Today it is illegal in Germany to question aspects of Allied war-propaganda. Consequently it is unfair to point to some Germans who refrain from disputing the accusations against them (like the accountant Oskar Groening, who was put on trial recently at age 95, and sentenced to 4 years in prison, simply for having been present at Auschwitz) because publicly questioning the fundamental accusations against Germany is absolutely not allowed, and these accused individuals will only make matters worse for themselves by disputing. But it was not always so.
Heinrich Haertle (1909 – 1986) was not only a German but a prominent National-Socialist imprisoned by the victorious powers until 1948, who most definitely did not accept all the accusations. In his book Freispruch für Deutschland, Haertle questioned many elements of the continuing anti-German propaganda, including the Jewish “genocide” propaganda — which at that time, in 1965, was only beginning to seize the position of central importance in the story of the war that it holds today.
Heinrich Haertle is probably best known to anglophones because of the brief mention of him by Jewish professor Walter Kaufmann in The Portable Nietzsche, where he nitpicked Haertle for omitting the context (which did not affect the meaning) of a Nietzsche-quote about “the young stock-market Jew” (der jugendliche Börsen-Jude) in his book Nietzsche und der Nationalsozialismus (1937).
by Heinrich Haertle
Translated by Hadding Scott, 2015
On July 27, 1946, during the greatest tribunal in world history, Sir Hartley Shawcross screamed that the German army had been commanded not by honorable soldiers but instead by “heartless murderers.”
Such and similar calumnies have poisoned the climate between Germany and the other peoples since 1945. Only Germans are to blame for the Second World War; only Germans committed war-crimes: this was said to be the finding of the greatest legal process of all times.
Against this judgment no appeal was legally possible; it was specified thus in the charter of this universal court. But why does the government of the Federal Republic of Germany not summon all political and contemporary-historical means to revise this disgraceful finding?
After 1918 too, Germany was burdened with sole guilt for the World War; by 1919 however the German government of the time was already promulgating a “German White Book on Guilt for the War” whereby the struggle against the verdict of Versaille was begun.
Yet twenty years after 1945 there is no official defense: neither against the second war-guilt lie nor against the slander of “war-crimes.” On the contrary, the Nuremberg guilty-verdict is today the psychological and political foundation for further unimaginable trials in the next 20 years.
In contrast to this irresponsible abdication by officialdom, individual publishers and authors have initiated the struggle for historical truth. But the more clearly the war-guilt dogmatists are refuted, the louder become their accusations against “war-criminals” – of course, only against German ones.
Meanwhile anti-Jewish pogroms have been pushed ever more insistently into the foreground. Thus these questions too necessarily become an important matter for historical dispute.
A critique of the Nuremberg finding must first investigate the following questions: was the war for the actualization of the German right to self-determination in 1939 in any way a crime punishable under the law of nations? How great is the German and the Allied share in the war-crimes from 1939 to 1945? Who bears responsibility for the partisan-war and terror-bombing? What kind of blame goes to atrocity-propaganda for making the war more brutal?
More and more grave, however, are the questions about the scope and causes of the secret crimes against Jews. They supply anti-German propaganda with its most dangerous arguments , and therefore demand a precise and thorough examination: were only Germans guilty of anti-Semitism? What part did Jewry have in the belligerence of Americanism and of Bolshevism? Did only Germans or, alternately, did only Jews incur guilt?
Today none of these questions can be shirked any longer. In Nuremberg they were decided only by the interest of the enemy powers.
Where is Germany’s defense?
The following work undertakes the attempt to revise the judgment at Nuremberg. It can only be a beginning, because the quantity of the material is too much for just one person. The trial-transcript runs to 16,000 pages; 240 witnesses, 300,000 sworn declarations, and 5,300 documents were presented. Nonetheless, this effort must be initiated. It will take a whole generation of researchers, however, to complete such a task.
Chief Justice Jackson called the International Military Tribunal the “continuation of the Allied war-efforts.” Attorney General Dr. Bauer declared that the material from Nuremberg would be made the foundation for all further political trials. And in the Soviet government’s proposed peace-treaty with Germany is required, as a preamble: “Germany acknowledges the finding of the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, and the findings of other courts
for which the charter of this tribunal provides, regarding crimes committed both inside and outside of Germany.”
Should we continue to submit to this judgment of guilt?
Or ought we not, rather, to take to heart Stresemann’s admonition: “As long as a member of the community of nations is branded a criminal against humanity, there can be no true understanding and reconciliation of the nations.”[*]
*Stresemann of course, who died in 1929, was referring to the guilt-propaganda following the First World War. By quoting Stresemann, Haertle implies that the guilt-propaganda after both World Wars is essentially the same — which is to say, unfounded. Weight is added to Stresemann’s words by the fact that he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1926.