WAR CRIMES: The Bureaucrat

Most Americans had all but forgotten Nürnberg, but its machinery of justice still ground on. The men now on trial were, in a sense, more important than the great and obvious evildoers sentenced earlier. They were men who had never, with their own hands, fired a shot or beaten a Jew. But they were as indispensable to the totalitarian state as the soldier, the policeman and the executioner. They were the plodding men with the filing-cabinet minds—the bureaucrats.

Their prototype was Hans Heinrich Lammers, an old man of whom few Germans and few Americans had ever heard; yet on every...

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