Military history

CHAPTER 33

SETTLING ACCOUNTS

I tend to the view that the entire period between the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71 and the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1990 was, among other things, one long European civil war. It is certainly unarguable that the Second World War did not officially end until East and West Germany and the four powers that occupied Germany in 1945 signed a treaty in Moscow on 12 September 1990 that granted full independence to a unified German state. This was in lieu of the peace treaty that was meant to emerge from the conference on the future of Germany that took place in the Berlin suburb of Potsdam in July–August 1945. The third and last of the Big Three conferences saw the sole meeting between Stalin and Truman, who succeeded to the presidency on the death of Roosevelt, and the replacement of Churchill and Eden by Clement Attlee and Ernest Bevin after the Labour Party won the General Election of 26 July. The World at War transcripts contained so much excellent Cold War-related material that I have sorted the best of it into two chapters. This, the first, covers the period of flux when American foreign policy was in transition from Roosevelt's high hopes for a New World Order based on the United Nations to the proclamation of the Truman Doctrine of containment in March 1947. At Potsdam the Americans took their eye off the European ball because of concerns that the war against Japan would drag on, and got the first hint of how thoroughly their government was penetrated by Soviet agents when Stalin scarcely blinked when told about the atom bomb. Although 'woe to the conquered' is perhaps the oldest and hardest rule in warfare, some would argue that the revolutionary precedents of international law developed for, and by, the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal represent the most significant achievement of the Second World War. They are inadequately explained in the transcripts, so I have added the text of the seven principles adopted by the United Nations in 1950 as a reminder that there was right as well as might involved in this greatest of all wars.

AMBASSADOR W AVERELL HARRIMAN

President Roosevelt's Special Envoy to Europe

Recently the high-powered papers of Roosevelt have been made public and there you can see the very tough exchange of telegrams on both sides between Stalin and Roosevelt, which make it very plain that before he died he knew that Stalin was breaking agreements. The Polish situation was one of them. When we got back to Moscow the commission that was set up of Molotov, the British ambassador and myself was making progress, but then Stalin accused Roosevelt of perfidy in connection with the possible surrender of the German armies in Italy and sent him some very rough telegrams accusing him of being treacherous.

SS GENERAL KARL WOLFF

Governor of North Italy 1943–45

I was understandably deeply disappointed that the highest National Socialist leaders did not stand up and answer for the deeds they had done in the past and they had left those of us who could not be made personally responsible in the lurch. I personally thought it was necessary, with a heavy heart, to volunteer to take Himmler's place on the accused bench in the first big Nuremberg trial. The Americans, however, did not accept my offer because they were worried that I would be called as a witness to the witness stand . . . and that I would be questioned by the Russians about the secret of the Italian capitulation, the revelation of which at this point in time was highly undesirable as far as the Anglo-Americans were concerned.*85 So in order to avoid this they declared me mad and they took me to the madhouse in Bamburg on my forty-sixth birthday, where I was locked up in a room with sixteen complete madmen with brain damage, paralytics and syphilitics in the last stages. And it was incredibly difficult to survive this time unbroken and to get out of there alive at all.

AMBASSADOR HARM MAN

There was another issue which was very close to Roosevelt's heart, and that was Stalin did not carry out the agreement we thought we had made to admit our relief teams to contact prisoners of war as they were liberated by the Red Army's advance. We wanted to send them right into Poland and he wouldn't let us do it, and Roosevelt was very bitter about that. Some of the people that I know who agree, talked with him, some of them have written about it. I left as soon as Roosevelt died to go back to see Mr Truman. I wanted to be sure that President Truman understood the position of our relationships because there had been so much folly in the air about the warm relationships that existed with our gallant allies. President Truman was an avid reader, he was a man of very few words, you could carry on a conversation with him in a very few sentences, and I found he'd read my telegrams and understood from those messages the difficulty we were going to have. I didn't have to tell him very much, he asked me some questions but he told me at that time, 'I was not elected President – Roosevelt was elected President. I must understand what Roosevelt wanted to do and carry out what he wanted to do.' So any thought that Truman tried to change Roosevelt's policies was utterly untrue – he tried to do everything he could to carry out what Roosevelt had undertaken to do.

