The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modied: 1999/12/14

II. THE OPPONENT'S VIOLATIONS                           

(a) Incidents     (b) Example       (c) Attitude of the International Law
                                    (1) Judgment by     (2) Justification
                                    International Law   by the laws of
(1) Bombing or                      Judgment by         If it is at all
shelling attacks                    International Law   possible, claim
on localities                       as in Section I,    that the enemy
where there are   (1a) In an air    No. 1, c 1.         carried out
no military       raid on Berlin,                       deliberate
installations.    the French                            precision bombing
(a) Bombing of    Embassy is                            and what is
extra-territorial destroyes                             specially to be
buildings and                                           condemned is that
areas.                                                  the French
                                                        Embassy contains
                                                        valuable art
                                                        treasures and
                                                        that subjects of
                                                        enemy states are
                                                        staying there,
                                                        having found
                                                        asylum there.
                                                        Moreover, that
                                                        the French
                                                        Embassy made
                                                        efforts to avert
                                                        the conflict.
(2) Injuring or   American          Subjects of         It will be
killing of        subjects are      neutral states      difficult to
subjects of       injured or        outside the actual  prove that the
neutral states    killed in an air  war zone are        enemy did this
outside the       raid on Dresden.  protected by        with intent. The
actual zone.                        International Law.  only other
                                                        assertion is that
                                                        as the buildings
                                                        and persons were
                                                        by the
                                                        indications of
                                                        territory, or
                                                        white flags,
                                                        there was no
                                                        excuse for
                                                        attacking them.
                                                        There were no
                                                        objectives near
                                                        the scene of the
                                                                            [Page 809]
(3) Bombing and   (3) In an air     Judgment by         Accuse the enemy
shelling attacks  raid on Vienna,   International Law   of having
aon hospitals,    hospitals are     as in Section I,    violated Art. 27
military          destroyed and     No. 3, c 1.         of the Hague
hospitals,        Red Cross                             Rules for Land
churches and      personnel and                         Warfare by
cultural          patients killed.                      omitting to
monuments.                                              provide suitable
                                                        for the
                                                        protection of the
                                                        hospitals in
                                                        Vienna which by
                                                        day and night
                                                        were marked
                                                        distinctly by the
                                                        Red Cross. In
                                                        this case, also,
                                                        the intention of
                                                        precision bombing
                                                        must be imputed
                                                        as much as
(4) Destruction   (4) Detonators    Prohibition of      Such destruction
of villages,      are placed in     international law   as the blowing up
settlements,      the Aussig Dam    exists only with    of the Aussig Dam
agricultural      in order to       regard to the       can only be
areas, industrial destroy the       destruction and     branded as the
and               surrounding area  removal of enemy    most inhuman,
communications    and the           property, other     senseless, and
installations     inhabitants by    than in those       useless method of
which serve no    flooding.         cases where this    taking revenge on
military purpose.                   destruction or      innocent people.
                                    removal is made     Compare similar
                                    urgent by the       cases of barbaric
                                    necessitites of     action in the
                                    war (Art. 23g of    Hussite Wars and
                                    the Hague Rules     in the behavior
                                    for Land Warfare).  of the Czech
                                                        Legion in
(5) Use of war    When Czech        Judgment by         Making wells
weapons which can troops withdrew   International Law   unfit for use by
be employed under from the Sudeten  as in Section II,   throwing in
certain           - German area,    par 5, C 1.         stable manure,
conditions and of wells in many                         for example, is
new types of war  places are                            an authorized
weapons such as   contaminated.                         means of war.
gas, flame-                                             International Law
throwers,                                               forbids only the
chemical warfare                                        poisoning of
agents and                                              wells.
bacteriological                                         Contamination by
substances.                                             bacteria, on
                                                        which this
                                                        example is
                                                        apparently based,
                                                        is forbidden by
                                                        International Law
                                                        both in the Hague
                                                        Ruling for Land
                                                        Warfare and in
                                                        the Convention of
                                                        1925. A
                                                        propaganda attack
                                                        is therefore
(6) Underhand     In Postelberg,    Underhand means of  The enemy must be
means of waging   Czech trucks and  warfare as, for     accused of
war: continuing   locomotives have  example, feigning   employing
the fight after   been camouflaged  death and shooting  unchivalrous
the enemy has     by German         from the rear at    means of warfare,
apparently        National          advancing troops,   and he will gain
surrendered -     markings and      showing white       little advantage
camouflage by     swastikas.        flags and firing    by means which
abuse of German                     with hidden         are dishonorable
or neutral                          machine guns on     and repugnant to
national                            the approach of     an honest
markings.                           the unsuspecting    soldier.
                                    enemy justify
                                    reprisals without
                                    mercy. The misuse
                                    of the flag of
                                    truce, they
                                    national flag or
                                    of the military
                                    badges or uniforms
                                    of the opponent or
                                    of the Red Cross
                                    is forbidden (Art.
                                    23e, Hague Rules
                                    for Land Warfare)
                                    but it becomes
                                    misuse only if
                                    enemy operations
                                    are undertaken
