Individuals who were assumed to have had their own share in the conditions that occurred during the bloodiest turns of events in human history have been given the chance to speak about what they know and defend themselves in court. Relatively, such chances allowed them to provide information that could likely imply that they did not know the relative results of their actions nor did they have any control of the situation, and that they were simply following orders during the time. Among the most controversial individuals who have undergone the said trial was that of Alfred Jodl who was assumed to have taken his position during the Nazi governance.
To note, Alfred Jodl was the German Military Commander noted to have the position of the Chief of Operations Staff of the Armed Forces High Command during the heat of the Second World War. Standing as a representative for the German president, it could be realized that Jodl did have high level of authority allowing him to gain power over those operating under his command. During these times of his ruling authority, he released several demands imposing the death and the capture of several individuals. Nevertheless, there were several instances when Jodl acted against the command of Hitler especially in relation to the campaign on the occupation of Denmark. There was an instance when Hitler ordered the retreat of the German command from the Narvik yet Jodl disregarded the command and continued camping in the area thus imposing a sense of force from the German army in the said location. In correlation to these actions from Jodl, Hitler then decided to transfer the appointment of the officer to Caucasus thus assigning him to look after Wilhelm List’s army and know the reason behind the non-captured status of the oil fields in the said location. During his return, instead of reporting was ordered by Hitler, he just corroborated the information simply informing the main command that the army forces are already weakened down and are already needing support during the time.
What made his authoritative rule was that of the signing of the Commando Order. This order was released on October, 28, 1942 and it insisted on the treatment of civilians, combatants and army-members alike to be treated as non-POWs or non-prisoners of war. This means that they should not be considered innocent instead, they should be treated as individuals who have the capacity to be involved in the war. Relatively, it could be understood that it is because of this that the capturing of individuals, both innocent and not has become a common matter during the military administering system by Jodl.
During the Nuremberg trial, the acts of Jodl were considered eventual and likely supported by proper evidence hence pronouncing him guilty and making it easier for the court to release an order for his death as result of the trial. During the said proceedings, his actions against Hitler confirmed that he was in no way acting under the command of any superior during the time when he signed the Commando Order. He was noted to have a strong sense of control when it comes to making his personal decisions especially with regards the manner by which he commands his army as to how they should handle particular situations during the war years.
Later on though, after his death, the court tries his case once more and retrieves the final decision therefore imposing that he was not after all guilty of all the primary charges that were presented to him. The charges involve conspiracy to commit crimes against peace, planning and initiating wars of aggression, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The pursuance of Jodl towards the course of contemplating particular aims of annihilating particular races during the years of the war placed him under the watch list of the court. Later on though, his plea of being not guilty of the said allegations became apparent that the court recognized its value although it could be considered a late reaction on the part of the court as the death of Jodl has already been resolved and served to the accused individual.
In relation to the value of the rules and regulations against war crimes, it could be understood that Jodl did show a great stand when it comes to imposing what he wants and what he thinks is right. Relatively though, this conviction on his personal principle especially when it comes to leading his army has become the basis of the strong sense of being convinced that he did commit the alleged crimes placed against his shoulders. During the time of trials, the voice of Jodl was considered weak in comparison to that of the voice of those giving their testimonies against him. His background and perhaps his personal behavior about his position made it easier for the court to release a relative judgment as early as they did. The conviction was however wrong.
The reexamination of the evidences, especially that of the documentations and the relative connection of the said data to the actual dates when the situations occurred in history should have been better given attention to. The testimonies, although were strong basis of the distinction, they are not as strong as physically evidences are and closer analysis imposes on cases such as that of Jodl’s. Perhaps, if the investigations were closely concentrated on the evidences rather than on the testimonies alone, releasing proper judgment could have been better given attention to. This approach would have avoided the death of Jodl under the conditions of war crimes and how they are legally considered in the current rules relating to POWs and the treatment they should receive from the government and the military force. With probably a better process of handling the case, the untimely death of Jodl in the hands of the law could have been prevented.