The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising at Nuremberg.
Stroop's report on the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto played an important role at the IMT. Stroop was the SS-Brigadefuhrer (major general) who spearheaded the final push by German troops to liquidate the Warsaw Ghetto in April and May 1943. (In recognition of his successful campaign to crush the ghetto uprising, Stroop was promoted to SS-Gruppenfuhrer [lieutenant general) in June 1943.) The "Stroop Report" was compiled by Stroop and his adjutant for Stroop's immediate superior, Friedrich Wilhelm Kruger, Higher SS and Police Leader in the so-called General Government or Nazi-occupied Poland, and Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS. With the self-congratulatory and smug inscription "The Jewish quarter of Warsaw no longer exists!" (Es gibt keinen judischen Wohnbezirk--in Warschau mehr.') emblazoned across its cover, the report describes the final liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto and suppression of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
Historians are divided in their assessment of Allied prosecutors' representation of the Nazi genocide of the Jews at the Nuremberg Trial. Michael Marrus is the most resolute advocate of the argument that the IMT's prosecutors and judges were aware of the significance of the trial's Jewish dimension and that, as a result, the essential elements of the Holocaust were represented at length at Nuremberg. In this regard, Marrus maintains that the description of Stroop's report by American prosecutor Major William F. Walsh at the IMT and his reading of sections of it into the court's record, followed by the projection of dramatic photographs from the album appended to the report in the darkened courtroom, in December 1945, "was almost certainly the most extensive publicity the world had yet received of the 1943 Jewish revolt." (1) I argue, instead, that the world learned more about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in the press between April 1943 and December 1945 than it did as a result of Walsh's presentation. Moreover, as opposed to the German liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto, which did, indeed, make a deep impression on those who observed the trial and Walsh's presentation, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising hardly registered either inside or outside the walls of the Nuremberg courtroom.
This was a result of the structure of the trial, molded largely by the Americans. The IMT was established and the proceedings in it were conducted jointly by the "Big Four"--the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and France. But, in many ways, the US was first among equals; its imprint on the IMT's charter and the prosecution's strategy was unmistakable. This is especially true of the conspiracy charge. A staple of criminal law in the US, the offense of conspiracy was foreign to the European Allies. Yet, at the insistence of the Americans, it was incorporated into the charter and became a linchpin of the prosecution's case. The Americans argued that after its rise to power in Germany in 1933, the Nazi regime had been planning a war of aggression, that, to varying degrees of criminal involvement, all the defendants had been co-conspirators who had directed their efforts at the waging of a war of aggression, that the war in 1939 had been the result of a conspiracy, and that the war crimes and crimes against humanity that German forces committed in the name of the regime after war was launched were the proximate result of the defendants' common plan to wage a war of aggression that was by design what American prosecutor Sidney Alderman described as "total war." (1)
Moreover, the US led the way, particularly in the trial's early stages, in preparing the presentation in court of the Nazis' crimes against the Jews, which, from the American perspective, were an integral component of the Nazis' overall conspiracy to wage aggressive war: The persecution of the Jews was part of the run-up to the war, and the murder of the Jews was one the war's intended consequences; all of this was premeditated and planned.' Jacob Robinson, a Jewish historian and advisor to the American prosecutors, observed in December 1945, a few weeks after the commencement of the Nuremberg Trial, that "if there is any group which took the Jewish case seriously, it is only the Americans." (4)
But the uprising was incidental to the prosecution's case, whose focus was on Jewish victimhood rather than on Jewish heroism. This focus was dictated by the narrow legal requirement to prove that the defendants were guilty of the charges leveled against them, beginning with the conspiracy charge. Although Robinson would have preferred that the Americans adopt a theory of the case that made the persecution and murder of European Jews uppermost on their list of priorities, when he had a chance Robinson did not lobby American prosecutors to highlight the uprising.
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in the American Press Prior to the IMT
Anyone who read a major newspaper in the United States (and in England) after April 1943 had to be aware of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising before December 1945, when Walsh introduced Stroop's report at Nuremberg. Not every detail published in the press was accurate, but, overall, reports in newspapers remained faithful to the basic facts of the uprising. For example, on June 4, 1943, a correspondent for the Los Angeles Times who was stationed in neutral Sweden reported hearing of "desperate Jews, defending themselves at barricades in a pitched battle that lasted three weeks" on a Polish underground radio broadcast. (5) By 1944, more and more facts about the uprising were becoming known. A full-page article by Paul Winkler that appeared under the title, "40,000 against the German Army: Warsaw's 'Battle of Ghetto' Raged Just a Year Ago; Facts, Slow to Seep Out, Add New Horrors to Story," was printed in the Washington Post on April 23, 1944. While Winkler made sure that the tragic details of the German persecution of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto and its final liquidation were told, he was, in equal measure, fulsome in his praise of the Jewish revolt. Winkler wrote:
Chiefs of the Polish resistance now in this country ... say the Jews realized fully that they could not emerge alive from a battle with the Germans--but since they expected to be killed in any case after deportation, they preferred facing death with weapons in their hands to being led supinely, like sheep, to the slaughter. (6)
Furthermore, the press reported on several large public gatherings in New York, Washington, Chicago, London and other cities that were inspired by the uprising. Although the overwhelming majority of those in attendance were Jews, non-Jewish dignitaries attended them, too. (7) Thus, by the time of the Nuremberg Trial, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising had attracted wide publicity in the press.
American Prosecutors' Approach to "Crimes Against the Jews" at the IMT
Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, chief counsel for the United States, adumbrated the American case for the culpability of the Nazi elite on trial for their government's anti-Jewish crimes in his famous opening address at Nuremberg on November 21, 1945. (8) Jackson embarked on this section of his speech, which came under the heading "Crimes against the Jews," in a decisive manner: "The most savage and numerous crimes planned and committed against the Nazis were those against the Jews." But his exposition was not entirely unproblematic. In the next breath, speaking of the Jews in Germany, he said, "In the aggregate, they had made for themselves positions which excited envy, and had accumulated properties which excited the avarice of the Nazis." Yet his unqualified condemnation of Nazi anti-Jewish crimes soon became evident. "What we charge against these defendants," he continued, "is not those arrogances and pretensions which frequent accompany the intermingling of different peoples and which are likely, despite the honest efforts of government, to produce regrettable crimes and convulsions. It is my purpose to show a plan and design, to which all Nazis were fanatically committed, to annihilate all Jewish people." (9)
Jackson, like other prosecutors, both American and non-American, not to mention the majority of his contemporaries, clearly didn't have a solid grasp of the place of antisemitism in Nazism. The indictment read, in part, "Opponents of the German Government were exterminated and persecuted. These persecutions were directed against Jews." (10) In his opening address, Jackson invoked a link between the annihilation of Europe's Jews and the Nazis' preparations for war. "The purpose of ... getting rid of the influence of free labor, the churches, and the Jews," Jackson told the tribunal, "was to clear their obstruction to the precipitation of aggressive war."" Jackson reiterated this point in his closing argument: "The same war purpose was dominant in the persecution of the Jews ... [T]he Nazis soon regarded the Jews as foremost among the opposition to the police state with which they planned to put forward their plans of military aggression ... Accordingly, they were transported like cattle to concentration camps, where they were utilized as a source of forced labor for war purposes." (12) It is clear now, however, even if it wasn't then, that the Nazis persecuted and killed Jews and certain other categories of victims (like the Roma and Sinti) not because of what they allegedly believed or did, but simply because of who they were or, to be more exact, who the Nazis thought they were. (13)
To his credit, however, Jackson did understand the expansive, transnational dimensions of Nazi antisemitism: "As the German frontiers were expanded by war," Jackson explained to the court, "so the campaign against the Jews expanded. The Nazi plan never was limited to extermination in Germany; always it contemplated extinguishing the Jew in Europe and often in the world ... [T]he campaign achieved its zenith of savagery in the East. The Eastern Jew has suffered as no people ever suffered. Their sufferings were carefully reported to the Nazi authorities to show faithful adherence to the Nazi design. I shall refer only to enough of the evidence of these to show the extent of the Nazi design for killing Jews." (14) In this spirit, approaching the end of this section of his speech, Jackson made reference to "one more sickening document, which evidences the planned and systematic character of the Jewish persecutions":
I hold a report written with Teutonic devotion to detail, illustrated with photographs to authenticate its almost incredible text, and beautifully bound in leather with the loving care bestowed on a proud work. It is the original report of the SS Brigadier General Stroop in charge of the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, and its title page carries the inscription, "The Jewish ghetto in Warsaw no longer exists." It is characteristic that one of the captions explains that the photograph concerned shows the driving out of "Jewish bandits"; those whom the photograph shows being driven out are almost entirely women and little children. It contains a day-by-day account of the killings mainly carried out by the SS organization.
