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Hermann Goering's Hearing at Nuremberg This quote shows that he was against the “Final Solution” yet he did

as against the “Final Solution” yet he did nothing


to stop it. Also, the rest of his actions contradict the ideals from this quote
In this section written by Steffi Gascon and edited by Karen Phinney (Glibert 185-191).
there is an in depth breakdown of the individual Nuremberg trial of Herman
Goering. He was considered second in line to Hitler and was the first The next witness Paul Koerner, Goering’s state secretary in Prussia,
Nuremberg trial which set precedence for the following trials, which is why I testified. Then Goering took the stand in his own defense. He told of how he
used this case as an excellent example to portray the format of the took over the SA troops and got them into shape, participated in the beer-hall
Nuremberg trials. The book I used was Nuremberg Diary by G.M. Gilbert putsch, and became a member of the Reichstag in 1928. In 1933 he became
which was a very credible source; Gilbert was a prisoner psychologist at the President and helped Hitler become Chancellor. He was also responsible for
prison where all the accused were being held. His book contained interviews setting up concentration camps, allegedly for the communists. Next he
with all the indicted along with running commentary and summary of all the discussed how the Nazis built up their political and military power. The Nazis
trials. had tried to keep the church out of political business but Goering admitted
that some clergy had been taken to camps. The Nazis started with anti
The trial and condemnation of Goering, second in line to Hitler, is Jewish antics because of hostility from the Jews towards the new regime;
perhaps the most significant of the Nuremberg trials. Goering had great according to Goering they were trying to build a powerful government for
persuasion and power during the Nazi Regime. Despite his attempts to deny Germany. In his argument, the regime was helpful because the party
responsibility during his trial, there is no mistaking his decrees and the provided more jobs for the unemployed, and rearmed and annexed Austria,
concrete evidence of his association in many of the Holocaust events. Even all during a time when Germany needed rebuilding. Goering also brought up
though his actions alone damned him, masterful prosecution techniques the fact that independent opinion was not allowed in the military and that if
were used to turn the defenses witness’s against Goering himself, which opinion had been taken from every soldier and general, many wars in the
added to his prosecution. Goering's total involvement during the Hitler world probably would not have happened. Goering tried to reiterate the fact
regime was enough to condemn him on all four accounts: Conspiracy to that in the military, one does as a commanding officer tells him, not what he
commit crimes alleged in other accounts, Crimes against Peace, War chooses. He explained the attacks such as the bombing of Warsaw,
Crimes, and Crimes against Humanity. The case lasted many months and Rotterdam, and Coventry, as military tactics, but also admitted to having
examined the twenty-one other cases being tried while bringing the first premeditated the plan to attack Russia (Gilbert 191-202).
account to the world about what really happened during Hitler’s cruel rein.
Goering’s defense and explanations for his actions were inadequate; After Goering, Dahlerus, a Swedish engineer, testified for the
regardless of any justification Goering was guilty. defense. He had been a mediator in Goering’s attempts to prevent war with
England, but his testimony only proved that Hitler obviously planned on war.
Goering’s first witness, Bodenschatz, worked hard to prove that If Germany really wanted to avoid war the Foreign Minister would have
Goering was a peace loving man that did not premeditate war and actually negotiated as well. Dahlerus’ testimony was soon disheveled with the cross-
was taking lengths to avoid it. According to Bodenschatz, in 1939 Goering examination by Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe. He proved that Ribbentrop had tried
attempted to negotiate with England in order to stop war behind Hitler’s and to sabotage the negotiations between England and Germany and that Hitler
Ribbentrop’s back. Bodenschatz also said that Goering had taken many of had been planning war the entire time. From a book that Dahlerus had
his friends out of concentration camps showing he was not in favor of many written he showed that Hitler had been rushing to make U-boats, and
of the Nazi actions. However, when cross-examined by Jackson it was airplanes, which displayed his ruthless intent for war. Dahlerus also pointed
shown that Goering had knowledge about unjustified arrests and plans for out on a map the areas in Poland and nearby countries where Goering had
war, which brought this witness defense down considerably. After this section shown interest in annexing. This entire testimony backfired and turned from a
of the trial Goering was quoted as saying defense into a prosecution, digging Goering further in the hole.

