Monday, September 7, 2020

The Pledge Betrayed: America & Britain & the Denazification of Postwar Germany


Nazi Germany war crimes justice betrayal

TOM BOWER has conducted an exhaustive and meticulous survey of all the relevant files in the British Foreign and War offices and in the American State and War departments in order to assess the efforts of the Allies to punish the Nazis for the murder of 12 million people during World War II and to set up a postwar ''denazification'' program. Mr. Bower concludes that on both counts these efforts were stupendous failures.

Many villains and incompetents are revealed in this book, and hardly any heroes. Only Gen. Lucius Clay, the American military governor in Germany after the war, and Patrick Dean, a British Foreign Service officer, who was later British Ambassador to Washington, seem to qualify as heroes, at least by Mr. Bower's stern standards.

Mr. Bower is not a historian but a producer for BBC television. Four programs of his on the failure of the Allied policies concerning war crimes and denazification have provoked considerable controversy in England.

Clearly, the civil servants in the Foreign Office and the State Department took a detached view of how the Nazi criminals should be punished, and they wanted no responsibility for planning a program for Germany once the war had ended. In fact, there was no kind of intelligent planning by any of the Allied nations as long as the war continued, despite the policy of Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt that retribution for the war crimes ''must henceforth take its place among the major purposes of the war,'' as Churchill said in October 1942.  (more...)

Postwar Justice

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