Jackson then proceeded to quote a (translated) excerpt from the summary of Stroop's report:
The resistance put up by the Jews and bandits could only be suppressed by energetic actions of our troops day and night. The Reichsfuhrer SS [Heinrich Himmler] ordered, therefore, on 23 April 1943, the cleaning out of the ghetto with utter ruthlessness and merciless tenacity. I, therefore, decided to destroy and burn down the entire ghetto ... Jews usually left their hideouts, but frequently remained in the burning buildings and jumped out of the windows only when the heat became unbearable. They then tried to crawl with broken bones across the street into buildings, which were not afire. Sometimes they changed their hideouts during the night into the ruins of burned buildings ... Many times we could hear loud voices in the sewers. SS men or policemen climbed bravely through the manholes to capture these Jews ... Countless numbers of Jews were liquidated in sewers and bunkers through blasting. The longer the resistance continued the tougher became the members of the Waffen SS, Police and Wehrmacht who always discharged their duties in an exemplary manner. Frequently, Jews who tried to replenish their food supplies during the night or to communicate with neighboring groups were exterminated. This action eliminated, says the SS commander, a proved total of 56,065. To that, we have to add the number killed through blasting, fire, etc., which cannot be counted. (15)
"We charge that all atrocities against Jews were the manifestation and culmination of the Nazi plan to which every defendant here was a party," Jackson declared after reading this excerpt from Stroop's report. "Determination to destroy the Jews," Jackson added in summation of this section of his opening statement, "was a binding force which at all times cemented the terms of the conspiracy. (16)
Of course, Jackson chose his words carefully, as he needed to prove that the defendants had engaged in a conspiracy. As Marrus points out, the American theory of the case, which hinged on the conspiracy charge, placed the Allies in a bind; they had to prove that every Nazi crime grew out of this purpose, including crimes against the Jews. At the end of the day, the judges rejected the expansive American approach, finding that only the charge to wage aggressive war was related to the crime of conspiracy and rejecting the contention that there had been a conspiracy to commit war crimes or crimes against humanity. (17) Since the prosecution litigated Nazi anti-Jewish crimes as crimes against humanity, the practical effect of the court's ruling was to limit the number of co-conspirators among the defendants who could be held liable for Nazi crimes against the Jews.
Jackson's evident sympathy for Jews notwithstanding, he did not comment on Stroop's references in his report to Jewish "resistance" to the assault of German forces on the Warsaw Ghetto, even though it was central to this excerpt from the report and to the report in general. This omission on Jackson's part reflects his unswerving focus on the Nazis' conspiracy or common plan to persecute and annihilate Jews, which he had a compelling legal reason to underscore--to the utter neglect of Jews' reactions to the Nazis' efforts to destroy them, which were, strictly speaking, legally irrelevant. Jackson's emphasis on Jewish victimhood in general and on the Warsaw Ghetto in particular and corresponding de-emphasis of Jewish resistance would set the tone for the American prosecutors' presentation of "the Jewish case" to the end of the trial. When prosecutors for the UK, the USSR, and France presented evidence of the Nazis' anti-Jewish crimes, they followed suit.
Jackson was only able to read this passage from Stroop's report in open court in the first place because American troops had seized it when Stroop surrendered to them in Germany after the cessation of hostilities in May 1945. (The Polish government's delegation to the IMT requested and received the original report after the trial.) The report is one of the few contemporary chronicles of the final liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto and suppression of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and constitutes the only evidence of several otherwise undocumented skirmishes between Stroop's forces and Jewish fighters. The report's significance is magnified by what Andrzej Wirth, cultural editor of the Warsaw weekly Polityka in the 1950s, labels "the language of fascism," which appears in it "practically unfiltered through any kind of ideological screen." (18) This fascist form of language oscillates between euphemisms and bureaucratic speech, both used in ample quantities to describe--or to obfuscate--the act of mass murder. Thus the German liquidation of the ghetto receives the name "grand operation" (Gro&aktion). But the report cannot help itself but resort frequently to what Wirth calls "the object-language of mass murder." (19) Thus the report celebrates "apprehended or destroyed Jews" (erfassten bzw. [beziehungsweise] vernichteten Juden). And on May 8, 1943, the report, signed by Stroop, reads: "The undersigned is determined not to terminate the grand operation until the last Jew has been destroyed." The report also contains a series of fifty-three photographs, many taken by Stroop's adjutant Franz Konrad. Captions under most of the photographs praise the Nazi triumph over the Jews of Warsaw. The photographs show German forces, led by Stroop, in action, rounding up Jews and liquidating the ghetto.
