• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

Nuremberg Trials

SSlightning

Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Messages
66
Reaction score
0
Location
Chicago
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
I wanted to see what the general concencous was about these trials? Was it wrong to convict numerous lower ranking officers of crimes against humanity?

I believe it was wrong for this reason:

Life in the military is all about following orders, it is not uncommon for military branches to execute soldiers for not follow orders, it is deemed treason.
Thus it became a me or them mentality, and most people I would assume would rather kill someone else then be killed themselves.
 

cherokee

Devil Dog
Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
7,486
Reaction score
789
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
SSlightning said:
I wanted to see what the general concencous was about these trials? Was it wrong to convict numerous lower ranking officers of crimes against humanity?

I believe it was wrong for this reason:
Life in the military is all about following orders, it is not uncommon for military branches to execute soldiers for not follow orders, it is deemed treason.
Thus it became a me or them mentality, and most people I would assume would rather kill someone else then be killed themselves.


Its not that simple. You had eyewitnesses that testified against lower ranking solders who raped and killed civilians without any orders.

But even with an order you know is wrong would you follow it? really?

If I was ever ordered to throw a grenade into a school house filled with children you can go ahead and charge me with treason and execute me on the spot because I wont follow the order.
 

SSlightning

Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Messages
66
Reaction score
0
Location
Chicago
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
cherokee said:
Its not that simple. You had eyewitnesses that testified against lower ranking solders who raped and killed civilians without any orders.

But even with an order you know is wrong would you follow it? really?

If I was ever ordered to throw a grenade into a school house filled with children you can go ahead and charge me with treason and execute me on the spot because I wont follow the order.

Like you said, it's not that simple. These people were brainwashed into believe Jews to be sub human. And it's not inconcevable to see it happening here in America, I dont remember the name of the specific study that proved it but it included teachers shocking students with more and more electricty even when the begged for help.
 

ashurbanipal

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 8, 2005
Messages
7,573
Reaction score
2,323
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Private
Referring to the "herd mentality" that seems to grip people in general as an excuse for immoral acts seems pretty weak to me. Of course the German people were brainwashed. It might be said that Charles Manson was brainwashed. It might be said that every criminal who commits any criminal act whatever is brainwashed by their experiences in life. We don't hesitate to convict and punish them.

The holocaust forms a cautionary tale about what we can all become, but it also provides for a certain amount of optimism. There were Germans who saw through the insanity of Nazi idealism and fought against it. The only thing that distinguished them from the "good Germans" who went along with the program was courage and a measure of reason. There are times when that's called for and following orders is to be eschewed.
 

SSlightning

Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Messages
66
Reaction score
0
Location
Chicago
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
ashurbanipal said:
Referring to the "herd mentality" that seems to grip people in general as an excuse for immoral acts seems pretty weak to me. Of course the German people were brainwashed. It might be said that Charles Manson was brainwashed. It might be said that every criminal who commits any criminal act whatever is brainwashed by their experiences in life. We don't hesitate to convict and punish them.

The holocaust forms a cautionary tale about what we can all become, but it also provides for a certain amount of optimism. There were Germans who saw through the insanity of Nazi idealism and fought against it. The only thing that distinguished them from the "good Germans" who went along with the program was courage and a measure of reason. There are times when that's called for and following orders is to be eschewed.

But we aren't talking about a herd here, we are talking about soldiers, who's specific job is to do as they are told. If it was not this way it would fail its purpose to defend or attack because there would be no organization. I do think that some people were responsible, but those who just followed orders from a higher command cannot be held responsible. It's like saying that every soldier is a murder if they go to fight a war someone doesn't agree with, this is not true, it's the person who put them up to it who should be held accountable.
 

ashurbanipal

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 8, 2005
Messages
7,573
Reaction score
2,323
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Private
But we aren't talking about a herd here, we are talking about soldiers, who's specific job is to do as they are told.

You could say this about almost any job.

