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Talk:Josef Mengele

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 Definition (1911-1979) A Nazi SS Hauptsturmfuhrer and physician at Auschwitz Concentration Camp, involved in direct killings and nonconsensual medical experiments on humans. [d] [e]

Helpful person with JSTOR access?

Could anyone get the full text of, which appears to have a good deal on Otto von Verscheur, Mengele's mentor and technical supervisor?

I don't have at the moment, sorry :-( Martin Baldwin-Edwards 01:56, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Got it. Howard C. Berkowitz 02:28, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

war criminal

How can he have been a war criminal if he was never prosecuted? This is legally incorrect, and any quotation that describes him as a war criminal is stating an opinion and not a legal fact. This is a problem. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 01:56, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

There was no quote containing the words "war criminal". I did clarify, in two places, that he was listed as a suspect. Please give specific references to things you believe need to be corrected.
If there had been such a quote, it would have been an opinion; that is why it would be a cited quote.
Also, the entire war crimes process was not strictly founded in law. Nevertheless, there was at least some legal basis, for acts against civilians. in the Hague Conventions. Howard C. Berkowitz 02:28, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
I have altered them. Could you also please be sure to reference specific accusations against him? I know we don't always do so on CZ, but for this I think we need to. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 02:35, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
I didn't see the alterations when I wrote the talk page note, but I have restored Lifton's comment about him as a war criminal, phrasing it as an opinion. Lifton is generally believed to be the best source on Nazi atrocities.
I am not willing to banish the phrase war criminal, but I am willing to make it opinion. Neither the International Military Tribunal nor the Nuremberg Military Tribunal worked by strict rules of evidence. The preponderance of evidence here, and the fact of his flight, means that things need to be addressed in the context of the law of the time.
Are you saying there was not sworn testimony about crimes? I see no reason, then, to take it out and suggest something as vague as "some think." This article is quite contextualized and gives other factors, such as the influence of von Verschuer, but objectivity does not require phrasing everything with a presumption of evidence. Or should we suggest Hitler himself merely had crimes "alleged"?
I also restored two paragraphs about his experimentation, directly quoted both from people who worked with him and generally accepted experts. These were over 50 words; please do not delete so much without discussion. Howard C. Berkowitz 02:50, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Howard, that is not neutral. I am repeating my alterations. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 02:53, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
I did not delete any paragraphs. Check the history. I have reverted because I do not accept that you can use the word criminal without legal process. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 02:56, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
First, we are no longer required to be "neutral". We are required to be "objective". Objectivity, in my opinion, is based on a preponderance of expert opinion. Is there serious opinion that says Hitler or Goering cannot be called a criminal because they were never tried?
I'd welcome another History or Military editor helping make the determination of what is acceptable. I do not accept that "criminal" cannot represent expert opinion when it was impossible to try an individual, and it is not even clear who had authority to try the accused. Howard C. Berkowitz 03:17, 13 November 2010 (UTC)


You deleted,

Different observers questioned the quality of his experimentation. Lengyel said "His experiments were carried out in abnormal fashon. When he made blood transfusions her purposely used incorrect blood types. He did whatever pleased him and conducted his experiments like a rank amateur. He would inject substances and then ignore the results. He was not a savant. His was the mania of a collector." Nyiszli also called his work "pseudoscience". [1]

Lifton also called him a "collector". He quotes a prisoner anthropologist, Teresa W., said the measurements were taken in an accepted manner. Mengele himself, however, wrote, in his 1935 dissertation, "It is not useful to take as many measurements as possible; one must restrict oneself to the most significant ones."[2]

I restored it, with the additional information that Teresa W. was subsequently identified as Dr. Martina Puzyna. Howard C. Berkowitz 03:17, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

This alleged deletion does NOT appear in the page history. I certainly had no intention of deleting paragraphs, and there is no record that I did so. As with the article, you need to be more careful in your handling of evidence and allegations.
I have modified another quoted case of "war criminal". Although you will find the majority of the world sharing your bias, that does not make it correct. There is no need to call someone a war criminal when the article details atrocities; there is a need to show due legal process that someone is convicted of crimes. Without this safeguard, anyone can be accused of crimes and called a criminal: we would revert to pre-democratic versions of "criminality" that were unrelated to actual formal trials and legal argument supported by evidence.
By writing or quoting these "commonsense" claims, you devalue CZ as a scientific repository. We are not here to blandly repeat mainstream views, regardless of our personal opinions (which are doubtless near-identical on this particular matter). Martin Baldwin-Edwards 12:00, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Article policy

This is getting into a definition of what the post-charter objectivity party means, as opposed to what the old neutrality party said, and is properly an issue for discussion in the Editorial Council. I think we have to be very careful in using the term international law, or asserting that any particular position is held by the world in general, without sourcing. Let me make some specific suggestions that could collaboratively improve the article. Martin, you are not an Editor in any of the listed groups, so your making direct contributions would not interfere with Approval.

