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Tales from Spandau: Nazi Criminals and the…

Tales from Spandau: Nazi Criminals and the Cold War (edition 2006)

by Norman J. W. Goda

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Title:Tales from Spandau: Nazi Criminals and the Cold War
Authors:Norman J. W. Goda
Info:Cambridge University Press (2006), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 404 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:world war ii-genocide & war crimes, cold war, germany-20th century, 2013

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Tales from Spandau: Nazi Criminals and the Cold War by Norman J. W. Goda



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Call this book a case study in trying to exact justice under less than ideal circumstances, as Goda examines the complications entailed by the extended incarceration of men such as Rudolph Hess, Albert Speer, and Karl Donitz. Much of the complexity stemmed from bad logistical decisions made immediately at the conclusion of Nuremberg war trials (never mind the flaws in that judicial process) and the decision to hold these men in Berlin, at which point their fates became entangle in the fate of the divided city. The next level of complexity derived from how much of a support group the prisoners had outside of prison, what with the aristocratic elite of Wurttemburg speaking up for Konstantin von Neurath, the German naval officer corps supporting Admirals Raeder and Donitz, and elements of the German business community helping Albert Speer; Hess and Baldur von Schirach, not so much. Finally, there was the chronic matter of the balance between seeing that these men were forced to endure the sentences meted out to them, with the fear of making them into martyrs.

In the end Goda concludes that the meaning of Spandau was most important to the Soviet government, as the prison was the symbolic validation of the Cold War division of Europe and the international regime that resulted. As for the way forward in such cases, Goda notes that national leaders serving sentences as war criminals will inevitably remain points of conflict and the hope of virtually entombing them so that they are forgotten like a quarantined contagion is a pipe dream. Countries trying alleged war criminals need to enter into this endeavor "with open eyes and with thick skins," and to remember that the real punishment for the likes of the Spandau Seven is the "bar of history." ( )
  Shrike58 | Jan 19, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0521867207, Hardcover)

Sentenced to long prison terms at the Trial of the Major War Criminals at Nuremberg, seven of Adolf Hitler's closest associates - Rudolf Hess, Albert Speer, Karl Dönitz, Erich Raeder, Walther Funk, Konstantin von Neurath, and Baldur von Schirach - were to have become forgotten men at Berlin's Spandau Prison. Instead they became the focus of a bitter four decade tug-of-war between the Soviet Union and the Western Allies - a dispute on the fault line of the Cold War itself which drew in heads-of-state, military strategists, powerful businessmen, vocal church leaders, old-world aristocrats, international spies, and neo-Nazis. Drawing on long-secret records from four countries, Norman J. W. Goda provides an exciting new perspective on the terrifying shadow thrown by Nazi Germany on the Cold War years, and how that shadow helped to influence the Cold War itself.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:50 -0400)

'Tales from Spandau' describes the four decade tug-of-war between the Soviet Union and the western allies over the fate of Nazi Germany's top officials, from Hitler's designated successor Karl Donitz, to his architect Albert Speer, to his top deputy Rudolf Hess.… (more)

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