Grasping Reality with the Invisible Hand… 2016-09-30 23:04:17

Live from the Journamalists' Self-Made Gehenna: Paul Krugman: How the Clinton-Trump Race Got Close:

Monday’s presidential debate was a blowout....

Yet on the eve of the debate, polls showed a close race. How was that possible? After all, the candidates we saw Monday night were the same people they’ve been all along.... So how could someone like Mr. Trump have been in striking position for the White House? (He may still be there, since we have yet to see what effect the debate had on the polls.)

Part of the answer is that a lot more Americans than we’d like to imagine are white nationalists at heart. Indeed, implicit appeals to racial hostility have long been at the core of Republican strategy.... But while racially motivated voters are a bigger minority than we’d like to think, they are a minority. And as recently as August Mrs. Clinton held a commanding lead. Then her polls went into a swoon.

What happened? Did she make some huge campaign blunders? I don’t think so.... She got Gored... ran into a buzz saw of adversarial reporting from the mainstream media, which treated relatively minor missteps as major scandals, and invented additional scandals out of thin air. Meanwhile, her opponent’s genuine scandals and various grotesqueries were downplayed or whitewashed; but as Jonathan Chait of New York magazine says, the normalization of Donald Trump was probably less important than the abnormalization of Hillary Clinton....

This media onslaught started with an Associated Press report on the Clinton Foundation, which roughly coincided with the beginning of Mrs. Clinton’s poll slide. The A.P. took on a valid question: Did foundation donors get inappropriate access and exert undue influence?... It failed to find any evidence of wrongdoing--but nonetheless wrote the report as if it had.... The culmination of this process came with the infamous Matt Lauer-moderated forum, which might be briefly summarized as “Emails, emails, emails; yes, Mr. Trump, whatever you say, Mr. Trump.”

I still don’t fully understand this hostility.... Sexism was surely involved but may not have been central, since the same thing happened to Mr. Gore.... Yhose of us who remember the 2000 campaign expected the worst would follow the first debate: Surely much of the media would declare Mr. Trump the winner even if he lied repeatedly. Some “news analyses” were already laying the foundation, setting a low bar for the G.O.P. nominee while warning that Mrs. Clinton’s “body language” might display “condescension.” Then came the debate itself, which was almost unspinnable. Some people tried, declaring Mr. Trump the winner in the discussion of trade.... Or — my favorite — we had declarations [by Chuck Todd and others] that while Mr. Trump was underprepared, Mrs. Clinton may have been “overprepared.” What? But meanwhile, tens of millions of Americans saw the candidates in action, directly, without a media filter....

How much will it matter? My guess — but I could very well be completely wrong — is that it will matter a lot.... If so, it will be Mrs. Clinton’s bravura performance, under incredible pressure, that turned the tide. But things should never have gotten to this point, where so much depended on defying media expectations over the course of an hour and a half. And those who helped bring us here should engage in some serious soul-searching.

Why Isn’t Anybody at 620 Eighth Avenue Yelling, Screaming, Banging on the Walls, and Saying „There Gotta Be Some Changes Made!“?

Live from the Journamalists' Self-Made Gehenna: Yet Another Maggie Haberman/New York Times in the tank edition:

Does anybody think that this from New York Times "reporter" Maggie Haberman:

7 Twitter 1. Is true in its claim that Donald Trump has tried to shift attention away from Alicia Machado with his 5 AM attack tweets?

  1. Is fair in its presentation of Trump's remarks about Ms. Machado as merely composed of: "descriptions of a Miss Universe winner (he used to own the pageant) as overweight?

And this raises three very natural questions:

  1. What is Mr. Baquet's theory of journamalism according to which this is not the way to bankruptcy?

  2. What is Ms. Haberman's theory of journamalism according to which this is not the way to end one's career?

  3. Why isn't anybody at 620 Eighth Avenue yelling, screaming, banging on the walls, and saying: "there gotta be some changes made!"?

The Closer 9/30/16 – End of Week Charts

Looking for deeper insight on global markets and economics?  In tonight’s Closer sent to Bespoke clients, we recap weekly price action in major asset classes, update economic surprise index data for major economies, chart the weekly Commitment of Traders report from the CFTC, and provide our normal nightly update on ETF performance, volume and price movers, and the Bespoke Market Timing Model.


