Sunday, November 20, 2005

Nuremberg, 60 years later

“Naturally, the common people don’t want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist government, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.”

This powerful quote came from the Luftwaffe General Hermann Goering, during the Nuremberg Trials. Goerring was the highest ranking nazi official brought beffore trial and he was sentenced to death. He escaped hanging by comitting suicide with a potassium cyanide capsule the night before he was supposed to be hanged.

Spiegel Online (in English) is a very useful source for this anniversary. With a photo gallery from the trial, an interview with the Nuremberg Trial prosecutor Whitney Harris, a chronicle of the process titled "Prosecuting the Nazis" and an impressive flash graphic with very rich on topic background, the German magazine has made very good work on this.


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