Rewriting History

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pzrmeyer2

Rewriting History

Post by pzrmeyer2 » Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:47 pm

Perhaps the families of John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald have hope now...



Germany Overturns Nazi-Era Conviction

BERLIN (AP) -- Prosecutors said Thursday they have formally overturned the conviction of a Dutch communist who was executed after the Nazis accused him of torching the Reichstag parliament building in 1933.

Marinus van der Lubbe, a bricklayer, was convicted of arson and high treason in December 1933 and executed on Jan. 10, 1934.
The federal prosecutor's office said it formally "declared that the verdict ... is overturned" on Dec. 6.

It said that it made the move after being alerted to the case by a Berlin lawyer, whom it did not identify, and that the conviction was overturned automatically under a 1998 law allowing for the rehabilitation of people convicted of crimes under the Nazis.

Historians still debate whether van der Lubbe actually set the Feb. 27, 1933, fire, which came just a month after Adolf Hitler's rise to power and was followed by the suspension of civil liberties.

Some believe the Nazis set it themselves to give Hitler an excuse for his crackdown against what he termed a "communist conspiracy."

Van der Lubbe was the only defendant convicted of arson at the subsequent trial. Four other communists charged with him were acquitted.

Federal prosecutors said his conviction was overturned because the death sentence resulted from measures introduced under the Nazis "that were created to implement the National Socialist regime and enabled breaches of basic conceptions of justice."

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Post by panzermahn » Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:40 pm

Which bring us to a question;

If the Nazis executed convicted criminals and murderers (I remember there is a case that a German serial killer back in the 30s) before the beginning of WW2, would that sentence be overturned too?

Is it legal to overturned a court sentence on a criminal that has been convicted based on the existing laws of a sovereign government at that time? Of course, I am not saying that a court shouldn't overturn the sentence of a wrongly convicted person (in the case of Major Erich Hartmann by Russia) if there overwhelming evidence to show that the conviction had been unjust, however what about those convicted petty criminals?


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Post by Commissar D, the Evil » Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:08 pm

It's "legal" for any court of any nation to either overturn or affirm a criminal conviction, no matter the age of that conviction, as long as the court has what is called "jurisdiction".

In this case, since the original matter was one of German Criminal Law, then obviously a Court entitled to enforce German Criminal Law has the "jurisdiction" to overturn a conviction. This is, of course, both a simplification and an explanation.

Do remember that "the law" is a constantly evolving process--from year to year, from decade to decade. If this evolution were to be stopped, how would the law ever keep up to date with society and protect the citizens of the current state?

In America, as in all other Nations, some things that were legal in 1939, are no longer legal. That is the evolution and growth of The Law.

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pzrmeyer2

Post by pzrmeyer2 » Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:09 am

Commissar D, the Evil wrote:It's "legal" for any court of any nation to either overturn or affirm a criminal conviction, no matter the age of that conviction, as long as the court has what is called "jurisdiction".

In this case, since the original matter was one of German Criminal Law, then obviously a Court entitled to enforce German Criminal Law has the "jurisdiction" to overturn a conviction. This is, of course, both a simplification and an explanation.

Do remember that "the law" is a constantly evolving process--from year to year, from decade to decade. If this evolution were to be stopped, how would the law ever keep up to date with society and protect the citizens of the current state?

In America, as in all other Nations, some things that were legal in 1939, are no longer legal. That is the evolution and growth of The Law.

Best,
~D, the EviL
So, would the new ruling then retroactively have made it legal to torch a government building back in the 30s, or legal to now torch a government building based on past precedent?

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Post by phylo_roadking » Sun Jan 13, 2008 7:06 am

This was raised elsewhere, and I'll reprint here what I posted in asnwer...
Van der Lubbe was actually caught with combustibles on his person, including cotton waste and a tin of industrial alcohol...although the Nazis later grossly exaggerated the amount - up to the point it would have needed SEVERAL people to carry what they alleged LMAO He was arrested by Berlin Police on the premises...BUT interrogated at the scene by Rudolf Diels, first head of the Gestapo, who had rushed to the scene along with Hitler, Goring and Goebbels - all three having been at a dinner party at the Goebbels'. Diels' own diaries - later heavily exerpted in Philip Metcalfe's "1933" - describes the three big cheeses running around like headless chickens, they almost certainly knew nothing of events ahead of schedule.

The Bulgarian party was arrested "departing the scene", and were held for some days...before being released and shipped out of Germany on some diplomatic "exchange" reminiscent of repeated events at the Gleinicke bridge in a later era.

