PART 6 :



'It was for this that we fought.'


Were the ghosts satisfied by the judgement, or did they demand more?


After the cases had been presented, and the cross-examination was stilled,

there was a chance in Nuremberg in 1946, for discussion and reflection.


Amongst many there was Hersch Lauterpacht,

a champion of an international system of human rights protection.

Although nothing specific is recorded he must have talked to Maxwell Fyfe

about the need to do more than judge.

Soon they were to work together drafting the European Convention.


I think that the hushed talk of a better world may have helped calm the ghosts.

The belief held by the living nothing like that would happen again –

for they would fight to prevent it.


Which was a world away from the prevailing sentiment that nothing like that could ever happen,

because we do not remember.


The ghosts are stirring



During the summer of 1946 Maxwell Fyfe had the chance to reflect on the evidence and the trials,

and to meet many of those who were thinking deeply about the renewal of Europe after bloodshed.



I had an idea about Monica's article this evening. I might do 1500 words or so on "The Inefficiency of the Nazis".



It seems most necessary to get some anti Nazi propaganda about.

Everyone seems to have forgotten and coming fresh from all its surroundings as I have done

I cannot believe people can forget so fast.  We must never look the other way again.



Where Nazism failed.The Potential Myth.

It is not unusual, although extremely irritating, to meet people who say


I quite agree with you that the Nazis were ruthless brutes but they did get results –

they were extremely efficient.”  


The danger of such a viewpoint is obvious.  

It is out of such superficial lack of faith culminating in temporary fits of depression

that nations have lost their democratic government and succumbed to some sort of tyranny.  


It is therefore not without value to study this criticism and to probe its basis in fact.  

I myself believe that it is profoundly untrue, and that the more one examines

the results of the Nazis’ system and of the expression of Nazi ideology in practise,

the more convinced one becomes that the system is bad in itself

and has inevitably led to blunders as well as crimes.



I got your letter with the article from Monica to-day.  

It think it is really first class and I was most tremendously interested in it myself.  

I feel sure nobody in this country has thought or known about these facts before.



Goering let out rather a good crack to the psychiatrist, I'm told by the press.  

He said, “Of course I know Sir David's technique now, I can see the way he works up to his point.  

It was very bad luck on me coming first and being cross-examined before I had a chance to observe.”  

I must say I take my hat off to the old brigand. He keeps his interest up.




Norman Birkett went to immense trouble to get me a copy of "The Northern Muse"

a selection of Scottish poetry made by John Buchan.  


Incidentally he put in it an inscription of which I am very proud.


“From his friend Norman Birkett.

To commemorate days at Nuremberg and some superb examples of the great art of cross-examination.”


Why I really mentioned it (I swear - you believe me - thousands wouldn't)

is for Norman's favourite poem which rather expresses our mood just now :-



Comes round a time,



Comes round at last tho' creepin',

And green and glad again stand buss an' tree;



E'en tender flowers, just thro' the young gress peepin'



Rise in their weakness, and owre-rin the lea.


Non Semper Imbres

Non Semper Imbres

Non Semper Imbres



I saw Hilary at the Speakers and he told me he was doing a talk but was not allowed to mention horrors,

we really are all mad.  What do they think this trial was about?



Thus Nature sorrows, and forgets her sorrow;

And Reason soberly approves her way:

Why should we shut our eyes against to-morrow

Because our sky was clouded yesterday?



The law is a living thing. It is not rigid and unalterable.

Its purpose is to serve mankind and it must grow and change to meet the changing needs of society.


The needs of Europe today have no parallel in history.



  Non Semper Imbres

  Non Semper Imbres

     Natura non contristatur


   Non Semper Imbres

   Non Semper Imbres

  Non Semper Imbres



And Maxwell Fyfe had the chance to express his conclusions in a speech given right at the end of the trials.



Jackson leaves tomorrow or Wednesday.  It is a sign that the thing is packing up which is all I care about.  

I do not think of politics or the bench or anything except getting back to you.


The delegation are giving me a final dinner on the 20th or 21st.  

Mervyn and Harry both said how much they would love it if you could get out for it.  You know how I would love it.


We have finished our work on the organisation including the speech.  

It is not, as I said, a publicity finder but it covers the ground.

Airey suggested that I take the afternoon off so I did so, and as my car did not come at once,

I walked by myself along the main street outside the courts. It was a most eerie sensation having nothing to do. Moreover it was the second time that I had walked aimlessly in Nuremberg

and the first time that I had done it alone.  

Last November Harry and I walked down to the Pegnitz and back at lunch time.



It might be presumptuous of lawyers who did not claim to be more than the cement of society

to speculate or even dream of what we wish to see in place of the Nazi spirit,

but I give you the faith of a lawyer some things are surely universal: tolerance, decency, kindliness.



There are waters blown by changing winds


Archive footage of DMF speech


When such qualities have been given the chance to flourish in the ground that you have cleared,

a great step will have been taken.  It will be a step towards the universal recognition that:


‘sights and sounds, dreams happy as her day,

And laughter learnt of friends, and gentleness,

In hearts at peace.’


Are not the prerogative of any one country.  They are the inalienable heritage of mankind.





  If I should die, think only this of me:

That there's some corner of a foreign field

That is forever England. There shall be

In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;


   A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,

Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,

A body of England's, breathing English air,

Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.


And think, this heart,  all evil shed away,

A pulse in the eternal mind, no less

Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;

Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;

And laughter, learnt of friends;

Laughter, learnt of  friends;

In hearts at peace, and  gentleness,

Hearts at peace, and gentleness,

In hearts at peace, under an English heaven



I have had a ridiculous day.  

The tribunal was not sitting and everyone else was out shooting so I got up at 11 and sat in the sun.  

I read "To-morrow and To-morrow" by Stephen McKenna

which was rather too much as it was all about disillusion after the last war.  

All the zip had gone out of the characters.  

Moreover I think that they had been dezipped by McKenna and not merely in my mind.  

As they were all considerably younger than I am, I shall have to look out.

The readiness for disillusionment is with us again.



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