A Court without Law, by Heinrich Haertle — part 1

Scene from the 1921 silent film Der Galiläer
A Court without Law[1]

From Freispruch für Deutschland by Heinrich Haertle
Translated by Hadding Scott, 2015

On Sunday, 11 February 1945, the gravely consequential Yalta Conference comes to an end. The most prominent participants, nine English, nine American, and seven Russian, convene for the last plenary meeting. Again a banquet is served. Between the two last courses the secretaries present the communiqué for signing. The plates and half-full glasses are shoved to the side and Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt signed as if they were giving autographs. One of the most catastrophic documents in world-history is complete: the sacrifice of eastern Europe to Stalinism, the partitioning of central Europe, the death-sentence for millions of Germans.

Only the Yalta Dictate, not any international law, authorizes the prosecutors and judges for their roles at Nuremberg. The whole spectacle of legal arguments and pretenses soon proves to be merely a façade, and behind that the remorseless will for disempowerment, plunder, and permanent humiliation. First Germany’s political and military leadership shall be removed. One finds it hardly necessary anymore to dissemble. The Super Versailles is here:

“We are resolved to disarm and dissolve all German armed forces; to demolish for all times the German general staff, which has repeatedly accomplished the resurrection of German militarism; to eliminate or destroy all of Germany’s military institutions; to eradicate or to monitor all German industries that could be employed for arms-production….”

Then the punishment of all “war-criminals” is resolved, so as to remove “all Nazi and military influences from public offices, and from cultural and economic life.” It is of course not the intention “to destroy” (“zu vernichten”) the German People, these philanthropists emphasize, but only when Nazism and militarism are “exterminated” (“ausgerottet”) does hope for a “decent life” (“ordentliches Leben”) for the Germans still exist.

The four victorious powers would hold the highest authority, in the exertion of which they would implement, in addition to total disarmament and demilitarization, the “partition of Germany.”

To calm one’s own conscience, and to be able to perdure before that other world-court, the court of world-history, one still wants to justify the sacrifice that has been made for war and to secure for oneself that debt-instrument that is supposed to lend the appearance of justice to the coming politics of extortion and reparation.

[1]. The title Gericht ohne Gesetz seems to be taken from the sermon by Donatus von Passau, Die ungerechte Gerechtigkeit (Unjust Justice), wherein the trial of Jesus Christ before the high priest Caiaphas is discussed. It appears in the collection of sermons by Donatus published in 1694 under the title Rosetum Dolorosum Centifoliatum, p. 366

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