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Succinct Summations of Week’s Events 9.30.16

Succinct Summations for the week ending September 30th 2016 Positives: 1. S&P 500 rose 3.5%, the 14th gain in the past 15 quarters. 2. Jobless claims came in at 254k, the 4-week moving average is down to 256k. 3.New home sales came in at an annualized 609k, above the 59k expected. 4. Consumer confidence came in…

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The post Succinct Summations of Week’s Events 9.30.16 appeared first on The Big Picture.

You HAVE to read this column by Washington Post blogger Alexandra Petri

Petri is a favorite of mine; I read her regularly.  For those who aren’t familiar with her: Her blog columns are humorous ones about (mostly) politics, and of course these days mostly about the presidential election. Suffice it to say that this column of hers today is not along those lines. I’ll just say that this […]

Liveblogging Postwar: September 30, 1946: Nuremburg

Nuremberg Trials retouched Nuremberg trials Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Nuremberg Trial: THE PRESIDENT: The Judgment of the international Military Tribunal will now be read. I shall not read the title and the formal parts....

This Indictment charges the defendants with Crimes against Peace by the planning, preparation, initiation and waging of wars of aggression, which were also wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances, with War Crimes and with Crimes against Humanity. The defendants are also charged with participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit all these crimes. The Tribunal was further asked by the Prosecution to declare all the named groups or organizations to be criminal within the meaning of the Charter.

The Defendant Robert Ley committed suicide in prison on 25 October 1945. On 15 November 1945 the Tribunal decided that the Defendant Gustav Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach could not then be tried because of his physical and mental condition, but that the charges against him in the Indictment should be retained for trial thereafter, if the physical and mental condition of the defendant should permit. On 17 November 1945 the Tribunal decided to try the Defendant Bormann in his absence under the provisions of Article 12 of the Charter. After argument and consideration of full medical reports, and a statement from the defendant himself, the Tribunal decided on 1 December 1945 that no grounds existed for a postponement of the trial against the Defendant Hess because of his mental condition. A similar decision was made in the case of the Defendant Streicher....

It was urged on behalf of the defendants that a fundamental principle of all law--international and domestic--is that there can be no punishment of crime without a pre-existing law. "Nullum crimen sine lege, nulla poena sine lege." It was submitted, that ex post facto punishment is abhorrent to the law of all civilized nations, that no sovereign power had made aggressive war a crime at the time that the alleged criminal acts were committed, that no statute had, defined aggressive war, that no penalty had been fixed for its commission, and no court had been created to try and punish offenders.

In the first place, it is to be observed that the maxim nullum crimen sine lege is not a limitation of sovereignty, but is in general a principle of justice. To assert that it is unjust to punish those who in defiance of treaties and assurances have attacked neighboring states without warning is obviously untrue, for in such circumstances the attacker must know that he is doing wrong, and so far from it being unjust to punish him, it would be unjust if his wrong were allowed to go unpunished. Occupying the positions they did in the Government of Germany, the defendants, or at least some of them, must have known of the treaties signed by Germany, outlawing recourse to war for the settlement of international disputes; they must have known that they were acting in defiance of all international law when in complete deliberation they carried out their designs of invasion and aggression. On this view of the case alone, it would appear that the maxim has no application to the present facts.

This view is strongly reinforced by a consideration of the state of international law in 1939, so far as aggressive war is concerned. The General Treaty for the Renunciation of War of 27 August 1928, more generally known as the Pact of Paris or the Kellogg-Briand Pact, was binding on 63 nations, including Germany, Italy, and Japan, at the outbreak of war in 1939. In the preamble, the signatories declared that they were:

Deeply sensible of their solemn duty to promote the welfare of mankind; persuaded that the time has come when a frank renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy should be made to the end that the peaceful and friendly relations now existing between their peoples should be perpetuated ... and all changes in their relations with one another should be sought only by pacific means ... thus uniting civilized nations of the world in a common renunciation of war as an instrument of their national policy....