If it was not this way it would fail its purpose to defend or attack because there would be no organization. I do think that some people were responsible, but those who just followed orders from a higher command cannot be held responsible. It's like saying that every soldier is a murder if they go to fight a war someone doesn't agree with, this is not true, it's the person who put them up to it who should be held accountable.

No. A distinction can and should be made between reasonable and unreasonable orders. It's not that difficult to make that distinction and to recognize when it's applicable. There's a clear distinction between killing enemy soldiers who are themselves trying to kill you and killing a child who has not participated in combat at all. Everyone who willingly does the second, outside of some very extreme circumstances, deserves punishment.

Furthermore, as it was pointed out earlier, many of the atrocities carried out against the Jews were not specifically ordered. They were done by the ordinary soldiers or members of the Einsatzgruppen against their victims sometimes in counterdiction of their orders.

The fallaciousness of your argument can be seen in the fact that it seems just as reasonable to reverse it and say that Hitler, Goebbels, Goering, etc. were all just responding to the calls of the German people for the elimination of the Jews. German anti-semitism was well documented long prior to the Weimar republic; the popularity of their policies post 1936 is a clear indication that this is at least partly correct.

So, given this, why wouldn't the common soldiers be to blame? Hitler would hardly have stayed in power long enough to consolidate his position had his actions not been favored by the German people.
 

cherokee

Devil Dog
Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
7,486
Reaction score
789
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
SSlightning said:
Like you said, it's not that simple. These people were brainwashed into believe Jews to be sub human. And it's not inconcevable to see it happening here in America, I dont remember the name of the specific study that proved it but it included teachers shocking students with more and more electricty even when the begged for help.


Huh? I never heard of that...I know they used tons of propaganda but torture?
 

SSlightning

Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Messages
66
Reaction score
0
Location
Chicago
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
cherokee said:
Huh? I never heard of that...I know they used tons of propaganda but torture?

No what I was refering to was a psychological study performed here in the United States to see if it is possible for the same type of discrimination to happen here as in Germany. What they did was they had participants be "teacher" and an actor be a student. The teachers were instructed to press a button which was suppose to administer an electric shock to the student if he answered any questions wrong. The more questions that got answered wrong the teachers were told the more the voltage of the shock would be. What ended up happening here is that most of the people continued to "shock" (people were never really shocked, just actors pretending) the students even when the students begged for mercy and even if they stopped responding (aka played dead). It was common for the teachers to walk out saying things like they deserved it and such.

This proves that common people will listen to an authority figure (the scientist conducting the experiment) if they think that nothing will happen to them for doing it.
 
Last edited:

SSlightning

Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Messages
66
Reaction score
0
Location
Chicago
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
ashurbanipal said:
You could say this about almost any job.



No. A distinction can and should be made between reasonable and unreasonable orders. It's not that difficult to make that distinction and to recognize when it's applicable. There's a clear distinction between killing enemy soldiers who are themselves trying to kill you and killing a child who has not participated in combat at all. Everyone who willingly does the second, outside of some very extreme circumstances, deserves punishment.

Furthermore, as it was pointed out earlier, many of the atrocities carried out against the Jews were not specifically ordered. They were done by the ordinary soldiers or members of the Einsatzgruppen against their victims sometimes in counterdiction of their orders.

The fallaciousness of your argument can be seen in the fact that it seems just as reasonable to reverse it and say that Hitler, Goebbels, Goering, etc. were all just responding to the calls of the German people for the elimination of the Jews. German anti-semitism was well documented long prior to the Weimar republic; the popularity of their policies post 1936 is a clear indication that this is at least partly correct.

So, given this, why wouldn't the common soldiers be to blame? Hitler would hardly have stayed in power long enough to consolidate his position had his actions not been favored by the German people.

The difference is between being a soldier and any other job is that you can be killed for not following orders. And while an arguement can be made that Hitler was only doing what the people wanted that is not what's on question here.
 

ashurbanipal

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 8, 2005
Messages
7,573
Reaction score
2,323
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Private
No what I was refering to was a psychological study performed here in the United States to see if it is possible for the same type of discrimination to happen here as in Germany. What they did was they had participants be "teacher" and an actor be a student. The teachers were instructed to press a button which was suppose to administer an electric shock to the student if he answered any questions wrong. The more questions that got answered wrong the teachers were told the more the voltage of the shock would be. What ended up happening here is that most of the people continued to "shock" (people were never really shocked, just actors pretending) the students even when the students begged for mercy and even if they stopped responding (aka played dead). It was common for the teachers to walk out saying things like they deserved it and such.

