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Old November 6th, 2011 #1
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Default The Torture of Julius Streicher

New York Times 27 Apr 1946

Julius Streicher was found guilty at the Nuremberg trials and sentenced to death on October 1, 1946.

During the trial Streicher declared several times that the jailers had tortured him.

The wards (Negroes) spat into his mouth, beat him with knout, burned cigarettes on his nipples, imprinted their fingers into his eyes, extracted his brow-hair and breast-hair, beat his testicles with a club, he became almost deaf due to the tortures, took away all his clothes and gave him only a a wet jacket in February.

For reasons that remain unclear today, all of his comments on this issue were erased from the official protocol. The "court" treated as an "offense against the court" the fact, that he spoke about the tortures.

But on the audiotape of the Streicher trial these comments are present.

"This is Purim Fest 1946!" was Julius Streicher's apt comment before he was sucked down into death via a gallows trap-door in the Nuremberg Prison gymnasium on 16 October 1946. He was the seventh of ten International Military Tribunal defendants hanged that day in fulfillment of the sentences imposed. (Hermann Göring had cheated the hangman the night before with a cyanide capsule, a final gesture of contempt.) It was certainly a travesty that any of the 22 original defendants should have been put on "trial" before, let alone condemned by, such a collection of raving Western idiots and cynical Soviet criminals as constituted the IMT. But the case of Julius Streicher, former National Socialist Gauleiter of Franconia, editor and publisher of Der Stürmer, was especially ludicrous. He was unique among the convicted defendants in that he was tried not for anything he was alleged to have done, or ordered, or acquiesced in, but for what he had thought and written. In his case the Allied prosecutors made few bones about it - there was no attempt to dress up the indictment by accusing him of actual participation in or even knowledge of any "crimes against peace" or "war crimes." (They knew that this would have been rather difficult, given that Streicher had held no official post since February 1940, and had been out of favor and devoid of official influence since long before that time.) He was charged under Counts One and Four of the Indictment: "common plan or conspiracy to wage aggressive war, " and "crimes against humanity." No real attempt was made to nail him on the first count, and he was acquitted. On the other count he was convicted and condemned to death. As Germany's world-famed Jew-baiter numero uno, Streicher was to be made an example of on this Point - essentially on the point of being a vociferous anti-semite. The tribunal's final judgement was that

....Streicher's incitement of murder and extermination at the time when Jews in the East were being killed under the most horrible conditions clearly constitutes persecution on political and racial grounds in connection with war crimes as defined by the Charter, and constitutes a crime against humanity.

The attempts made during the proceedings to prove that Streicher has at least known about the alleged extermination program were not very successful, based as they were on the issue whether Streicher had read claims of extermination in foreign Jewish newspapers; Streicher did admit this - he was aware of foreign allegations. (It is instructive that the prosecution had to base its claim of Streicher's "knowing" on such a thing, rather than on anything coming to him from the Reich government itself, or from anywhere within the Reich.) In the event, the final judgment against Streicher was not on the question of such "knowledge" of murder but purely on the question of alleged incitement to murder, via his pre-war speeches and his writings throughout the years in Der Stürmer. Not Göring, not Ribbentrop, not Rosenberg, nor Sauckel, Frank, Jodi, Keitel - not any of the other convicted defendants* were put on trial for merely their dissemination of views on a social-political issue. They were all in the dock because of things they had allegedly done or been directly involved in which the IMT determined to have been violations of its interpretation, as codified in its charter, of "International Law." Streicher joined them in the dock and on the gallows because of what he thought, and because he said publicly what he thought. There was not even any real attempt to obscure this fact within legal mumbo-jumbo. Nor was the IMT concerned with the fact that Streicher's "incitement" happened to violate no law - not in Germany nor, for that matter, in any of the Allied countries. This was some trial.

