NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN
16th October, 1946 – Ten Nazi war criminals mounted the gallows erected in the prison gymnasium at Nuremberg early today. Two were missing: Hitler’s deputy, Martin Borman, believed dead, and Hermann Goering, who had committed suicide a few hours earlier. There were three black-painted wooden scaffolds in the long, wide room. Two were used alternatively, the third being kept in reserve. First to enter the execution chamber was Joachim von Ribbentrop, Foreign Minister in the regime that was to last a thousand years. The time was 1.11 a.m. He climbed the 13 steps to the platform without hesitation, gave his name in a loud voice, and, as the black hood was placed on his head, said “I wish peace to the world”. The trap was sprung and he fell from the view, hidden behind a dark curtain.
Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, who had told the tribunal he had just obeyed orders, was next. His last words were: “More than two million German soldiers went to their death for their fatherland. I follow now my sons – all for Germany.”
Ernst Kaltenbrunner, successor to Heydrich, licked his lips, and glanced around him; Alfred Rosenberg, chief exponent of the master race theory, had nothing to say; Hans Frank, Governor of occupied Poland and a recent convert to Roman Catholicism, came in smiling; Wilhelm Frick, the “Protector” of Bohemia, stumbled as he mounted the steps; Julius Streicher screamed “Heil Hitler!’” and could be heard groaning after he fell through the trap; Fritz Sauckel, the slave labour boss, limped on his left club-foot up the steps; General Alfred Jodl, in his Wehrmacht uniform, was haggard and nervous; last to die was Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Hitler’s Governor in Austria, who called for peace and understanding between peoples.
Between executions, hangmen and guards were allowed to light up cigarettes.
[A strict legalistic mind could quibble with some aspects of the Nuremberg trials of a few national socialists, but on the whole, the justice was done. (Katyn v Norimberku F/Chaos april 2011.) It is never perfect. However, as far as the crimes of the other socialists, international ones, are concerned, there the justice is practicaly non-existent. See Join Left, young thug F/Chaos january 2014 and Left perspective F/Chaos january 2012]