One of the strange events that Diels records was - the fire was reported some twenty to thirty minutes after it was later was determined to have been set...around the very same time as an unannounced, impromtu meeting of ALL the Communist Deputies in the Reichstag was held in the immediate vicinity of the seat of the fire....
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Post by phylo_roadking » Sun Jan 13, 2008 7:07 am

would the new ruling then retroactively have made it legal to torch a government building back in the 30s, or legal to now torch a government building based on past precedent?
No, it would confirm that the 1933 conviction was on "unsafe grounds"...
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Post by panzermahn » Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:16 pm

If Germany can overturn conviction just because a convicted criminal was sentenced under a Nazi regime, then how about these cases?

General Hellmuth von Pannwitz who was executed by the Soviets just because he was the Ataman of the Don Cossacks?

General Bruno Bauer who was executed by the Greeks for war crimes committed by another German general in Crete?

SS-Colonel Joachim Peiper who was convicted as war criminal by the Dachau trials when the sham methods of the prosecutors were a mockery of justice by itself?

Grossadmiral Karl Donitz conviction by the Nuremberg Trials just because he was unsuccessful in waging submarine warfare?

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Post by phylo_roadking » Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:48 pm

General Hellmuth von Pannwitz who was executed by the Soviets just because he was the Ataman of the Don Cossacks?

General Bruno Bauer who was executed by the Greeks for war crimes committed by another German general in Crete?
And how exactly is a matter for GERMAN law supposed to apply to the USSR or Greece??? Those examples are entirely outside the parameters of what's being discussed here.
SS-Colonel Joachim Peiper who was convicted as war criminal by the Dachau trials when the sham methods of the prosecutors were a mockery of justice by itself?
That's an opinion post. Best to support it with some hard evidence, eh?
Grossadmiral Karl Donitz conviction by the Nuremberg Trials just because he was unsuccessful in waging submarine warfare?
And that's a gross oversimplification, as you well know. NOR does the recent decision under GERMAN law have ANY relevance to an International Tribunal under military and international law at a time when there WAS no German state.

Gross-gross? Oh forget it.... :D
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Post by Sam H. » Sun Jan 13, 2008 7:56 pm

phylo_roadking wrote:This was raised elsewhere, and I'll reprint here what I posted in asnwer...
Van der Lubbe was actually caught with combustibles on his person, including cotton waste and a tin of industrial alcohol...although the Nazis later grossly exaggerated the amount - up to the point it would have needed SEVERAL people to carry what they alleged LMAO He was arrested by Berlin Police on the premises...BUT interrogated at the scene by Rudolf Diels, first head of the Gestapo, who had rushed to the scene along with Hitler, Goring and Goebbels - all three having been at a dinner party at the Goebbels'. Diels' own diaries - later heavily exerpted in Philip Metcalfe's "1933" - describes the three big cheeses running around like headless chickens, they almost certainly knew nothing of events ahead of schedule.

The Bulgarian party was arrested "departing the scene", and were held for some days...before being released and shipped out of Germany on some diplomatic "exchange" reminiscent of repeated events at the Gleinicke bridge in a later era.

One of the strange events that Diels records was - the fire was reported some twenty to thirty minutes after it was later was determined to have been set...around the very same time as an unannounced, impromtu meeting of ALL the Communist Deputies in the Reichstag was held in the immediate vicinity of the seat of the fire....
Rather, I think he is innocent of the charges, the alleged acts were not by him, though the act is still illegal.

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Post by phylo_roadking » Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:13 pm

The ONLY people we can be certain at this point of being innocent of anything is actually Hitler, Goring and Goebbels! Diels records them putting together their reaction to the incident; first how they were going to handle the Van der Lubbe story THEN the political crackdown after the Fire; it was all a knee-jerk reaction concocted on the night.

Seeing as Diels later had to flee Germany for his life at the end of 1934, he would have no reason to whitewash events - quite the reverse! And at THAT point he was still an NSDAP appointee, it wasn't a display put on for HIS benefit LOL If he hadn't been "safe" he wouldn't have been allowed to see the panic he saw :wink:
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Post by panzermahn » Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:27 pm

phylo_roadking wrote:
General Hellmuth von Pannwitz who was executed by the Soviets just because he was the Ataman of the Don Cossacks?

General Bruno Bauer who was executed by the Greeks for war crimes committed by another German general in Crete?
And how exactly is a matter for GERMAN law supposed to apply to the USSR or Greece??? Those examples are entirely outside the parameters of what's being discussed here.
SS-Colonel Joachim Peiper who was convicted as war criminal by the Dachau trials when the sham methods of the prosecutors were a mockery of justice by itself?
That's an opinion post. Best to support it with some hard evidence, eh?
Grossadmiral Karl Donitz conviction by the Nuremberg Trials just because he was unsuccessful in waging submarine warfare?
And that's a gross oversimplification, as you well know. NOR does the recent decision under GERMAN law have ANY relevance to an International Tribunal under military and international law at a time when there WAS no German state.

