenbrunner, who succeeded Heydrich as chief of the Reich Security Head Office and was the main defendant for the S.S. due to the death of Himmler, was no more convinced of the genocide charges than was Goering. He confided to Fritzsche that the prosecution was scoring apparent successes because of their technique of coercing witnesses and suppressing evidence, which was precisely the accusation of Judges Wenersturm and van Roden after the American trials at Nuremberg.