A common thread running through Stroop's report is the "armed resistance" of Jewish fighters, men and women, to the Nazis' final liquidation of the ghetto. As the report notes, "After the first few days, it was clear that the Jews ... were determined to resist with all weapons and means at their disposal." The report instinctively mentions Jewish fighters and criminal elements in the same breath--thus the ubiquitous coupling of "Jews and bandits" or "Jews and Polish bandits." But Stroop and his men knew full well who their opponents were--they were Jews. For example, in the daily report from May 8, 1943, one reads: "Every time a bunker is opened, the Jews inside offer resistance by using the weapons their disposal, be they light machine guns, pistols, or hand grenades." (20)
The Liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto and Suppression of the Uprising in William F. Walsh's Presentation and its Impact in the IMT and Beyond
On December 13-14, 1945, American prosecutor Major William F. Walsh presented evidence of "The Persecution of the Jews." (21) Walsh embarked on his presentation by expressing his dissatisfaction with its title before the court: "This title 'Persecution of the Jews', is singularly inappropriate when weighed in the light of the evidence to follow. Academically, I am told, to persecute is to afflict, harass, and annoy. The term used does not convey, and indeed I cannot conjure a term that does convey the ultimate aim, the avowed purpose to obliterate the Jewish race." (22) Walsh's sympathy for the Jewish victims of Nazism was unmistakable. "I know of no crime in the history of mankind," he told the tribunal, "more horrible in its details than the treatment of the Jews." (23)
Walsh reiterated Jackson's explanation for Nazi antisemitism. "Free trade unions must be abolished, political parties (other than the National Socialist Party) must be outlawed, civil liberties must be suspended, and opposition of every kind must be swept away," said Walsh, explicating Nazi views. "The anti-Jewish policy was part of this plan for unification because it was the conviction of the Nazis that the Jews would not contribute to Germany's military program, but on the contrary would hamper it. The Jew must therefore be eliminated." (24) To prove his point, Walsh invoked Himmler's infamous speech to SS officers in Posen in October 1943. In that speech, Himmler underlined how magnified the impact of the burdens and deprivations of war in Germany would be if Jewish "secret saboteurs, agitators, and trouble mongers" had still been free to live in German cities. As Lawrence Douglas observes, "Driven by the desire to link crimes against humanity with aggressive war, the prosecution was ironically prepared to accept the Nazis' characterization of the Jews as a potential military adversary, a fifth column lurking behind the lines, threating acts of sabotage." (15)
Walsh's presentation amounted to a compendium of the Nazi persecution of Jews in Germany and the Nazi mass murder of Jews throughout Nazi-occupied Europe. In support of his case, Walsh introduced a large number of German-generated documents and even a silent film of the liquidation of a ghetto. To prove the number of the Nazis' Jewish victims, Walsh offered in evidence the affidavit of Wilhelm Hottl (spelled "Hoettl" in the published version of the proceedings). Hottl was a leading official in the Gestapo, itself part of the Reich Security Main Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt, RSHA), the SS agency delegated with the annihilation of European Jews. In his affidavit Hottl declared that he had learned from Adolf Eichmann, his Gestapo superior who was responsible for coordinating the mass murder of Jews across Europe, that "'[a]pproximately 4 million Jews had been killed in the various concentration camps, while an additional 2 million met death in other ways, the major part of which were shot by operational squads of the security police during the campaign against Russia.'" (16)
Within the context of ghettoization, Walsh produced Stroop's report to illustrate the fate of the Warsaw Ghetto. "I would now like to discuss annihilation within the ghettos"--this was how Walsh prefaced his introduction on December 14 to Stroop's report. (17) Taking his cue again from Jackson, Walsh recited Jackson's description of Stroop's report almost word for word, referring to it by its title, "The Warsaw Ghetto is No More":
This finest example of ornate German craftsmanship, leather bound, profusely illustrated, typed on heavy bond paper, is the almost unbelievable recital of a proud accomplishment by Major General of the Police Stroop. General Stroop in this report first pays tribute to the bravery and heroism of the German forces who participated in the ruthless and merciless action against a helpless, defenseless group of Jews, numbering, to be exact, 56,065, including, of course, the infants and the women. In this document he proceeds to relate the day-by-day account of the ultimate accomplishment of his mission-to destroy and to obliterate the Warsaw ghetto. (18)
Walsh then read extensive excerpts from the report into the court record, starting with the same excerpts recited by Jackson in his opening statement in which the word "resistance" was employed twice. (29) In response to a request by the president of the tribunal, Walsh also read the report's introduction, which includes a list of the German troops who "fell in battle for the destruction of Jews and bandits" and those who were wounded. (30)
After Walsh read these passages aloud, five photographs from the album attached to Stroop's report were projected on a screen in the darkened courtroom. The original caption of one of them reads, "Smoking Out Jews and Bandits," which Walsh explained to the tribunal, depicted "the use of smoke as a means of forcing Jews out of their hiding places." The caption of another photograph is "Fighting a Nest of Resistance." According to Walsh, it was "obviously a picture of an explosive blast being used to destroy one of the buildings." It is, in fact, a picture of the destruction of one of the buildings where the Jewish fighters gathered. Walsh was apparently unaware that Stroop had directed his troops to dynamite buildings from which Jewish fighters were firing on them or where they were stopping to regroup. The last photograph shown carries the caption, "The Leader of the Large-Scale Action." "The Nazi-appointed commander of this action," Walsh remarked, "was SS Major General Stroop.... I cannot help but commenting at this point on the smiling faces of the group shown there, in the midst of the violence and destruction." (31) Notwithstanding explicit references to "resistance" in both the excerpt from Stroop's report and in the caption of one of the photographs, and notwithstanding the allusion to resistance in the caption of the photograph of German troops doing battle with "Jews and bandits," not to mention the last photograph, which looks like a scene from the frontline in urban warfare, Walsh's emphasis was overwhelmingly on the "helpless, defenseless group of Jews" under siege in the Warsaw Ghetto.
As Philippe Sands shows, it appears that the excerpts from Stroop's report that Walsh read into the court record evoked horror in many spectators who sat in the gallery that day. (32) They likewise made a deep impression on at least one of the IMT's judges, Francis Biddle. Biddle, attorney general of the United States under President Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II, was tapped by Roosevelt's successor, President Harry S. Truman, to sit on the IMT's four-judge panel, each judge representing one of the Big Four. Biddle was clearly made sensitive by the evidence presented at trial to Jewish suffering at the hands of the Nazis. In his memoirs, he writes: "There was no end to the horrors of the testimony. The mind shrank from them, grew tired, rejected the imaginative and systematic cruelties." He adds, significantly: "Or one tried to feel, to share the heroism of the victims." In this vein, he recalls the testimony of various witnesses who described the shooting of Jews by the SS and the gassing of Hungarian Jews at Auschwitz. He punctuates his recollection of this body of testimony by invoking "the heroism of the victims"--here the dignity demonstrated by Jews just before being massacred by the SS--which he extrapolated from a witness statement: "Without screaming or weeping, these people undressed, stood around in family groups, kissed each other, said farewells, and waited for a sign from another SS man, who stood near the pit, also with a whip in his hand." (33)
Biddle recalls not only horrifying testimony but also horrifying documentary evidence. After describing a beautifully illustrated and handsomely bound multivolume catalogue of photographs of plundered art objects prepared for Hitler under the direction of Alfred Rosenberg, a defendant before the IMT, Biddle digresses in a sarcastic tone: "We find the same note of beauty and joy expressed in another even more famous document entitled: The Warsaw Ghetto Is No More." Biddle continues:
The destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto was the subject of a report made by Major General Stroop, in April [sic], 1943, to Berlin. The report went into some detail--it covered seventy-five pages--relish for the subject matter shown in the ornate German craftsmanship, the leather binding, the profuse photographs, the exact typing on the heavy bond paper, tokens of the pride of accomplishment of the Waffen-SS, the police, and the Wehrmacht, who shared the glory of shooting and burning the inhabitants of the Ghetto, and who--so the account ran--"fulfilled their duty indefatigably in faithful comradeship and stood together as models and examples of soldiers." Their "duty" was "to destroy the entire Jewish residential area by setting every block on fire." Stroop spoke of a "proved total of 56,065 people" killed. This did not include the number exterminated by blasting and fire, which, he reported, "cannot be counted." (34)
Biddle exhibits great sympathy for the Jewish victims of the Nazis' liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto. However, he does not mention or even intimate the existence of a Jewish armed reaction, even though the excerpt from which he is drawing, which both Jackson and Walsh read into the court record, employs the word "resistance" twice.