But Streicher's case was unique in another way also. He was the only IMT defendant to have been systematically, physically tortured while under Allied custody awaiting trial. Some of the other defendants did have complaints about various aspects of their treatment since arrest (Hans Frank mentioned being beaten up once by American negroes), in particular the humiliating, pettily-harassing conditions of their cell-life - but none made a claim to having been treated as horrendously as Streicher described. These were after all the "Major War Criminals," the "first string" Nazis upon whom the spotlight of world attention was to glare at Nuremberg; claims of torture would have been most embarrassing to the Allies, who were bragging about how just and fair and legally high-minded they were behaving toward their captives. When Streicher brought up during the IMT proceedings his claim of having been tortured, it was clear that the prosecution was surprised and at something of a loss. The claim was stricken from the official record; otherwise an investigation would have been required.

What Streicher had vainly tried to relate on the record were his experiences shortly after his arrest, before he had been brought to Mondorf in Luxembourg, the "holding center" for the IMT defendants before the trial began. His torture was not sanctioned by the IMT or, apparently, any high authorities. His reputation had preceded him: it was a simple case of low-level revenge and sadism.

Streicher and his wife were arrested on 22 May 1945 in the village of Weidring (Waidring), just southwest of Berchtesgaden. He was first taken to Berchiesgaden, then passed through Salzburg and Munich before winding up at Freising, northwest of Munich, where he stayed three days before being transferred to Wiesbaden. After one day there he was taken to Mondorf, where he remained until finally being taken to Nuremberg in late August. **

It was between Berchtesgaden and Wiesbaden, particularly in Freising, that Streicher was tortured in direct violation of the Geneva Convention. (At this time he was not even indicted or accused of a crime.) Historian Werner Maser devoted two pages to this in his 1977 book Nuremberg: Tribunal der Sieger (the 1979 American edition of which suffered a strange, toned-down metamorphosis in title: Nuremberg: A Nation on Trial). Maser's source, which he quoted chillingly in full, was a manuscript account by Streicher describing the most unspeakable tortures and degradations inflicted upon him by U.S. Army negroes and Jews. The manuscript was written for Streicher's lawyer, Dr. Hanns Marx, and is now in Maser's possession. Maser accepted the truth of this account, commenting that

. . . For two decades Streicher had reviled, slandered and insulted world Jewry, had offered them up to racial fanatics as vermin; so. eighteen months before his execution by hanging, he found himself with a personal account to square; the "holy wrath" of his victims led them to apply the Old Testament law of "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth."

Streicher's biographer William P. Varga, in his 1981 book The Number One Nazi Jew-Baiter (actually a fairly serious work, despite the comic-book title) mentions the allegation of torture at Freising:

[U.S. Army Intelligence Captain John) Dolibois later related that Streicher complained bitterly of his treatment at the hands of American soldiers before his transfer to Mondorf. Evidently his notoriety as a fanatic racial persecutor was known to the troops at Freising. Streicher claimed that he and his wife were forced by some black American soldiers to walk in public stripped of their clothes. These soldiers allegedly spat on them and extinguished cigarettes on their bare skin. At Mondorf, an unconfirmed report was circulated stating that some soldiers had taken photographs that showed Streicher dressed only in an open coat, with swollen testicles and a crown of thorns on his head with a sign draped over his neck with the words "Julius Streicher, King of the Jews."

However, Varga goes on to describe "most of Streicher's complaints" of such treatment as "extremely questionable"; they were "apparently fabricated." The only basis he presents for this skepticism is a letter written by Streicher at Mondorf in June 1945 to former Stürmer colleagues, in which are mentioned "only" his uncomfortable handcuffs, and his having been forced to stamp out cigarettes with bare feet. For biographer Varga, this constitutes evidence that Streicher "fabricated" other stories. He does not seem to have considered that in writing this particular letter, Streicher may have suffered under constraints as mundane as time or as special as censorship. His argument against Streicher's veracity here is rather obviously a grasp at the only straw - and a very thin one - available. Varga in 1981 was apparently unaware of the lengthy, detailed Streicher statement published by Maser in 1977. (Maser's book is not listed in his bibliography.) That Streicher made a point in this statement of mentioning who had treated him well in addition to who had treated him badly, delineating clearly between these types and their actions with details as to time, place, and names where he knew them, would seem to auger the truth of what it contains.

