See trips hub: Europe Road Ways

For themes of conflict, present in any country, see Studying War.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Nuremberg: What did it mean. The Law of Atrocity. Leadersorganizersinstigatorsandaccomplices.

 War Criminals
War Crimes
The Law of Atrocity
A distorted Mary Poppins
All are one:  
hum diddle diddle diddle hum diddle i

What makes a war criminal. War criminals are not only the wielders of the electric shock wire or other technique; war criminals by law are the leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices. Common Plan or Conspiracy law applies.

See an overview of the entire Nuremberg war crimes trials after World War II.  A good starting site is at

See the law arising from the 13 Nuremberg trials at Better, go to the Nazi Documentation Center at Nuremberg itself, by the stadium that still stands. Or see Leni Riefenstahl's 1930's film, "Triumph of the Will," - look it up. Watch, transfixed.

1.  Here is a small fair-use excerpt from the website, spacing changed for clarity: note that not only the immediate actors are the war criminals, but also the leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices.

"The following acts, or any of them, are crimes coming within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for which there shall be individual responsibility:
"(a) Crimes against Peace: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a Common Plan or Conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;
"(b) War Crimes: namely, violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity;
"(c) Crimes against Humanity: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war,14 or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of domestic law of the country where perpetrated.
"Leaders, organizers, instigators, and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a Common Plan or Conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan."
Our issues, given our leadership and those who are expected to follow:

2.  Can or will a soldier or officer refuse to obey. When.

Educate yourself. See, for example, - "Superior Orders and the International Criminal Court."  Look up our human vulnerability to following authority, and in so doing, believe ourselves guiltless.  See The Milgram Study, and here is a paper written about it and its acting out in police work, }Obedience to Authority and Unjustified Police Violence," by David Coady at this Police Ethics site, at ://

Coady's Premise:  The Selfish Person Is Less Dangerous than The Integrative Person.

Coady's thesis is roughly this:  That the "selfish" man is far less a danger to society than is the "integrative" man, the one who surrenders his identity to the leader, or group -
  • religious, 
  • social, 
  • political party, 
  • another cause, 
  • whatever.
Read the Milgram Study, see "Stanley Milgram's Experiment, 'Obedience and Individual Responsibility,' " at :// 

3.  On what grounds can a country decide it will be not subject to that? Again, educate yourself.

We have an officer, Watadi, who refused as to Iraq, now a mistrial. See, for supportive overview, ABC news says this: How do those match up with the standard we applied at Nuremberg? And wasn't there a Japanese commander held responsible for atrocities committed far away from his presence as well? Need to keep the consistency going if we are to have a chance.

Update January 2009. Mr. President Obama. Laws cannot be flaunted, or laws fall down. Prosecute. For all our sakes.

Lighten up perhaps a little because this is so hopeless. Have to. Compelled. A frivolous alternative to hanging is to generate a Shakespearean insult. See

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Update to Remagen Post 10-6 and The Dogs of War. US and Vanishing Atrocities.

Remagen, Germany, where the bridge was


The place once spanned by a vital bridge.

Shakespeare's Antony spoke of the dreadful consequences of the dogs of war, in "Julius Caesar:" "Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war." Question here: is atrocity another of the dogs of war, that we - as well as our "enemies" - fall prey to, or intentionally indulge in?

That cry, to havoc, signified the shift in old military campaigns from conquest to pillage - to be given permission to cross the fine line that holds back the dogs, and that then the dogs only need only be allowed to "slip" - an almost inadvertent act. Just let them slip. Nobody really responsible.

1. Earlier post, we think, was wrong.

The focus of an earlier post 10-6 criticized the tape recording, at the bridge base, that claims that allies committed atrocities against German prisoners. This apparently is part of the exhibit at the museum that had closed by the time we got there, so we put the coin in the slot for the recording instead.  It sounded, at first, unfair, and misrepresentative of what happened.

2.  We now believe there may be truth in the German tape at Remagen, there that we simply ignore.  

With knowledge now that our own government tortured at Guantanamo (this is a further update January 2009, Obama now president), we look back further.

Explore with us more on that issue. 

We looked up

  • Andersonville, the prison during the Civil War operated by the Union; see the Angelfire site at ://www.; and 
  • Vietnam My Lai, see, 
  • Iraq and Abu Ghraib, and other instances in Iraq. Look up your own news on that.

3.  An invitation.  Help find out.  We want to quantify facts to see what might be true about the Remagen tape recording.
  • How many German soldiers were captured and in allied POW camps. 
  • Then ask how many were returned. 
  • Ask what happened in between. 
  • How are the deaths accounted for? Should not be that difficult. But it is.
4.  Your own research.  Try these to get started.