In its judgment on October 30, 1946, the tribunal made clear its sympathy for the Jewish victims of Nazi atrocities. "The persecution of the Jews at the hands of the Nazi Government has been proved in the greatest detail before the Tribunal," the court wrote. "It is a record of consistent and systematic inhumanity on the greatest scale." (35) Not being in a position to enumerate all Nazi anti-Jewish crimes of which the prosecution had provided ample evidence, the court highlighted the mass shootings of Jewish civilian populations by SS mobile killing units (Einsatzgruppen) and the gassing of Jews at Auschwitz. However, the court rejected the prosecution's theory of the case that the persecution of the Jews was integral to the Nazis' common plan before the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, to wage aggressive war. In the words of the judgment, "The Nazi persecution of Jews in Germany before the war, severe and repressive as it was, cannot compare, however, with the policy pursued during the war in the occupied territories ... The plan for exterminating the Jews was developed shortly after the attack on the Soviet Union [in June 1941]." (36) Exemplary of this plan, in the tribunal's opinion, was the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto, as depicted in Stroop's report. In this regard, the court wrote: "The planned and systematic character of the Jewish persecutions is best illustrated by the original report of the SS Brigadier-General Stroop, who was in charge of the destruction of the ghetto, which took place in 1943." (37) The judgment then proceeded to quote the very same excerpt from Stroop's report that refers to "resistance" as Jackson and then Walsh had read in open court, concluding that the report offered "grim evidence of mass murder of Jews." (38) The court ended its analysis of the "persecution of the Jews" with a reference to Eichmann's estimate, as recorded in Hottl's affidavit, that the Nazis' policy for the annihilation of Jews "resulted in the killing of 6 million Jews, of which 4 million were killed in the extermination institutions." (39) Jewish resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto thus remained in the background, since it was, after all, in strict legal terms of no significance to the verdict.
It comes as no surprise, then, that the uprising barely registered beyond the walls of the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg, in American newspapers. On December 15, 1945, the New York Times published a report from the Nuremberg Trial by Raymond Daniell titled, "Trial Data Reveal 6,000,000 Jews Died." It is largely devoted to Walsh's presentation to the IMT from the previous day. The article's second paragraph reads: "Major William J. Walsh of ... New York, presented evidence to support the charge that, while they had lost the war, the Germans had succeeded in achieving one of Hitler's major war aims--the almost complete obliteration of the Jews in Europe." Daniell then proceeded to describe the documentary evidence Walsh produced, including entries in the diary kept by Hans Frank, the former governor general of the General Government, and the affidavit by Hottl. Daniell did allude to Stroop's report without naming it, reporting that "the word pictures of Jews being driven from eastern ghettos by staves wielded by SS men, with German soldiers looking on, and of Jews leaping from burning buildings and being gassed out of sewer hiding places were shown before the court." Daniell characterized Walsh's presentation as "his ugly, well-documented stories of atrocity, on so enormous a scale that, as he said, 'the civilized mind recoils.'" (40)
References in other newspapers to a Jewish revolt in Warsaw were equally opaque. The centerpiece of a syndicated dispatch in both the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times on December 15 was Hottl's affidavit. "The affidavit," wrote the anonymous reporter, "climaxed the American case on the extermination of the Jews, which had told, from captured German documents, of the slaughter of more than 60,000 in the 29-day Warsaw ghetto massacre in 1943." The Washington Post's reporter, however, added an oblique reference to a confrontation between Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto and Stroop's troops: "A souvenir volume of reports showed that a Maj. Gen. Stroop ... boasted of having killed 7000 Jews in battle, 5000 to 6000 by explosions and fires, and that he had collected 40,000 others 'whose extermination in camps can be proved.' Total German losses in these 'battles' were 15 dead." (41) Careful readers might have been struck by the mention of 7,000 Jews killed "in battle" and fifteen dead German soldiers in "battles," not to mention the fact that the German operation lasted more than three weeks, as intimating some form of Jewish resistance. But those few tantalizing details were not much to go on. For its part, the Chicago Daily Tribune limited its report from Nuremberg on the same day to Hottl's affidavit with no mention of Stroop's report. (42) (The Times of London ran an extensive story on December 15 entitled "If Germany Had Won." The report's last section is entitled "The Jewish Tragedy." The newspaper's special correspondent from Nuremberg highlighted Walsh's concluding argument and ended with an account of Hottl's affidavit. There was no mention of Stroop's report or of the Jewish revolt in the Warsaw Ghetto.) (43)
It stands to reason that the echo produced by the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in Walsh's production of Stroop's report was so faint beyond the walls of the Nuremberg courtroom because it was barely audible within its walls. The fact that the uprising failed to resonate in Walsh's presentation at Nuremberg, which was inspired by and took its cue from Jackson's opening address, can be attributed to a couple of factors. The first is that the focus of Walsh's presentation of "the persecution of the Jews," even if it was refracted partly through Stroop's report, was on constructing a narrative of Jews as the Nazis' "helpless, defenseless" murdered victims rather than of Jews as actors or agents. To be fair to Walsh, his focus on Jewish victimhood must be seen as structural, a direct consequence of the necessity in a criminal trial to prove the guilt of the defendants. As a result, although Walsh gestured acknowledgment of Jewish "resistance," the American prosecutor offered no details of the formation, motivations, or operational tactics of the Jewish Fighting Organization, which organized the revolt, and no profile of its members, and not one of the surviving Jewish fighters was summoned to the witness stand to testify. Nor was Stroop called to testify, even though he was in American custody. (44)
Walsh's speech to the American Jewish Congress (AJC) on February 21, 1946, sheds light on his approach to Stroop's report and other evidence. In his speech Walsh conceded that he had read stories about and seen photographs of German atrocities after he had been asked to join the American prosecution staff at Nuremberg, but that he had "mentally discounted them to a certain extent" and that it was "hardly with the zeal of a crusader" that he arrived in Nuremberg in September 1945. Then he saw the evidence. "Whether by chance or by intent," he revealed, "the first document placed in my hands was entitled The Warsaw Ghetto Is No More. I was no longer smug, and I certainly was no longer skeptical." Walsh stated further, in line with the Nuremberg prosecution's general approach to evidence, that to him, "as a lawyer, a written, signed and authenticated document was stronger proof than an oral statement depending upon the mind and memory of the relator, particularly when the witness might be prejudiced, hostile, untrustworthy or embittered." In this vein, he commented on the evidentiary probity of Stroop's report: "When the profusely illustrated leather bound volume of details on the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto and its unfortunate inhabitants was produced, what eye witness account could equal it?" It's clear that Walsh's focus was on the destruction of Warsaw's Jews, not the revolt mounted by some of them. (45)
Jacob Robinson's Influence on American Prosecutors
