Stephen Karlson (shkarlson) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Stephen Karlson
shkarlson
50bookchallenge

THE GOVERNMENT AS CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY.

Yes, that might be true of any government, but that was the special task of counsel for the prosecution at the Nuremberg war crimes trials, as documented by Joseph Persico in Nuremberg: Infamy on Trial.  It will make for a brief Book Review No. 4, as most of the history related therein is relatively well known.  The prosecution had to make the case that the defendants were acting on behalf of a lawless government, so as to make the trials about the motives for the war, rather than about the methods of war (which is cruelty, and you cannot refine that, even if it is necessary to destroy Dresden to stop Nazism.)  That's where most of the legal and procedural action is, for example, establishing that the government conditioned otherwise moral Germans to see the Slav or the Jew as less than human.  But along the way, the reader discovers that the American assault on the English language did not begin with MBAs in the sixties.  Here's Sir Norman Birkett, alternate British justice. "Words I never intend to use again while life lasts: concept, applicable, ideology, and contact (as a verb!)"  Plus "privatize, finalize, visualize, argumentation, and orientation." Perhaps because the Yanks never had a proper classical education.

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)
Tags: history, legal, war
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