The acceptance of the statement as a genuine, honest record by Werner Maser - a respected historian hardly partial to National Socialism, much less to the Julius Streicher variety - is unquestionably well-founded.

It is not the only piece of evidence extant. In the Fall of 1982 another document surfaced which sheds more light on the torture of Julius Streicher. It is a seven-page, handwritten statement given by Streicher at Mondorf to an American officer, who requested it after hearing Streicher's verbal complaints. In that officer's hands for 37 years, never published or cited, the document was sold at auction by the Charles Hamilton Autograph Gallery in New York City in October 1982, for the price of $1,200. The Journal of Historical Review was able to obtain a copy of this historically significant document. It is published on the following pages for the first time, in English translation and followed by photographs of the handwritten original. Also reproduced is a letter from the officer to the auctioneer describing the circumstances under which he obtained the document.

A comparison of this document with that presented by Maser in his book shows the consistency in events described. Its publication at last adds to our knowledge of a particularly shameful postwar episode.

Passage from Richard Harwood's "Did Six Million Really Die?"

'CONFESSIONS' UNDER TORTURE Altogether more disturbing, however, were the methods employed to extract statements and "confessions" at Nuremberg, particularly those from S.S. officers which were used to support the extermination charge. The American Senator, Joseph McCarthy, in a statement given to the American press on May 20th, 1949, drew attention to the following cases of torture to secure such confessions. In the prison of the Swabisch Hall, he stated, officers of the S.S. Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler were flogged until they were soaked in blood, after which their sexual organs were trampled on as they lay prostrate on the ground. As in the notorious Malmedy Trials of private soldiers, the prisoners were hoisted in the air and beaten until they signed the confessions demanded of them. On the basis of such "confessions" extorted from S.S. Generals Sepp Dietrich and Joachim Paiper, the Leibstandarte was convicted as a "guilty organisation."

SS General Oswald Pohl, the economic administrator of the concentration camp system, had his face smeared with faeces and was subsequently beaten until he supplied his confession. In dealing with these cases, Senator McCarthy told the press: "I have heard evidence and read documentary proofs to the effect that the accused persons were beaten up, maltreated and physically tortured by methods which could only be conceived in sick brains. They were subjected to mock trials and pretended executions, they were told their families would be deprived of their ration cards.

All these things were carried out with the approval of the Public Prosecutor in order to secure the psychological atmosphere necessary for the extortion of the required confessions. If the United States lets such acts committed by a few people go unpunished, then the whole world can rightly criticise us severely and forever doubt the correctness of our motives and our moral integrity." The methods of intimidation described were repeated during trials at Frankfurt-am-Mein and at Dachau, and large numbers of Germans were convicted for atrocities on the basis of their admissions.

The American Judge Edward L. van Roden, one of the three members of the Simpson Army Commission which was subsequently appointed to investigate the methods of justice at the Dachau trials, revealed the methods by which these admissions were secured in the Washington Daily News, January 9th, 1949. His account also appeared in the British newspaper, the Sunday Pictorial, January 23rd, 1949. The methods he described were: "Posturing as priests to hear confessions and give absolution; torture with burning matches driven under the prisoners' finger-nails; knocking out of teeth and breaking jaws; solitary confinement and near starvation rations."

Van Roden explained: "The statements which were admitted as evidence were obtained from men who had first been kept in solitary confinement for three, four and five months. . . . The investigators would put a black hood over the accused's head and then punch him in the face with brass knuckles, kick him and beat him with rubber hoses . . . All but two of the Germans, in the 139 cases we investigated, had been kicked in the testicles beyond repair. This was standard operating procedure with our American investigators." The "American" investigators responsible (and who later functioned as the prosecution in the trials) were: Lt.-Col. Burton F. Ellis (chief of the War Crimes Committee) and his assistants, Capt. Raphael Shumacker, Lt. Robert E. Byrne, Lt. William R. Perl, Mr. Morris Ellowitz, Mr. Harry Thon, and Mr. Kirschbaum. The legal adviser of the court was Col. A. H. Rosenfeld.

