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Hitler or Judah?
A Second Nuremberg Tribunal, Chapter 1

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Editor’s Note:

Hitler or Judah? A Second Nuremberg Tribunal is a novel by French author and adventurer Marc Augier, better known as Saint-Loup (1908–1990). After completing the novel in 1975 or 1976, Saint-Loup decided that it was too controversial to publish under his own name.

Saint-Loup and a South African friend (who will remain anonymous) hit upon the plan to have the book published in English under the name of Claude Joubert, a French ex-paratrooper who was safely dead. The South African translated the book into English, but it was never published.

The French original was published as Hitler ou Juda? Un second procès de Nuremberg (Prague: Éditions du cercle du chène, 2007). This translation is a revised and corrected version of the original English translation, which Counter-Currents will serialize in eleven parts and then publish in book form.

Saint-Loup was the author of more than 30 books as well as a man of action. He was an accomplished skier and motorcyclist. As a young man, Saint-Loup threw himself into socialist politics and the Centre laïc des auberges, a non-political group promoting the development of French youth hostels.

In 1939, France declared war on Germany. In 1940, after six months of spurned German peace overtures, Hitler crushed France. Saint-Loup welcomed the fall of the Third Republic and was an active collaborationist. When Germany attacked the USSR, Saint-Loup joined the French Volunteer Legion and later the Waffen-SS, serving as a war correspondent on the Eastern Front.

After the war, Saint-Loup and his wife took refuge in South America, settling in Argentina, where he served as a military adviser to Juan Perón and taught Eva Perón how to ski. In 1953, he was amnestied and returned to France, where he was a leading figure on the intellectual far right until his death in 1990.

Saint-Loup rejected Christianity for neo-paganism and the Traditionalism of René Guénon and Julius Evola. He was a long-time friend and correspondent with Savitri Devi.

Saint-Loup’s books on World War II include: Les volontaires (The Volunteers) (on the French Volunteer Legion),  Les hérétiques (The Heretics), Les nostalgiques (The Nostalgics) (post-War stories of the volunteers), Les SS de la toison d’or (The SS of the Golden Fleece) (on Léon Degrelle and the Flemish and Walloon volunteers), La Division Azul (The Blue Division) (on the Spanish Legion), and Götterdämmerung, ou rencontre avec la bête (Témoignage 1944–1945) (Götterdämmerung, or Encounter with the Beast [Experiences 1944–1945]).

His novels include  La nuit commence au Cap Horn (Nightfall on Cape Horn), on the destruction of South American Indians by Christian missionaries. The book would have won the prestigious Prix Goncourt, but Le Figaro Littéraire exposed the notorious collaborationist as the true author. Of the entire jury only Colette refused to retract her vote for Saint-Loup during the ensuing scandal. Saint-Loup also wrote histories, travel and adventure books, and books on automobiles.

Chapter 1

A Singular Project

Anyone knows that journalism can open all doors—provided one quits in time; this was brought home to me very clearly in 1944 when the Germans offered me a short stay in Dachau: on leaving, I weighed the regulation 40 kilos. Armed with youth and two certificates I had founded an underground newspaper in 1943, Justice and Freedom, partly to defend these ideals against the abuses of National Socialism and of Capitalism, but also in order to impress the girl of my dreams.

I completed my studies after the war, working at the same time for newspapers that had started up during the Resistance. Most of them disappeared in the course of the following decade. At this time I became acquainted with a young American, Hugh Brentford, a lawyer working for the American legal services stationed in Europe, and a man whose social and philosophical ideas were much the same as my own. He earned his living in Paris as I did, but his father was making a great deal of money in California. This enabled me to start a new journal, more serious than the one I had begun in 1943, but still imbued with the spirit of the Resistance, and a firm supporter of the United Nations.

I almost broke with Hugh when he left for Vietnam, as it was a habit of mine to side with the oppressed—Vietnamese or Palestinians—just as I had sided with the vanquished peoples of 1940. Hugh did not remain long in the Far East, but had himself discreetly demobilized at the time of the Lieutenant Calley affair.