Historiographers use a rather awkward word, presentism, which, despite its inelegance, is useful. I believe it was coined in regard to Thomas Jefferson's relation to slaves, which needed, in the anti-presentism review, to be regarded within the ethos of his time. In this case, the 1944-1948 period, roughly, needs to be considered -- the International Military Tribunal (Nuremberg) and the Nuremberg Military Tribunals were principally ex post facto law. I would suggest, that you present information from sources, which certainly don't need to be Holocaust denialists, who make a reasoned case that Hitler, Goebbels and Mengele should not be considered war criminals.

It is not helpful, for developing the article, simply to keep deleting and changing to different views of the current Articles 18 and 19 of the Charter. It would be useful to find sourced material that supports your position. In a great deal of U.S. "political" and "bias": legal issues before trial, it's quite easy to find legal analysis and certainly journalism that attacks the very allegation. In a perhaps relevant case, there's a huge amount of reasoned analysis, on both sides, as to whether the George W. Bush Administration violated the Convention against Torture (as ratified by the Senate) and associated U.S. law.

In the case of Mengele, a number of multinational and national bodies agreed, variously, that he was indictable or extraditable. Howard C. Berkowitz 19:41, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

The deletion took place, Martin. It looks like the (unnotices) effect of an edit conflict. Compare
Howard, 02:49
Martin, 02:54
--Peter Schmitt 19:35, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, Peter. It was completely unknown to me, and Howard should have seen that there was an edit conflict explanation. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 20:48, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Also, please do not engage in a revert war over the sourced quote from Lifton in the lede, which I had revised to state that it was his (highly informed) opinion. I don't want to invoke the Constabulary to enforce repeated reversions. I would prefer that it come from another History or Military Editor, but, Martin, you do not have the unilateral authority to ban the phrase "war criminal." 19:45, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
If you recall, Howard, this is supposed to be a test case of how to write in a neutral style suitable for CZ. It is not about people's egos or specified editorial authority. You have written some text, and I have told you where in my opinion it is clearly not neutral and not helpful in style. You insist that everything you have decided is right, and my comments on the meanings of words in both common English and legal contexts are over-ridden by your opinions on how to write historical articles. I shall not comment here on your entitlement to make such deliberations, because it is in breach of CZ policy to question editorial competences.
Furthermore, it is not the case that we have abandoned neutrality. That may be your opinion, but it is not correct. The formulation made in the Charter is absolutely vague and unhelpful (as I mentioned at the time) and the only guidance that is available is that contained in the revised Neutrality Guidelines, as updated by the Ombudsman. There is absolutely no need to use the term "war criminal" for someone who was not tried or convicted, because a synoptic description is unnecessary in a detailed study. Simply listing the factual events (provided that there are decent sources) is sufficient for anyone to understand the horrors of it. Imposing opinions and post facto viewpoints is not helpful in writing history: what is needed is more explication of the rationales and "moralities" of the Nazi period. I have not even started looking at the management of that, since my time has been taken up with arguing the most basic issues of terminology and style. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 20:23, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
My principal objection, at this point, is you simply cannot ban the term "war criminal", certainly in a direct quote from the most-cited expert on Nazi doctors. Argue the point for using it in text, but it is unreasonable to remove it from a sourced direct quote that is clearly Robert Jay Lifton's opinion.
"explication of the rationales and "moralities" of the Nazi period"? Consider what is appropriate in an article in a specific person, rather than, for example, Nazi race and biological ideology. In this article, I have added considerable information on those that encouraged Mengele, material that is not widely known. I'm personally shocked, for example, that von Verschuen was not indicted if not convicted, but he was never placed on a list of war criminal suspects. Mengele was.
Please propose text, not just censor. No, you really don't want to go into question my entitlement. If nothing else, however, I am a History Editor and you are not. Neither of us are Law Editors. Howard C. Berkowitz 20:39, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Howard, stop this. Nobody on the EC agrees with your bureaucratic approach to editorial authority. This is nothing to do with what particular categories anyone is in or not in: it is to do with setting out editorial standards across the board for CZ. Your choice of quotations reflects what you want to say: the fact that established experts are using the terminology does not mean that they are right to do so. If you find an international legal text that says clearly that it's justifiable to use the term "war criminal" when no trial has taken place, then cite it. Until then, either avoid citing such quotations or modify them, as I did. Again, the fact that this practice is commonplace, commonsensical or whatever, is simply not relevant.