Sites: Disappearing Atrocities.

4.1. Start at nizkor.ort/hweb/people/b/bacque-james/ambrose-.001 (from"Ike and the Disappearing Atrocities", New York Times Book Review, February 24, 1991, on James Bacque's 'Other Losses', a Review by Stephen E. Ambrose).

At this website, claimed atrocities (active and passive death-dealing of prisoners) by the allies are addressed, resulting in the deaths of perhaps hundreds of thousands of German prisoners.

Early numbers about the gap were huge, later numbers were far less - or denied altogether. And the issue is carefully counter-argued. But it still does not go away. In this era of spin and cover-up being the norm, satisfy yourself on your own.

4.2. Then go to Niall Ferguson's War of the World, see review from Amherst college's journal, The Inicator, at

Or search for Niall Ferguson War of the World. The TV series based on it is outlined at

From a fast overview, I understand that German prisoners preferred being caught by British rather than Americans, because word had spread that their survival with Americans would be far less likely.
Wonderful. Who are we serving when we pretend/turn away/deny, so that each generation of soldiers marches in anew, with an unrealistic view of what they, good folks like us, may well become, when faced with the dogs of war.
5. Now, you take it from here.

Now we have Gitmo and the pattern continuing - laws of atrocity apply to others.  Will President Obama follow along?

Do we serve the next generation by hiding reality, and so continue in enabling war; or is war such an inevitable part of life that we must hide its reality (say, in over-stressing the heroism and patriotism) in order to dupe impressionable young soldiers to go to war for us at all.

The real "war of the world" may be against untrammeled testosterone.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Remagen and Revisionism - The bulkheads of the old bridge, the movies, and spin.

Updates:  Perspectives on events -- irreconcilable differenes. See New York Times 4/17/2011 includes Week in Review, Op-Ed by Lizabel Monica, Bay of Pigs, Cuba.  differing views between US and Cuba as to significance, implementation and errors at Bay of Pigs, Cuba.  See also  Germany Road Ways, Update to Remagen.

Remagen: Town, Bridge, Movie About, 
Polarized Recollections, Propaganda

The bridge over the Rhine at Remagen - the last access to Germany in World War II's closing days. Allies managing to hold it, deflect/otherwise neutralize enough explosives so the bridge stood long enough for equipment and soldiers to cross.

We found alone piper down the promenade. This is not "the bridge." The bridge itself is gone, leaving just bulwarks on both sides of the river, long expanse of gap between. Remagen, at least the name, may be familiar - go to the movies:; stories.

But at the bulkhead at this side, there is a little museum and, when you get there after hours and it is closed, you put in a coin and hear a little presentation. The presentation begins with the atrocities of the Allies against German prisoners at the end of the war. Reaction: No, no, can't be. What are the Germans doing, at this site, where Allies were heroic, and the Germans to blame for the War - think we. This is manipulative, propagandistic revisionism at its worst, think we.

And in the town, at a square, a vicious sculpture (fountain also? not sure) of a sleeping, benevolent German soldier, and monstrous, leering allies in fatigue hats and with knives in their mouths, sneaking up on him. Should have taken a picture, but the perceived"revisionism" was so repulsive to me at the time, that I did not even show it to Dan.

The museum and the sculpture may be right in some ways, maybe not. Either way, worth pursuing. They raise the old issue -- what is unleashed in battle. "Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war." A history of that phrase, beginning with the medieval battle cry signifying the line between attack and now go ahead and pillage, to Shakespeare (Antony's speech in "Julius Caesar"), is at Then do an images search for "dogs of war" and Europe, for the moving poster from World War I. Some with that theme are at the Perrone WWI museum in France, at the Somme area, see France Road Ways. What really are the dogs of war - we see them loosed in others, and point fingers, and deny (Swiftboat) those people who point them out in ourselves.

Remagen, Town, Bridge, Polarized Recollections

The heritage of Remagen. The spin depends on the spinner. In the town, children are credited with putting up that monument to the "victims" of the Remagen Bridge. We all spin our histories. I cannot find that statue on the internet. Go look. Not in the town center, off to the side.

So - this is Remagen, famous for its bridge - now only two hulk shapes on either side of the river. More about the 1969 film at One German soldier wrote that the loss of this Bridge in WWII, and the loss of Trier, were the two greatest catastrophes of the war. See Best to read direct accounts.

Now: with that negativity out, go back to a nice photo gallery by a tourist in 2004 - all of Germany - at We missed the Scallywag Fountain that I later read about in Remagen - a fountain where a boy spits on passers by at random.