                                    under the
                                    camouflage; these
                                    enemy operations
                                    also justify
                                    immediate reprisal
                                    measures. The
                                    camouflaging of
                                    Czech trucks and
                                    locomotives by
                                    German national
                                    markings and
                                    swastikas is not
                                    contrary to
                                    international law.
                                    It becomes
                                    contrary thereto
                                    only if they are
                                    employed in enemy
                                    operations, under
                                    this camouflage.
(7) Maiming or    When being taken  Killing or          In this case,
killing of        into the Eger     injuring one's own  propaganda can
wounded,          hospital, a       subjects does not   only be directed
prisoners,        serious injured   come under the      once more against
defenseless       Sudeten-German    judgment of         Czech brutality
persons, women    motor cyclist is  international law.  in general. In
and children.     shot by Czech     Killing or          addition, it must
                  soldiers, who     injuring of         be stressed that
                  said: "The        defenseless         those injured and
                  German swine      persons, wounded    killed were
                  will die          and prisoners of    subjects who
                  anyway."          enemy nationality   belonged to Czech
                                    is expressly        state only
                                    forbidden by        because they were
                                    International Law.  forced to and
                                                        whose return to
                                                        the Reich had
                                                        already been
(8) Use of        German prisoners  Judgment by         Discretion must
prisoners of war  of war are        International Law   be used in
for war work      employed under    as in Section I,    reproaches of
(road             guard as truck    para. 8, C 1.       this kind, for it
contruction,      drivers for                           is possible that
digging trenches, transferring                          similar
production of     back raw                              accusaitons could
munitions,        materials of                          be made against
employment in     war.                                  us by the
transport                                               opponent if the
service, etc.).                                         fact is to be
                                                        made use of for
                                                        All that can be
                                                        asserted is that
                                                        our prisoners
                                                        were employed by
                                                        the opponent for
                                                        munitions behind
                                                        their front
(10) Compulsory   Members of the    a judgment from     Also, all that
evacuation of     Polish minority   the standpoint of   can be referred
national          are compulsorily  International Law   to in propaganda
minorities from   evacuated to the  does not come into  are Czech acts of
their homes, and  interior of the   the question.       brutality.
confiscating      country in
their food        military
stuffs, fodder    transports.
and live-stock,
                                                                            [Page 813]
(11) Measures for In localities on  Measures for        In this case it
inciting, arming, the Czech-        inciting one's own  would be
and taking        Silesian          subjects, for       appropriate to
control of the    frontier summons  arming and          give warnings
civilian          to fight German   conducting          referring to the
population (Franc-troops are        guerilla warfare,   civilian warfare
tireur warfare).  issued, and arms  are allowed. The    of August 1914 in
                  distributed to    national warning    Belgium, which
                  the civilian      itself, must not    caused the death
                  population.       exceed the limits   of thousands of
                                    prescribed by       inhabitants.
                                    International Law   Cunning snipers
                                    (Art. 1 and 2 of    without uniform
                                    the Hague Rules     and soldiers in
                                    for Land Warfare),  civilian clothes,
                                    i.e., prescribed    after pretending
                                    badges              to be
                                    recognizable at a   acquiescent,
                                    distance, bearing   attacked soldiers
                                    arms openly, etc.   on the march and
                                                        in their billets
                                                        and provoked the
                                                        justified by such
                                                        actions. For use
                                                        in propaganda, it
                                                        must be
                                                        stressed that the
                                                        justifying a
                                                        national uprising
                                                        were not
                                                        fulfilled and the
                                                        marks of armed
                                                        civilians were
(12) Violation of Czech airmen      It is contrary to   The violation of
neutral           drop bombs on     International Law   the neutrality of
territorial       the German-       for combat          Polish territory
rights by flying  Polish frontier,  aircraft to fly     and the
over or bombing   destroying the    over the            destruction of
it.               town hall in      territories of      non-military
                  Lissa and a       neutral power.      buildings of
                  church in                             which the church
                  Rawitsch.                             in Rawitsch is
                                                        protected by
                                                        International Law
                                                        constitute a
                                                        serious breach of
                                                        International Law
                                                        which must be
                                                        used to the full
                                                        in propaganda. In
                                                        addition, it is
                                                        necessary to
                                                        point out that it
                                                        was obviously a
                                                        deliberate air
(13) Slanderous   The Melnick       Making the enemy    Remedy in this
propaganda by     Radio Station     contemptible is a   case is possible
false reports on  spreads reports   stratagem of war    only by
the measures of   that dum-dum      allowed by          correcting the
the German        projectiles have  international law,  reports, and
command and on    been used by      even if in so       better still by
the combat        German troops.    doing many lies     counter-attack,
elements, by      Polish            and                 in which, of
accounts of       newspapers show   misrepresentations  course, we can
atrocities in     false             are made. The       also make use of
press reports,    photographs of    efforts made by     the spreading of
news picture      this.             different powers,   atrocity stories.
broadcasts, etc.                    Germany amongst     Nothing more can
                                    them, to form and   be done than to
                                    international       attempt to beat
                                    agreement to        the opponent at
                                    restrict the        his own game or
                                    propaganda of war   get equal with
                                    atrocities failed   him in some way
                                    in 1932.            or other.

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