JOHN McCLOY

US Assistant Secretary of War

I don't know who was the first man that told him about the bomb. He wasn't aware of what was going on when he had been Vice President, but Secretary of War Stimson was the first one that really gave him a thorough briefing on what had been done preparing the bomb and what its implications were. He spent a great deal of time with the President on this subject. Mr Stimson was very much involved during the latter part of his term as Secretary of War, this was his main preoccupation – what are we going to do about this, what are its implications not only in terms of the Japanese war but in the post-war period, this great new force that's been introduced into the world. Stimson was quite a religious man. He could be profane on occasion but he was a very devout man and he had a real sense of responsibility for this new force because he really devoted himself to its development and contact with the scientists, so he was anxious to get over to the President all these implications. Mr Truman's reactions were rather stunned, rather amazed, it took him some time to grasp its full implications.

AMBASSADOR HARRIMAN

Stalin was very moved by Roosevelt's death and he felt – he gave an indication that he felt – that the future which they had been building on for the world might be interfered with. He asked me whether Truman would follow Roosevelt's policy and I said I felt sure that he would, and he said, 'Tell him I will give him full support. The world will look upon the situation with the great concern I think.' He was only going to send Deputy Foreign Minister Vishinsky, which was rather a slight, and Molotov objected at once and whispered in his ear. Stalin brushed him aside but said, 'Molotov, will go.' Although Molotov was far more difficult to deal with than Vishinsky personally, I felt it was of some importance as an indication of his concern – interest in – the United Nations.

ALGER HISS

Director of the US Office of Special Political Affairs

The United Nations conference was scheduled for 25th April. On the night of the 23rd Molotov, having come to Washington on his way to San Francisco, had a meeting with Truman and some of Truman's top advisers. By that time those who had been on a leash had been removed from their leashes and they were the chief advisers Roosevelt had in preparation for it. By that time the Polish situation had crystallised: the Russians were moving forward, they seemed to be paying no attention to the land of provisional government that the British and the Americans had hoped for, and therefore angry protest were going to the Russians about that. Truman decided to have a showdown – at which he was gifted. On that occasion he accused Molotov in effect of violation of the agreement. This was a strange tiling to do in the midst of a war by no means yet won, with an important ally. And it ended by Molotov saying, 'I've never been talked to like this in my life,' and Truman saying, 'Well, if you keep your agreements, you won't be talked to like that,' just like a schoolteacher. Secretary of State Edward Stettinius, who had been present, told me the next morning that he was still shaken and I thought the whole conference was off.

AMBASSADOR HARRIMAN

It was one of the first diplomatic conversations that Truman had and I can only say that Truman used good, solid Missouri language, which was very definite. Molotov had talked to other people that way but no one talked to him that way. So he was very much upset and gave the impression that this was a new voice and not Roosevelt's any more. So I felt it was important to have Stalin realise that there was really no change. Hopkins was the man that Stalin knew, and had a high regard for him because he was the first Westerner that came only a few weeks after the Hitler attack on Russia, and he showed him consideration in the way that I hadn't seen him show anyone else. I suggested to President Truman, and he finally agreed, to send Hopkins who was quite sick and he got up out of his sick bed and went to Moscow. Stalin received him warmly, he was there with his wife and there was a certain good came out of the trip. There were one or two difficulties about the United Nations, which was settled at that time. And so Stalin accepted it as an important gesture. But on Poland, Hopkins thought he had got Stalin to make certain fundamental concessions; they were only superficial, and I was quite sure they wouldn't be of value but Hopkins came home feeling that he had achieved something.

JOHN McCLOY

There was a difference of view in regard to that, I think the predominant view was the sooner we get the Russians into this situation the better. I remember one of the very first meetings I had with Mr Truman, somewhat to my immediate surprise he said, 'I think my main objective now is to bring the Russians into the war [against Japan].' I didn't happen to agree with that. I thought we had the Japanese licked without them and it was no problem bringing them in. There was a number of people who had a very strong feeling that it was necessary to bring the Russians into the war in order to avoid further casualties, but there was another view present that it was really pretty late in the game and the Russian contribution couldn't really amount to very much and we were having already some difficulties with the Soviets in other theatres and why complicate this one in view of the enormous contributions that we had made towards a victory.

DR STEPHEN AMBROSE

American historian

Potsdam was not that concerned about Poland because the Polish question had already been decided by the physical fact that the Russians controlled Poland. The West could make verbal complaints but there was nothing they could do about it, short of going to war with the Soviets, and no one in the summer of 1945 gave it any serious thought at all except General Patton. But that was Patton's bravado and bluster and no one in positions of authority ever took such nonsense seriously. The Red Army would have marched on to the Channel and possibly over to England itself; the end result would have been the Russians would have controlled all of Europe. The West was simply not as strong on the ground as the Soviets.