All these expressions of opinion, and others that could be cited, so solemnly made, reinforce the construction which the Tribunal placed upon the Pact of Paris, that resort to a war of aggression is not merely illegal, but is criminal. The prohibition of aggressive war demanded by the conscience of the world finds its expression in the series of pacts and treaties to which the Tribunal has just referred....

The "Common Plan or Conspiracy" charged in the Indictment covers 25 years, from the formation of the Nazi Party in 1919 to the end of the war in 1945. The Party is spoken of as "the instrument of cohesion among the defendants" for carrying out the purposes of the conspiracy--the overthrowing of the Treaty of Versailles, acquiring territory lost by Germany in the last war and "Lebensraum" in Europe, by the use, if necessary, of armed force, of aggressive war. The "seizure of power" by the Nazis, the use of terror, the destruction of trade unions, the attack on Christian teaching and on Churches, the persecution of Jews, the regimentation of youth--all these are said to be steps deliberately taken to carry out the common plan. It found expression, so it is alleged, in secret rearmament, the withdrawal by Germany from the Disarmament Conference and the League of Nations, universal military service, and seizure of the Rhineland. Finally, according to the Indictment, aggressive action was planned and carried out against Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1936-1938, followed by the planning and waging of war against Poland, and, successively, against 10 other countries.

The Prosecution says, in effect, that any significant participation in the affairs of the Nazi Party or Government is evidence of a participation in a conspiracy that is in itself criminal. Conspiracy is not defined in the Charter. But in the opinion of the Tribunal the conspiracy must be clearly outlined in its criminal purpose. It must not be too far removed from the time of decision and of action. The planning, to be criminal, must not rest merely on-the declarations of a party program, such as are found in the 25 points of the Nazi Party, announced in 1920, or the political affirmations expressed in Mein Kampf in later years. The Tribunal must examine whether a concrete plan to wage war existed, and determine the participants in that concrete plan.

It is not necessary to decide whether a single master conspiracy between the defendants has been established by the evidence. The seizure of power by the Nazi Party, and the subsequent domination by the Nazi State of all spheres of economic and social life must of course be remembered when the later plans for waging war are examined. That plans were made to wage war as early as 5 November 1937, and probably before that, is apparent. And thereafter, such preparations continued in many directions, and against the peace of many countries. Indeed the threat of war--and war itself if necessary--was an integral part of the Nazi policy. But the evidence establishes with certainty the existence of many separate plans rather than a single conspiracy embracing them all. That Germany was rapidly moving to complete dictatorship from the moment that the Nazis seized power, and progressively in the direction of war, has been overwhelmingly shown in the ordered sequence of aggressive acts and wars already set out in this Judgment.

In the opinion of the Tribunal, the evidence establishes the common planning to prepare and wage war by certain of the defendants. It is immaterial to consider whether a single conspiracy to the extent and over the time set out in the Indictment has been conclusively proved. Continued planning, with aggressive war as the objective, has been established beyond doubt....

War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity: The evidence relating to war crimes has been overwhelming in its volume and its detail. It is impossible for this Judgment adequately to review it, or to record -the mass of documentary and oral evidence that has been presented. The truth remains that war crimes were committed on a vast scale, never before seen in the history of war. They were perpetrated in all the countries occupied by Germany, and on the high seas, and were attended by every conceivable circumstance of cruelty and horror. There can be no doubt that the majority of them arose from the Nazi conception of "total war," with which the aggressive wars were waged. For in this conception of "total war," the moral ideas underlying the conventions which seek to make war more humane are no longer regarded as having force or validity. Everything is made subordinate to the overmastering dictates of war. Rules, regulations, assurances, and treaties, all alike, are of no moment; and so, freed from the restraining influence of international law, the aggressive war is conducted by the Nazi leaders in the most barbaric way. Accordingly, war crimes were committed when and wherever the Fuehrer and his close associates thought them to be advantageous. They were for the most part the result of cold and criminal calculation.