You have assembled a lot of interesting and important information: don't waste it by engaging in spurious arguments. All I am trying to do is provide some theoretical direction on how best to approach writing articles of this type. They are extremely difficult to do, and we all have to appreciate that fact. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 20:47, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Sir, you have no authority to give me orders to stop anything, and you further cannot represent the opinions of the EC, especially with a vague term such as "bureaucratic". I do plan to introduce a discussion of these issues to the EC, both when I get them better written, and the immediate organizational actions being discussed.
I would not be making the argument if I believed it to be spurious. Again, if you believe that this usage in international law is impermissible, cite it. It's not my role to have to prove what I believe to be a negative assertion.
In the hope of clarifying, my personal view is that von Verschuen met reasonable criteria to be considered a war criminal, but you never see me call him that. Mengele was on lists for indictment, and, unfortunately with much delay, was eventually pursued. Argentina accepted West Germany's request for extradition. In other words, I do not use the term lightly, but cite multiple sources. Like it or not, the legal situation at the end of WWII was not ideal.
The insistence on not calling anyone not convicted a "war criminal" leads to the absurdity of calling Hitler, at most, a "suspected war criminal". Howard C. Berkowitz 21:07, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
I am seriously worried when you make claims that you can use terminology that defies both logic and law, and it is up to others to "prove" that you cannot use it. No, you are required to show us that it is a legitimate use of the word. No lawyer will accept that someone is cast as a criminal without trial; people were indicted as war criminals, but that did not make them war criminals.
In the case of Hitler, this is reductio ad absurdum. Hitler did not live to be tried for war crimes. It is convention to call him a war criminal with the supposition that his suicide prevented his inevitable conviction: strictly, of course, it is not correct. It is irrelevant to this debate, anyway. What is more interesting is to identify exactly why Mengele was not tried: it looks like post-war chaos, more than anything else. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 21:23, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Didn't the Israelis narrowly miss him in B.A. when they snatched Eichmann? And then I've read that the German postal authorities knew that his family was exchanging mail with him in S.A. and essentially did nothing. Grrrrrrr. Hayford Peirce 21:33, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
No, Martin, reductio ad absurdum applies in both cases. Hitler was never indicted. There were ineffectual attempts to arrest Mengele, and Germany, at least, tried to extradite him. He was never tried because he continually escaped trial, such as his flight to Brazil after Argentina agreed to extradite him.
I have started a supporting article on war crimes, and will write one clarifying the formal and informal usage of war criminal. These may help.
Postwar chaos was indeed an issue. It appears many of the suspect lists, not for Mengele alone, existed in April 1945, but were simply not available, in a useful form, to the POW camps. Those camps also had very little resources for penetrating disguises. Should I elaborate on this?
Hayford, yes, that's generally correct. I haven't had time yet to write the detailed South American material.
If I may comment on a broader aspect of objectivity, before I started this article, I was unaware of the degree of outside sponsorship given to Mengele, especially by Otmar von Verscheur and the earlier indoctrination by Ernst Rudin. An important goal of the article should be to distinguish from the "incarnation of evil" and popular fiction ideas (e.g., The Boys from Brazil) Howard C. Berkowitz 22:49, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

the definition is *way* too long!

Is it just an expansion of a stub or lemma? Hayford Peirce 16:32, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

I won't object to the changes, but may I point out that the earlier version was 61 words, the new one is 21, and the limit is 100? Howard C. Berkowitz 19:51, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Is the limit now 100 words or 100 *characters*? In any case, this had two sentences and there's definitely only supposed to be a single sentence -- didn't you write that yourself? Hayford Peirce 20:03, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Not convinced of the utility of these definitions anyway...Martin Baldwin-Edwards 21:06, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Aren't they something foisted upon us by the tech crowd for reasons that I always forget five minutes after reading the explanation of why they're Useful/Necessary/Vital? Hayford Peirce 21:09, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Must I meet you on the Field of Honor with bejeweled dueling foists? Howard C. Berkowitz 21:22, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

A comment

The text currently has: Robert Jay Lifton wrote "Certainly no Nazi...has evoked so much fantasy and fiction." where Martin replaced the words "war criminal" with the ellipsis marking "...". This has been around the revert war circle at least once with Martin removing the words and Howard restoring them.