When he returned to Paris he said to me: “I think the American position is just as indefensible as the Russian, and you were right when you said there was nothing to choose between the two of them. Neither cares a hoot about the freedom of the nations!”

Our friendship was strengthened by this ideological clash. We had long discussions and argued passionately about all generally accepted ideas, just as I had done in 1940. One evening I said to him: “The young generation attaining the age of twenty has grown up in the consumer society, a society which is now in a state of decline. This generation is restless and uneasy, not so much about the future, as about the past. Many young people feel that for 2000 years their civilization was based on a concept of man which is in conflict with nature. Anybody knowing something about life has come to realize that the idea of man, created in the image of God, is tottering on its mythological base, and the gap separating him from the animal world is closing rapidly.”

Hugh was in full agreement.

“Quite right,” he said. “The rising generation is beginning to understand that despite 15 centuries of Christianity, man remains the enemy of man, a predator in the environment that nourishes him, and certainly the most dangerous of all predators, if we compare his behavior with that of the other animals.”

“Of course!” I replied. “Law and the lessons of history are inclined to conceal this primary truth, that we remain totally incapable of ensuring justice because we try to maintain an equality that is completely at variance with nature, and the historians in turn try to reduce history to boring lists of dynasties and a rigmarole of dates, giving all the names of battles, without explaining the causes. Nevertheless, the armor-plate of lies which encased earlier generations is beginning to show cracks. The secular school is being forced to abandon one of the myths of the so-called Great Revolution from which it was born: certain teachers now maintain that the Paris mob never conquered or destroyed the Bastille, but occupied it after breaking the promise they had given the Governor. They add that the Bastille was probably pulled down by a demolition squad in possession of a contract given by the Royal administration! One historian has recently destroyed the myth surrounding the battle of Valmy, and has thereby disposed of a legend which for two centuries has shamed our forefathers of those times. His book proves that there was no battle of Valmy, and that the Prussians had negotiated their retreat. I listen most attentively to the discussions of young people, and I am struck by their interest in all aspects of war. I tried to do my bit in the last one, but I must admit that it all seems to me today to be just as incomprehensible as the Vietnam War seems to you. In my journal I have asked many questions about all these problems. I am still waiting for an answer.”

The former deportee made a list for the American of all these questions remaining unanswered . . . The international court of justice in Nuremberg had placed all responsibility for the conflict on the German people and on Hitler their leader. This court had made all sorts of innovations to international law by institutionalizing the so-called “war crime,” which made it possible to hang a whole host of diplomats, officers, lawyers, admirals, writers, and economists of the Third Reich. To young people who could think clearly, this court case more closely resembled an act of vengeance than of justice. What was then the point of all the laws that had been elaborated in the course of centuries, if we still pass judgment on the basis of the vae victis of Julius Caesar? The same thing applied to all these so-called courts of “justice” that in every Western country had treated political personages, who had cooperated with Germany, as common criminals.

However, the greatest enigma of all was still Hitler. In the thirty years since his mysterious demise, just as many books had been published about him as had been published about Napoleon in a century, not including articles in newspapers and magazines, and also films – an enormous amount of information. Young people asked themselves two questions about him, questions which received no answer.

Firstly, why was there such a uniformly negative judgment on Hitler? And especially in a country such as France, whose people normally like to think for themselves? Why had no one dared to contradict the official verdict and spoken in praise of Hitler? It was, of course, true that there were laws denying freedom of speech, and to speak in praise of Hitler, the leader of an “Association of Criminals,” was itself a criminal act.

