Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Arrest Of The Flensburg Government

23 May 1945, Flensburg (in North Germany): British forces arrest the key figures of the immediate post-Hitler German state, the so-called “Flensburg Government”—General Alfred Jodl, Albert Speer and Admiral Karl Dönitz—and escort them into captivity. The three highest-ranking German officials became, from the morning of their arrests, Prisoners Of War.

Jodl (whose widow Andrew’s father met and befriended in the early 1970s) was sentenced to death at Nuremburg. Speer, in an act of staged contrition, managed to escape the hangman’s noose, and was given twenty years. Dönitz, largely because American Admiral Chester Nimitz came to his aid (by submitting an Affidavit noting that German naval warfare in the Atlantic had been little different than American naval warfare in the Pacific), got off with ten years.

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