I still cannot see how Hitler could have known about all those ugly details. In Goering’s cross-examination he admitted to more association with
Now that I know what I know, I wish I could just have Himmler here for ten the Nazi’s anti-Semitic movements. He claimed to be a moderating force that
minutes to ask him what he thought he was pulling off there. If only some of restrained many events during the regime. However, this could not have
the SS generals had protested (Goering, March 9, 1945) been true as he was responsible for many of the decrees such as taking
Jewish-owned businesses and property, declaring the Nuremberg laws,
charging a fine to the Jewish population for damage, and trying to eliminate
Jews completely from the German economy. Goering’s harsh behavior after Crimes, and Crimes against Humanity, and then sentenced to death by
the Kristallnacht riots in November of 1938 and the charging of the Jews for hanging.
the damage to boost the German economy, showed his definite involvement
in the anti-Semitic actions of the Nazi regime. Also, when accused of stealing The Goering case is an excellent example of the Nuremberg trials
fine art and property from Jews, Goering defended his actions by saying he and of the general Nazi defense. The theme of assigning responsibility of the
was building an art collection for the cultural interest of the German state. events during the Nazi regime onto everyone but oneself was practiced by all
When accused of slave labor of Jews and prisoners of war Goering said that the Nazis and Germans involved, which made it difficult to assess blame until
everything was done in the hopes of building a stronger Germany. When the final ruling. The trials focused on assessing the blame for the Holocaust
questioned about the murders of prisoners of war and his handing them over on individuals, rather than the country, which made it difficult to weed out the
to Gestapo rather than changing the system, he gave evasive answers and perpetrators. However, it was a necessity to charge the guilty as to bring
claimed he only knew about a few instances and that neither Hitler nor he justice but also to ensure that nobody would try this “final solution” again. The
knew about many of the exterminations in camps. Despite previous claims Nuremberg trials represent the coming together of people to convict against
made by Hitler and others, Goering stated that he had remained loyal to the the justly wrong, but this meeting of the minds was too late. The Nuremberg
Furhrer and was trying to enhance the German government and society. trials can never bring back the millions of people who were victimized by the
Through his whole defense Goering maintained that he was a peace loving Nazis. The 22 trials were minute in comparison to the people who took the
man and was unaware of many of the killings; the prosecution was able to cruel actions against humanity and should have been convicted, as well as
turn his defense around on him every time. As second in line after Hitler, compared to the high death toll as a result of the perpetrators.
Goering carried a lot of the guilt because he had the power to stop orders. .R. No. L-2662 March 26, 1949
His outlandish claims of being unaware and only working for the state and
the economy could not mask the destruction and cruelty he imposed on SHIGENORI KURODA, petitioner,
millions of people (Gilbert 202-216). vs.
Major General RAFAEL JALANDONI, Brigadier General CALIXTO
Goering’s defense was not enough to diminish his responsibility. DUQUE, Colonel MARGARITO TORALBA, Colonel IRENEO
Throughout the whole regime he was Hitler’s wing man and an active part of BUENCONSEJO, Colonel PEDRO TABUENA, Major FEDERICO
the entire Nazi movement. Goering was also responsible for the creation of ARANAS, MELVILLE S. HUSSEY and ROBERT PORT, respondents.
the cruel Gestapo and the concentration camps, even though he claimed in
his defense that they were instated to regulate the communists. He was also Pedro Serran, Jose G. Lukban, and Liberato B. Cinco for petitioner.
the ringleader in the Austrian Anschluss, responsible for getting Blomberg Fred Ruiz Castro Federico Arenas Mariano Yengco, Jr., Ricardo A. Arcilla
and Fritsch removed from the army, for conducting the Roehm purge and and S. Melville Hussey for respondents.
much more. Goering used threats and force to get other leaders to coincide
with the Nazis actions, and was intense on his use of slave laborers MORAN, C.J.:
everywhere (Gilbert 437). Such actions were considered Crimes against
Humanity. The way Goering treated the Jews, and his obsession with the Shigenori Kuroda, formerly a Lieutenant-General of the Japanese Imperial
German economy, his primary concern, were completely inhumane. He is Army and Commanding General of the Japanese Imperial Forces in The
even quoted as saying, “I wish you had killed 200 Jews and not destroyed Philippines during a period covering 19433 and 19444 who is now charged
such valuable property” (Goering November 1938) right after the Kristallnacht before a military Commission convened by the Chief of Staff of the Armed
riots November 9-10 1938. It was after this that he began the mass forces of the Philippines with having unlawfully disregarded and failed "to
executions of Jews in Germany and in all conquered territories. discharge his duties as such command, permitting them to commit brutal
atrocities and other high crimes against noncombatant civilians and prisoners
Even though there were many others carrying out the laws, he wasn’t of the Imperial Japanese Forces in violation of the laws and customs of war"
first in command, and Himmler was most responsible for actual executions, — comes before this Court seeking to establish the illegality of Executive
Goering had much influence and was an active member in all German Order No. 68 of the President of the Philippines: to enjoin and prohibit
affairs. Thus the court found him guilty without a doubt: “his guilt is unique in respondents Melville S. Hussey and Robert Port from participating in the
its enormity. The record discloses no excuses for this man” (Gilbert 437). prosecution of petitioner's case before the Military Commission and to
Goering was condemned of all four counts of indictment: Conspiracy to permanently prohibit respondents from proceeding with the case of
commit crimes alleged in other accounts, Crimes against Peace, War petitioners.
The promulgation of said executive order is an exercise by the President of
In support of his case petitioner tenders the following principal arguments. his power as Commander in chief of all our armed forces as upheld by this
Court in the case of Yamashita vs. Styer (L-129, 42 Off. Gaz., 664) 1 when
First. — "That Executive Order No. 68 is illegal on the ground that it violates we said —
not only the provision of our constitutional law but also our local laws to say
nothing of the fact (that) the Philippines is not a signatory nor an adherent to War is not ended simply because hostilities have ceased. After cessation of
the Hague Convention on Rules and Regulations covering Land Warfare and armed hostilities incident of war may remain pending which should be
therefore petitioners is charged of 'crimes' not based on law, national and disposed of as in time of war. An importance incident to a conduct of war is
international." Hence petitioner argues — "That in view off the fact that this the adoption of measure by the military command not only to repel and
commission has been empanelled by virtue of an unconstitutional law an defeat the enemies but to seize and subject to disciplinary measure those
illegal order this commission is without jurisdiction to try herein petitioner." enemies who in their attempt to thwart or impede our military effort have
violated the law of war. (Ex parte Quirin 317 U.S., 1; 63 Sup. Ct., 2.) Indeed
Second. — That the participation in the prosecution of the case against the power to create a military commission for the trial and punishment of war
petitioner before the Commission in behalf of the United State of America of criminals is an aspect of waging war. And in the language of a writer a
attorneys Melville Hussey and Robert Port who are not attorneys authorized military commission has jurisdiction so long as a technical state of war
by the Supreme Court to practice law in the Philippines is a diminution of our continues. This includes the period of an armistice or military occupation up
personality as an independent state and their appointment as prosecutor are to the effective of a treaty of peace and may extend beyond by treaty
a violation of our Constitution for the reason that they are not qualified to agreement. (Cowles Trial of War Criminals by Military Tribunals, America Bar
practice law in the Philippines. Association Journal June, 1944.)

