A local man’s view of the Nazi war trials

Ed Horne

By A Contributor

SGT OF THE GUARD AT NUREMBERG, by Jim Sharp, Copyright 2012, Ag Press, publisher.

This first person account of Mr. Sharp’s experiences as a Sgt. of the Guard at the Nuremberg trials of the Nazi war criminals is an excellent portrayal of a historic event.

It is accurate, informative and well organized.

Mr Sharp is the author of several other books, “Diary of a Combat Infantryman”—the story of his experiences as a member of the 1st Infantry Division in the Battle of the Bulge, where he was awarded numerous medals. The other is the Story of the “Black Settlers on the Kaw Indian Reservation” .All three of the Books are available at local book stores, and at JimSharp/Books, hjsharp@bsbcglobal.net His book describes the Location of the trials and the makeup of the International Military Tribunal conducting the trials. The IMT was made up of American, British, French and Russian judges and prosecutors. The Tribunal was formed at the insistence of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, prior to his death. The British and the Soviets had preferred a simple round of summary executions . But FDR’s intent was to set a precedent to deter future war crimes .

Each accused war criminal was assigned a German lawyer. His book also gives a detailed account of the background, education and history of each defendant, based on his research and observations.

The most dominant personality, according to Sharp, was Field Marshall Hermann Goering, Goering was intelligent and defiant and tried to organize a defense for the group of national patriotism.

He was not successful .One other defendant was Albert Speer, the German Defense Minister. He denied any knowledge of the Nazi death camps for the Jews, and was not sentenced to death, and instead served 20 years in Spandau prison. He later wrote a book about his own war experience, called “Inside the Third Reich”

Sharp noted the Soviet were allowing the American and British prosecutors to lead the trial, but then produced German General von Paulus, captured at the fall of Stalingrad,  as a witness for the prosecution. He related the ruthless treatment of Russian and Polish civilians by the Nazi war forces. on the eastern front. Sharp provides his belief of who smuggled a cyanide pill to allow Goering to kill himself, rather then to be hung. Sharp’s facts of the case seem to hold up.

Sharp tells of his visits to Nuremberg in later years, with the intitial desire of the new German nation to be in a form of denial about the trials and later coming to recognize the importance of the events.

Thank You Jim for sharing your experiences with the reading public

Ed Horne is a Manhattan resident.

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