On some occasions, war crimes were deliberately planned long in advance. In the case of the Soviet Union, the plunder of the territories to be occupied, and the ill-treatment of the civilian population, were settled in minute detail before the attack was begun. As early as the autumn of 1940, the invasion of the territories of the Soviet Union was being considered. From that date onwards, the methods to be employed in destroying all possible opposition were continuously under discussion....

In Poland and the Soviet Union these crimes were part of a plan to get rid of whole native populations by expulsion and annihilation, in order that their territory could be used for colonization by Germans. Hitler had written in Mein Kampf on these lines, and the plan was clearly stated by Himmler in July 1942, when he wrote:

"It is not our task to germanize the East in the old sense, that is to teach the people there the German language and the German law, but to see to it that only people of purely Germanic blood live in the East."

In August 1942 the policy for the Eastern Territories as laid down by Bormann was summarized by a subordinate of Rosenberg as follows:

"The Slavs are to work for us. Insofar as we do not need them, they may die. Therefore, compulsory vaccination and German health services are superfluous. The fertility of the Slavs is undesirable."

It was Himmler again who stated in October 1943:

"What happens to a Russian, a Czech, does not interest me in the slightest.[9]) What the nations can offer in the way of good blood of our type, we will take. If necessary, by kidnapping their children and raising them here with us. Whether nations live in prosperity or starve to death interests me only insofar as we need them as slaves for our culture, otherwise it is of no interest to me."...

In Poland the intelligentsia had been marked down for extermination as early as September 1939, and in May 1940 the Defendant Frank wrote in his diary of "taking advantage of the focussing of world interest on the Western Front, by wholesale liquidation of thousands of Poles, first leading representatives of the Polish intelligentsia." Earlier, Frank had been directed to reduce the "entire Polish economy to an absolute minimum necessary for bare existence. The Poles shall be the slaves of the Greater German World Empire."...

Persecution of the Jews: The persecution of the Jews at the hands of the Nazi Government has been proved in the greatest detail before the Tribunal. It is a record of consistent and systematic inhumanity on the greatest scale. Ohlendorf, Chief of Amt III in the RSHA from 1939 to 1943, and who was in command of one of the Einsatzgruppen in the campaign against the Soviet Union, testified as to the methods employed in the extermination of the Jews. He said that he employed firing squads to shoot the victims in order to lessen the sense of individual guilt on the part of his men; and the 90,000 men, women, and children who were murdered in one year by his particular group were mostly Jews.... The Defendant Frank spoke the final words of this chapter of Nazi history when he testified in this court:

"We have fought against Jewry, we have fought against it for years; and we have allowed ourselves to make utterances, and my own diary has become a witness against me in this connection--utterances which are terrible... A thousand years will pass and this guilt of Germany will still not be erased."

The anti-Jewish policy was formulated in Point 4 of the Party Program which declared: "Only a member of the race can be a citizen. A member of the race can only be one who is of German blood, without consideration of creed. Consequently, no Jew can be a member of the race." Other points of the program declared that Jews should be treated as foreigners, that they should not be permitted to hold public office, that they should be expelled from the Reich if it were impossible to nourish the entire population of the state, that they should be denied any further immigration into Germany, and that they should be prohibited from publishing German newspapers. The Nazi Party preached these doctrines throughout its history. Der Stuermer and other publications were allowed to disseminate hatred of the Jews, and in the speeches and public declarations of the Nazi leaders the Jews were held up to public ridicule and contempt.

With the seizure of power, the persecution of the Jews was intensified. A series of discriminatory laws were passed, which limited the offices and professions permitted to Jews; and restrictions were placed on their family life and their rights of citizenship. By the autumn of 1938, the Nazi policy towards the Jews had reached the stage where it was directed towards the complete exclusion of Jews from German life. Pogroms were organized, which included the burning and demolishing of synagogues, the looting of Jewish businesses, and the arrest of prominent Jewish business men. A collective fine of one billion-marks was imposed on the Jews, the seizure of Jewish assets was authorized, and the movement of Jews was restricted by regulations to certain specified districts and hours. The creation of ghettos was carried out on an extensive scale, and by an order of the Security Police Jews were compelled to wear a yellow star to be worn on the breast and back....