AMBASSADOR HARRIMAN

Churchill and Eden were there for the early part of the talk, and then the new team came – Attlee and Bevin. So that was somewhat of a break. The discussions were businesslike, cordial, but there were no fundamental agreements that had very much influence on the future. I thought leaving open the Oder–Neisse line was a very great mistake. Stalin wouldn't agree to that and Secretary of State James Byrnes wanted to go home and he made the suggestion of leaving the border to a peace treaty. I thought that was extremely dangerous at the time and I'm very glad that as a result of Willie Brandt's initiative the Germans themselves agreed to accept the Oder–Neisse line.*86 It could never have been changed, since the Poles occupied it without war. But they never really got to grips with any of the issues that were troubling us. Truman had the war in Japan very much in his mind. He was still very anxious to get Stalin to carry out his agreement to attack in Manchuria three months after the defeat of Hitler because the American Chiefs of Staff were still saying the war would last eighteen months and we'd have to land American troops on the plains of Tokyo and there would be a million casualties to achieve the objective. They overestimated, this is always the case: the military overestimates the capabilities of the enemy and somewhat underestimate their own.

ANTHONY EDEN

British Foreign Secretary

Truman, whom I respect highly, was entirely new to the business and his approach was therefore less experienced than FDR's and though he tried to make it very businesslike and firm, in fact I think in his very difficult circumstances, the arrangements reached were not those we wanted, particularly about the Oder–Neisse line. When Churchill and I left, we were very emphatic that we could not agree to those arrangements and I know that Bevin, whom I talked to about this at Buckingham Palace when we exchanged offices, was very conscious of how he must stand up against that situation. But in the events partly caused by our delay in being away, we weren't able to hold out against that, and the arrangements at Potsdam were not those that we wanted in respect, particularly, of the Oder–Neisse line.

AMBASSADOR HARRIMAN

Churchill wanted to stand on the Elbe, he wanted American cooperation but Truman was being advised that we had to redeploy all of our forces to the Far East and he couldn't have done it. Whether that would have been a wise thing to do, some people say we shouldn't have done it, but what would have happened? The best we could have expected would be some agreement which might not have lasted. They had a free election in Hungary and it didn't last and any agreement made under duress, if it had been successful at all, would have been valueless. Secondly, if we stood on the Elbe they would have not permitted us to move into Austria as they did and Austria would be behind the Iron Curtain. But when I think beyond that, then it would have been clear that we would have been responsible for the Cold War. Instead of that, it's quite clear that we did everything to carry out our agreements and it was Stalin that broke them.

DR AMBROSE

Already Western leaders were deeply suspicious of Soviet intentions, primarily because of the Polish question. Russian actions in Poland and eastern Europe were feeding Western suspicions about Stalin's attentions; by Potsdam the feeling, especially in the States and most especially with President Truman, was that, 'Ah, Stalin is another Hitler.' They didn't think, Oh, we made a great mistake in the war and backed the wrong side – they were perfectly clear Hitler was the greater menace and had to be crushed, and that the crushing of Hitler absolutely depended on the Red Army. Once the vacuum had been created you were faced with the fact that the Americans were demobilising, or redeploying, pulling the Army out of Europe and getting ready to send it over to Japan because they expected at that time to have to invade the home islands for the final defeat of Japan. The British are quite clearly exhausted and not capable of controlling the continent by themselves, and there are three hundred Russian divisions in East Germany and these loomed large in everyone's thoughts.