As he had during his presentation at Nuremberg two months earlier, Walsh expressed his deep dissatisfaction with the phrase "persecution of the Jews" in the prosecution's case because of its inadequacy in describing Nazi efforts to exterminate the Jews. At the same time, Walsh demonstrated his--and his fellow prosecutors'--misunderstanding of the pivotal place of Jews in the Nazis' worldview, as he had earlier during his presentation before the IMT. "The program against the Jews from its inception was as much a part of planning for aggressive war as was the destruction of the labor unions, the establishment of concentration camps, the silencing of the press and suppression of the clergy," Walsh told his audience. "I believe that it was the firm conviction of the Nazi leaders that the Jews would not contribute to Germany's military program, but on the contrary would actively hamper it." (46) This is not to deny Walsh's sound grasp of the "the ultimate accomplishment of the Nazi policy--the annihilation of a race--six million human beings--six million fellow men." (47) Walsh stated that he became convinced that Nazi persecution and pogroms differed from anti-Jewish persecutions and pogroms in the past, but that he was "troubled ... about establishing to the satisfaction of the International Military Tribunal that the Nazi program against the Jews was from its inception an integral part of the plan to prepare, initiate and wage aggressive war." "It was at this time of perplexity and trouble," Walsh recounted, "that Dr. Jacob Robinson arrived in Nuremberg. It is from his wise counsel, his scholarly and logical treatment of the subject that I found enlightenment. If I was successful in connecting the established Nazi program against the Jews with the plan to wage aggressive war--and I believe I was successful--then credit is due to Dr. Robinson of the Jewish Congress. I take this opportunity to acknowledge my debt and the debt of the American Prosecutor's staff to him." (48)
The head of the Institute for Jewish Affairs (IJA), founded under the auspices of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) in 1941 largely to collect evidence of Nazi anti-Jewish crimes for use in war crimes trials, Robinson was invited to Nuremberg by the Americans to provide expert advice for the American prosecution's presentation in court. Born in the town of Seirijai (Serej), Lithuania, then in the Russian Empire, Robinson (1889-1977) graduated with a law degree from Warsaw University in 1914, served in the Russian army during World War I, was taken prisoner, and spent three years in German POW camps before he settled in independent Lithuania. He practiced law in Kaunas (Kovno) and was elected to the Lithuanian parliament in 1923. One of seven Jewish members of parliament, he was leader of the Jewish faction and of the entire minorities bloc until a coup d'etat dissolved parliamentary rule in 1926. His commitment to Jewish minority rights extended beyond Lithuania, and he served on various delegations to congresses devoted to the defense of Jewish minorities. After official Jewish representation was prohibited in Lithuania in 1927, he organized an informal, clandestine group to defend Jewish interests, and after the outbreak of World War II he helped lead an effort to receive and integrate Jewish refugees from Poland in Lithuania. His publications on Lithuanian and international law consolidated his scholarly credentials. He represented Lithuania in negotiations with Germany and in the dispute between the pro-Lithuanian executive branch and the pro-German parliament in Memel (Klaipeda) before the Permanent Court of International Justice at The Hague in 1932. Robinson escaped Europe by the skin of his teeth, leaving Lithuania in May 1940 and arriving with his family in the United States in December of that year. In addition to preparing a legal case for the prosecution of Nazi criminals, the IJA researched the fate of Jews under Nazi occupation, and worked on issues of reparations, indemnification and the codification of human rights, of which Jews would be intended beneficiaries. Robinson's legal career after 1945 was no less eventful. Among his numerous achievements, he served as special assistant to the Israeli attorney general, Gideon Hausner, at the Eichmann Trial. (49)
Marrus and other historians have shown that Robinson and the IJA were a persistent behind-the-scenes Jewish presence at Nuremberg. (50) Robinson was introduced to Jackson in June 1945 argued at their meeting that the Nazis' oppression of the Jews was distinctive. "The Jewish people," Robinson explained to Jackson according to minutes of their meeting, "is the greatest sufferer of this war, if not in absolute numbers of its casualties ... certainly in relative numbers ... The Jewish casualties, it was emphasized, are not a pure incident of the war or its preparatory stage, but the result of a well conceived, deliberately plotted and meticulously carried out conspiracy." What was the objective of this conspiracy? It was, according to Robison, a "conspiracy to destroy democratic civilization," and "the plot against the Jewish people was an integral part of this conspiracy." (51) After Robinson's meeting with Jackson, the IJA's personnel prepared several documents for Jackson's staff. If one takes all of these documents together, they reflect Robinson's theory that the concept of war crimes, as applied by Allied prosecutors at Nuremberg, ought to entail "recognition of the identity of the Jewish people as the chosen victim of Nazi persecution." (52)
Jackson had apparently been impressed by Robinson when they met in June 1945; thus the invitation to Nuremberg. American prosecutors particularly wanted Robinson's help in proving the number of Jewish casualties. (53) But Robinson, who visited Nuremberg in late November 1945, was also enlisted to assist Walsh in preparing his evidence on the persecution of the Jews (specifically under count 1 of the indictment, the common plan or conspiracy to wage aggressive war, war crimes, and crimes against humanity; and count 4 of the indictment, crimes against humanity). Both Walsh and Jackson praised Robinson's and the IJA's assistance both before and after Walsh's presentation. (54)
What Robinson advised Walsh can be learned from Robinson's remarks at meetings with WJC, AJC, and IJA staff upon his return to New York. At a meeting of the WJC's combined staffs on December 6, 1945--prior to Walsh's presentation on December 13-14--Robinson mentioned that Jackson, in his opening address, called "the report of the General who liquidated the Warsaw Ghetto 'sickening,'" and Robinson characterized Stroop's report as including "exact details as to the numbers of troops participating [in the ghetto's liquidation], the numbers of Nazis killed, etc." (55) Who killed the Nazis? Robinson didn't say. Near the end of his remarks, Robison quoted what Jackson had said in his opening address immediately after reading excerpts from Stroop's report: "We charge that all atrocities against Jews were the manifestation and culmination of the Nazi plan to which every defendant here was a party." Robinson continued: "This is the culmination of these crimes, but not the crimes themselves. The thesis that, as the murder of one individual is a crime--that is too elementary. According to our theory, these killings must be tied up with previous stages of the crime, constituting the last link in a chain of criminal acts of the conspiracy to destroy the Jewish people." (56)
In his remarks to the IJA's staff on December 10, 1945, Robinson explained that Walsh would include the following points, which, Robinson added in an aside, "I hope were retained":
1) The Nazi crime created a casualty of a civilization sui generis, which has disappeared; it is not so many individuals who were annihilated, but an entire people. The world is impoverished as a result of this crime.
2) Permanence of the Nazi influence in the world for decades to come as a consequence of this crime.
3) The Nazi crime and all its component parts were hand-made--there are definite people who are responsible for it, the crime being perpetrated by criminals and criminal organizations (this was the 'sumation' [sz'c, summation]). (57)
Robinson needn't have worried, since Walsh hewed closely to Robinson's theory of the case that the Nazis' "ultimate aim, the avowed purpose," as Walsh put it at the beginning of his presentation, was "to obliterate the Jewish race."
