By Mervin See, Channel NewsAsia
Published: 18 Mar 2019 - 11:55 PM
Countries calling Hitler a war criminal, and demanding compensation
In 1952, Hitler was found to be alive after gathering supporters in Argentina, forming ODESSA. They assassinated Konrad Adenauer, chancellor of West Germany, and seized control of West Germany, causing Hitler to rise back to power and restarting the third Reich. At the same time, after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan promised to seek revenge against America with nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union has expressed its support for Japan, and promised to pay compensations. Thus, a treaty was signed between West Germany, Japan and the Soviet Union. In the United Nations General Assembly, lines of division were split between the assembly for supporting and against Hitler, led by the major powers West Germany and America respectively.
Countries believe that it is necessary to prevent a war, and in order to do that compromises must be made. Greece feels that while Germany is a threat to all countries, compromises should be made to reduce tensions between countries. For example, Greece accepts the reunification of Germany and the return of German labour forces back to Germany. However, they feel that voting must happen iso that Germany could get their territories back and compromises must happen for reparations. Other countries also express their support for peace, with China saying that war is not a solution as all countries would suffer and negotiations should be discussed.
After that, the general assembly talked about the status of Hitler, with countries for and against Hitler being called a war criminal. America feels that Hitler should be labelled a war criminal, and should be dealt with immediately as he is a great threat to the world. Belgium expressed their support, fearing that the rise of Hitler and his influence would affect the sovereignty of Belgium. West Germany and Argentina responded, claiming that America was a hypocrite and should be called a war criminal for the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Guatemala supported Germany and said that America should pay for the damages towards Japan as they had also caused damage to Germany and Japan. Yugoslavia also claimed that America was unjust in using the nuclear bombs and should be labelled as a war criminal for the physical devastation, economic complications and radiation from the blast which had caused severe diseases among Japanese citizens. The Dominican republic and Greece opposed and said Germany should be dealt with as a threat and Hitler be arrested immediately. Uruguay believed that Germany was at fault as they were invading other countries and got away without any repercussions. They believed that Hitler should be labelled a war criminal, this would make it international law for Hitler to be arrested and remove the symbol of the Nazi regime, reducing the strength of the Nazi regime. However, it may cause Japan or the Soviet Union to respond and declare war.
Some countries provided a neutral stance, Luxembourg asked for a compromise as all the countries were at fault while Uruguay warned the General Assembly not to make rash decisions.
Soon after, the leaders of France and China who were against Hitler were assassinated, giving more power to Hitler.
Shortly after, the general assembly talked about war reparations. West Germany claimed that their demands are justifiable and fair so reparations should be granted. Netherlands retorted by claiming that as Germany did not pay reparations as stated in the Treaty of Versailles in WW1, which had continued the tensions between the allied and central powers which eventually led to WW2. Japan believes that the United Nations should help rebuild Japan’s economy or their people for the unjust treatment because of the nuclear bomb. Thus, to ensure equality of all nations, regardless of who was at fault in the war, Japan feels that compensation should be paid to them.
Uruguay stated that Germany should pay reparations as she had led to the arms race which had caused a wastage of money and resources. Argentina came to their defence by saying that Germany should receive compensation as using America as a basis to decide what is justifiable and what is not is unfair as America had committed similar war crimes to that of Germany. Some countries remained neutral with Poland and El salvador claiming that all countries should receive economic reparations as all countries had suffered because of the war. By pushing the blame to Germany and Japan and not providing them compensation or reparations, lines of division might be created between countries that escalated the situation, leading to war. However, countries might refuse to compensate for all countries as they might believe specific country was at fault. For example, if America who is a major power, refuses to provide compensation for Germany, other countries might follow suit.
However, as no effective solutions was proposed that was accepted by both sides, the situation escalated and the heightened tensions eventually caused a nuclear war between countries.