ADMIRAL LORD LOUIS MOUNTBATTEN

Supreme Allied Commander South-East Asia

The first thing I did at Potsdam was to have a meeting with the Combined British and US Chiefs of Staff to discuss our future operations. I also talked on our combined plan for defeating the Japanese completely. I was then asked whether I would be prepared to take over practically the whole of MacArthur's theatre so that he could concentrate on the assault on the islands of Japan themselves. And I said yes, but not until I'd really advanced down below, opened the Straits of Malacca and was in a position to take over the files, the Intelligence Officers and the information needed to carry on when the war goes to them. Then I was invited to see President Truman and he shut all the doors and told me in great secrecy the fact that the Americans had an atomic bomb, which they were going to drop very soon, and which he thought would bring the war to an end. He even said the reason for his decision was that this would save thousands upon thousands of Allied lives which would otherwise be lost in that frightful massacre, which would take place on the shores of Japan itself. Then Churchill told me the same thing. He said, 'They will surrender and what are you going to do about it?' I said, 'Well, you've only just told me – I haven't given it a thought.' He said, 'You must go in with your soldiers and you must take possession immediately. How will you do that?' I said, 'Fortunately I have a great operational force at the moment with a quarter of a million soldiers which I'm going to land in Malaya and we're going to seize Malaya and Singapore very quickly.' He said, 'Send a telegram as soon as the bomb drops to your deputy Supreme Commander to sail your convoy at once.' I said, 'I can't do that, they've got to be tactically loaded, it's going to take some time.' 'Nonsense, tell him they can sail on the assumption there'll be no opposition when they get there.' I said, 'May I tell him about the atomic bomb?' 'Certainly not, it's much too secret.' I said, 'They'll think I'm mad if I send him a telegram like that.' 'Discipline, discipline, they mustn't question your sanity, they must do what they're told.'

JOHN McCLOY

I remember I was at Potsdam and the debate that went on there, when we should tell the Soviets about the bomb. I think very early we came to the conclusion we had to tell them, the bomb hadn't really exploded at that point and this was one of the reasons given for not telling – suppose it doesn't explode. So with bated breath we told Stalin about the bomb and waited for the effect. To our great disappointment Stalin seemed to be thoroughly unimpressed with it, we thought he'd be flabbergasted but he just let it pass off. Whether he knew about it already, there'd been some defections, whether he didn't want to show any great emotion in regard to it, I don't know. All I know is he took it very much in his stride and went on to the next item on the agenda. This rather dismayed Stimson because he thought this would immediately be a great Russian rush to sit down and talk to us about the future implications, what the future uses of it were, but he got no encouragement at all.

ANTHONY EDEN

Even after the first proofs of the power of the atomic explosion, some people were quite sceptical about its military decisiveness. I remember Admiral Leahy being in rather that tone of mind. However, it was agreed between us that Truman should tell Stalin of this discovery briefly and Churchill and I knew this was going to happen and we watched the scene with some interest. Just as we adjourned Truman went up with his interpreter to Stalin and told him and all Stalin did was nod his head and say thank you quite gently, and his expression changed in no way. That's how much the Russians had already discovered beforehand, and that's why it was received as a quite ordinary piece of news.*87

DR AMBROSE

Molotov raised the question of what happened to the Italian colonies, he wanted to know, and Churchill said, 'We took them,' and Molotov said, 'That's very interesting – who made that decision?' And Churchill said, 'Well, of course, we conquered them, so now they're ours.' Italy of course had been an enemy of Russia, Italian armies had invaded Russia and the Russians had felt that they ought to have some kind of say in what was going to happen to Italy and to the spoils that had been taken. Truman raised an eyebrow when Churchill said 'we took them' because the Americans had participated in the process of liberating North Africa, and Churchill then replied that he meant Libya.

ADMIRAL MOUNTBATTEN

Just as soon as Mr Attlee became Prime Minister he sent for me and he discussed what I was going to do. I told him the instructions I'd had from Churchill, which he completely agreed; he then asked me how I proposed to handle the political problems and difficulties faced when such a large part of the world which had been under colonial administration now suddenly being liberated from the Japanese. I told him that my policy would be the same that I had done in Burma, to come in as friends, as liberators, as people who wanted to help them, not wishing to exact retribution and vengeance, and trying to find a friendly way to proceed in the future with the various governments which were responsible for them. He said, 'I entirely agree. Go ahead and do just that, you have my full backing, you have my full trust.' That made all the difference because I don't think I would have quite the same sort of directive from Churchill.

DR KONRAD MORGEN

SS investigating magistrate

After Auschwitz, I could only shudder when I thought about Germany's future, and I said to myself, If we lose the war the our opponents will tear us apart. I could not actually imagine that we would lose the war, although all the signs made it look that way. Despite the criminal tendency of the leadership I had observed in all my investigations, I still did not believe that this same criminal attitude would be turned on their own German people. In their defence, they were certainly obstinate, they were mad and believed that these were their enemies and must be destroyed. But they were enemies – their own people had done everything their leadership had asked of them and made a superhuman effort. When the people at the top have realised we have lost the war, there is no point in fighting any more – why do they go on and ruin the last few remains of Germany? No government can possibly be so criminal.

