Public Opinion Research Section Dr. G
SPECIAL REPORT: REACTIONS TO VERDICTS IN NUREMBERG TRIAL III
AND GORING'S SUICIDE AND EXECUTIONS!
Two weeks after the pronouncement of the verdicts the sensation had worn off and other matters of interest, for instance the elections, drove the Nuremberg trial into the background. In consequence, little new is to be reported. It is to be noted, however, that after the first sensation had worn off and people began to think the matter over more quietly, three lines of thought ran in public opinion. The first of these is the disapproval felt by many people of the "death by hanging" sentences against Keitel and Jodl. The feeling that these sentences are quite irreconcilable with an officer's code of honour and constitute a slight against the honour of all German former soldiers appears to have spread considerably in the two weeks after the pronouncement of the verdicts.
"It would certainly have been wiser if they had not sentenced the generals to death by hanging. I don't say this because I sympathise with the condemned whom I consider fully responsible for the horrible distress they brought on us. But it goes against the grain of a German to see officers die on the gallows - just as it did on the 20th of July."
In this connection General Eisenhower is quoted as having said that "thank goodness there are some high officers in the Control Commission who, it is to be hoped, will commute the sentences for Keitel and Jodl from hanging to shooting."
Secondly, the opinion is gaining ground that if the Nuremberg trial is to be an act of justice and not one of mere revenge carried out by the mighty victor against the helpless and beaten enemy, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by members of the victorious nations too should now be tried. In this connection, many people expressed doubt as to the practicability of the high ideals of international justice set out in the charter of the Nuremberg court, and in some cases even in