Third. — That Attorneys Hussey and Port have no personality as prosecution Consequently, the President as Commander in Chief is fully empowered to
the United State not being a party in interest in the case. consummate this unfinished aspect of war namely the trial and punishment of
war criminal through the issuance and enforcement of Executive Order No.
Executive Order No. 68, establishing a National War Crimes Office 68.
prescribing rule and regulation governing the trial of accused war criminals,
was issued by the President of the Philippines on the 29th days of July, 1947 Petitioner argues that respondent Military Commission has no Jurisdiction to
This Court holds that this order is valid and constitutional. Article 2 of our try petitioner for acts committed in violation of the Hague Convention and the
Constitution provides in its section 3, that — Geneva Convention because the Philippines is not a signatory to the first and
signed the second only in 1947. It cannot be denied that the rules and
The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy and regulation of the Hague and Geneva conventions form, part of and are wholly
adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the of based on the generally accepted principals of international law. In facts these
the nation. rules and principles were accepted by the two belligerent nation the United
State and Japan who were signatories to the two Convention, Such rule and
In accordance with the generally accepted principle of international law of the principles therefore form part of the law of our nation even if the Philippines
present day including the Hague Convention the Geneva Convention and was not a signatory to the conventions embodying them for our Constitution
significant precedents of international jurisprudence established by the has been deliberately general and extensive in its scope and is not confined
United Nation all those person military or civilian who have been guilty of to the recognition of rule and principle of international law as continued inn
planning preparing or waging a war of aggression and of the commission of treaties to which our government may have been or shall be a signatory.
crimes and offenses consequential and incidental thereto in violation of the
laws and customs of war, of humanity and civilization are held accountable Furthermore when the crimes charged against petitioner were allegedly
therefor. Consequently in the promulgation and enforcement of Execution committed the Philippines was under the sovereignty of United States and
Order No. 68 the President of the Philippines has acted in conformity with the thus we were equally bound together with the United States and with Japan
generally accepted and policies of international law which are part of the our to the right and obligation contained in the treaties between the belligerent
Constitution. countries. These rights and obligation were not erased by our assumption of
full sovereignty. If at all our emergency as a free state entitles us to enforce
the right on our own of trying and punishing those who committed crimes
against crimes against our people. In this connection it is well to remember
what we have said in the case of Laurel vs. Misa (76 Phil., 372): The Military Commission having been convened by virtue of a valid law with
jurisdiction over the crimes charged which fall under the provisions of
. . . The change of our form government from Commonwealth to Republic Executive Order No. 68, and having said petitioner in its custody, this Court
does not affect the prosecution of those charged with the crime of treason will not interfere with the due process of such Military commission.
committed during then Commonwealth because it is an offense against the
same sovereign people. . . . For all the foregoing the petition is denied with costs de oficio.

