Tag Archives: allied forces

FFQ: FACTS, FIGURES & QUOTES: THE NUREMBERG TRIALS

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   The Nuremberg trials were a series of military tribunals held after World War II by the Allied Forces (The Allies or the Allied Forces of World War II, were called so, by the United Nations, in their January 1 1942 declaration.) They were the countries that together opposed the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis powers during the Second World War (1939-1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German, Japanese and the Italian aggression under international law and the laws of the war. The trials were most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, judicial, and economic leadership of Nazi Germany. Nazi Germany was the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) ruled the country through dictatorship.

    Under Hitler’s rule, Germany became a totalitarian state when nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government who planned, supervised, and horrendously carried out the holocaust. The holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was World War II’s genocide of the European Jews, between 1941 and 1945 across German-occupied Europe when, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Jews, around two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish population and committed other war crimes.

    War Crime is an act that constitutes a serious violation of the laws of war that gives rise to individual criminal responsibility. Examples of war crimes include intentionally killing civilians or prisoners, torturing, destroying civilian property, taking hostages, performing perfidy, raping, using child soldiers and pillaging. The trials were held in Nuremberg. Nuremberg is the second-largest city of the German federal state of Bavaria after its capital Munich. The trials marked a turning point between classical and contemporary international law.

    The first and the best known trials was that of the major war criminals before the International Military Tribunal (IMT). It was described as “the greatest trial in history” by Sir Norman Birkett, a British barrister, judge, politician and preacher who served as the alternate British judge during the Nuremberg trials, and one of the British judges present throughout. The trial was held between 20 November 1945 and 1 October 1946.

    The Tribunal was given the task of trying 24 of the most important political and military leaders of the Third Reich. Reich is a German word analogous to the English word meaning ‘realm of a king.’ Some important names that were put to trial were as follows:

    Let me begin with Martin Bormann who had died in May 1945 but the fact was not known to the allies and he was tried in absentia. Martin Ludwig Bormann was a German Nazi Party official and head of the Nazi Party Chancellery. He gained immense power by using his position as Adolf Hitler’s private secretary to control the flow of information and access to Hitler. After Hitler’s suicide on 30 April 1945, another defendant, Robert Ley, committed suicide within a week of his trial’s commencement.

    Adolf Hitler killed himself by a gunshot on 30 April 1945 in his Fuhrerbunker in Berlin. Eva Braun, his wife too committed suicide along with him by taking cyanide. In accordance with Hitler’s prior written and verbal instructions that afternoon, their remains were carried up the stairs through the bunker’s emergency exit, doused in petrol, and set alight in the Reich Chancellery garden outside the bunker. Records in the Soviet archives show that their burned remains were recovered and interred in successive locations until 1946. They were exhumed again and cremated in 1970, and the ashes were scattered. 

    Hitler had retreated to his bunker on January 16, after deciding to remain in Berlin for the last great siege of the war. Fifty-five feet under the chancellery (Hitler’s headquarters as chancellor), the shelter contained 18 small rooms and was fully self-sufficient, with its own water and electricity supply. He went out very rarely (once to decorate a squadron of Hitler Youth) and spent most of his time micromanaging what was left of German defenses and entertaining guests such as Hermann Goering, Heinrich Himmler, and Joachim von Ribbentrop. At his side was Eva Braun, whom he married only two days before their double suicide, and his dog, an Alsatian named Blondi.

    Warned by officers that the Russians were only a day or so away from overtaking the chancellery and urged him to escape to Berchtesgarden, a small town in the Bavarian Alps where Hitler owned a home, but the dictator instead chose suicide. It is believed that both he and his wife swallowed cyanide capsules which had been tested for its efficacy on his “beloved” dog and her pups. And for good measure, he even shot himself with his service pistol.

    The bodies of Hitler and Eva were cremated in the chancellery garden by the bunker survivors as per Der Fuhrer’s orders, and reportedly later recovered in parts by Russian troops. A German court finally officially declared Hitler dead, but not until 1956.

    Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels a German Nazi politician and a Reich Minister for Propoganda of the Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945, had both committed suicide in the spring of 1945 to avoid capture. Heinrich Himmler another leader of the Nazi Party, attempted to commit suicide, but was captured before he could succeed. He committed suicide one day after being arrested by British forces. On the other hand Heinrich Muller better known as Gestapo Muller the SS Gestapo chief of Hitler, who was central in planning the holocaust disappeared the day after Hitler’s suicide. He was the most senior figure of the Nazi regime whose fate remains unknown. He was neither captured nor confirmed to have died.

     Further Reinhard Heydrich a high-ranking German SS and police official of the Nazi era and the main architect of the holocaust was assassinated by Czech partisans in 1942. Josef Terboven another Nazi leader killed himself with dynamite in Norway in 1945. Adolf Eichmann fled to Argentina to avoid capture but was apprehended by Israel’s intelligence service (Mossad) and hanged after a trial in Jerusalem in 1962. Hermann Goring was sentenced to death but he committed suicide by swallowing cyanide the night before his execution.

    Primarily conducted in Nuremberg were the first initial trials, adjudicated by the International Military Tribunal. Further trials of lesser war criminals were conducted under Control Council Law No. 10 at the U.S. Nuremberg Military Tribunal (NMT), which included Doctors’ and Judges’ trial who too were part of war crimes.

    The categorization of the crimes and the constitution of the court represented a juridical advance that was to be followed afterward by the United Nations for the development of an international jurisprudence in matters of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and wars of aggression, and led to the creation of the International Criminal Court. For the first time in international law, the Nuremberg indictments also mentioned genocide (count three, war crimes: “the extermination of racial and national groups, against the civilian populations of certain occupied territories in order to destroy particular races and classes of people and national, racial, or religious groups, particularly Jews, Poles, Gypsies and others”).

