1961

► December 14th. The Judgment at Nuremberg movie premiere was held in Berlin staring Marlene Dietrich, Spencer Tracy, William Shatner, Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Cliftand directed by Stanley Kramer. The film won two Academy Awards (with 10 nominations). On the film release date in 1961 none of the 92 Nuremberg trials convicts was in prison.

Auschwitz Staff during the Nuremberg trials

Auschwitz Staff during the Nuremberg trials

The end of the World War II forced the state coalition to decide on how to punish the major war criminals. Serious controversy in this matter prevailed among the allies. Leading British politicians were opposed to establishing of any special war crimes tribunal. Even in 1944 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill advocated shooting the Nazi leaders without a formal process. A similar opinion was expressed in other conservative circles, for example Felix Morley in the journal "Human Events" called the process a travesty of justice and wrote:  "Few would oppose, if these people were shot by military troops enforcement after they were captured." There were others like a lawyer professor Joad from Cambridge University who claimed that "The Lynching of Nazi leaders would be better than a formal process." Of course, these suggestions had their justification in the international law that permitted the use of military retaliation when one of the parties violated the principles of the laws of war. On this basis according to the international law it was possible to shoot the German criminals. However a completely different view on this issue took two superpowers the USSR and the USA. Both countries demanded an immediate prosecution and punishment of the Third Reich leaders in a legal framework or rather pseudo-legal procedures. And so they established the International Military Tribunal. Care was taken to ensure defendants a proper defense. In Nuremberg trials there were 27 lawyers with 54 assistants and 67 secretaries working for the defendants. Of the 7 000 Nazis who worked in the SS and Gestapo Main Office only 16 were sued, and only 3 of them were sentenced to life imprisonment and one to 12 years in prison. None of accused served the full sentence (source:"Topography of Terror" museum, Berlin). Most of the prisoners were released in the early '50s. Moreover most of them received a lifelong pension from the German authorities.
► The two political parties: All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights (Gesamtdeutscher Block/Bund der Heimatvertriebenen und Entrechteten, GB/BHE) and the German Party (Deutsche Partei DP) formed together a new party - Gesamtdeutsche Partei GDP. Among the party activists was a war criminal Heinz Reinefarth (see year 1950).
German authorities drew public attention to the warrant arrest of the alleged Nazi criminal Walter Rauff, the builder of trucks for gassing people. German media called Walter Rauff "the greatest unpunished war criminal". However as it turned out years later Walter Rauff was working for the German BND intelligence as an agent in Chile. He often traveled from Chile to Germany for intelligence trainings.

Standartenführer Walter Rauff's invention - Truck for mass killings of people with the use of exhaust (source:    jewishvirtuallibrary.org   )

Standartenführer Walter Rauff's invention - Truck for mass killings of people with the use of exhaust (source: jewishvirtuallibrary.org)

Also when Rauff was arrested one year later in 1962 by Chilean police it was just a realization of well prepared scenario - German intelligence warned the agent about the planned arrest and ordered him to destroy all documents concerning his activities during World War II. He was assured nothing bad would happen to him.

Simon Wiesenthal presenting a picture of the sought criminal Walter Rauff (May 1973)

Simon Wiesenthal presenting a picture of the sought criminal Walter Rauff (May 1973)

In 2011 German intelligence BND declassified documents which clearly showed that Walter Rauff was not as proclaimed in the official version - actively sought by the authorities in Bonn, but on the contrary - for several years he received payments for his intelligence work in Chile from Germany. The whole sensational story was described by German magazine "Der Spiegel". Walter Rauff died in Santiago in May 1984. He was 77 years old. His funeral was attended by German immigrants and Chilean government officials and became a demonstration of Nazi sympathies - a former agent's farewell included Heil Hitler salute.

Nazis group at the SS General Walter Rauff funeral - bid farewell to his colleague with Heil Hitler salute

Nazis group at the SS General Walter Rauff funeral - bid farewell to his colleague with Heil Hitler salute