74 years ago, the most significant trial in human history came to an end. September 30 - October 1, 1946, the verdict of the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg was announced, which examined the horrific crimes of the Nazi Third Reich, its leaders, leading structures and entire organizations. It would seem that a complete and final triumph of justice took place. Having overwhelmed the loops on the necks of the main executioners and their inspirers, having condemned the misanthropic ideology generated by them and given birth to themselves, the world put an end to one of the most terrible and bloody pages of its existence ...
As we now understand, this did not happen. Not that the roots of the poisonous "tree" of Nazism, the poisoned fruits of which were the world war, concentration camps and millions of hecatombs of innocent victims, were not uprooted - it was not even possible to chop off every single "branch" of it. Many perpetrators of monstrous crimes either escaped responsibility, or got off with purely symbolic (in comparison with their committed) punishment. Why did it happen? What was the Nuremberg Trials really supposed to become, and what did it ultimately result in? Let's try to look for answers to these questions, and at the same time - dispel some of the misconceptions and myths about this historical event.
Cannibalism of the "democrats" and the mercy of the "tyrant"
Once I happened to come across the opus of another "historian" who definitely belonged to the "liberal school", in which it was argued in all seriousness that Nuremberg was "Stalin's invention." The "dictator and tyrant" liked the processes in the mid-late 30s carried out on the affairs of "enemies of the people" in the USSR so much that he decided to arrange something similar for the defeated Nazis. Exclusively in order, of course, to amuse my own bloodthirsty nature ... I, as usual, I will not argue with a clinic of this level, I will just note that in this delusional statement only one moment is true: the idea of a grandiose, never seen before by anyone and nowhere court ( certainly international) over the Third Reich, defeated at the cost of colossal sacrifices of the Soviet people, belonged to the Supreme. But before trying to turn his true motives upside down, it would be worth asking: what alternative did our “allies”, representatives of the “democratic” and “civilized” United States and Great Britain see?
I can say with full responsibility: the fate prepared for the defeated Germany by the leader of the Soviet Union, who lost more than 25 million people in the war and a third of its own national wealth, was the standard of mercy and humanism - in comparison with what it saw the British and Americans, whose military losses in relation to ours they were scanty, and in the case of the United States - in fact, zero. The phrase about the fact that all Germans should, forgive me, be castrated without exception, or, at least, "subjected to such treatment so that they cannot reproduce a population capable of repeating what they have done" does not belong in any way to Stalin, but to Franklin Roosevelt, the President of the United States, on whose land not a single soldier of the Wehrmacht has set foot. The kindest soul man ...
It must be said that the American leader was not just talking his tongue (this was actually unusual for Roosevelt). As early as 1944, US Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau was rushing with a plan to completely dismember Germany and turn it into a "poor agricultural country". True, his colleagues (in particular, the financier Harry White) quickly clarified that in order to realize these intentions, it is necessary to "get rid" of at least 25 million Germans as soon as possible. How to get rid of ?! Yes to liquidate to hell! But there was also the dearest American Theodore Kaufman, the author of a book with an unpretentious title "Germany must disappear", who calculated with mathematical precision that to implement this slogan, it would be enough to employ "only" 20 thousand surgeons who would be forcibly sterilized by 25 thousands of inhabitants and residents of Germany per day. And that's all - in some three months "the problem will be solved." And after 60 years not a single German will remain on the planet at all ...
And one should not think that these were the delights of empty gulls and dreamers - in the same 1944, the British ambassador to the United States, Lord Halifax, officially discussed these ideas with London and, expressing their warmest support, proposed simply to destroy all military and civilians without any trial or investigation. persons of the Third Reich who found themselves on the "black lists" of the allies and captured by their troops. There was little to do - the lists. True, many in the same London offered to include in them, for loyalty, the entire SS personnel, up to the last kid from the Hitler Youth and the entire NSDAP in full payroll. Well, and at the same time - all the army leadership, the rank of not lower than a general, or even a colonel. The possible scale of such an extrajudicial “clean-up” operation does not look weak.
I must say that Joseph Vissarionovich, unlike sirs, lords and presidents, did not finish any universities and the concept of law and legality, who composed exclusively from the hundreds and thousands of books he had read, all this infuriated him extremely. To this day, the assumption has not been refuted that copies of the "Morgenthau plan" were in Berlin on his initiative and through the efforts of the eagles from the department of Lavrenty Beria. This is so that the local bosses have less bad thoughts about separate peace negotiations with the Anglo-Saxons. And later, during the Tehran and Yalta conferences, Stalin, there is evidence of this, more than once besieged Churchill, who called to "put up against the wall" almost every second German, not counting every first. Once, his argument with the bloodthirsty Briton reached the point that Sir Winston began to broadcast, they say, even our grandchildren should not see "Germany rising from its knees"! So with fire and their sword, hot iron and dust, dust! To this, Stalin replied in his calm manner: "The cruelty will just give rise to the thirst for revenge ..."
