World War Two - Aftermath
Eleven months after the first group of Nazi defendants were brought to trial at the Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal, the court delivered their verdict as to who was to die and who would be imprisoned.
Filed from Berlin by the respected American journalist William Shirer (1904 – 1993), he read the findings of a German opinion poll revealing that
• A majority of Germans tended to hold that Nazism was good, when properly administered.
• Antisemitism was rapidly assuming its customary spot within German society.
• War guilt was largely non-existent and Nazi publications were rolling off the smaller presses with predictable regularity.
Shirer also reported that unrepentant, senior Nazis like Max Amann were getting out of prison, expecting to wield the power they once enjoyed as as one of Hitler's yes-men.
This is a fascinating article about the surviving Nazi big-shots as they waited for the Nuremberg trials to begin. Incarcerated at the Palace Hotel in Fromburg, Luxembourg (code named "Ashcan") this COLLIER'S MAGAZINE article explains how the camp worked and who was there (Goering, Jodl, Keitel, von Ribbentrop, Streicher, Kesserling and Grand Admiral Doenitz):
"There was no coddling or recognition of rank at Ashcan. The only entertainment was atrocity films. Recently the internees were treated to the spectacle of Buchenwald... Ribbentrop bowed his head and walked straight out to the dining room. Kesserling was white as a sheet..."
While the hunt for Nazis and hidden weapons cachés was taking place in allied-occupied Germany, a small number of U.S. Army detectives happened upon the entire archives of the Nazi Party.
Not too long after the close of the war, exiled German author Thomas Mann (1875 – 1955) was invited to return to Germany. Walter von Molo, a German writer, who during the Nazi regime remained and worked in Germany, sent the invitation to Mann as an "Open Letter" in the name of German intellectuals. Attached an excerpt of the writer's response.
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