Together with the first question, there was a second concerning judgments passed on his personality. Young people born after World War II had read with a certain amount of surprise that Hitler was paranoiac, feeble-minded, schizophrenic, impotent, lecherous, homosexual, an incorrigible Don Juan, possessed of an exceedingly inquiring mind, ill-informed, illiterate, gifted with a prodigious memory, born of a Jewish grandmother, anti-Semitic, etc., etc. Young people and also the not-so-young could very well ask themselves what was the value of these totally contradictory judgments. Those, however, who had not completely forgotten their history lessons remembered that Napoleon the ogre had had all Hitler’s faults at the time of his fall from fame, but that his virtues knew no bounds after he had been resurrected from the ashes . . . what could this mean? What should one really think of Hitler? How was it possible that the wretched son of an Austrian customs official, described in such negative terms, starting out in life without money and without friends, could have succeeded in gaining the support of eighty million people? How was it possible that at the head of his armies, he could have become the master of almost the whole of Europe? Was it really necessary to be syphilitic, paranoiac, and impotent to achieve such success?

In the book of images bequeathed by World War II, young people also discovered that, beside the portrait of Hitler the devil, appeared the silhouette of the Jew, six million times a martyr, with the back­drop of the concentration camp in which he was said to have perished. Apart from these two opponents, there was total silence about every­thing else: the twenty million Russian victims; the sixteen German cities razed to the ground by the Anglo-American air forces; the atomic bomb victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Prussia, Pomerania, Mecklenburg, sacked by the soldiers of the Red Army; the fifteen million Germans deported from their thousand-year-old homes between 1945 and 1946. Nothing of all this was of any interest in the quarrels of the day. The propaganda machine of the victors remained totally silent. One could well ask—since the passage of time had left only two images from World War II—that of the monster Hitler and that of the Jewish martyr—what was the reason for such an over-simplification? Could it possibly be sought in the clash between two conceptions of man which were totally opposed? . . . Hitler versus Judah: the one party attacking openly, the other reacting with the secret but formidable weapons at his disposal?

Why did history not try to get to the bottom of things? Although Hitler was dead and could no longer defend himself, he had long ago given a brutally frank exposition of his beliefs in Mein Kampf, a confession of faith that he was never to renounce.

Judah remained silent. He bewailed his losses, but without attempting to explain the reason for them, although he could have done so through the medium of all the books, the magazines, the newspapers and the cinemas of the whole world.

Why?

“Because,” said Brentford, “the syndicate of victors which gathered in Nuremberg in 1946, did not represent a proper court. It had no wish to pronounce judgment on the Third Reich in accordance with international law. It wanted to establish a new scale of moral values to justify the policies of the Western nations.”

“Another court of justice should be held in Nuremberg!,” I exclaimed. “It really would be amusing to break down all those myths! Is it possible that, thirty years later, now that almost all the archives have been traced and if new lawyers were to be appointed, a new court could perhaps attain the level of historical truth? Do you think that the United Nations would dare to undertake an initiative of this kind?”

“No!” said Brentford. “I know what the priorities of the United Nations are. Since the war they have shifted. The Third World is not interested in the history of the wealthy countries. The latter should wash their dirty linen in private. Officially, no one will ever take a second look at Nuremberg, but . . .”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well, a private tribunal ought to be able to look into the matter!”

“That is absurd. Remember what De Gaulle said to Jean-Paul Sartre who supported an initiative of this kind undertaken by the English philosopher Bertrand Russell: ‘Every form of justice, both in principle and in execution, is the responsibility of the state alone.’”

“Yes, but that did not stop the Russell Tribunal from meeting in Stockholm in May 1967, and in Copenhagen in November of the same year, or from passing judgment on the way in which your country conducted the war in Vietnam.”

“My country had just as little representation at the Russell Tribunal as Hitler had had at the Nuremberg Tribunal, because Secretary of State Dean Rusk had replied to all overtures: ‘I have no desire to go and play silly games with an old Englishman of 94.’ The tribunal of the ‘Old Englishman’ had no legal status, no power, and no influence on American opinion, and another private court case would find itself in exactly the same situation.”