The plan for exterminating the Jews was developed shortly after the attack on the Soviet Union. Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and SD, formed for the purpose of breaking the resistance of the population of the areas lying behind the German armies in the East, were given the duty of exterminating the Jews in those areas. The effectiveness of the work of the Einsatzgruppen is shown by the fact that in February 1942 Heydrich was able to report that Estonia had already been cleared of Jews and that in Riga the number of Jews had been reduced from 29,500 to 2,500. Altogether the Einsatzgruppen operating in the occupied Baltic states killed over 135,000 Jews in 3 months.

Nor did these special units operate completely independently of the German Armed Forces. There is clear evidence that leaders of the Einsatzgruppen obtained the co-operation of army commanders. In one case the relations between an Einsatzgruppe and the military authorities was described at the time as being "very close, almost cordial"; in another case the smoothness of an Einsatzkommando operation was attributed to the "understanding for this procedure" shown by the army authorities....

These atrocities were all part and parcel of the policy inaugurated in 1941, and it is not surprising that there should be evidence that one or two German officials entered vain protests against the brutal manner in which the killings were carried out. But the methods employed never conformed to a single pattern. The massacres of Rovno and Dubno, of which the German engineer Graebe spoke, were examples of one method, the systematic extermination of Jews in concentration camps was another. Part of the "final solution" was the gathering of Jews from all German-occupied Europe in concentration camps. Their physical condition was the test of life or death. All who were fit to work were used as slave laborers in the concentration camps; all who were not fit to work were destroyed in gas chambers and their bodies burnt. Certain concentration camps, such as Treblinka and Auschwitz, were set aside for this main purpose. With regard to Auschwitz, the Tribunal heard the evidence of Hoess, the commandant of the camp from 1 May 1940 to 1 December 1943. He estimated that in the camp of Auschwitz alone in that time 2,500,000 persons were exterminated, and that a further 500,000 died from disease and starvation. Hoess described the screening for extermination by stating in evidence:

"We had two SS doctors on duty at Auschwitz to examine the incoming transports of prisoners. The prisoners would be marched by one of the doctors who would make spot decisions as they walked by. Those who were fit for work were sent into the camp. Others were sent immediately to the extermination plants. Children of tender years were invariably exterminated since by reason of their youth they were unable to work. Still another improvement we made over Treblinka was that at Treblinka the victims almost always knew that they were to be exterminated, and at Auschwitz we endeavored to fool the victims into thinking that they were to go through a delousing process. Of course, frequently they realized our true intentions and we some times had riots and difficulties due to that fact. Very frequently, women would hide their children under their clothes, but of course when we found them we would send the children in to be exterminated."...

With regard to crimes against humanity, there is no doubt whatever that political opponents were murdered in Germany before the war, and that many of them were kept in concentration camps in circumstances of great horror and cruelty. The policy of terror was certainly carried out on a vast scale, and in many cases was organized and systematic. The policy of persecution, repression and murder of civilians in Germany before the war of 1939, who were likely to be hostile to the Government, was most ruthlessly carried out. The persecution of Jews during the same period is established beyond all doubt. To constitute crimes against humanity, the acts relied on before the outbreak of war must have been in execution of, or in connection with, any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal. The Tribunal is of the opinion that revolting and horrible as many of these crimes were, it has not been satisfactorily proved that they-were done in execution of, or in connection with, any such crime. The Tribunal therefore cannot make a general' declaration that the acts before 1939 were Crimes against Humanity within the meaning of the Charter, but from the beginning of the war in 1939 war crimes were committed on a vast scale, which were also crimes against humanity; and insofar as the inhumane acts charged in the Indictment, and committed after the beginning of the war, did not constitute war crimes, they were all committed in execution of, or in connection with, the aggressive war, and therefore constituted crimes against humanity....

A criminal organization is analogous to a criminal conspiracy in that the essence of both is co-operation for criminal purposes. There must be a group' bound together and organized for a common purpose. The group must be formed or used in connection with the commission of crimes denounced by the Charter. Since the declaration with respect to the organizations and groups will, as has been pointed out, fix the criminality of its members, that definition should exclude persons who had no knowledge of I the criminal purposes or acts of the organization and those who were, drafted by the state for membership, unless they were personally implicated in the commission of acts declared criminal by Article 6 of the Charter as members of the organization. Membership alone is not enough to come within the scope of these declarations....

