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Was The Nurenburg Trial Just Victors Justice?


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#41 R011

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 1529 PM

That's not what they actually said in the 12 August reply. They said that the emperor and government would be subject to the occupying authority.
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#42 Ken Estes

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 0345 AM

Well the facts remain that the US and Japan were exchanging concepts about the emperor via intermediaries after Potsdam to the eventual satisfaction of both sides. You asked for sources and I showed you one. There are also numerous books covering the details, I just do not have them in hand while traveling. Generally these are tied up in the literature of the decision making to drop the bomb and its aftermath, not on the language of the Potsdam Declaration.


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#43 R011

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 1357 PM

Well the facts remain that the US and Japan were exchanging concepts about the emperor via intermediaries after Potsdam to the eventual satisfaction of both sides. You asked for sources and I showed you one. There are also numerous books covering the details, I just do not have them in hand while traveling. Generally these are tied up in the literature of the decision making to drop the bomb and its aftermath, not on the language of the Potsdam Declaration.

 

Thank you for replying with a source.  Unfortunately, that source did not prove your case (you'll find the actual text of the response in Toland and Frank among other places).  I'm afraid I've seen nothing to indicate there were any back-channel discussion, just that 12 August restatement of the Potsdam terms.  The reports of Japanese deliberations, including Hirohito and his staff, of which I am aware mention nothing about any such communications.

 


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#44 Ken Estes

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 0537 AM

These are some of the kind of back channel communications that were going on.

 

 

https://www.cia.gov/...i3a06p_0001.htm

 

 

Memoranda for the President: Japanese Feelers

APPROVED FOR RELEASE
CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM
22 SEPT 93

CONFIDENTIAL

Documents tracing some fervent but fruitless Japanese efforts to end the war in the Pacific.

MEMORANDA FOR THE PRESIDENT: JAPANESE FEELERS

The last two volumes of the OSS Reports to the White House preserved among General Donovan's papers1 include records of several different Japanese approaches in 1945 to the Vatican and to OSS Lisbon, Bern, and Wiesbaden seeking a way to end the war. These peace feelers were generally the product of local initiative and had at most only a tacit approval from official Tokyo, where government quarreling over the question of capitulation was growing more and more desperate as the year advanced. They did not lead in any way to the eventual Japanese notes sent through standard diplomatic channels on 10 and 14 August, but they may have helped define for both sides the conditions therein drawn which made "unconditional" surrender a practical possibility.

The intelligence reports provide interesting and sometimes puzzling footnotes for Robert J. C. Butow's fastidious -- and fascinating -- reconstruction of the intricate political maneuverings that ended in Japan's Decision to Surrender.2 The documents are reproduced below.

Through the Vatican

....

 

 
 

 

On 17 August, Per Jacobsson transmitted the following information to Mr. Dulles:

Brigadier General Kiyotomi Okamoto, believed to be head of Japanese intelligence in Europe until his suicide 15 August, received a telegram just before his death from the Japanese Chief of Staff, thanking him and his associates in Bern for their work in communicating with "the Americans" in Switzerland. The wire stated that their work in Switzerland had been most useful in enabling Tokyo to reach a decision.

(Mr. Dulles comments that the Navy and civilian groups were prepared to seek peace before the Army had come to such a decision. The initiation of formal peace offers therefore was blocked until someone in the Army group came out in favor of surrender.)26

After receiving the message, General Okamoto wrote Fujimura asking him to express thanks to Jacobsson and Mr. Dulles. In recognition of his work, Jacobsson is to be entertained by both Fujimura and Kitamura. Jacobsson feels that the Japanese in Bern must have been praised by Tokyo for their work.

In his messages to Tokyo prior to the Japanese surrender, General Okamoto had insisted that his government should deal solely with the United States. Jacobsson believes it is likely that the suggestions of the Japanese in Bern "persuaded the Emperor finally to turn to the United States alone." The Swiss group, inspired by Jacobsson, suggested the face-saving formula that avoided the use of the word "surrender" in Japanese official communications.27

Before he died, General Okamoto collected all of Fujimura's letters and other pertinent papers and directed that they be saved for historians' use. Jacobsson learned from Fujimura that immediately after General Okamoto's death, the Japanese Chief of Staff sent Okamoto's "military office" in Bern a message of condolence. The message apparently was not a mere formality, since it was much longer than customary and included the following sentence: "I appreciate his patriotic service rendered at our country's most critical moment."

Fujimura and Kitamura regard this action as expressing approval and appreciation of the General's last telegrams advocating surrender.

Shunichi Kase, Japanese Minister in Bern, decided in July that he had been wrong in favoring the USSR as the intermediary for peace negotiations. He radioed Tokyo that the Soviet Union was not a satisfactory channel and that the wisest course would be to deal directly with the United States through Swiss contacts.

Jacobsson believes that, because of the above, the Japanese Government elected to send the final surrender communication through Bern. Stockholm, he points out, would have served as well and would have been the normal transmittal point since the USSR, by then at war, had diplomatic representatives in the Swedish capital

 


Edited by Ken Estes, 12 January 2019 - 0611 AM.

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#45 R011

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 1110 AM

Unfortunately, that says nothing about the US giving any sort of guarantee to Japan other than the Potsdam terms.

If there was anything, one would expect the Japanese to have mentioned as much in their accounts of the discussions for surrender. They do not.
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#46 Ken Estes

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 1652 PM

Well, just how do you explain Japan receiving other than the Potsdam terms? It was certainly that, eh?


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#47 R011

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 1755 PM

No it wasn't. Potsdam did not specificaly call for the prosecution of Hirohito or any individual for that matter nor for the abolition of the monarchy. It also didn't say they were protected but it and the 12 August statement rather implied it was up to the whim of the Allied command. Indeed such evidence as exists shows that the Japanese were hoping Hirohito and the monarchy would survuve, but at that point the choice was survival of Japan itself or its annihilation.
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#48 Ken Estes

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 0348 AM

I see.


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#49 DKTanker

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 1339 PM

 

Actually the rule of law was of course in place under Hitler. It was enforced as written. The problem is who writes the laws and what is written in them. Laws in and of themselves are amoral. Neither good nor bad.

 

I was going to make this point but then saw you had already made it.  This is perhaps best exemplified by the Wannsee Conference which painstakingly worked to codify and legitimize the Holocaust.


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#50 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 1349 PM

You reminded me of Dr Wilhelm Stuckart, also an attendee at the Wansee conference.

 

https://en.wikipedia...ilhelm_Stuckart

A prolific writer, Stuckart came to be seen as one of the leading Nazi legal experts, focusing especially on racial laws and public administration. In 1936 Stuckart, as the chairman of the Reich Committee for the Protection of German Blood,[3] together with Hans Globke co-authored the government's official Commentary on German Racial Legislation in elaboration of the Reich Citizenship and Blood Protection Laws.[8] The commentary explains that the laws were based on the concept of Volksgemeinschaft ("People's community") to which every German was bound by common blood.[8] The individual was not a member of society, a concept viewed by the Nazi legal theorists as a Marxist one, but a born member of the German Volk, through which he or she acquires rights.[8] Interests of the Volk were to always override those of the individual.[8] People born outside of the Volk were seen to possess no rights, and in fact to represent a danger to the purity of the people's community.[8] As such, anti-miscegenation legislation was justified, even necessary.[8] Stuckart stated that these laws represented "a preliminary solution of the Jewish question".[3]

 

Which is probably the best example of why its best to keep lawyers and politics as separate as possible.


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