The reader will immediately appreciate from their names that the majority of these people were "biased on racial grounds" in the words of Justice Wenersturm - that is, were Jewish, and therefore should never have been involved in any such investigation. Despite the fact that "confessions" pertaining to the extemination of the Jews were extracted under these conditions, Nuremberg statements are still regarded as conclusive evidence for the Six Million by writers like Reitlinger and others, and the illusion is maintained that the Trials were both impartial and impeccably fair. When General Taylor, the Chief Public Prosecutor, was asked where he had obtained the figure of the Six Million, he replied that it was based on the confession of S.S. General Otto Ohlendorf.

He, too, was tortured and his case is examined below. But as far as such "confessions" in general are concerned, we can do no better than quote the British Sunday Pictorial when reviewing the report of Judge van Roden: "Strong men were reduced to broken wrecks ready to mumble any admission demanded by their prosecutors."

American Atrocities in Germany

AMERICAN investigators at the U. S. Court in Dachau, Germany, used the following methods to obtain confessions: Beatings and brutal kickings. Knocking out teeth and breaking jaws. Mock trials. Solitary confinement. Posturing as priests. Very limited rations. Spiritual deprivation. Promises of acquittal.

Complaints concerning these third degree methods were received by Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall last Spring. Royall appointed Justice Gordon Simpson of the Texas Supreme Court and me to go to Germany and check up on the reports.

Accompanied by Lt. Col. Charles Lawrence. Jr., we went to Munich, Germany, set up offices there, and heard a stream of testimony about the way in which American atrocities were committed.

But first, a bit of the background. Last Spring the Supreme Court refused the habeas corpus petition of Col. Willis N. Everett. Jr., an American lawyer, who had served as defense counsel for the 74 Germans accused in the famous Malmedy case. Everett is a very able lawyer, a conscientious and sincere gentleman. He is not a fanatic.

In his petition. Everett charged that the Germans had not received a fair trial. Everett did not claim that all the German defendants were innocent, but since they did not have a fair trial, there was no way of telling the innocent from the guilty.

The tragedy is that so many of us Americans, having fought and won the war with so much sweat and blood, now say. "All Germans should be punished". We won the war, but some of us want to go on killing. That seems to me wicked.

If Everett's shocking charges were true, they would be a blot on the American conscience for eternity. The fact that there were atrocities by the Germans during the war against Americans, or by Americans against Germans, would not in the least lessen our disgrace if such peacetime atrocities were to go unchallenged.

Our specific assignment was not only to examine Col. Everett's charges, but also to examine the cases of the 139 death sentences, which at that time remained unexecuted: 152 Germans had already been executed.

The 139 doomed men who were still alive fell into three groups. They were accused of involvement in the Dachau concentration camp crimes, in the killing of American fliers, or in the Malmedy massacres. Let me say that I believe the crimes for which these Germans were tried actually took place, and that some Germans were guilty of them.

But we should not let the indiscriminate hate of all Germans that was generated during and after the war, blind us to the necessity of punishing the guilty ones only.

After this investigation, and after talking to all sides, I do not believe that the German people knew what the German Government was doing. I am convinced the German populace had no idea what diabolical crimes that arch-fiend, Himmler, was committing in the concentration camps. From the atrocities we learned about, he must have been the very prince of devils.

But as for the Germans at large, they fought the war as loyal citizens with a fatherland to support, and a fatherland to defend.

Some American fliers, shot down on bombing raids over Germany. were killed by German civilians.

These Germans felt that the American fliers were the murderers of their defenseless wives, mothers, and children who were In the bombed cities� - just as the English felt that German fliers were their murderers. That's war.

