Punishing German Soldiers in the Cold War: the Manstein Case

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MKSheppard
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Punishing German Soldiers in the Cold War: the Manstein Case

Postby MKSheppard » 2002-08-15 02:47pm

http://www.sagepub.co.uk/journals/details/issue/sample/a011063.pdf

Punishing German Soldiers during
the Cold War: The Case of Erich von Manstein



Bloxham examines the events and rhetoric surrounding
the trial and premature release from custody of Field Marshal
Erich von Manstein. Von Manstein was convicted of involvement in
atrocities on the Eastern Front, yet his story aroused the sympathy
of many in Britain, including influential politicians, who believed
the Wehrmacht to be innocent of the crimes of Nazism. His trial also
fell squarely into a period, the onset of the Cold War, when Britain
was attempting to restore relations with West Germany. Pressure
both from the nascent West German elite and from within the
Conservative government (re-elected in 1951) and its foreign
diplomatic corps ensured that a series of dubious legal devices
would be used to accelerate the liberation of von Manstein at a
time of negotiations about a German contribution to a Western
European army. Similar contrivances abetted the early release of
another field marshal, Kesselring, and a senior general,
Falkenhorst. The releases, and the obfuscations of the soldiers’
war-time records that were an essential part of justifying the
releases, constitute a substantial British contribution both to
the undermining of the process of war crimes trials and to the
rewriting of the Second World War.

.....................

A glance back across fifty years shows that British war crimes trial
policy at the end of the Second World War was marked by indignation
at German criminality on the one hand and, on the other,
disillusionment, scepticism, war-weariness and the tendency to
‘Christian’ forgiveness. While in 1945 the former impulse was
pre-eminent, by mid-1946 at the latest, the latter was gaining
the ascendancy. Indeed it could be said that the die was cast
in the post-war period for the longstanding imperative to put the
events of the war years firmly behind ‘us’—a view frequently heard
since the discovery was made that war criminals were living untroubled
in Britain.

............

In anticipation of the increasing gravity of the rearmament question,
in the middle of 1950, Adenauer stated that two of the necessary
conditions for such action were ‘cessation of the defamation of the
German soldier and a satisfactory settlement of sentences for war
crimes’.


A rather good read.......
"If scientists and inventors who develop disease cures and useful technologies don't get lifetime royalties, I'd like to know what fucking rationale you have for some guy getting lifetime royalties for writing an episode of Full House." - Mike Wong

"The present air situation in the Pacific is entirely the result of fighting a fifth rate air power." - U.S. Navy Memo - 24 July 1944

Doomriser
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Postby Doomriser » 2002-08-15 03:35pm

Poor Field Marshall, the foot soldier probably didn't have a clue what was going on. Just following orders.

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MKSheppard
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Postby MKSheppard » 2002-08-15 03:38pm

Doomriser wrote:Poor Field Marshall, the foot soldier probably didn't have a clue what was going on. Just following orders.


<Grins evilly>

Did you even read it? It's very interesting, what with all
the logical fallacies and technicialities that were employed
to spring Manstein from his 18-year sentence with only 2 or
3 years served.
"If scientists and inventors who develop disease cures and useful technologies don't get lifetime royalties, I'd like to know what fucking rationale you have for some guy getting lifetime royalties for writing an episode of Full House." - Mike Wong

"The present air situation in the Pacific is entirely the result of fighting a fifth rate air power." - U.S. Navy Memo - 24 July 1944


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