It is clear that the Supreme Commander was not sad about the fate of the Nazis, who killed millions of Soviet people, including his own son. And he was a pragmatist and a realist. And he didn't just know the story, but understood all its subtleties. He understood perfectly well that the nightmarish Third Reich "grew" out of the murderous and humiliating "Peace of Versailles" for the Germans and categorically did not want to repeat the same. So it was Stalin who took care of the grandchildren, not Churchill. Moreover, Joseph Vissarionovich did not want the transformation of just retribution into a banal reprisal. Denying the very possibility of lynching even the most infamous Nazis, he said: "This must be a judicial decision." Stalin wanted to condemn and punish not Hitler, Himmler, Goering, Bormann and others, but Nazism.
Combine the incompatible, embrace the immensity
It is from this moment, in fact, that the reasons begin that the Nuremberg trial did not become what it should have become. The victory in the Second World War seemed to be won by the allies, but in fact, already in May 1945, they were irreconcilable enemies - at least ideologically and ideologically. For Soviet people, German Nazism was not just a misanthropic ideology based on the absolutely unacceptable theory of "racial superiority", but above all, the ultimate expression of the vicious essence of the capitalist, imperialist world order. And it really was so! For the Americans and the British, Hitler and his clique, on the contrary, were a tool - they themselves created for the destruction of the Soviet Union, but got out of control and began to do something completely different from what was expected of him.
Moreover, many researchers are inclined to believe that the desire of the same British to destroy high-ranking Nazi officials, military and functionaries on the spot was not dictated by "righteous anger", but by the most banal desire to keep them from opening their mouths and shedding light on the true history of Germany's transformation into the Third Reich. First of all, the revival of its army and military industry. There is nothing surprising in the fact that the first in the list of those Nazi tycoons who were acquitted by the Nuremberg court is the name of Hjalmar Schacht, a man who did not just lay the foundations of the "military economics"Hitler's state, and, above all, the former main" link "between the Nazis and bankers of Great Britain and the United States. Without his participation, Berlin would not have received that colossal financial support from them, which, in fact, made it possible to create the Wehrmacht, the SS and all other instruments for the extermination of millions of people. Recognized as innocent, like a lamb, after a symbolic "imprisonment" he lived right up to 1970, far from being in poverty.
Few people remember this today, but after the announcement of the verdict, Major General of Justice Ion Nikitchenko, who represented our country as a judge of the tribunal, presented a special Dissenting Opinion expressing the position of the USSR. He openly spoke about the inadmissibility of any acquittals in this trial at all. Especially in relation to such clearly guilty persons as Hjalmar Schacht or Franz von Papen and Hans Fritsche who also escaped retribution. The first, let me remind you, was a diplomat, played one of the leading roles in the capture of Austria and many subsequent secret international operations of the Third Reich. The fact that Papen's actions posed a danger to the USSR is evidenced by the fact of an attempt to eliminate it, undertaken by Soviet intelligence in 1942 in Turkey and sanctioned at the very top. Alas, the operation then failed, and at Nuremberg Papen again eluded retribution. Fritsche was not just an ordinary Nazi propagandist, but one of the leading employees of the Goebbels department, a member of the Nazi party. And also justified ...
However, much more indignation in the USSR was caused by the fact that British, American and French judges flatly refused to admit guilt in war crimes and crimes against humanity, not only of the government of the Third Reich, but also of the General Staff and the High Command of the Wehrmacht! Having reached the heights of mockery of justice, they declared that the SA - the assault troops of the Nazis, who shed rivers of blood in their time, can in no way be ranked among the criminal organizations, since ... "there is no evidence of their solidarity and organization"! He who has ears, let him hear ...
In fact, the Nuremberg trials became not only the last attempt by yesterday's "allies" to cooperate outside the battlefield, but also an excellent demonstration of how differently they see both the barely ended war and, most importantly, the future fate of the world. Disagreements arose on almost every key issue, but I will give just one example - the Soviet side was categorically opposed to former members of the Nazi party acting as lawyers for the defendants. "Allies", making big eyes, rejected this demand. As a result, the overwhelming majority of the defenders of the leaders of the Third Reich were just members of the NSDAP. Is it any wonder that one of them, who defended the interests of such "innocent" organizations as the SS and SD, Ludwig Babel, agreed at the trial to the point that he demanded that all those who resisted the invaders in the German-occupied territories and such " illegal actions "literally" provoked "the Nazi thugs to the atrocities they committed!
As for me, this "thief" should be hanged on the same rope with his clients! Nevertheless, nothing like this happened, and it could not have happened. By sending a dozen Nazi bosses to the gallows, introducing the concept of "genocide" into international legal circulation and condemning the Third Reich as such, the Nuremberg Tribunal, on the other hand, initiated the process of removing many Nazi criminals from the punishing hand of Justice, who subsequently appreciated their true worth " generosity ”of their Anglo-Saxon saviors and who served them faithfully for many years.
What just retribution could there be if the leadership of the United States and Great Britain, by the time the trial was completed, already saw the Soviet Union as a mortal enemy, and in many of the defendants as potential assistants in the fight against it? By that time, Churchill's Fulton speech, which launched the Cold War, had already been sounded, and the chief prosecutor from the United States, Robert Jackson, instead of performing his direct duties, ran around European capitals with lectures on the "communist threat", after which he sent dispatches to Washington about the messages he had given to local anti-Soviet forces "a sure sign" regarding future US support.
To our great regret, the Nazi evil did not receive a worthy retribution for their atrocities committed on Soviet soil - and all thanks to those who took over from it the baton of mortal enmity with our country.