Tuesday, November 22, 2005

"I Hadn't the Slightest Idea of the Scale of Genocide"

Text via Der Spiegel

Sixty years ago on Sunday, the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial got under way to bring leading Nazis to justice. Whitney Harris was one of the principle figures for the prosecution. SPIEGEL ONLINE spoke with him about Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss, the emotional scars left behind by the trial, and the United States of today.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: In 1945 when you began collecting evidence for the prosecution of Nazi war criminals, you had nothing more than a used typewriter, a German secretary and a lot of good will. Were you not overwhelmed by the huge responsibility of bringing charges against the former Nazi leaders?

Harris: The whole court case was a huge challenge. I was assigned to the case of Ernst Kaltenbrunner, meaning I had to investigate the murder of millions of Jews. Kaltenbrunner took over from Reinhard Heydrich as the head of Reich security and was in charge of tens of thousands of Gestapo agents, police and security forces. more


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