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Letter: Postwar Germans protected their own

A picture dated 1939 shows German Nazi Chancellor

A picture dated 1939 shows German Nazi Chancellor Adolf Hitler giving the nazi salute during a rally next to Deputy Furhrer Rudolf Hess. Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images

The Rosenburg Project provides us with information that we essentially already knew [“Study: Nazis aided each other in postwar courts,” News, Oct. 11].

To staff the German courts to deal with the overwhelming number of cases after World War II, the Allies permitted jurists they described as small fry, lesser offenders or fellow travelers to serve on the bench.

The German legal profession could not purge itself. Few postwar jurists possessed the courage to convict their fellow former party members in the dock. A saying jurists used in those days was, “One crow does not hack out the eye of another.”

The real purge of the German legal profession finally began to occur in the 1960s and 1970s only because a new generation of jurists asked hard questions about their profession’s past.

Jeffrey S. Gaab, Farmingdale

Editor’s note: The writer is chairman of the History, Politics and Geography Department at Farmingdale State College.

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