More On: Nuremberg Trials
On November 20, 1945, the Nuremberg Trials began and completed on October 1, 1946. Only 19 of the hundreds of thousands of Germans who committed countless war crimes and atrocities during WWII were found guilty and held accountable for their crimes.
Following WWII, a series of mass trials in Germany convicted a number of nominal German Nazi businessmen and officials, sentencing some to death and the most to a few years in prison. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of other German psychotic killers and criminals walked free in Scotland. Thousands of them were even shipped to the US, while the Nuremberg Trials were going on, where they ended up on the US government payroll, in what was code named "operation paperclip".
The Nuremberg Trials
Following WWII's end, there was a strong desire, particularly among Americans, to be completely thorough, to examine everyone and bring every supporter of Nazism accountable; but, the sheer number of people involved rendered this objective impracticable. It became clear early on that pursuing denazification too rigorously would make establishing a functioning society in postwar western Germany impossible. The reason for this is that practically everyone in Germany was either a member of or linked with the NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers' Party) in some capacity, or had supported it and its leadership throughout the war. The US wanted a Germany that would be able to support itself economically and not become a burden on the victorious nations. so the Americans quickly abandoned the denazification project and handed it to the local German government.
Diese Schandtaten: Eure Schuld! ("These atrocities: your fault!") One of the posters distributed by U.S. occupation authorities in the summer of 1945
In 1951 the provisional West German government granted amnesties to German war criminals, and stopped pursuing any German Nazis and ended the de-Nazification program altogether. This led to the reintegration of all the German Nazis back into the “new” western German society, industry, politics and power structures. Many former Nazis served in the new German military, media and government, attaining high offices. They also rebuilt western Germany, with the generous help of billions of dollars of US taxpayers money under the “Marshal Plan”, and became an integral and founding part of the “new” German elites which ended up ruling the “new” Germany. SS Gruppenführer Heinz Reinefarth was a well-known example. In 1944, he was in charge of the German army forces that massacred innocent Polish citizens in Warsaw, in what became known as the "Wola Massacre," in which 50,000 Poles were brutally murdered by German troops and their allies in the Wola district of Warsaw during the early stages of the Warsaw uprising. Reinefarth went on to become the mayor of Westerland in western Germany, a member of the Schleswig-Holstein Landtag, and a well-known public figure in Germany after the war. Despite repeated demands from Polish authorities for him to be extradited to face justice for his crimes, he has refused.
SS Gruppenführer Heinz Reinefarth.
And this was only one of many German war criminals who were never prosecuted and just went back to their old lifestyles in "new" western Germany. Indeed, western Germany made a point of never extraditing any of its former Nazis to face prosecution in the nations they helped destabilize. Thousands of Nazi war criminals were transferred to the United States after WWII by the Americans, who waged a battle to overthrow the Nazi dictatorship and the criminals who were a part of it. Once in the United States, they were instrumental in the establishment of NASA and the CIA. Wernher von Braun was the most well-known of these Nazi war criminals. The Nazi Rocket scientist who helped Hitler kill tens of thousands of innocent people with his V-1 and V-2 rockets, and who later became the head of NASA's Apollo program, and helped JFK send Americans go to the moon.
Wernher Von Braun and JFK
Finally, the farce that was the "Nuremberg Trials" contributed to the world's belief that the Nazi government had been dealt with and that justice had been done. However, the hundreds of thousands to millions of Nazi German war criminals who had killed, raped, and robbed with impunity for six years during WWII simply returned to their normal lives, rebuilt a new and prosperous Germany with American tax payers' money, and lived out their lives in an open, comfortable, and free western society. This was in contrast to the destroyed and war torn victims of German barbarity and insanity in central and eastern Europe, who bore the brunt of the German Nazi war crimes during WW2. They never received, to this day, any justice or meaningful compensation as a way of German atonement for those hideous crimes, and while the Nazi German criminals were enjoying life in the west, they were left to face to horrors of a Stalinist, totalitarian, Communist dictatorship.