This proves that common people will listen to an authority figure (the scientist conducting the experiment) if they think that nothing will happen to them for doing it.

I know the experiment you're talking about. Only about half the people complied with the directives from the scientist conducting the study. "Most" is probably true, but just barely.

The difference is between being a soldier and any other job is that you can be killed for not following orders.

Actually, it was very easy to opt out of the Einsatzgruppen; guys did it with some frequency. They suffered no censure for doing so, either. But most of them stayed voluntarily.

And while an arguement can be made that Hitler was only doing what the people wanted that is not what's on question here.

I don't understand your comment; I was showing how your argument could be reversed and still seem sensible (thus showing there's something wrong with it since you present it as an either/or binary moral dilema). You said that Hitler and the top Nazi guys were responsible, but not the soldiers who did the legwork because they were just following orders. But it's just as easy to suppose that Hitler and his cronies were less to blame because if it hadn't been precisely those individuals, other individuals would have taken the mantle because the German people demanded it. Like Roehme, for instance.

If the argument seems sensible when it is reversed and blame placed exclusively on the group excluded by your argument, then your argument is false. You said, basically, A & ~B. I said that B & ~A makes equal sense, so the notion that A & B are separate is not at all clear.

In any case, it would have been physically impossible for Hitler to have murdered all those people without the common and general aid of the German people. He couldn't have gotten very far at all unless he, like any other politician, played on sentiments already present in his constituency.
 

SSlightning

Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Messages
66
Reaction score
0
Location
Chicago
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
ashurbanipal said:
I know the experiment you're talking about. Only about half the people complied with the directives from the scientist conducting the study. "Most" is probably true, but just barely.



Actually, it was very easy to opt out of the Einsatzgruppen; guys did it with some frequency. They suffered no censure for doing so, either. But most of them stayed voluntarily.



I don't understand your comment; I was showing how your argument could be reversed and still seem sensible (thus showing there's something wrong with it since you present it as an either/or binary moral dilema). You said that Hitler and the top Nazi guys were responsible, but not the soldiers who did the legwork because they were just following orders. But it's just as easy to suppose that Hitler and his cronies were less to blame because if it hadn't been precisely those individuals, other individuals would have taken the mantle because the German people demanded it. Like Roehme, for instance.

If the argument seems sensible when it is reversed and blame placed exclusively on the group excluded by your argument, then your argument is false. You said, basically, A & ~B. I said that B & ~A makes equal sense, so the notion that A & B are separate is not at all clear.

In any case, it would have been physically impossible for Hitler to have murdered all those people without the common and general aid of the German people. He couldn't have gotten very far at all unless he, like any other politician, played on sentiments already present in his constituency.

I agree with you that things can be turned around A=B so B=A and such, it's not why I made the thread though. Yes, the soldiers are to be held somewhat responsible for what they did, but not put to death or sentenced to life in prison. Maybe you could of gotten out of a group like the Einsatzgruppen, but leaving the Wermacht was punishable by death. Remember this people who we call criminals would have been hailed heros had Germany won the war. Like I said before, it's hard to punish someone for doing something they thought was right because you think it's wrong.
 

FluffyNinja

All Warm and Fuzzy
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 25, 2006
Messages
4,831
Reaction score
1,625
Location
Miss-uh-Sippie
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
SSlightning said:
But we aren't talking about a herd here, we are talking about soldiers, who's specific job is to do as they are told. If it was not this way it would fail its purpose to defend or attack because there would be no organization. I do think that some people were responsible, but those who just followed orders from a higher command cannot be held responsible. It's like saying that every soldier is a murder if they go to fight a war someone doesn't agree with, this is not true, it's the person who put them up to it who should be held accountable.