SIR HARTLEY SHAWCROSS

Chief British prosecutor at Nuremberg

At the beginning of the war I suppose we in England were much too busy fighting for our lives to think what we were going to do if we won the war. But right at the beginning, before the Americans came into the war at all, President Roosevelt warned the Germans that at the end a terrible retribution would be brought against them. And later, in 1942, he promoted the idea of a trial of war criminals, that is to say of the persons who had been responsible for launching the war on the world. As time went on we discussed it – we British at first were not in favour of a formal trial and the Russians were not in favour of it. We came round gradually to the view that there ought to be a trial rather than executive action and the Russians were persuaded to take the same view. Early in 1945, the spring of 1945, it was decided that there would be a trial of those leaders of the Nazi war movement whom we were able to lay our hands on.

ALBERT SPEER

Nuremberg defendant

In the time of Hitler's government we had never chanced to see each other very closely. We were together in parties or we were together at the dinner table in Hitler's Chancellery, but always we were remote. Now after the war we found each other again in a first camp we had to go through before Nuremberg, and we could see new arrivals through a large picture window. We didn't know who's still alive and who is not, because everybody had said he would commit suicide. Now those people were coming up one after the other and we were very closely together. We were starting to talk and somebody said one day, 'It's a pity we haven't had this experience years ago to be together for a long time and have the discussions out.' In this camp I was only a very short time because then I was fetched by car and taken to a camp of the high technicians in the armaments ministry. But afterwards, in the Nuremberg trial, there was a split among those accused in the dock because Goring and the others wanted to start a new myth about Nazi Germany, to give a small platform for Nazi movement, and in my opinion it was absolutely necessary for history's sake but also the sake of the German people, that they get rid as quick as possible of those ideas and go into a new life. Goring and those around him were treating me harshly and didn't speak no more word through the end of the trial.

DR ROBERT KEMPNER

Pre-war Prussian Ministry of the Interior lawyer who fled Nazism

A few weeks after the war I came back to Germany as a member of the American team and assistant to chief American prosecutor Justice Robert Jackson. At that time I took from another agency leave for three months and instead I remained for five years. I started the opening of the doors and I participated in the closing of the known back doors. It was a fascinating experience. One of the biggest helps to us was the German bureaucratic sense – they kept everything and they even made publications and films and a lot of material had been discovered by our Allied search teams, sent in right after the troops went into Germany. Some of the people like General Governor Frank of Poland was so anxious to show his friend Hitler after the war what he has done that he kept his diaries, volumes and volumes and volumes. In fact he had written his own indictment. Other people had also written their own indictments, like the Nazi philosopher and Reichs Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, Alfred Rosenberg. We discovered from him folders and folders and folders and he had also written his own prosecution brief.

SIR HARTLEY SHAWCROSS

The purpose was twofold. I was more interested in the second purpose than the first. The first was retribution, the punishment of people who had launched this war against the world – and not only the war, but who prior to the war and during it had committed the most terrible crimes against humanity. The second purpose of the trial was, as we had hoped, to lay down the rules of international law for the future, not only making the waging of aggressive war unlawful, but for the first time making the statesmen who led their countries into aggressive war personally responsible for what they'd done. That was the great innovation of the Nuremberg trial. Hitherto you could say that a state was guilty of a breach of international law and you could impose some penalty on the state, but no penalty on the individual leaders of the state who did in fact involve it in the commission of illegal acts.

LIEUTENANT J GLENN GRAY

US Army Intelligence Officer

I was always the defender of the Nuremberg trials, a first step in some kind of international court. It was too bad that only the victors were the judges, but I would like to see such international courts after every war. With all the faults of the Nuremberg trials it seems to me they seem to represent a step forward in our rather pathetic attempt to make a better and more liveable world. Obviously lots of my friends disagree with me, but I had a little sympathy for the prisoners in the dock. I would have loved to see Sweden and neutral countries being in the judges seat, but this did not seem to be possible. A rough approximation of justice seemed better to me than nothing at all.

