The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1994/07/04

   "...Once the war ended, App expanded the parameters of his defense
   of Germany's political demands and wartime behaviors. ... he argued
   that Germany had not been responsible for the outbreak of the war.
   ... He now commenced a more serious endeavor: defending and
   justifying German atrocities. In May 1945, a week after the end of
   the war in Europe and while news of the liberation of the
   concentration camps filled the pages of American newspapers, App
   argued that what Germany had done was legally justified in the
   context of the rules of warfare.

   Initially he focused on a few limited atrocities, such as the
   German massacre of the inhabitants of ... Lidice. When Nazi leader
   Reinhard Heydrich was assassinated in May 1942, the Germans claimed
   that the villagers of Lidice had helped his assassin. They killed
   all the men in the village, 192 in all, as well as 71 women. The
   remaining 198 women were incarcerated in Ravensbru"ck, where many
   of them died. Of the 98 children who were 'put into educational
   institutions,' no more than 16 survived. Lidice was razed to the
   ground.<9> The annihilation of this town elicited an intense
   reaction from the American public. But, App contended, according to
   international law the killings were justified because the Germans
   had executed everybody who aided political murders,<10> and
   American law would have supported such action. He offered no
   evidence of how he concluded that the entire village had aided the
   assassins. Nor did he explain how murdering all the males and one
   third of the women, incarcerating the rest, including the children,
   and razing the entire town could be regarded as applications of
   international or American law." (Lipstadt, 88-89)


< 9> S.F. Berton, "Das Attendat auf Reinhard Heydrich vom 27 mai
     1942: Ein Bericht des Kriminalrats Heinz Pannwitz."
     Vierteljahrshefte fur Zeitgeschichte (July 1985), pp. 668-706. 
     See also J. Bradley, "Lidice: Sacrificial Village" (New York,
     1972); T. Wittlin, "Time Stopped at 6:30" (Indianapolis, 1965);
     and "Lidice," Encyclopedia of the Holocaust.

<10> App, Morgenthau Era Letters, p. 49.

                            Work cited

Lipstadt, Deborah E.  Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on
   Truth and Memory.  New York: The Free Press (A division of
   Macmillan, Inc.), 1993.

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