    A precedent for trying those accused, of war crimes, had also been set up, at the end of World War I, in the Leipzig War Crimes Trials. The Leipzig War Crimes Trials were a series of trials held in 1921 to try alleged German war criminals of the First World War before the German Reichsgericht (the Supreme Court) in Leipzig, as part of the penalties imposed on the German government under the Treaty of Versailles. Only twelve individuals were brought to trial with mixed results, and the proceedings were widely regarded at the time as a failure. In the longer term, however, the trials were seen as a significant step towards the introduction of a comprehensive system for the prosecution of violations of international law.

 By Kamlesh Tripathi

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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ARTICLE: WAS NON-VIOLENCE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR INDIA’S INDEPENDENCE OR WAS THERE SOMETHING MORE TO IT?

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    Hello friends welcome to this edition of editorial compass. A lot has been spoken about India achieving independence through the “Brahmastra” of non-violence. But then, there also, happens to be another view-point that calls non-violence a myth.

    The line between historical facts and fiction is more porous than students of history might think. It is not uncommon for countries to create self-suiting or sanitised historical narratives. As George Orwell once said, “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

    India’s Republic Day Parade this year featured for the first time veterans of the Indian National Army (INA) that waged an armed struggle against the British colonial rule. Four INA veterans in their 90s rode a jeep in the parade that, paradoxically, showcased the life experiences of the apostle of non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi, through 22 tableaux.

    India has long embellished or distorted how it won independence. The incongruous juxtaposition of the INA along with Gandhi at the parade inadvertently highlighted that. The INA veterans participation, in fact, helped underscore the Indian republic’s founding myth—that it won independence only through non-violence. This myth has been deeply instilled in the minds of almost all Indians since their school days.

    Surely, the Gandhi-led, non-violent independence movement played a critical role. Both in galvanising grassroots resistance to British rule and also in helping to gain independence. But the decisive factor was the protracted World War-II, which reduced to ruins large swaths of Europe and Asia, especially the imperial powers. The war between the Allied and Axis powers killed 80 million, or 4% of the global population of that time.

    Despite the Allied victory, a devastated Britian was in no position to hold on to its colonies, including “crown jewel” India. Even colonies, where, there were no grassroots resistance to colonial rule, won independence in the post-World War-II period.

    The British had dominated India through a Machiavellian divide-and-rule strategy. Their exit came only after they had reduced one of the world’s wealthiest economies to one of its poorest. Indeed, they left after they had looted to their heart’s content, siphoning out, at least 9.2 trillion (or 44.6 trillion$) pounds, according to economist Utsa Patnaik’s recent estimate.

    Had the post-1947 India been proactive and forward-looking in securing its frontiers. It could have averted both the Kashmir and Himalayan border problems. China was in deep turmoil until October 1949, and India had ample time and space to assert control over the Himalayan borders. But India’s pernicious founding myth of non-violence gave rise to a pacifist country that believed it could get peace merely by seeking peace, instead of building the capability to defend peace.

    Here’s the paradox: countless numbers of Indians died to the excesses of British colonial regime. Just in the man made Bengal famine of 1942-45, six to seven million starved to death (a toll far greater than the “Holocaust”) due to the British war policy of diverting resources away from India. Britian sent Indian soldiers in large numbers to fight its dirty wars elsewhere, including the two world wars, and many died while serving as cannon fodder. Indeed, the present Indian republic was born in blood in blood: As many as a million civilians died in a senseless violence and millions more were uprooted in the British-contrived partition.

    Yet the myth of India uniquely charting and securing its independence through non-violence was propagated by the interiors of the Raj, the British trained “brown sahibs.” No objective discourse was encouraged post-1947 on the multiple factors—internal and external—that aided India’s independence.

    The hope of Indian independence was first kindled by Japan’s victory in the 1904-05 war with Russia—the first time an Asian nation comprehensively defeated a European rival. However, it was the world war that Adolf Hitler unleashed—with imperial Japan undertaking military expeditions in the name of freeing Asia from white colonial rule—that acted as the catalyst. An emboldened Gandhi serve a “Quit India” notice on the British in 1942.

    While the Subhas Chandra Bose-led INA could not mount a formidable threat to a British colonial military, overflowing with Indian recruits. The Bombay mutiny and other sepoy revolts of 1946 triggered by INA prisoners’ trials undermined Britain’s confidence in sustaining the Raj, hastening its exit. Yet, independent India treated INA soldiers shabbily with many abandoned into penury.

    Against this background the rehabilitation of Bose and the INA has long been overdue. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done well to initiate the process, however low-key, to give Bose and the INA their due, including recently renaming one Andaman island after Bose and two other Andaman islands to honour INA sacrifices. Modi even wore the INA cap to address a public meeting in Andaman on the 75th anniversary of Bose’s hoisting of the tricolour there.

    Recognising unsung heroes is an essential step towards re-balancing the historical narrative. A rule-based international order, premised on non-violence remains a worthy aspirational goal. But Indian romancing of non-violence as an effective political instrument crimped national security policy since independence. The country hewed to pacifism (with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru publicly bewailing in 1962 that China had “returned evil for good”) and frowned on materialism (even after China surpassed India’s GDP in 1984-85).

    The burden of its quixotic national philosophy has imposed enduring costs, including an absence of a strategic culture, as the late American analyst George Tanham famously pointed out. Lack of a culture to pursue a clear strategic vision and policy hobbles India’s ambition to be a great power.

    Synopsis derived out of an article titled “The Non-violence Myth—India’s founding story bestows upon it a quixotic national philosophy and enduring costs by geostrategist, Brahma Chellany in TOI.

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****