Home| Letters| Links| RSS| About Us| Contact Us

On the Frontline

What's New

Table of Contents

Index of Authors

Index of Titles

Index of Letters

Mailing List

subscribe to our mailing list:


Critique of Intelligent Design

Evolution vs. Creationism

The Art of ID Stuntmen

Faith vs Reason

Anthropic Principle

Autopsy of the Bible code

Science and Religion

Historical Notes


Serious Notions with a Smile


Letter Serial Correlation

Mark Perakh's Web Site


[Write a Reply] [Letters Index]

Title Author Date
purim 1946 article Bekerman, Vidal Mar 25, 2004

Mr. Rubin,

I was doing some research on this purim 1946 topic, and came across your article on the net and found it very interesting. i would like to correspond with you a little, as i have some issues with things that you have written, and would like to know some more about information you make claims about, but don't cite. but i will leave that to later. i would like to begin with taking issue with your assertion that there is nothing odd about hanging the nazis. it should be pointed out that Firing was (and still is) the standard form of military execution and was employed during and after World War II. That the convicted war criminals at Nurmberg were hanged is indeed odd. In fact, Goring specifically asked
to be executed by firing squad "as would befit a military man" (he was not just head of the Luftwaffe but had been a fighting ace in WWI), and only when he was
refused this "honor" did he take his own life with a smuggled cyanide capsule.

The decision to hang was one suggested by Nitichenko, the Soviet prosecutor, who refused to recognize the accused as anything more than common criminals
and lobbied successfully (over primarily French suggestion) that they be

you appear to me to be an honest guy who is interested in pursuing the truth via reason. that is why i am pursuing a correspondence with you. i am not sure if you are an orhtodox Jew - i get the sense that you are no, but it is hard to tell. i also get the sense that you might admit if you are wrong on a point. you don't appear to me to be one who thinks his opinions are infallible, especially after he has already put them to writing.

i would be interested to hear a response from you as it appears to me that you might be willing to reconsider that point you make in the article.

you can reach me at vbekerman@yahoo.com

kind regards,
Vidal Bekerman
Related Articles: Purim 1946? Not Exactly

Title Author Date
purim 1946 article Rubin, Ephraim Mar 25, 2004
Dear Mr. Bekerman --

There is a point to your claim that "Firing was… the standard form of military execution and was employed during and after World War II." Indeed, after the Tribunal’s verdict was given, the lawyers of several condemned Nazi officials (including Goering) pleaded to the Allies' Control Council for Germany for mitigation of the sentence to shooting on these very grounds. Yet their pleas were not granted, since the Tribunal verdict held them guilty of crimes that transcended the purely military sphere – i.e., crimes against humanity. See on this: T. Taylor, The Anatomy of Nuremberg Trials: A Personal Memoir, Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1992, pp. 601-607. (Taylor belonged to the American prosecution team during the trial.)
Given this consideration, it is indeed not surprising that the sentences to death by hanging were administered by the Tribunal itself. Thus, when the French judge Donnedieu de Vabres suggested that shooting be used as a more honorable form of execution than hanging, his suggestion was suppressed by the American judge F. Biddle, on the grounds that in the United States, hanging was the normal method of execution and shooting was employed only as a form of mitigation – without taking the "military aspect" of the punishment into consideration. Of course Biddle was firmly backed on this by the Soviet judge Nikitchenko, but hanging was not an exclusively or even primarily a Soviet idea. (B. F. Smith, Reaching Judgment at Nuremberg, New York: Basic Books, 1977, p. 172; by the way, Nikitchenko [sic!] was the Senior Tribunal Member for the USSR, not a member of the Soviet prosecution team).


E. Rubin

Related Articles: Purim 1946? Not Exactly