An example that Sri Lankan Authorities should follow was enacted way back in 1945. In the drive to “De-nazify” Germany thousands of suspects had been arrested and in the first thirteen trials at Nuremberg 24 major figures were brought to justice. They included party bosses, military leaders, diplomats, judges and administrators — the intention of [...]

Sunday Times 2

Follow Nuremburg example to try LTTE war criminals


An example that Sri Lankan Authorities should follow was enacted way back in 1945. In the drive to “De-nazify” Germany thousands of suspects had been arrested and in the first thirteen trials at Nuremberg 24 major figures were brought to justice. They included party bosses, military leaders, diplomats, judges and administrators — the intention of the Tribunal was not just to try individuals but to put the whole Nazi system in the dock.

This is just what Sri Lanka should do by arresting and putting on trial all those who purchased weapons, collected millions, helped the LTTE in word and deed and in every way gave material support to the LTTE to commit atrocities of the highest magnitude for over thirty years. During this period it is estimated that close to one million Sri Lankans — Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese — were murdered in cold blood by the LTTE.

The LTTE because of the assistance given by those that are designated as the LTTE diaspora killed numerous Tamils and Tamil leaders who refused to prostrate before them. Those of them who are resident in Britain, the United States, France, Canada, the European Union and Norway should be tracked down. If they cannot be smuggled out of the country, Sri Lanka should ask for extradition particularly from countries with which we have extradition treaties. The big sharks who have control of billions of dollars are unlikely to be extradited by these Western countries as they are the ones who regularly offer filthy lucre to Western politicians and provide diaspora votes for them to win in order to enjoy the plums of office. These Western politicians will not want to kill the “goose that laid the golden egg”. We must expose this link, if they fail to extradite the LTTE rump.

Reverting to the Nazi war criminals, Adolf Hitler and his mistress Eva Braun committed suicide in a bunker at the Reich Chancellery in Berlin. Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda chief, who constantly sang the praises of Hitler and held crowds spellbound ordered an S.S. assistant to shoot him and his wife. Goebbels poisoned his six children the previous day. Heinrich Himmler, head of the S.S attempted to flee to Bavaria, in disguise. He was picked up at a British check point. Himmler was held for some weeks without being identified. When he knew that the cat was out of the bag, he bit on a cyanide capsule and died. Cyanide capsule was a cue Prabhakaran took from the Nazis.

In the capture of the Nazi war criminals, particularly those who had fled to South American countries where the extradition act did not apply at that time, the Nazi hater Simon Wiesenthal played a prominent role. He at first was a self-appointed tracker of these war criminals, but was later given state of recognition by David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel. Sri Lankan authorities should enlist the assistance of non-LTTE diaspora to gather information they need.

Hermann Goering, the former Luftwaffe chief was the biggest catch, not only in stature, but in his complicity as well. Goering a “Flying Ace” of World War I was decorated for his bravery. He reached the pinnacle of his career during the early stages of the Blitzkrieg warfare. He sent nearly 250 aircraft to erase London from the face of the earth, but failed. He built up so much of hope in the mind of Hitler and his failure led to a gradual fall from grace. Goering sank into pleasure loving indolence retiring to his country estate ever so often, grew enormously fat and indulged in drugs. Hitler expelled Goering from the party when the Nazis were collapsing. He gave himself up to the Americans to escape assassination by S.S. officers. He was the prime accused at the Nuremberg trials.

Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s one time deputy bailed out over Scotland in 1941 in an apparent attempt to negotiate peace between Britain and Nazi Germany. At the trial he feigned amnesia.

Alfred Rosenberg the Nazi theorist whose books even Hitler regarded as unreadably obscure.

Baldur Von Shirach surrendered and wanted to make a truthful statement before the tribunal of his complicity.

Hans Frank Civil Administrator in Poland attempted suicide. In intelligence tests conducted among the Nuremberg defendants by psychiatrist Gilbert Streicher Frank were found to be least intelligent.

Hitler dinned into the German people that they were an Aryan race possessing the highest degree of intelligence. Perhaps that was true. Hitler though from an extremely humble background, managed to capture power by the ballot, not by the bullet. Most of Germany backed him against aging Field Marshal Von Hindenburg. This was the time of the great depression in the 1930s when thousands of people were thrown out of employment.

The trial began at the Palace of Justice in Nuremburg on November 20, 1945 and continued for 218 days costing a staggering US$ 4 Million. A German intelligence officer, Lahousen, described how Hitler engineered the pretext for the invasion of Poland. Britain had a defence treaty with Poland and was forced to declare war on Germany.

The Chief American Prosecutor was Justice Jackson, while the British Prosecutor was Attorney General Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe. There was a Russian Prosecutor too.

Joachim Von Ribbentrop was the first to be arrested on June 4, 1945 . He served as Foreign Minister for seven years and Ambassador to London for two years.

Dr. Ernst Kaltenbrunner, former head of the Reich main security office was a key figure in the Final Solution.

Wilhelm Keitel and Alfred Jodl were Army big wigs, while Karl Donitz and Raeder were Nazi Naval Officers.

Hjalmar Schacht was the Financial Wizard who raised funds for the Nazis during the early period of their rise to power. Schacht was President of the Reichsbank and Minister of Economics under Hitler. He was never a member of the Nazi party and opposed Nazi policies and had complained to Hitler about the persecution of the Jews. He argued his defence very successfully and was acquitted. The others acquitted were Diplomat Franz Von Papen and Propagandist Fritche.

Admiral Karl Donitz was sentenced to ten years while Nuerath Diplomat and Administrator was sentenced to fifteen years.

Rudolf Hess was sentenced to life imprisonment, along with Economist Funk and Grand Admiral Reader.

The Nazi concentration camps were in Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau etc. The Nuremburg trial initiated a movement for the prompt establishment of a Permanent International Criminal Court. The conclusion of the trials culminated in the drafting of:

a. Genocide Convention of 1946
b. Universal Declaration of Human Rights
c. Convention on the abolition of the statute of limitations on war crimes and crimes against humanity
d. The Geneva Convention on the Laws and Customs of war and its supplementary protocol.
Those who paid the supreme penalty were:
1. Martin Bormann, successor to Rudolf Hess as Nazi party secretary. Sentenced to death in absentia.
2. Hans Frank – Ruler of occupied Poland, sentenced to death.
3 Hermann Goering – Commander of the German Airforce the Luft Waffe, though sentenced to death, he cheated the hangman by biting the cyanide capsule and committed suicide.
4 Alfred Jodl – sentenced to death but was posthumously exonerated by a Denazification Court.
5 Ernst Karltenbrunner – Commander of many concentration camps. Sentenced to death.
6 Wilhelm Keitel – sentenced to death.
7 Joachim Von Ribbentrop – Nazi Foreign Minister. Sentenced to death.
8 Alfred Rosenberg – Racial Theory Ideologist. Sentenced to death.
9 Fritz Sauckel – Pleni potentary of the Nazi slave program. Sentenced to death.
10 Arthur Seyss – Inquart – Gaulieter of Holland. Sentenced to death.
11 Julius Streicher – Incited hatred and murder against jews. Sentenced to death.

Rudolf Hess who was one time deputy to Hitler was sentenced to life imprisonment. The Spandau Prison was maintained at the final stages only for the incarceration of Hess for nearly twenty years. He committed suicide in Spandau in 1987 aged 93 years.

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