SIR HARTLEY SHAWCROSS

When I first went there I was rather surprised at the appearance of the defendants. I thought, well, if I'd seen these people in the Clapham omnibus I wouldn't have looked at them twice. I think this was true of all of them, except perhaps Hess and Ribbentrop, who both looked pretty miserable creatures, and Goring who looked a very remarkable personality. He'd lost a great deal of weight, he'd been kept off drugs and he was a very much shrunken figure – but nonetheless he was a dominating personality and in a sense all through the proceedings, although he only took an active part in them when he was giving his evidence, he did dominate the court. He was the outstanding personality in the court, and you know sometimes in the course of a long trial like that, lasting over two hundred days, something would go wrong. You would ask a question and the answer you expected would be yes and the witness would answer no, and at that point you had to be very careful not to catch Göring's eye. He was sitting at the corner in the front row, and if you glanced across at him, or caught his eye when there was an incident like that, he would raise his eyebrow or shake his head in a rather smiling way, and it would be very difficult not to smile back.

ALBERT SPEER

When we saw these films in the concentration camps I was almost out of my mind that such things had happened. And it was just too much to get the meaning of it, things which are too high, too much impression to swallow them. I now remember what someone told me in 1944 when he said he never visited a concentration camp, there are horrible things going on. And this I think was worse, I did in my whole life not to have any reaction of this, sign of recognising what was happening with the so-called Final Solution. There was also small other hints and altogether should have led me to some action, but I was silent. I didn't go to Hitler, not to Himmler, not to anybody, and now being in the dock, I thought the only way out is to tell the judges that I not only feel responsible for everything which was ordered in my government including the foreign-worker programme, but also everything which happened during the time I was minister in the government of Hitler, that was all the crimes committed by Hitler.

LIEUTENANT GRAY

A great many soldiers told me that when they raised their hands and took the oath, they absolved themselves of any responsibility for their deeds. I couldn't tell whether this was an elaborate rationalisation or whether it was sincere. The Germans in Nuremberg used the same argument, loyalty to Hitler, their personal oath to the Führer. This is an attempt on the part of the individuals to escape their own shadow and it must be a nearly universal quality. Many of them feel this way; they don't only use it as a rationalisation. I think the burdens of being individually responsible are something we would all like to escape. I must say I never felt this way. I have perhaps too little sense of loyalty but I didn't think President Roosevelt could absolve me from wrong deeds, but I may be an exception here. I think it is a very widespread tendency, especially in wartime, to say my commander is responsible for what I do.

DR OTTO JOHN

German Resistance member who formed part of the prosecuting team at Nuremberg

There was much pretending after the war that for many their oath was a barrier. I mean pretending that they couldn't act against a man to whom they had sworn an oath of allegiance, and we always pointed out to such people, at least those with whom one could discuss the point, we pointed out that Hitler broke his oath so there was no reason to keep the oath towards him. I think it was used more after the war as an excuse than it was factual.

DR MORGEN

You always think the terror can't increase and the disappointments you have in your life can't be worse, and then I had to go through it all in Nuremberg. I had the doubtful pleasure of meeting the man who had been Himmler's Personal Assistant, a very small man, a Mongolian face, very wiry, who was particularly noteworthy in that he rushed round the prison yard like a sewing machine with rapid little steps with a never changing rhythm, without ever showing any signs of tiring, despite the poor food we were getting in prison then. I came from another camp and knew how the American investigators, the CID, was behaving there. Little fish who had been no nearer than a kilometre from a concentration camp were being beaten with chains. They were forced to drink petrol, they put them in hot chambers just to get them to admit to crimes which they hadn't even committed. And I told that to this man and I said, 'The least you can do for your comrades is make a full confession because they are bound to find out in the end what you have done, and the commands you worked out.' They were so cowardly right up to the very end.

LIEUTENANT GRAY

We had war criminals and the Soviets had too. I would have liked to have seen an impartial court trying both sides, extremists on both sides. That would have been an impartial justice and taken away some of the taint of the Nuremberg trials. I think we all have to look forward to an impartialinternational court. It would do a great deal, I think, to make combatants in warfare much more careful of their actions.

Principles of International Law recognised in the charter and the judgement of the Nuremberg tribunal, adopted by the International Law Commission of the United Nations in 1950.

I. Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under inter-national law is responsible therefore and liable to punishment.

II. The fact that internal law does not impose a penalty for an act which constitutes a crime under international law does not relieve the person who committed the act from responsibility under international law.

III. The fact that a person who committed an act which constitutes a crime under international law acted as Head of State or responsible government official does not relieve him from responsibility under international law.

IV. The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.

V. Any person charged with a crime under international law has the right to a fair trial on the facts and law.

VI. The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:

Crimes against peace:

i. Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

ii. Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).

War crimes:

Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave-labour or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war, of 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.

Crimes against humanity:

Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhuman acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.

VII. Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principles VI is a crime under international law.

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