Linked by David Adams on Mon 25th Jun 2012 19:32 UTC, submitted by Adurbe
In the News The BBC reports on a Turing scholar's recent claims that by today's standard of evidence, there's reason to doubt the commonly-held belief that the famed computing pioneer committed suicide in response to government persecution over his homosexuality. To be clear, he does not claim to have disproved the suicide theory -- only that the cyanide poisoning that killed Turing could well have been an accident caused by his careless at-home experimentation with dangerous chemicals.
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RE[3]: um... rule of law?
by _score on Tue 26th Jun 2012 17:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: um... rule of law?"
_score
Member since:
2012-06-26

There's no proof he was any more a war criminal then, say, Gunter Grass. Or, to put it another way, he was no more a war criminal than the 185,067 other men who joined the SS before him, often under as much co-ercion as he was. Or, if more evidence is required, he was actually arrested at one point by the Gestapo.

I really don't think that the Americans were shifting him away from Soviet control because they thought that the Soviets were going to try him as a war criminal. It could be more due to the fact that he'd invented military rocketry, and they wanted it and didn't want the Reds to have it.

Or, yes, they were all pro-Nazi scum trying to help the war criminals they'd been fighting escape any way they could...

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: um... rule of law?
by zima on Tue 26th Jun 2012 19:06 in reply to "RE[3]: um... rule of law?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Curious how much you read into it... (but now that you sort of mention it, there was a bit historically "funny" situation with Gehlen Organization and the CIA, or Hans Globke...)

I didn't say that other parties would treat him, by themselves, any different than the US did. But it's perfectly conceivable that, if von Braun were to fall under "shared" custody, all parties involved would push for a more strict treatment - at the least to prevent everybody else from getting their hands on him.

Oh, and a closer analogy than Grass would be Arthur Rudolph, an associate of von Braun - and in the 80s he was forced to leave the US and lose his citizenship, or else face war crimes trial.
Yes, of course von Braun denied involvement and "I didn't really know" and he had no choice, who wouldn't? Of course he wasn't all bad, who is? But a) at least on some occasions he selected slaves b) we have ex-prisoner testimonies of how he ordered - in person - corporal punishments, witnessed killings c) Nuremberg defence was declared void.

Edited 2012-06-26 19:07 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2