The Indictment asks that the Tribunal declare to be criminal the following organizations: The Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party; the Gestapo; the SD; the SS; the SA; the Reich Cabinet; and the General Staff and High Command of the German Armed Forces.... The Leadership Corps was used for purposes which were criminal under the Charter and involved the Germanization of incorporated territory, the persecution of the Jews, the administration of the slave labor program, and the mistreatment of prisoners of war. The Defendants Bormann and Sauckel, who were members of this organization, were among those who used it for these purposes. The Gauleiter, the Kreisleiter, and the Ortsgruppenleiter participated, to one degree or another, in these criminal programs. The Reichsleitung as the staff organization of the Party is also responsible for these criminal programs as well as the heads of the various staff organizations of the Gauleiter and Kreisleiter. The decision of the Tribunal on these staff organizations includes only the Amtsleiter who were heads of offices on the staffs of the Reichsleitung, Gauleitung, and Kreisleitung. With respect to other staff officers and party organizations attached to the Leadership Corps other than the Amtsleiter referred to above, the Tribunal will follow the suggestion of the Prosecution in excluding them from the declaration.

The Tribunal declares to be criminal within the meaning of the Charter the group composed of those members of the Leadership Corps holding the positions enumerated in the preceding paragraph who became or remained members of the organization with knowledge that it was being used for the commission of acts declared criminal by Article 6 of the Charter, or who were personally implicated as members of the organization in the commission of such crimes. The basis of this finding is the participation of the organization in war crimes and crimes against humanity connected with the war; the group declared criminal cannot include, therefore, persons who had ceased to hold the positions enumerated in the preceding paragraph prior to 1 September 1939.

Gestapo and SD: Structure and Component Parts: The Prosecution has named Die Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo) and Der Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsfuehrer SS (SD) as groups or organizations which should be declared criminal. The Prosecution presented the cases against the Gestapo and SD together, stating that this was necessary because of the close working relationship between them. The Tribunal permitted the SD to present its defense separately because of a claim of conflicting interests, but after examining the evidence has decided to consider the case of the Gestapo and SD together....

The Gestapo and SD were used for purposes which were criminal under the Charter, involving the persecution and extermination of the Jews, brutalities and killings in concentration camps, excesses in the administration of occupied territories, the administration of the slave labor program and the mistreatment and murder of prisoners of war. The Defendant Kaltenbrunner, who was a member of this organization, was among those who used it for these purposes. In dealing with the Gestapo the Tribunal includes all executive and administrative officials of Amt IV of the RSHA, or concerned with Gestapo administration in other departments of the RSHA, and all local Gestapo officials serving both inside and outside of Germany, including the members of the Frontier Police, but not including the members of the Border and Customs Protection or the Secret Meld' Police, except such members as have been specified above. At the suggestion of the Prosecution the Tribunal does not include persons employed by the Gestapo for purely clerical, stenographic, janitorial, or similar unofficial routine tasks. In dealing with the SD the Tribunal includes Aemter III, VI, and VII of the RSHA and all other members of the SD, including all local representatives and agents, honorary or otherwise, whether they were technically members of the SS or not.

The Tribunal declares to be criminal within the meaning of the Charter the group composed of those members of the Gestapo and SD holding the positions enumerated in the preceding paragraph who became or remained members of the organization with knowledge that it was being used for the commission of acts declared criminal by Article 6 of the Charter, or who were personally implicated as members of the organization in the commission of such crimes. The basis for this finding is the participation of the organization in war crimes and crimes against humanity connected with the war; this group declared criminal cannot include, therefore, persons who had ceased to hold the positions enumerated in the preceding paragraph prior to 1 September 1939....