For all I know, there might be reasons not to use the quote at all, if Lifton were considered a biased or unreliable author. That can be left to the History editors.

However, if we use the quote at all, then we should obviously include the words "war criminal" as Lipton did. There is simply no excuse for emasculating the quote, as Martin would have it. I am shocked that anyone would seriously imagine that mutilating a quote in this way is acceptable in polemic, let alone in an encyclopedia article. Sandy Harris 02:48, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

I did not choose that quotation, and I object to it on legal grounds for the reasons stated above. As Howard insisted on using these quotations, I have insisted that inaccuracies of that sort be replaced by ellipsis or other qualification. It may well be that almost all historicans of the Nazi period use this terminology: that does not require CZ to follow the pattern. International lawyers are more qualified to decide who is a war criminal, and as far as I know, no court has ever declared someone a war criminal without indictment and trial.
Merely following the standard conventions is exactly what CZ should not be doing, and is prohibited from doing under the Neutrality Policy and the provisions of the Charter. i agree that the compromise on this page is far from ideal, but Howard believes that he wrote neutral text and rejects any discussion of the actual style. It is not relevant what historians think, because this goes way beyond one academic discipline. It is of concern to all of humanity, and as much part of social science as it is of law.
Presumably, Sandy, you are not aware that this article is being written by Howard (he didn't wait for my collaboration, as agreed) as an exemplar of CZ neutrality policy. As it stands, it is definitely not. So it is not just any old article that I came along to obect to: it is specifically a test case of what CZ authors are allowed or not allowed to do. A very serious matter for the EC, since Howard has announced to us that there is no longer a neutrality policy and he can write what he thinks is correct. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 03:04, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Suffice it to say that I disagree greatly with Martin's assertions, and have asked for Constabulary intervention. Howard C. Berkowitz 03:10, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
I was aware that Howard was the main writer, of course, but not of any role as an exemplar of policy.
Martin, you write: "Howard has announced to us that there is no longer a neutrality policy and he can write what he thinks is correct." Can you show me where he says that? I find it hard to believe he'd say something that stupid, but if he has then the claim needs to be vigorously rebutted. Sandy Harris 03:16, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Howard wrote, and I quote:
First, we are no longer required to be "neutral". We are required to be "objective". Objectivity, in my opinion, is based on a preponderance of expert opinion. Is there serious opinion that says Hitler or Goering cannot be called a criminal because they were never tried?
I'd welcome another History or Military editor helping make the determination of what is acceptable. I do not accept that "criminal" cannot represent expert opinion when it was impossible to try an individual, and it is not even clear who had authority to try the accused. Howard C. Berkowitz 03:17, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
That seems pretty clear to me that Howard rejects the notion of "neutrality". Hayford Peirce 03:27, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

(undent) That is a far cry from claiming I can say whatever I want. The Charter, however, does not contain the term "neutrality", and that is no accident. It does contain "objectivity", and I am bound by the requirements of objectivity. Certainly, the EC will have to refine the definition of objectivity.

Unfortunately, and much to my regrets, the Charter Committee deliberations cannot be made public. There was considerable discussion in this area, and it included not insisting that all views be represented in a manner that encouraged fringe -- something, Hayford, that you stated as a goal in your Election Statement, and with which I thoroughly agree.

"War criminal" was a term of art post-WWII. The main proceedings of the International Military Tribunal was title "Trial of the Major War Criminals", not "Trial of the Alleged War Criminals." In large part, the IMT made its law as it went along, as did the Nuremberg Military Tribunals. I am being objectively accurate about the customary language used at the time of Mengele, and, if the war crimes article hadn't been blanked, would put a text box into the introduction to explain this use. I can't do so until I can wikilink to that article.

"Objectivity" certainly does not include emasculating quotes, well-referenced quotes at that. I am not free to write whatever I want, but must be objective and accurate -- but that does not include the "writing for the enemy" mantra used with the Neutrality Policy.