Gross-gross? Oh forget it.... :D

The question is if Germany is rewritting history (which is the topic of this post) by overturning convictions of convicted criminals just because the conviction were based on National Socialist (Nazi) laws and not whether the defendent was guilt or not so why not overtuning convictions in trials like the the ones I had mentioned.

The treatment meted out to the SS defendants during the Dachau trials is a fact and not an opinionated post. The prosecutors used sham methods such as sleep deprivation, mock trials and mock executions on the SS men in order to extract confessions from them and this were admitted by the prosecutors themselves. There is also an official US investigation into these acts.

And there was a legal German goverment which existed for a short time under Reichpraesident Karl Donitz after the death of Hitler which the Allies illegally dissolved and disbanded. The decision to convict Marinus van der Lubbe was based on the laws of National Socialist government which is the government of the sovereign Germany from 1933 to 1945. During this period from 1933-1945, Germany was recognished as a sovereign state even by USSR and United States. Unconditional surrender of Germany (meaning the unconditional surrender of the military forces of Germany, not the political sense) in 1945 does not necessarily means that the Allies had legal powers by international law to dissolved the legal government of Donitz since by German law, Hitler was the chancellor of Germany and had the right to appoint his successor. No country had the right to changed the sovereign laws permanently of another country even if the former invades that latter and this includes Germany when they occupied European countries.

The recent decision by German law indicates that it had recognised the laws of National Socialist Germany as part of the sovereign Germany from 1933-1945. If there was no German state or legal government that existed at that time, why shouldn't the Allied Control Council overturned every conviction in courts held by the judiciary of the National Socialist government from 1933-1945? Why let the current German government overturned the law when the Allies can do it back in 1945-1955?

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Post by phylo_roadking » Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:49 pm

The question is if Germany is rewritting history (which is the topic of this post) by overturning convictions of convicted criminals just because the conviction were based on National Socialist (Nazi) laws and not whether the defendent was guilt or not so why not overtuning convictions in trials like the the ones I had mentioned.
I think if you drill further into this you'll find van der Lubbe was tried under pre-existing laws LMAO Somehow I don't think Arson was invented by the Nazis. And as I said - what the GERMAN government does under GERMAN law about people tried in GERMANY has absolutely no bearing AT ALL on what any other government does or does not do.

***He was also tried by the pre-Nazi judges from the old German Imperial High Court, the Reichsgericht. This was Germany's highest court. The presiding judge was Judge Dr. Wilhelm Bürger of the Fourth Criminal Court of the Fourth Penal Chamber of the Supreme Court. The accused were charged with Arson and with Attempting to overthrow the government....the latter being the same charge laid against NSDAP members in 1923 in Munich***

It was BECAUSE Hitler was unhappy with the court procededings and verdicts that he decreed that henceforth treason – among many other offenses – would ONLY be tried by a newly-established People's Court (Volksgerichtshof)

The treatment meted out to the SS defendants during the Dachau trials is a fact and not an opinionated post. The prosecutors used sham methods such as sleep deprivation, mock trials and mock executions on the SS men in order to extract confessions from them and this were admitted by the prosecutors themselves. There is also an official US investigation into these acts.
The prosecutors? You mean the lawyers themselves went out and did this??? :D And the result of the official US investigation was what exactly?

And there was a legal German goverment which existed for a short time under Reichpraesident Karl Donitz after the death of Hitler which the Allies illegally dissolved and disbanded. The decision to convict Marinus van der Lubbe was based on the laws of National Socialist government which is the government of the sovereign Germany from 1933 to 1945. During this period from 1933-1945, Germany was recognished as a sovereign state even by USSR and United States. Unconditional surrender of Germany (meaning the unconditional surrender of the military forces of Germany, not the political sense) in 1945 does not necessarily means that the Allies had legal powers by international law to dissolved the legal government of Donitz since by German law, Hitler was the chancellor of Germany and had the right to appoint his successor. No country had the right to changed the sovereign laws permanently of another country even if the former invades that latter and this includes Germany when they occupied European countries.
Sorry. Abolutely incorrect. Eisenhower declared the German State dissolved some days after VE Day. It did not legally exist for the next few years. This subject was done to death before the summer on a thread about OMGUS, Morgenthau. JCS 1067 etc.
The recent decision by German law indicates that it had recognised the laws of National Socialist Germany as part of the sovereign Germany from 1933-1945. If there was no German state or legal government that existed at that time, why shouldn't the Allied Control Council overturned every conviction in courts held by the judiciary of the National Socialist government from 1933-1945? Why let the current German government overturned the law when the Allies can do it back in 1945-1955?
Why should they overthrow every decision? The Allies did NOT declare that there had not been a German state from 1933 until 1945.