I felt deeply about these fliers. I had two sons in the Air Force. Jimmy made 35 missions over Germany and returned safe, thank God! Dick made 32 Missions and was finally shot down over Italy. He spent 12 months in a German prisoner-of-war camp and was fairly well treated. He is now in a sanitarium in Arizona recovering from TB he contracted in the camp.


The Malmedy massacres, in which a group of American prisoners of war were mown down after being captured during the Battle of the Bulge, actually happened. But can't we distinguish between the assertion that these atrocities did happen, and the assertion that they were committed by these 74 Germans who had been in or near Malmedy at that time?

Because some wicked sadistic German individuals did it, are we doing the right thing by saying any and all Germans we lay our hands on are guilty and should be destroyed? I personally don't believe that. That's not the way of thinking I learnt in my church, or you learned in your church.

On Russian insistence, the Americans couldn't retry these men. The Russian philosophy in these matters is that the investigators determine the guilt or innocence of the accused, and the judge merely sets the sentence. We accepted the Russian formula of no-retrial, but we won out on the presumption of innocence before trial.

The American prohibition of hear-say evidence had been suspended. Second and third-hand testimony was admitted, although the Judge Advocate General warned against the value of hearsay evidence, especially when it was obtained, as this was. two or three years after the act. Lt. Col. Ellis and Lt Perl of the Prosectution pleaded that it was difficult to obtain competant evidence. Perl told the court, "We had a tough case to crack and we had to use persuasive methods." He admitted to the court that the persuasive methods included various "expedients, including some violence and mock trials." He further told the court that the cases rested on statements obtained by such methods.

The statements which were admitted as evidence were obtained from men who had first been kept in solitary confinement for three, four, and, five months. They were confined between four walls, with no windows, and no opportunity of exercise. Two meals a day were shoved in to them through a slot in the door. They were not allowed to talk to anyone. They had no communication with their families or any minister or priest during that time.

This solitary confinement proved sufficient in itself in some cases to persuade the Germans to sign prepared statements. These statements not only involved the signer, but often would involve other defendants

Our investigators would put a black hood over the accused's head and then punch him in the face with brass knuckles, kick him, and beat him with rubber hose. Many of the German defendants had teeth knocked out. Some had their jaws broken.

All but two of the Germans, in the 139 cases we investigated, had been kicked in the testicles beyond repair. This was Standard Operating Procedure with American investigators.

Perl admitted use of mock trials and persuasive methods including violence and said the court was free to decide the weight to be attached to evidence thus received. But it all went in.

One 18 year old defendant, after a series of beatings. was writing a statement being dictated to him. When they reached the 16th page, the boy was locked up for the night. In the early morning, Germans in nearby cells heard him muttering. "I will not utter another lie." When the jailer came in later to get him to finish his false statement, he found the German hanging from a cell bar, dead. However the statement that the German had hanged himself to escape signing was offered and received in evidence in the trial of the others.

Sometimes a prisoner who refused to sign was led into a dimly lit room, where a group of civilian investigators, wearing U. S. Army uniforms. were seated around a black table with a crucifix in the center and two candles burning, one on each aide. "You will now have your American trial," the defendant was told.

The sham court passed a sham sentence of death. Then the accused was told, "You will hang in a few days, as soon as the general approves this sentence: but in the meantime sign this confession and we can get you acquitted." Some still wouldn't sign.

We were shocked by the crucifix being used so mockingly.

In another case, a bogus Catholic priest (actually an investigator) entered the cell of one of the defendants, heard his confession, gave him absolution, and then gave him a little friendly tip: "Sign whatever the investigators ask you to sign. It will get you your freedom. Even though it's false, I can give you absolution now in advance for the lie you'd tell."