As an example of objectivity here, in no way am I trying to paint the no-doubt-despicable Mengele as the incarnation of evil, as I link to others who guided and sponsored him. Fairly few nonspecialist works, for example, document the effects of Otmar von Verscheur and Ernst Rudin. Howard C. Berkowitz 03:39, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Returning to my original point, Martin writes:
"As Howard insisted on using these quotations, I have insisted that inaccuracies of that sort be replaced by ellipsis or other qualification."
This is nonsense. Even granting, for the sake of argument, your contention that calling Mengele a "war criminal" is an inaccuracy, deleting the phrase from the quote is still completely unacceptable. We might reasonably choose not to use the quote, or to add criticism of Lifton, or to discuss the usage of "war criminal". There are many things we might legitimately do here. Mangling quotes is not one of them. Sandy Harris 04:53, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
May I note that the one four-power trial under the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg was called the Trial of the Major War Criminals? Howard C. Berkowitz 05:02, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
You can complain as much as you like, Howard. The fact is that you wrote the comment above, claiming that the Charter has removed the Neutrality Policy. This is incorrect: the EC has not rebutted the policy, nor has the Charter. it is true, to my own recollection, that you tried to write into the draft Charter your personal views about neutrality, but you were stopped. Secondly, your belief that "objectivity" is defined by expert opinion is your own personal belief and you may not impose it on CZ. Thirdly, adherence to the rule and principles of law is not a fringe position. Your quotations from historians may be accepted by some "mainstream" historians, but they are not acceptable to (I think) most lawyers and social scientists. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 11:03, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
I do not see much difference -- in practice -- between objectivity and neutrality. Both have to be based on facts and have to avoid bias. However, neutrality should not be identified with WP's NPOV. --Peter Schmitt 13:31, 14 November 2010 (UTC)


By Article 39 of the Charter, an Ombudsman is available to mediate any dispute. Agreements worked out through mediation shall be binding but may be appealed.

I have been asked to intervene here and on War crimes.

As far as I am aware, I have no conflict of interest, I have not contributed to either article or to any related article, nor have I formed or expressed any view on the merits of the arguments either formally or privately

Do those involved in this dispute agree to my intervention here? My role I think would be to summarise the substantive issues raised, make an interim ruling based on the Charter, and pre-existing policy guidelines, and report to the EC. Are those involved willing that any interim ruling be binding pending future decisions of the EC? Gareth Leng 10:24, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

I accept all those conditions. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 10:51, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Fine by me. Sandy Harris 11:24, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Respectfully, Gareth, I do not accept mediation. The matter has gone far beyond policy issues, and into behavior such as inappropriate blanking and personal attacks. I believe the Constabulary should make the first ruling, since I see these as bannable offenses.
It's a bit ironic that Martin threatens to take it to both councils when there hasn't even been a Constabulary ruling. The role of the MC in behavioral matters is appellate.
Martin has claimed there is a serious problem with the EC and me, yet he has introduced no actual text on either the EC wiki or mailing list. Prior to these complaints, I had put working notes on article policy onto the EC wiki, but was still working on it to make it ready to nominate it as a topic for discussion. Martin, as far as I can tell, has put nothing on EC media about article policy/objectivity or "behavioral" aspects concerning me. Howard C. Berkowitz 14:40, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
As you now explicitly refuse to accept the authority of the Ombudsman to rule on CZ neutrality policy, I am taking this matter to both Councils to ask for an examination of your behaviour in attempting to rewrite CZ policy without the authority of the EC. You have only yourself to blame. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 14:57, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
The Charter gives the Ombudsman no "authority" if the parties do not accept mediation. Martin, the issue is now your blanking, personal attacks, and my "behavioral" dispute with the EC, which you cannot substantiate. In other words, the behavioral issues override those of policy. Blanking articles without the remotest authority falls into the domain of the Constabulary. Howard C. Berkowitz 15:15, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
The matter has been sent formally to the EC and ME. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 16:09, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Clearly I have no role here at present in mediating between disputing parties. By Article 32 (5) [The Editorial Council shall] adjudicate disputes over content among Authors, Editors, and/or Managing Editor, and impose its decisions upon the content of the Citizendium; by Article 36 the Managing Editor can make an interim decision on behalf of the EC. How the EC wishes to proceed in adjudicating disputes is up to the EC. However, by Article 40(2). "When a formal decision is necessary or demanded, the Ombudsman shall facilitate the presentation of the issue to the appropriate body — Editorial Council for content disputes, Management Council for disputes involving violation of the rules." This stands alone, and does not appear to require any agreement from any parties for the Ombudsman to act in this way. Clearly it would be inappropriate and unproductive for the Ombudsman to duplicate work being done by others. I therefore suggest that the Ombudsman should act in accordance with Article 40(2) either by agreement among the disputants, or at the invitation of the EC or MC. I am repeating this message on War crimes.Gareth Leng 16:29, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Outside view

Behavior issues aside, let me comment the original point. Even in mathematics it can happen that a statement is "practically true" but "theoretically false"; for an example, see Theory (mathematics)#Sharp or fuzzy; real or ideal.

