Mark Turley’s narrative From Nuremberg to Nineveh: War, Peace and the Making of Modernity, is an interesting exposé on the final battle of the Second World War. A newer voice to the revisionist community, Turley is among the first wave of authors to take a sensible and objective approach to the real “trial of the century” in the 60 years since its occurrence. The book examines the political climate and ideologies which gave birth to the trial, as well as the mechanics and operations of the trial itself. Sifting through court transcripts and many other trial sources, Turley examines both revisionist and orthodox arguments, and provides his own interpretation on the material.
Turley’s account provides a very welcomed breath of fresh air into the real history of Allied post-war “justice”. Was Nuremberg a fair and honest trial? Was it even close to being so? Does the lack of a 100% conviction rate of the Nazi defendants mean that the Allies abstained from instituting victor’s justice? Were those tried granted a real opportunity to defend themselves during the procedure? What was the quality of evidence produced to substantiate Allied charges? Did the Allied court really believe in the Dachau gas chambers and Nazi-Katyn connection? The book helps answer many of these questions, as well as cover other themes raised at the trial.
One of those themes was the real purpose of the Einsatzgruppen, deployed in the occupied areas of the Eastern Front and which allegedly murdered some 2 million Jews. Turley examines the evidence presented at the trial, and finds that many of the claims regarding the organization’s activity likely resulted from its anti-partisan operations, as opposed to a purposeful hunt down of Jewish civilians. A 1942 discussion between Reich Marshal Goering and Prime Minister Mussolini regarding anti-partisan actions described the following:
“To begin with, all livestock and foodstuffs were taken away from the areas concerned, so as to deny the partisans all sources of supply. Men and women were taken away to labour camps, the children to children’s camps, and the villages burned down. It was by the use of these methods that the railways in the vast wooded areas of Bialowiza had been safeguarded. Whenever attacks occurred, the entire male population of the villages were lined up on one side and the women on the other. The women were told that all men would be shot, unless they-the women-pointed out which men did not belong to the village. In order to save their men, the women always pointed out the non-residents.”
Nothing about an institutional process to murder Jews, but instead the harsh reality of a brutal occupational war.
In the wider context of the book, Turley spends a good amount of pages on the Holocaust subject. The Nuremberg trial provided the cornerstone for the narrative as we know it today, through testimony on the ‘gas chamber’ process, and the shooting actions occurring in the East. Yet, the quality of evidence presented to substantiate these matters were really very poor; Turley shows a general pattern by the Allied prosecution of presenting hard, documentary evidence for minor charges and crimes, but using less solid witness affidavits and testimony to support larger allegations. These witnesses could easily have been torn apart by skilled cross-examiners, but alas the German-Nazi defense counsel lacked any real experience with such an alien legal procedure. Of course, no physical evidence whatsoever was shown to verify the alleged homicidal gas chambers, despite knowledge of their existence being denied by every single defendant.
One interesting exchange during the trial concerned the meaning of the German word ‘ausrottung’. To exterminationists, this is one of the several words that the Nazis used to describe the murder of the Jewish people. In April 1946, when Thomas Dodd put to Alfred Rosenberg the sinister interpretation of the word, Rosenberg strongly denied such a definition. After Dodd offered to use a dictionary to confirm the word’s dark meaning, Rosenberg responded:
“I do not need a foreign dictionary in order to explain the various meanings ‘ausrottung’ may have in the German language. One can exterminate an idea, an economic system, a social order, and as a final consequence, also a group of human beings, certainly. Those are the many possibilities which are contained in that word…It means ‘to overcome’ on one side and then it is to be used not with respect to individuals, but rather juridical entities, to certain historical traditions. On the other side this word has been used with respect to the German people and we have also not believed that in consequence thereof 60 million of Germans would be shot.”
Turley includes other etymological protests by the leading Nazi defendants as well.
In the remainder of the book, Turley makes some tough judgments on the cravenness of academia, and challenges them to allow more open debate. As a college student, I can attest to this book’s assessment of university professors’ self-deemed insight as un-challengeable, and un-open to debate. In centers recognized for time immemorial as epicenters for free thought and free debate, that so many would take hardened and unfalsifiable stances on the “Holocaust” is a paradox of the highest nature. Interestingly, as Turley points out, so many of these intelligent people who attempt to educate themselves beyond biasness and into a scholarly world of objectivity soak up the nonsense of a present evil, and assume that it was embodied in the Nazi regime. Meanwhile, some of these same professors and scholars have no problem in praising and supporting communist regimes around the world; an ideology which has led to more deaths than any other in the past century.
Revisionists may not agree with all of this book’s contents, however it is well worth the read. It supplants Irving’s book as the premier, objective investigation into the trial, by filling in many of the gaps and voids left in the trial historiography. Besides the problematic small-printed text of the book, I highly recommend it to those looking for a fresh approach to the Nuremberg trial. Don’t be discouraged by the small page count (194 pages), as a normal font would bring this book to well over 300. Still, Turley provides a good account of the trial itself, as well as draw its relevance to current times with the moral hypocrisy of Allied nations.
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|Title:||From Nuremberg to Nineveh (Review)|
|First posted on CODOH:||June 4, 2009, 12:16 p.m.|