The Prosecution has named Die Schutzstaffeln der Nationalsozialistischen Deutschen Arbeiterpartei (commonly known as the SS) as an organization which should be declared criminal.... The SS was utilized for purposes which were criminal under the Charter involving the persecution and extermination of the Jews, brutalities and killings in concentration camps, excesses in the administration of occupied territories, the administration of the slave labor program, and the mistreatment and murder of prisoners of war. The Defendant Kaltenbrunner was a member of the SS implicated in these activities. In dealing with the SS the Tribunal includes all persons who had been officially accepted as members of the SS, including the members of the Allgemeine SS, members of the Waffen-SS, members of the SS Totenkopfverbaende, and the members of any of the different police forces who were members of the SS. The Tribunal does not include the so-called SS riding units. The Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsfuehrer SS (commonly known as the SD) is dealt with in the Tribunal's judgment on the Gestapo and SD.

The Tribunal declares to be criminal within the meaning of the Charter the group composed of those persons who had been officially accepted as members of the SS as enumerated in the preceding paragraph, who became or remained members of the organization with knowledge that it was being used for the commission of acts declared criminal by Article 6 of the Charter, or who were personally implicated as members of the organization in the commission of such crimes, excluding, however, those who were drafted into membership by the State in such a way as to give them no choice in the matter, and who had committed no such crimes. The basis of this finding is the participation of the organization in war crimes and crimes against humanity connected with the war; this group declared criminal cannot include, therefore, persons who had ceased to belong to the organizations enumerated in the preceding paragraph prior to 1 September 1939....

SA: Structure and Component Parts: The Prosecution has named die Sturmabteilungen der Nationalsozialistischen Deutschen Arbeiterpartei (commonly known as the SA) as an organization which should be declared criminal. The SA was founded in 1921 for political purposes. It was organized on military lines. Its members wore their own uniforms and had their own discipline and regulations. After the Nazis had obtained power the SA greatly increased in membership due to the incorporation within it of certain veterans' organizations. In April 1933, the Stahlhelm, an organization of one and a half million members, was transferred into the SA, with the exception of its members over 45 years of age and some others, pursuant to an agreement between their leader Seldte and Hitler. Another veterans' organization, the so-called Kyffhaeuserbund, was transferred in the same manner, together with a number of rural riding organizations.

Until 1933, there is no question but that membership in the S was voluntary. After 1933 civil servants were under certain political and economic pressure to join the SA. Members of the Stahlhelm, the Kyffhaeuserbund and the rural riding associations were transferred into the SA without their knowledge, but the Tribunal is not satisfied that the members in general endeavored to protest against this transfer or that there was any evidence, except in isolated cases, of the consequences of refusal. The Tribunal therefore finds that membership in the SA was generally voluntary....

Until the purge beginning on 30 June 1934, the SA was a group composed in large part of ruffians and bullies who participated in the Nazi outrages of that period. It has not been shown, however, that these atrocities were part of a specific plan to wage aggressive war, and the Tribunal therefore cannot hold that these activities were criminal under the Charter. After the purge, the SA was reduced to the status of a group of unimportant Nazi hangers-on. Although in specific instances some units of the SA were used for the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity, it cannot be said that its members generally participated in or even knew of the criminal acts. For these reasons the Tribunal does not declare the SA to be a criminal organization within the meaning of Article 9 of the Charter.

The Reich Cabinet: The Prosecution has named as a criminal organization the Reich Cabinet (Die Reichsregierung) consisting of members of the ordinary Cabinet after 30 January 1933, members of the Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich and members of the Secret Cabinet Council. The Tribunal is of opinion that no declaration of criminality should be made with respect to the Reich Cabinet for two reasons: (1) because it is not shown that after 1937 it ever really acted as a group or organization; (2) because the group of persons here charged is so small that members could be conveniently tried in proper cases without resort to a declaration that the Cabinet of which they were members was criminal....

General Staff and High Command: The Prosecution has also asked that the General Staff and High Command of the German Armed Forces be declared a criminal organization. The Tribunal believes that no declaration of criminality should 15e made with respect to the General Staff and High Command. The number of persons charged, while larger than that of the Reich Cabinet, is still so small that individual trials of these officers would accomplish the purpose here sought better than a declaration such as is requested. But a more compelling reason is that in the opinion of the Tribunal the General Staff and High Command is neither an "organization" nor a "group" within the meaning of those terms as used in Article 9 of the Charter.