“Perhaps,” he replied, “but it is just possible that it would not be questioned as was the Nuremberg Tribunal, by level-headed and decent men, who in spite of everything are still more numerous than one might suppose. It would not suffer from Nuremberg’s basic drawback, which was denounced by Jean-Paul Sartre: ‘It had been established by victors who merely wished to pass judgment on the Vanquished.’”[1]

* * *

A few months later, it was Hugh Brentford who started the ball rolling by saying to me: “As a pragmatic American citizen, I am convinced that the judgment of a private tribunal merely represents a point of view but, as an idealist who would like to right a wrong, I believe in the shock effect of such a tribunal in the eyes of history. What we have to decide on now is the legal basis on which we would wish to establish our tribunal. Do you have any ideas?”

“Bertrand Russell’s tribunal adopted a political platform for its legal basis,” I replied. “Its members were exclusively representatives of the extreme left-wing.[2] It was not a tribunal they set up, but propaganda headquarters working on behalf of the world Communist movement which had declared war on capitalist America, using Vietnam as an excuse. It was another Nuremberg tribunal in which Russell’s followers were both judges and parties, but with this difference, that in 1946 the war had already been won and the vanquished were at the mercy of the victors, whereas in 1967 the Communists had not yet beaten your country and its allies in Saigon. If we were to re-enact the Nuremberg tribunal on a similar basis, with, shall we say, a group of Nazis passing judgment on the victors of 1946, this would only produce another caricature of justice.”

“Very well then, on what basis could we constitute a private tribunal to examine a conflict of such a political nature as the Second World War?”

“No problem at all. If the jury is not to be both judge and party its members should not represent the nations which fought in the conflict, and they should also not have fought on one side or the other. They should not expect to gain any personal prestige or receive any money from the tribunal. We should, therefore, make use of the new consciousness which is gaining ground in Europe, and we should recruit men who no longer look on themselves as Frenchmen, Germans, Englishmen, or Italians, but rather as members of a people conferring on them some fundamental quality of their own: Britons, Basques, Flemings, Prussians, Welshmen, Piedmontese. Our tribunal should, therefore, right from the start be able to remain aloof from all wars of hegemony and especially from the war on which they would be required to pass judgment. There should be an age limit: nobody should have been born before 1945. No professional magistrates, other than professional advocates for the parties concerned.”

“Who should be in charge of the debates?” he asked.

“A president elected for one or more sessions.”

“And who should be prosecutor?”

“We could use the same procedure. As our private tribunal has no executive powers, it can only pass judgments of principle. Judgment should be passed after an examination of the documents produced after a delay of thirty years, and of witnesses who might be willing to speak, procedures which were rejected by the magistrates of the first Nuremberg tribunal. In fact, we should be giving the pompous title of private tribunal to something which could only be a commission of inquiry. This was admitted by Jean-Paul Sartre with regard to the Bertrand Russell tribunal.”

“And what would be on the agenda?”

“We would have the same agenda as Jean-Paul Sartre, Executive President of the Private Tribunal which we would be using as our mode.”

“In other words?”

“We should determine the measure of responsibility in the five following areas:

1. Aggression

2. Violation of treaties and conventions between states.

3. Experiments with new weapons.

4. The bombing of hospitals, schools, sanatoriums, dams, and other objectives of a non-military nature.

5. The torture and mutilation of prisoners.

6. Genocide (forced labor camps, mass executions and other techniques for the extermination of whole populations).

“Does that seem alright to you?”

“That is quite alright.”[3]

* * *

Six months later, Hugh Brentford was busy drawing up the plans for the organization of our tribunal. I asked him why he had not decided to hold the sessions in the United States and he replied: “Public opinion would maintain that my country was suffering from a guilt complex because of the first Nuremberg tribunal and that it wanted to cleanse its record in the eyes of history by a second judgment which would of course be too favorable to the Third Reich. This would be a mistake. We have no guilt except in the eyes of God, and I do not want any journalist to replace ‘Lafayette Hurrah’ by ‘Hitler Hurrah’ in the struggle which friend Adolf will have to wage in the eyes of posterity.”

“Should the sessions take place in Stockholm like those of Bertrand Russell?” I asked.

“No, since this is to be a second Nuremberg, it must be held in that city.”

“I should agree, if the Federal Republic were to allow us to hold our sessions there. It is, however, not very likely that the police would permit us to hold free debates on the war in such a controversial locality. After all, this was where Hitler’s racial laws saw the light of day and where his principal collaborators died.”