By the same token war crimes committed against our people and our
government while we were a Commonwealth are triable and punishable by
our present Republic.

Petitioner challenges the participation of two American attorneys namely


Melville S. Hussey and Robert Port in the prosecution of his case on the
ground that said attorney's are not qualified to practice law in Philippines in
accordance with our Rules of court and the appointment of said attorneys as
prosecutors is violative of our national sovereignty.

In the first place respondent Military Commission is a special military tribunal


governed by a special law and not by the Rules of court which govern
ordinary civil court. It has already been shown that Executive Order No. 68
which provides for the organization of such military commission is a valid and
constitutional law. There is nothing in said executive order which requires
that counsel appearing before said commission must be attorneys qualified
to practice law in the Philippines in accordance with the Rules of Court. In
facts it is common in military tribunals that counsel for the parties are usually
military personnel who are neither attorneys nor even possessed of legal
training.

Secondly the appointment of the two American attorneys is not violative of


our nation sovereignty. It is only fair and proper that United States, which has
submitted the vindication of crimes against her government and her people to
a tribunal of our nation should be allowed representation in the trial of those
very crimes. If there has been any relinquishment of sovereignty it has not
been by our government but by the United State Government which has
yielded to us the trial and punishment of her enemies. The least that we
could do in the spirit of comity is to allow them representation in said trials.

Alleging that the United State is not a party in interest in the case petitioner
challenges the personality of attorneys Hussey and Port as prosecutors. It is
of common knowledge that the United State and its people have been
equally if not more greatly aggrieved by the crimes with which petitioner
stands charged before the Military Commission. It can be considered a
privilege for our Republic that a leader nation should submit the vindication of
the honor of its citizens and its government to a military tribunal of our
country.