Some comment on the nature of this alleged group is requisite. According to the Indictment and evidence before the Tribunal, it consists of approximately 130 officers, living and dead, who at any time during the period from February 1938, when Hitler reorganized the Armed Forces, and May 1945, when, Germany surrendered, held certain positions in the military hierarchy. These men were high-ranking officers in the three armed services: OKH, Army; OKM, Navy; and OKL, Air Force. Above them was the overall Armed Forces authority, OKW, High Command of the German Armed Forces, with Hitler as the Supreme Commander. The officers in the OKW, including Defendant Keitel as Chief of the High Command, were in a sense Hitler's personal staff. In the larger sense they co-ordinated and directed the three services, with particular emphasis on the functions of planning and operations.

The individual officers in this alleged group were, at one time or another, in one of four categories: 1) commanders-in-chief of one of the three services; 2) chief of staff of one of the three services; 3) "Oberbefehlshaber," the field commanders-in-chief of one of the three services, which of course comprised by far the largest number of these persons; or 4) an OKW officer, of which there were three, Defendants Keitel and Jodl, and the latter's deputy chief, Warlimont. This is the meaning of the Indictment in its use of the term "General Staff and High Command."

The Prosecution has here drawn the line. The Prosecution does not indict the next level of the military hierarchy, consisting of commanders of army corps, and equivalent ranks in the Navy and Air Force, nor the level below, the division commanders or their equivalent in the other branches. And the staff officers of the four staff commands of OKW, OKH, OKM, and OKL are not included, nor are the trained specialists who were customarily called General Staff officers....

The Tribunal therefore does not declare the General Staff and High Command to be a criminal organization.

Although the Tribunal is of the opinion that the term "group" in Article 9 must mean something more than this collection of military officers, it has heard much evidence as to the participation of these officers in planning and waging aggressive war, and in committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. This evidence is, as to many of them, clear and convincing.

They have been responsible in large measure for the miseries and suffering, that have fallen on millions of men, women, and children. They have been a disgrace to the honorable profession of arms. Without their military guidance the aggressive ambitions of Hitler and his fellow-Nazis would have been academic and sterile. Although they were not a group falling within the words of the Charter, they were certainly a ruthless military caste. The contemporary German militarism flourished briefly with its recent ally, National Socialism, as well as or better than it had in the generations of the past.

Many of these men have made a mockery of the soldier's oath of obedience to military orders. When it suits their defense they say they had to obey; when, confronted with Hitler's brutal crimes, which are shown to have been within their general knowledge, they say they disobeyed. The truth is that they actively participated in all these crimes, or sat silent and acquiescent, witnessing the commission of crimes on a scale larger and more shocking than the world has ever had the misfortune to know. This must be said.

Where the facts warrant it, these men should be brought to trial so that those among them who are guilty of these crimes should not escape punishment.

The Tribunal will sit tomorrow at 9:30 A.M., and the Tribunal will now adjourn.

Liveblogging History: September 29, 1916: Eight Hours

Herald Democrat: Hughes Says He Had Not Urged Senators to Fight President's Eight-Hour Bill:

Saratoga Springs. NV: Charles Evans Hughes told the Republican unofficial state convention here why had not urged Republican senators to filibuster "to the last ditch" against the passage of the Adamson eight-hour law passed to avert the threatened railroad strike.

The nominee declared he did not believe in filibustering for one thing, and that if the majority in congress had determined to pass the bill there was no reason whatever why its passage should have been delayed by filibustering tactics. "It (the administration) acted with swiftness.” Mr. Hughes said "and it cannot now cry that a Republican candidate a thousand miles away should have saved it from carrying out its fixed determination..."

Real GDI Provides Strong Recession Warning

Yesterday the BEA released its Third Estimate for Second Quarter GDP.

The third (final) estimate bumped up the prior estimate from 1.1% to 1.4%. The BEA changed the name from final to third because GDP is subject to revisions years or even decades later.

Diving into the report we see “Real Gross Domestic Income ” GDI went from +0.2% to -0.2%. Is that significant? Let’s take a look.


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