“I think that the Germans would leave us in peace if you were to brandish your Resistance titles.”

“I think they would probably produce the opposite effect, whereas if the tribunal were to have an American organizer . . .”

“Or a supporter of the UN and UNESCO, such as yourself?”

“That would give the problem another dimension. The press would at once claim that I was arranging this affair on behalf of a United Nations which had become anti-Semitic, in other words, it would be pro-Hitler right from the start. No. Absolutely not. The only thing that seems reasonable to me would be to take part as a jurist and to write the records of the proceedings. On the other hand, public opinion could not quarrel with an American administrative secretary–except, of course, the Marxists. That we know. No, you must accept responsibility for the whole business. For two reasons: Firstly, the Germans would grant you a latitude of action and of opinion that I would be refused, and secondly you are the only person who could spend a lot of money. To hire a hall and to provide the equipment for simultaneous translations is going to cost a great deal, and this also applies to paying the travel and living expenses of the jury members and the advocates.”

“My father will have to manufacture even more computers for Germany than before!”

“If Hugh Brentford were to be administrative secretary, we should have a new American tribunal which could enable Europe to regain its moral health!”

Hugh Brentford had a large check-book sent from the United States to cover the expenses of the tribunal.

“Now,” he said, “the most difficult problem will be to find a jury capable of measuring up to the requirements of real justice, capable of giving us a really genuine ‘Peoples’ Tribunal!’”

We found our jury, but a whole year was to pass before we could assemble our new court in Nuremberg in the conditions of discretion dictated by our unusual initiative.

Notes

[1] Le Monde, May 10, 1975.

[2] In Le Monde, October 15, 1956, Bertrand Russell published the names of his initial supporters: Gunther Anders, Lelio Basso, Simone de Beauvoir, Lazaro Cardenas, Stokely Carmichael, Josué de Castro, Vladimir Dedijer, Isaac Deutscher, Danilo Dolci, Jean-Paul Sartre, Laurent Schwartz, Peter Weiss, etc.

[3] Communique issued by Umberto Campagnolo, Secretary-General of the “European Cultural Society” in Le Monde, January 1 and 2, 1967.

 

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7 Comments

  1. muroc29
    Posted May 3, 2012 at 4:17 am | Permalink

    This is really a treat, I’ve heard of Saint-Loup but have never had the chance to read any of his work. I’ll certainly be anxiously awaiting the continuation of the story!

    I also have to say I’m really enjoying the particular direction Counter-Currents has been moving in lately, though it has been my preferred site for social and historical commentary for a while now.

  2. rhondda
    Posted May 3, 2012 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    I am looking forward to more from this book. It would be nice to have answers even if fictionalized. Whenever I asked questions, I generally received prevarications, pretentious dissembling or outright disdain. It took a while to figure out that this indicated lies were being told and sometimes the teller didn’t even know that. ( ooh forbidden knowledge, give me that apple)

    • White Republican
      Posted May 3, 2012 at 5:06 am | Permalink

      Forbidden fruit? This website is an apple orchard.

      • rhondda
        Posted May 3, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        and a lovely orchard it is.

  3. White Republican
    Posted May 3, 2012 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    I’m delighted that this brilliant work is finally seeing the light of day, and I’m pleased to have helped rescue the English translation from oblivion, which could have happened very easily. If an acquaintance of mine hadn’t stimulated my interest in Saint-Loup, I could have easily ignored the French edition of this work; if the French edition didn’t include a note that there was an unpublished English translation, I couldn’t have brought it to Greg Johnson’s attention; and it was extremely fortunate that the publisher of the French edition was able to help Greg obtain the manuscript of a translation made several decades ago.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted May 3, 2012 at 5:09 am | Permalink

      Yes, thank you. Teamwork and networking at its best.

  4. Jaego Scorzne
    Posted May 3, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Oh while we on the suject – did Jean Raspail ever write his proposed alt-sequel to Camp of the Saints?

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