At neither meeting in December, however, did Robinson refer to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, even though Stroop's report had the potential to highlight the Jewish revolt before the IMT and, by extension, the world. Is it possible that Robinson, like Walsh and Jackson, failed to realize the full implication of Stroop's report, even though it described Jewish "resistance"? There is no evidence that Robinson even mentioned the uprising when he counseled Walsh. Of course, Robinson was fully aware of not only the Jewish revolt but also its ramifications. Historian Zohar Segev observes that a report produced at the WJC in September 1943 lauded Jewish fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto, and that as early as the spring of 1944, WJC leaders were drawing attention to the uprising and other acts of Jewish resistance. In Segev's words, "They were, in fact, creating an initial foundation for intensive and far-reaching activity by the WJC and other Jewish organizations to make the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising an integral part of public Jewish memory in the United States and the Jewish world at large." (58) It is inconceivable, therefore, that as central a figure in the WJC as Robinson was not attuned in the fall of 1945 to the significance of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
In fact, there is evidence that as late as August 1945 Robinson and the IJA's staff were inclined to draw the attention of American prosecutors to the uprising. In August Robinson and his staff prepared a series of papers for the American prosecutors stationed in both Washington and Nuremberg. The most important was entitled "The Conspiracy Against the Jews." Under the rubric of "Ghettoization," this paper, in its discussion of the Warsaw Ghetto, read:
Soon the rumor spread that the ghetto was to be completely liquidated in January 1943. An attempt at liquidation on January 18, 1943, met with resistance resulting in a number of German dead. Tanks were brought in and the rebellious section of the ghetto was demolished. Another attempt at final liquidation on April 19, 1943, resulted in the uprising which raged violently till April 25. From April 25 to May 5 the fighting was sporadic as the defenders lacked annihilation [sic, ammunition] and their dwellings were systematically burned. (59)
There is no evidence that Walsh saw this paper, (60) and, given his documented statements, it is probable that he did not see it. If, as it appears, Robinson did not press Walsh to draw special attention to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in his presentation at the IMT, Robinson must have come to the conclusion that the uprising was tangential to his major objective, which was to emphasize the annihilation of European Jewry. This is the lens through which Robinson viewed Stroop's report, as "exhibit A," so to speak, in proving the charge of conspiracy and the pivotal place of conspiracy in the Nazis' campaign to destroy European Jewry, as exemplified by the murder of the Jews of Warsaw. As is evident from how Jackson and Walsh characterized the report, they agreed with Robinson. For all that Robinson must have admired the Jewish fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto and understood the broader significance of the
uprising, he was inclined to refract Stroop's report through one prism and one prism only, as a means to prove Jewish suffering as the result of a Nazi conspiracy rather than as evidence of Jewish resistance, which was integral neither to his nor the American narrative of the case, nor to obtaining convictions of the Nazi defendants on trial. As a result, at Nuremberg Robinson lost sight of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
Conclusion: The Uprising through Other Judicial Lenses
There were, however, alternative ways in which the narrative at Nuremberg could have been constructed, as demonstrated by other trials in which the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising figured more prominently. At Stroop's 1951 trial in Poland, for example, the uprising was central to the prosecution's case. Indeed, Stroop's brutal suppression of the uprising was a cornerstone of the indictment, according to which he had violated a decree promulgated by Poland's provisional government in August T944 that made murdering and injuring Polish citizens in service to the Nazi occupation regime an offense punishable by death. In the first decade and a half after the end of World War II, Polish trials of German Nazis were the most prominent public space in communist Poland where Jewish and Polish interests and memories of the Nazi occupation coincided. Polish prosecutors put three key actors in the Jewish revolt, including the iconic Marek Edelman, on the witness stand, where they offered compelling testimony about the suffering of the ghetto's inhabitants as well as the heroism of Jewish fighters. Since the trial took place in communist Poland under a Stalinist regime, it was to be expected that the other two witnesses, Richard Walewski and Bernard Borg, would mention--and exaggerate--the assistance rendered by the Polish communist underground to the Jewish militants. Moreover, they both noted the uprising's universal symbolism for the free world. Yet, ultimately, the testimony of all three former Jewish fighters and the verdict emphasized Jewish suffering, Nazi criminality, and Jewish valor. (61)
Likewise, at the 1961 Israeli prosecution of Adolf Eichmann, as Lawrence Douglas and others have argued, Attorney General Gideon Hausner sought to transform the tortured history of the Holocaust "into an episode of world historical significance and collective meaning." (62) In a deliberate repudiation of Nuremberg, Hausner considered it his mission to make the Nazi genocide of Europe's Jews the centerpiece of Eichmann's trial and to underscore the centrality of antisemitism and the annihilation of the Jews to the Nazis' ideology, motivations, and actions. In this spirit, the major charge the Israeli prosecution leveled against Eichmann was crimes against the Jewish people rather than the general offense of crimes against humanity, of which he was also accused. In line with his didactic approach to the Eichmann Trial, Hausner sought to endow the survivors who testified with dignity and in the process repudiate the canard that Jewish victims of Nazism had gone passively to their deaths. In this regard, it was natural to the Israeli prosecution to showcase the heroic resistance of Jewish fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto. For this reason, Hausner put Zivia Lubetkin and Yitzhak Zuckerman, two celebrated leaders of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, on the witness stand. It should be noted, though, that they testified about Jewish suffering in the ghetto as well as the Jewish rebellion. (63)
It might be regarded as ironic that Robinson, who skipped an opportunity at Nuremberg to draw the American prosecution team's attention to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, was Hausner's special assistant at the Eichmann Trial. Hausner tapped him for his expertise in international law. But Robinson also played a role in selecting witnesses. He insisted that their testimony be vivid because it was necessary "to describe the torment of families torn apart ... to emphasize that people were murdered before the very eyes of their families." (64) In other words, Robinson understood the function of constructing a narrative at a trial. Moreover, in his memoir Hausner recounts that he consulted with Robinson about the "chance to bring out the countless acts of heroism with which people were generally less acquainted ... [M]y view was that those who fell in revolt against inhuman acts were, for the purposes of the trial, among the victims of the Final Solution. Eichmann was responsible for them too, and we were entitled to unfold the full story of the resistance." (65) It is evident from Hausner's overall account of the trial that he put great stock in Robinson's advice. Although Hausner doesn't reveal how Robinson reacted to the attorney general's urge to highlight Jewish resistance within the context of the genocide of the Jewish people, there is no indication that Robinson objected.
In other words, it isn't inconceivable that at Nuremberg the American prosecution, with the encouragement of Robinson and the IJA, could have cast the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising into high relief.
To conclude, both Justice Robert H. Jackson, chief counsel of the American prosecution, in his opening address, and Major William F. Walsh, in his presentation of "the Jewish case," alluded to Jewish "resistance" in open court at Nuremberg. However, their allusions to Jewish resistance seem to have resonated neither in the IMT's courtroom nor far beyond its walls, for, in the final analysis, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was incidental to Jackson's and, even more significantly, Walsh's description of the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto, which is not surprising, since, after all, the "persecution" of the Jewish people, not their efforts to resist Nazism, underlay the presentation of "the Jewish case." Nor does the uprising appear to have been a point of emphasis in the assistance that Jacob Robinson rendered Walsh in the days immediately preceding Walsh's presentation to the court, since it was likewise incidental to Robinson's conceptualization of the case. (66)
(1.) Michael R. Marrus, The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial, 1945-1946: A Documentary History (Boston and New York: Bedford Books, 1997), 193; also Marrus, "The Holocaust at Nuremberg," Yad Vashem Studies 26 (1998): 5-41, 19. In Marrus's view, "Jewish issues were presented at various points in the prosecution's case and were woven into the evidence presented on all counts, especially war crimes and crimes against humanity." Marrus, "The Holocaust at Nuremberg," 15. For contrasting views, see Donald Bloxham, Genocide on Trial: The War Crimes Trials and the Formation of Holocaust History and Memory (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010); Bloxham, "Jewish Witnesses in War Crimes Trials of the Postwar Era," in Holocaust Historiography in Context: Emergences, Challenges, Polemics, and Achievements, David Bankier and Dan Michman, eds. (New York: Berghahn Books, 2008), 539-553; and Lawrence Douglas, The Memory of Judgment: Making History and Law in the Trials of the Holocaust (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001).
(2.) International Military Tribunal, Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, 14 November 1945-1 October 1946, 42 vols. (Nuremberg: International Military Tribunal, 1947), 2: 242; hereafter, IMT, Trial. See also Marrus, The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial, 127.