"Why let the current German government overturned the law when the Allies can do it back in 1945-1955?"

Ahem - the German government is a sovereign government; by due democratic process and following its documented decision-making processes it can do whatever it jolly well likes. Governments do that sort of thing.

Panzermahn, be aware that in emotive subjects such as this, unsubstantiated opinion posts - especially incorrect ones - will no longer be tolerated on Feldgrau.
Last edited by phylo_roadking on Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Paddy Keating

Post by Paddy Keating » Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:07 am

I think it's a matter of record that Peiper and his fellow defendants were subjected to coercive methods and that there was a public outcry in the United States as well as other countries, leading to a view of the verdicts as questionable and the overturning of death sentences.

PK

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Post by phylo_roadking » Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:43 am

Unconditional surrender of Germany (meaning the unconditional surrender of the military forces of Germany, not the political sense) in 1945 does not necessarily means that the Allies had legal powers by international law to dissolved the legal government of Donitz since by German law, Hitler was the chancellor of Germany and had the right to appoint his successor
As per the Berlin Declaration of June 5th, 1945
There is no central Government or authority in Germany capable of accepting responsibility for the maintenance of order, the administration of the country and compliance with the requirements of the victorious Powers...The Governments of the United States of America, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United Kingdom, and the Provisional Government of the French Republic, hereby assume supreme authority with respect to Germany, including all the powers possessed by the German Government, the High Command and any state, municipal, or local government or authority.
And why were they able to do this? Article 4 of the German Surrender Document stated that
This act of military surrender is without prejudice to, and will be superseded by any general instrument of surrender imposed by, or on behalf of the United Nations and applicable to GERMANY and the German armed forces as a whole
...which Donitz had signed. Therefore he had already signed away any recognition of the Flensburg Government as a successor regime, it was de facto dissolved on May 8th when the Surrender Document came into effect, and as you know all the members were arrested on May 23rd.

I'm afraid they had FULL authority to dissolve the government - authorised by Admiral Donitz via Jodl on May 7th
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Post by phylo_roadking » Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:58 am

Kate Connolly in Berlin
Saturday January 12, 2008
The Guardian


An unemployed Dutch bricklayer who was made a scapegoat for one of the defining moments of 20th-century German history has been pardoned for his crime 75 years later.

Marinus van der Lubbe, 24, was beheaded after being convicted of setting fire to the Reichstag, an event Hitler used as a pretext to suspend civil liberties and establish a dictatorship.

But Van de Lubbe's conviction has been overturned by the federal prosecutor, Monika Harms, after a lawyer in Berlin alerted her to the fact that he had yet to be exonerated under a law passed in 1998. The law allowed pardons for people convicted of crimes under the Nazis, based on the concept that Nazi law "went against the basic ideas of justice".

But the exoneration is only symbolic and will not lead to compensation for Van de Lubbe's heirs.


Police arrested Van der Lubbe in the burning building, and he is said to have confessed that he started the fire in order to encourage a workers' uprising against the rise of the Nazis.

However, historians remain divided over the event. The Nazis said it was a communist plot and used the fire in propaganda. Most modern historians are in agreement that Van der Lubbe was involved in the fire, but whether he acted alone or with accomplices is still open to debate.

Following the attack in February 1933, which gutted the Reichstag and was a key event in the establishment of Nazi Germany, the Communist party was banned and Nazi opponents were brutally suppressed. In one night 1,500 communist functionaries were arrested.

When he was alerted to the news of the fire, which took place shortly after he had taken power, Adolf Hitler called it a "sign from heaven" that a communist putsch was about to be launched.

The day after the fire the Reichstag fire decree was signed into law, which led to the suspension of civil liberties and the banning of many newspapers and other publications hostile to the Nazis.

Van der Lubbe, who had moved to Germany to pursue his political beliefs, went on trial in Leipzig in 1933 along with four others, charged with arson and attempting to overthrow the government. But only Van der Lubbe was convicted. He was executed in January 1934.

The full pardon follows a decades-long legal process by Van der Lubbe's heirs to rehabilitate him.

In 1967 a Berlin court bizarrely changed the sentence to an eight-year prison term. In 1980 the same court lifted the sentence completely, a decision later reversed by the federal court. Then in 1981 a West German court overturned the conviction on the basis that Van der Lubbe was insane, but campaigners pushed for full state pardon arguing that he had been convicted by a Nazi court.

It took the 1998 law to make the full pardon possible but it is unclear why another 10 years went by before it was granted.

In other words, Van der Lubbe has been pardoned - NOT found to have been Not Guilty.
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