Letter to the Editor: Nuremberg Principles Have Not Been Applied in Even Manner

Posted 11/2/21

I enjoyed “Remembering the Nuremberg Trials 76 Years Later” in the Oct. 28 edition of the Nisqually Valley News. However, when writing about the Auschwitz commandant, I believe Dr. Stride …

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Letter to the Editor: Nuremberg Principles Have Not Been Applied in Even Manner

Posted

I enjoyed “Remembering the Nuremberg Trials 76 Years Later” in the Oct. 28 edition of the Nisqually Valley News. However, when writing about the Auschwitz commandant, I believe Dr. Stride meant to reference Rudolph Höss and not Rudolph Hess. Hess was not involved with the concentration camps. In fact, Hess was a prisoner in England for most of the war (from 1941 on.)

Unfortunately, time has shown that the Nuremberg principles were mostly just a dressed-up form of victors’ revenge. See: “Nuremberg and Vietnam: An American Tragedy” by Telford Taylor, who was one of the Nuremberg prosecutors. Certainly, the Iraq War (and most American military interventions since World War II) can also be examined under the Nuremberg principle of “aggressive war against the peace” at the very least.

The case of Hess stands out as a poignant reminder of the perils of defeat. Hess was captured in England in May 1941 (before the U.S. entered the war) on a mission to negotiate peace. Hess was thereafter held in solitary confinement for the next 46 years until he died in 1987. Despite the fact that he was a prisoner of England for most of the war and that he was captured while trying to bring an end to the hostilities between England and Germany, Hess was tried and convicted of war crimes in Nuremberg.

Justice Radhabinod Pal, of India, who sat on the Japanese (Nuremberg equivalent) war crimes trials, wrote blistering dissents about the injustice of the process. One of the Japanese generals, Yamashita, was sentenced to death for soldiers rampaging in Manila while the general was sequestered in a cave with no communication to the outside world.



Yes, we should remember Nuremberg, but we should also be asking why the Nuremberg principles have not been applied since in an even handed manner.

Kris Sundberg,

Mercer Island

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