(3.) On this point, see Douglas, The Memory of Judgment, 43-44.
(4.) See "General Report to the Combined Staffs of the Office of Dr. Jacob Robinson of the Nuremberg War Criminals Trial," December 6, 1945, 3, MS-361, Series C, Institute of Jewish Affairs (IJA), C14-16-1, World Jewish Congress Collection (WJC), American Jewish Archives (AJA), Cincinnati, Ohio; also available on the website of the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum (hereafter Truman Library), http://www.trumanlibrary.org/ library.htm, "The War Crimes Trials at Nuremberg."
(5.) "Epic Battle of Last Jews in Warsaw Told," Los Angeles Times, June 4, 1943, 1, 6, quote on 1. For other examples from 1943, see "Warsaw's Ghetto Fights Deportation," New York Times, April 23, 1943, 9; "Warsaw Ghetto: Jews Fight to the Death," Manchester Guardian (UK), May 7, 1943, 7; "Last Jews in Warsaw Reported Wiped Out," Los Angeles Times, May 15, 1943, 2; "Ghetto Battle in Warsaw: Mass Murder to Crush Revolt," Observer (London, UK), May 23, 1943, J> "Warsaw Ghetto Battle: Fresh Facts, Jews Fought to the Last Man," Manchester Guardian (UK), June 30, 1943, 5; "Underground Press Gives Detail of Battle Jews Fought for their Lives in Warsaw," New York Times, September 25, 1943, 6; Albin E. Johnson, "Warsaw Ghetto in Heroic Battle, New Reports on Struggle Reveal," New York Times, October 26, 1943, 8.
(6.) Paul Winkler, "40,000 against the German Army: Warsaw's 'Battle of Ghetto' Raged Just a Year Ago; Facts, Slow to Seep Out, Add New Horrors to Story," Washington Post, April 23, 1944, B2. For another example from 1944, see Harold Denny, "Pole Tells Story of Ghetto Battle," New York Times, April 19, 1944, 5.
(7.) See "35,000 Jews Honored at Rally," New York Times, June 20, 1943, 34; "Jews Here Acclaim Heroes of Warsaw: Tribute Paid to Those Who Fell Fighting Nazi Soldiers a Year Ago," New York Times, April 20, 1944, 10; "Services Held in London: Anniversary of Warsaw Ghetto Battle is Observed There," New York Times, April 20, 1944, 10; "Capital Jews Pray for Martyred Dead of Warsaw," Washington Post, May 17, 1944, 7; "Ghetto Battle Marked: Polish Jews Here Commemorate Anniversary of Warsaw Fight," New York Times, April 19, 1945, 5; "Jewish Groups Honor Dead of Warsaw Revolt," Chicago Daily Tribune, April 19, 1945, 20. An exhibition, open to the general public, on the fate of Jews that was mounted in Atlantic City by the IJA for the WJC's conference in November 1944, included an exhibit on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and other examples of Jewish resistance. See Zohar Segev, The World Jewish Congress during the Holocaust: Between Activism and Restraint (Oldenbourg: de Gruyter, 2014), 195-202.
(8.) IMT, Trial, 2:118-127.
(9.) IMT, Trial, 2:119.
(10.) IMT, Trial, 3:520.
(11.) IMT, Trial, 2:127.
(12.) IMT, Trial, 19:414.
(13.) See Douglas, The Memory of Judgment, 74-77. See also Berel Lang, Act and Idea in the Nazi Genocide (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990), 14-15, 19; and David Engel, The Holocaust: The Third Reich and the Jews (Harlow: Longman, 2000), 17-20.
(14.) IMT, Trial, 1:247.
(15.) IMT, Trial, 2:126-127 (emphasis in Stroop's original report).
(16.) IMT, Trial, 2:127.
(17.) Marrus, The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial, 127, 232; see also IMT, Trial, 1:225-226.
(18.) Andrzej Wirth, "Introduction," The Stroop Report: The Jewish Quarter of Warsaw is No More!, Sybil Milton, ed. and trans. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1979), n.p.
(19.) Wirth, "Introduction."
(20.) The Stroop Report, n.p.
(21.) See IMT, Trial, 3: 519-541 (December 13, 1945) and 551-573 (December 14, 1945)
(22.) IMT, Trial, 3:519.
(23.) IMT, Trial, 3:520.
(24.) IMT, Trial, 3:52.0.
(25.) Douglas, The Memory of Judgment, 76.
(26.) IMT, Trial of the Major War Criminals, 3: 569-570, quote on 569.
(27.) IMT, Trial, 3:553 (my emphasis).
(29.) IMT, Trial, 3:554-555.
(30.) IMT, Trial, 3:555-556, quote on 555.
(31.) IMT, Trial, 3:558.
(32.) See Philippe Sands, East West Street: On the Origins of "Genocide" and "Crimes Against Humanity" (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2016), 286.
(33.) Francis Biddle, In Brief Authority (Garden City: Doubleday, 1961), 432-433. In this paragraph, Biddle apparently conflated the testimonies of a number of prosecution witnesses from various countries.
(34.) Biddle, In Brief Authority, 434.
(35.) IMT, Trial, 1:247.
(36.) IMT, Trial, 1:249-250.
(37.) IMT, Trial, 1: 250.
(38.) IMT, Trial, 250-251.
(39.) IMT, Trial, 1: 252-253, quote on 253. For an assessment of the judgment as it pertained to Nazi anti-Jewish persecution and crimes, see Marrus, "The Holocaust at Nuremberg," 36-40.
(40.) Raymond Daniell, "Trial Data Reveal 6,000,000 Jews Died," New York Times, December 15, 1945, 8.
(41.) "6 Million Jews Slain by Nazis, Tribunal Told," Washington Post, December 15, 1945, 5; "Nazi Plan to Kill All Jews Disclosed: Germans Admit Millions Destroyed and Slave Status for Poles Set Up," Los Angeles Times, December 15, 1945, 2.
(42.) "Slaughter Told," Chicago Daily Tribune, December 15, 1945, 5.
(43.) "If Germany Had Won," Times (London), December 15, 1945, 4.
(44.) An American investigator questioned Stroop on February 24, 1946, after Walsh's presentation, about the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, but in his affidavit Stroop failed to mention Jewish resistance to his troops. Document 3841-PS, Affidavit by the Former Higher SS and Police Leader of Warsaw, Jiirgen Stroop, 24 February 1946, Concerning the Action Against the Warsaw Ghetto, in particular Himmler's and Kaltenbrunner's Responsibility (Exhibit USA-804), IMT, Trial, 33:201-202. On March 21, 1947, a US military tribunal that was established in the former concentration camp at Dachau found Stroop guilty of having ordered the summary execution of nine downed American airmen and sentenced him to death. Despite the death sentence, the Americans, in response to entreaties by the Polish Military Mission in Berlin, extradited Stroop to Poland in May 1947 to stand trial there for his role in the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto and suppression of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and, moreover, the murder of ethnic Polish civilians. In July 1951 he became one of the top SS senior officers to stand trial in Poland for Nazi-era crimes. When Stroop was extradited, the Poles also received Stroop's infamous report. Stroop was found guilty for his leading role in the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto, including the brutal suppression of the uprising, and he was hanged in 1952. His report was pivotal to the Polish prosecutors' case and invoked often in the court's verdict. On Stroop's trial in Poland, see Gabriel N. Finder and Alexander V. Prusin, Justice behind the Iron Curtain: Nazis on Trial in Communist Poland (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018), chapter four.
