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