This argument would be applicable during battle, but make no mistake, THIS WAS NOT WAR or a BATTLE; THIS WAS GENOCIDE! Flat out sadistic , unwarranted, cruel, evil MURDER!
For God's sake, some of these German soldiers you claim were "following directives" stripped the skin off of Jewish Prisoners and made soccer balls and lamp shades from it. Do you think that there were any directives or written orders from Hitler, Goebbels or the SS to carry out these types of acts?:thinking
 

SSlightning

Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Messages
66
Reaction score
0
Location
Chicago
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
FluffyNinja said:
This argument would be applicable during battle, but make no mistake, THIS WAS NOT WAR or a BATTLE; THIS WAS GENOCIDE! Flat out sadistic , unwarranted, cruel, evil MURDER!
For God's sake, some of these German soldiers you claim were "following directives" stripped the skin off of Jewish Prisoners and made soccer balls and lamp shades from it. Do you think that there were any directives or written orders from Hitler, Goebbels or the SS to carry out these types of acts?:thinking

Make no mistake, what they did was wrong, BUT the Nazi government lead them to believe Jews were sub human, aka animals, and don't we do the same thing to animals, do whatever we please with them?
 

SSlightning

Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Messages
66
Reaction score
0
Location
Chicago
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
Take the American South and the Civil war for example. Alot of the same things that the Germans did to the Jews, Americans did to the blacks. But once the Civil war was over we didnt go around punishing every cruel slave master did we?
 

FluffyNinja

All Warm and Fuzzy
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 25, 2006
Messages
4,831
Reaction score
1,625
Location
Miss-uh-Sippie
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
SSlightning said:
Make no mistake, what they did was wrong, BUT the Nazi government lead them to believe Jews were sub human, aka animals, and don't we do the same thing to animals, do whatever we please with them?
Try stripping the skin off of a neighborhood pet, in public (plain view), while filming it for pleasure and let's see what happens. People are in PRISON TODAY for doing things to ANIMALS which weren't nearly as bad as what happened to Jews in the Death Camps. There are LAWS prohibiting animal abuse and neglect. Your argument has NO VALIDITY -- THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THIS SORT OF BEHAVIOR.........EVER! You've got to be kidding me.

Now, if you are claiming that there are logical reasons for WHY IT OCCURRED, that's different; but you're not doing this. In your original post and in subsequent posts, you seem to be making excuses for why these men should not be held legally responsible for their actions. This is absurd! Are you for real?:thinking
 

FluffyNinja

All Warm and Fuzzy
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 25, 2006
Messages
4,831
Reaction score
1,625
Location
Miss-uh-Sippie
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
SSlightning said:
Take the American South and the Civil war for example. Alot of the same things that the Germans did to the Jews, Americans did to the blacks. But once the Civil war was over we didnt go around punishing every cruel slave master did we?
My God! Where did you take History Classes, The Left Wing School of Revisionist History for the Politically Blind? Give me examples of African Slaves being murdered en masse and then being piled up by the thousands like cord wood, covered in lime and dumped in to shallow mass graves after they'd been tortured and used in cruel scientific experiments and practically starved to the point of death.

YOU CAN'T ------ BECAUSE IT DID'T HAPPEN!

Your posts have got to be a joke, really, tell me you're not for real ,please.:roll:
 
Last edited:

SSlightning

Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Messages
66
Reaction score
0
Location
Chicago
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
No instead slaves were breed, worked to death and starved daily, your right they aren't exactly the same but they do carry some similarities. Master would beat the crap out of slaves for fun or rape them if they felt like it, because they viewed them as guess what? Sub human, aka property. But that's not the same right cause they were Americans who did it, and the other people were Nazi's?
 

SSlightning

Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Messages
66
Reaction score
0
Location
Chicago
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
FluffyNinja said:
Try stripping the skin off of a neighborhood pet, in public (plain view), while filming it for pleasure and let's see what happens. People are in PRISON TODAY for doing things to ANIMALS which weren't nearly as bad as what happened to Jews in the Death Camps. There are LAWS prohibiting animal abuse and neglect. Your argument has NO VALIDITY -- THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THIS SORT OF BEHAVIOR.........EVER! You've got to be kidding me.