Our final report on these trials has been turned over to Secretary of the Army Royall. In spite of the many instances like those I have described, we found no general conspiracy to obtain evidence improperly. With the exception of 29 cases, we saw no reason why the executions should not be carried out. For the 110 others, there was sufficient competent evidence from other sources to warrant the death penalty, exclusive of the evidence obtained by the third-degree.

The 29 men whose sentences we recommended for commutation certainly did not have a fair trial by American standards. Twenty-seven of them were to have their terms reduced to life, one of them was to get 10 years, and one would get two and one-half years, according to our recommendations. We also recommended a permanent program of clemency for reconsideration of the sentences of other prisoners convicted in war crimes cases.

Secretary Royall has saved our national conscience. Could we as Americans ever have held our heads up if he hadn't looked into it? He has saved our national prestige and our international reputation.

However, in spite of Secretary Royall's action in this matter, there is little real room for complacency on the part of Americans. Rather our report reveals, by implication, that we still have a serious situation in Germany to clear up. Moreover, five of the men for whom we recommended commutations have been hanged since we turned in our report. In all 100 of the 139 we set out to investigate are now dead.

The American investigators who committed the atrocities in the name of American Justice and under the American flag are going scot-free. At this point there are two objectives which should be aimed for:

1. Those prisoners whose death sentences have not been commuted and who have not yet been hanged should be saved, pending full judicial review.

2. American investigators who abused the powers of victory and prostituted justice to vengeance, should be exposed in a public process, preferably in the U. S., and prosecuted.

Unless these crimes committed by Americans are exposed by us at home, the prestige of America and American justice will suffer permanent and irreparable damage. We can partially atone for our own misconduct if we first search it out and publicly condemn and disavow it. If we wait for our enemies to blazon our guilt abroad, we can only bow our heads in shamed admission.

In an article published in the American Mercury in 1954, Freda Utley wrote as follows:

....two of the "un-American" investigators employed by the U.S. Army to extract "confessions" from German prisoners of war, namely, Lt. Colonel Ellis and Lt. Perl, told Judge Von Roden of the Simpson Commission in 1949 that force was necessary in view of the difficulty in obtaining evidence. Perl said: "We had to use persuasive methods." He further admitted that these methods included "some violence and mock trials," and that the prosecution's case in the Malmedy cases rested on the evidence thus obtained.

Colonel A.H. Rosenfeld, who was Chief of the Dachau branch of the U.S. War Crimes Administration until he resigned in 1948, when asked at a press interview before leaving Germany whether there was any truth in the German allegations concerning mock trials, replied, "Yes, of course. We couldn't have made those birds talk otherwise. It was a trick and it worked like a charm."

U.S. Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone, referring to the Nuremberg trials and speaking of the American Chief Prosecutor, Jackson, had this to say, as quoted in a Viking Press hard cover, "Harlan Fiske Stone: Pillar of the Law:"
"Jackson is away conducting his high grade lynching party in Nuremberg," he remarked. "I don't mind what he does to the Nazis, but I hate to see the pretense that he is running a court and proceeding according to common law.

This is a little too sanctimonious a fraud to meet my old-fashioned ideas." (Mason, Thomas, Harlan Fiske Stone: Pillar of the Law, Alpheus The Viking Press, page 746)
For proof of torture of captured Germans by the Allies, read Legions of Death, a book by Rupert Butler, an English writer, who gives a vivid description of how the wartime, one-time Concentration Camp Commandant, Rudolf Hoess, was beaten mercilessly and drugged with alcohol for several days before he signed his famous "confession" admitting to two-and-a-half million of people gassed in gas chambers in Auschwitz.

Suffice it to say here that this so-called "confession" was written in English, and that Hoess did not speak or even understand English. (2Butler, Rupert, Legions of Death, Hamlyn Paperbacks, Great Britain, 1983, pp 10-12)
Only force rules. Force is the first law - Adolf H. Man has become great through struggle - Adolf H. Strength lies not in defense but in attack - Adolf H.
Old November 24th, 2019 #2
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The Torture of Julius Streicher by U.S. Soldiers at Nuremberg


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