Really I do not understand, why not just say the truth to the reader? If the truth is that most historians treat Mengele as criminal and most lawyers as not criminal, then, why not just write so? (Probably the truth is not exactly that, but you can formulate it appropriately.) Boris Tsirelson 15:53, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

You are obsolutely correct, Boris. This sort of formulation is helpful and encyclopaedic: what I have objected to is the way in which the tone is set from the outset of the article, with inappropriate quotations. The article should (and does) prove that Mengele was a monster: it does not need to rely on shorthand characterisations that are legally incorrect. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 16:08, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
But if I really am "absolutely correct" then the "shorthand characterization" should appear in the article! Yes, with a note that it is legally incorrect (but still correct in some different sense). Boris Tsirelson 16:17, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
I do not censor alternative views! Of course, the shorthand characterisation should appear: that is also required by existing CZ policy. The important thing, as you clearly understand, is to inform the reader as accurately as possible. This is not necessarily how history, or law, or whatever books write about it: it is how an encyclopaedia should write about it. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 16:28, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Then, what was the problem? Boris Tsirelson 16:54, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
An honest answer to this question would breach CZ rules concerning professional conduct on the wiki. You will have to impute it. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 17:27, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
I could impute a veiled unprofessional remark. Nevertheless, I did have a partial solution in mind, which did involve the war crimes article. That article has repeatedly been blanked with edit comments that it was, from memory, a badly written article intended to win an argument.
That, however, was not at all my purpose. I think a reasonable solution here is to put a text box, not an obscure footnote, near the start of the article, entitled usage of "war criminal". It would point out that there are differences among historians, lawyers, and even lawyers of different legal traditions (e.g., Common and Civil Law differ on the presumption of innocence). The details would be in war crime, although I might mention that the title of the four-power Nuremberg tribunal was "Trial of the Major War Criminals".
With war crimes being blanked, however, I can't very well link to it -- or improve it. Howard C. Berkowitz 17:49, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, Martins reply is not intended to be understood by me, and it really is not. (I never was strong in taking hints.) Howards reply is rather convincing for me.
If Citizen X blanks an article written by Citizen Y, it is rude. If X is an editor (in the topic) and the article is a patent nonsense (it happens, unfortunately), and therefore Y is utterly incompetent (in the topic), then blanking is still rude, but understandable. This does not seem the case here. But probably I miss something much more important than these trivial arguments, something that Martin cannot tell me. Well, let him tell it to competent decision makers; I am not. Boris Tsirelson 18:35, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Constable comment

This article started as a thought experiment posed by Howard C. Berkowitz where there was a question whether a neutral article could ever be written about the Holocaust and the wider subject of the Nazis. Martin accepted that challenge and the two chose to collaborate on this article. The progress on the article has stopped as there has been a call for intervention by the Ombudsman, but that notion was rejected by one party in favor of editorial intervention by either the ME or the EC. As an alternative to continued confrontation, this is a good decision on the part of the parties involved.

There is always going to be disagreement and it is not our purpose to cause everyone to agree. Our purpose is to allow everyone to safely voice their concerns and allow a reasoned result. From a behavior perspective, I notice that everyone involved has been able to restrain their talk page discussions and keep them within acceptable professional guidelines with a few relatively minor regressions. However, I also notice that the conflict began to spill over into other articles and behavior began to take an less desirable turn. I am encouraged that our authors did quickly recognize that there are too many editorial questions that need to be answered and there is a dispute resolution process that can be implemented.

As part of the social experiment, it appears that this article has reached a place where further discussion by its participants will only result in further deterioration of behavior without substantial gain in content. Therefore, it does make sense that, unless the two parties can come to a resolution simply, then we can continue the process of content resolution using the dispute resolution process. The charter makes the ME available for this purpose and the Ombudsman can assist in the presentation to either council.

I will unlock this talk page to allow for this process to begin. I will unlock the other pages once some sense of order has resumed. D. Matt Innis 22:56, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
  1. Astor, p. 102
  2. Lifton, pp. 344-366