Now, if you are claiming that there are logical reasons for WHY IT OCCURRED, that's different; but you're not doing this. In your original post and in subsequent posts, you seem to be making excuses for why these men should not be held legally responsible for their actions. This is absurd! Are you for real?:thinking

Yea, the logical reason it occured was because the government allowed it too, and that it wasen't looked down upon. Take canibalistic tribes in Africa for example, we may see eating humans as unexcusable, but for them it's just another day.
 

ashurbanipal

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 8, 2005
Messages
7,573
Reaction score
2,323
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Private
I agree with you that things can be turned around A=B so B=A and such, it's not why I made the thread though.

I know you didn't make the thread as an exercise in logic; but logic certainly comes into play. Unless, that is, you wish to dispense with logic in your arguments. Do you?

Yes, the soldiers are to be held somewhat responsible for what they did, but not put to death or sentenced to life in prison. Maybe you could of gotten out of a group like the Einsatzgruppen, but leaving the Wermacht was punishable by death.

But how many members of the Wermacht were on trial at Nuremberg for doing nothing more than following orders? I think the number is zero. We didn't try every surviving member of the German army. We tried the people who, apparently voluntarily, comitted attrocious acts against the Jews, Pols, Slavs, etc. The people who stood trial at Nuremberg were the high-ranking Nazis who were still alive, the mid-level officers who were entirely with the program, members of the Einsatzgruppen, and camp guards who were known to have committed attrocities. The German military was largely unaffected.

So, let me ask you: are you aware of anyone on trial at Nuremburg who was able to show that, had they not killed Jews, would have themselves been killed?

Remember this people who we call criminals would have been hailed heros had Germany won the war. Like I said before, it's hard to punish someone for doing something they thought was right because you think it's wrong.

Quite true, but not relevant. Everyone who murders, steals, rapes, kidnaps, etc. thinks that they have a good reason for doing what they're doing. That seems like it must be true by logical necessity--no one ever does anything for no reason at all.

So I don't know why it's hard to punish someone. I'm absolutely positive that Hitler was convinced that the Jews really were involved in some grand global conspiracy to eliminate the German people, and it was a case of us or them. So what? James Evander Couey was probably absolutely convinced that he had to kidnap, rape, and kill Jessica Lunsford, and that he was justified in doing so. Does this mean we should just let him go?
 

Willoughby

Active member
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
411
Reaction score
0
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Do you think that there were any directives or written orders from Hitler, Goebbels or the SS to carry out these types of acts?
no but these orders did come from above
 

BodiSatva

The Bodhisattva
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 15, 2006
Messages
2,081
Reaction score
49
Location
Bodega Bay, CA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
SSlightning:

No instead slaves were breed, worked to death and starved daily, your right they aren't exactly the same but they do carry some similarities. Master would beat the crap out of slaves for fun or rape them if they felt like it, because they viewed them as guess what? Sub human, aka property. But that's not the same right cause they were Americans who did it, and the other people were Nazi's?


True, and these people were horrible criminals as well...point taken.
Lets move on now Fluffy

The Nazi's and Japanese that committed war crimes should be tried and killed if found guilty...

Of course, we are being oppressed by the Liberal Hourdes that deflect all responsibility...case in point...

http://www.womensenews.org/article.cfm/dyn/aid/756/context/outrage

http://au.news.yahoo.com/050909/2/p/vv4e.html

Here in CA, a man who repeatedly raped (3x) and beat a seven year old girl, received a 3 year sentence in prison, just had it reduced to one and a half years...

Save those rapists and murderers...
Attack the Boy Scouts...
One major hypocrisy that says it all about the 'take no responsibility' group...

Pro-Choice
yet
Anti-Death Penalty

huh?

Nazi's were mis-understood and guiltless, they were following orders and had no other choice, they were brainwashed...blah...blah..BLAH
 
Top Bottom