(45.) William F. Walsh, "The Evidence at Nuremberg," Congress Weekly, March 1, 1946, 13-14, here 13.
(46.) Walsh, "Evidence at Nuremberg," 14.
(49.) Omry Kaplan-Feuerstein, "Robinson, Jacob," in The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe, Gershon David Hundert, ed. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008), 2:1567-1568. See also Michael R. Marrus, "Three Jewish Emigres at Nuremberg: Jacob Robinson, Hersch Lauterpacht, and Raphael Lemkin," in Against the Grain: Jewish Intellectuals in Hard Times, Ezra Mendelsohn, Stefani Hoffman, and Richard I. Cohen, eds. (New York: Berghahn Books, 2014), 240-254; Jonathan Bush, "Nuremberg and Beyond: Jacob Robinson, a Champion for Justice," in The World Jewish Congress, 1936-2016, Menachem Z. Rosensaft, ed. (New York: World Jewish Congress, 2017), 46-60; and James Loeffler, Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018), 89-93, 240-248.
(50.) See Michael R. Marrus, "A Jewish Lobby at Nuremberg: Jacob Robinson and the Institute of Jewish Affairs, 1945-46," Cardozo Law Review 27, no. 4 (2006): 1651-1665, reprinted in The Nuremberg Trials: International Criminal Law Since 1945/Die Nurnberger Prozesse: Volkerstrafrecht seit 1945, Herbert R. Reginbogin and Christopher J. M. Safferling, eds. (Munich: K. G. Saur Verlag, 2006), 63-72; Marrus, "Three Jewish Emigres at Nuremberg"; Mark A. Lewis, "The World Jewish Congress and the Institute of Jewish Affairs at Nuremberg: Ideas, Strategies, and Political Goals, 1942-1946," Yad Vashem Studies 36, no. 1 (2008): 181-210; Mark A. Lewis, The Birth of the New Justice: the Internationalization of Crime and Punishment, 1919-1950 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), chapter six; Boaz Cohen, "Dr. Jacob Robinson, the Institute of Jewish Affairs and the Elusive Jewish Voice at Nuremberg," in Holocaust and Justice: Representation and Historiography of the Holocaust in Post-War Trials, David Bankier and Dan Michman, eds. (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem/Berghahn, 2010), 81-100; Laura Jockusch, "Justice at Nuremberg? Jewish Responses to Nazi War-Crimes Trials in Allied-Occupied Germany," Jewish Social Studies 19, no. 1 (2012): 107-147; Loeffler, Rooted Cosmopolitans, 130-133.
(51.) "Minutes of a Meeting with Justice Robert H. Jackson Held at the Federal Courthouse, N.Y.C.," June 12, 1945, 1, 3, AJA, C106-16-5; also available on the website of the Truman Library.
(52.) "General Report to the Combined Staffs of the Office," 1. Robinson would deem the IMT's judgment objectionable on many grounds, but he was particularly vexed that the tribunal did not find that the Nazis had committed a distinct crime against the Jewish people as a collective. See Jacob Robinson, "The International Military Tribunal and the Holocaust," Israel Law Review 7, no. 1 (1972): 1-13. Yet Robinson did conclude, at least immediately after the trial, "that the Court was consistently aware of the importance of the Jewish element in the trial." See Jacob Robinson, "The Nuremberg Judgment," Congress Weekly, October 25, 1946, 6-8, quote on p. 8.
(53.) "The total loss is estimated at six million," Robinson told Jackson when they met in June. "Minutes of a Meeting with Justice Robert H. Jackson," 3. After the meeting, the IJA sent Jackson and his staff its tabulations. Apparently on the basis of these tabulations, in his opening address Jackson cited a figure of 5,700,000 victims. IMT, Trial, 2:119. The iconic figure of six million, which was enshrined in the IMT's judgment, came, however, from Eichmann's statement to Hottl that appeared in Hottl's affidavit. IMT, Trial, 1:252-253. The calculations of Robinson and the IJA's staff essentially corroborated Eichmann's statement.
(54.) See William F. Walsh to Jacob Robinson, November 27, 1945, C14-23, AJA, and William F. Walsh to Jacob Robinson, December 15, 1945, C14-23, AJA; see also Robert H. Jackson to Institute of Jewish Affairs, November 1, 1946, C176-16, AJA, reproduced in Congress Weekly, November 15, 1946, 15.
(55.) "General Report to the Combined Staffs of the Office," 12.
(56.) "General Report to the Combined Staffs of the Office," 14.
(57.) "Minutes of the Office Committee Meeting," December 10, 1945, 2-3, C14-16-2, AJA (also available on the website of the Truman Library).
(58.) Segev, The World Jewish Congress during the Holocaust, 34, 201.
(59.) "The Conspiracy Against the Jewish People, Chapter 4, Ghettoization," no date, 20-21, AJA, C192-2-8 (available on the website of the Truman Library). From a "Note" dated August 25, 1945, 'n the file that was written by the assistant secretary of war that acknowledges receipt of this series of papers, it can be inferred that they were completed by that date.
(60.) An undated, apparently preliminary, investigative report prepared by American staff under Walsh for American prosecutors' internal consumption mentions Stroop's report in the context of the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, but it doesn't refer to Jewish resistance. "War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, Part IV, Persecution of the Jews, prepared by Lt (jg) Brady O. Bryson, Lt Frederick L. Felton, T/STG Isaac Stone, Hans A. Nathan, presented by Section IV, Hardy W. Hollers, Colonel, J.A.G.D., Chief of Section, William F. Walsh, Major, A.C., Deputy," n.d., 31-32, quote on 32, Donovan Nuremberg Trials Collection, http://www.lawcollections.library.cornell.edu.
(61.) Finder and Prusin, Justice Behind the Iron Curtain, chapter four.
(62.) Douglas, The Memory of Judgment, 6.
(63.) Douglas, The Memory of Judgement, 135-136.
(64.) Hanna Yablonka, The State of Israel vs. Adolf Eichmann, trans. Ora Cummings with David Herman (New York: Schocken Books, 2004), 98-99, quote on 99.
(65.) Gideon Hausner, Justice in Jerusalem (New York: Harper and Row, 1966), 333.
(66.) James Loeffler notes that although Robinson complained after the Nuremberg Trial that the targeted murder of Jews as the primary victims of Nazi persecution was strikingly absent from the legal proceedings at Nuremberg, he blamed Raphael Lemkin, the inventor of the concept of "genocide," who was attached to Jackson's staff, rather than Jackson for this omission. Loeffler, Rooted Cosmopolitans, 132-133. I would infer from Loeffler's observation that Robinson did not, therefore, hold Walsh to blame for this outcome, either.
Caption: Figure 1. American Prosecutor William F. Walsh presenting evidence at the IMT of Nazi anti-Jewish crimes, December 14, 1945; https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=5QeHimovFPO.
Caption: Figure 2. Photograph from Stroop Album showing SS Major General Jiirgen Stroop in command of Nazi siege of Warsaw Ghetto, projected by American prosecutor Walsh at the IMT, December 14, 1945; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive (public domain).
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|Author:||Finder, Gabriel N.|
|Publication:||American Jewish History|
|Date:||Apr 1, 2019|
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