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Sunday, 22 July 2012

Gerald Draper biography




Following is the entire Biographical Note of Professor Colonel Gerald Draper (1914 - 1989), the British lawyer, scholar and a soldier, who was involved in the March 1946 interrogation of Rudolp Hoess, former commandant of Auschwitz, which mentally scarred him for decades to come.
The Biographical Note was written by Brevet Major The Count de Salis (who I believe is Charles John de Salis). It facsimiled, or reproduced verbatim from the book pictured above, a 1998, collection of articles written by Gerald Draper.
I collected the pages from the preview available on google books, and used google to find out what was on the pages restricted from the preview. Although you can discover what is written on restricted pages, you can not tell where paragraphs begin and end, and I have not tried to guess.
This undoubtedly breaks copyright laws, but, I'm not making any money from it, if anything I'm advertising the book. Such an important figure in Holocaust historiography as Gerald Draper, should not be hidden away in just a very, very expensive book.




tional system until he went to King's College, London, after a private education which, under the late Hubert Brinton, was undoubtedly of a high academic standard but nevertheless lonely in the extreme. The fact that in his formative years circumstances kept him well apart from the collegiate tradition (as the title of of Sir Dennis Walter's autobiography has it: "Not always with the pack"), must have contributed to his immense independence of mind and perhaps also to the intensity with which he held his views. The Professor Colonel was as much the antithesis of what some prejudices associate with the military - what VS Naipaul has called the English 'cult of stupidity' - and others with intellectuals' cacophony and cowardice.

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By his own account, his early years in London rapidly opened him to the pleasures of friendship for which, perhaps, his long pent up thirst lent him an exceptional gift and it was obvious when he spoke of those days how great had been his enjoyment of the parties and social life of that time. But even at an age when it is no fault to be a little frivolous his more serious spiritual streak was already present and he became a close friend of, and was much influenced by, Canon Alfonso de Zulueta, as a member of the League of Christ the King. When war came it was no accident that he joined the Foot Guards because, as he put it quite simply, he joined the war to fight for his country and the cause he believed in deeply, not to give legal advice. With good reason he took very great pride in having been an Irish Guardsman and seeing a considerable amount of active service in North Africa, not surprisingly given his quick and precise mind as Signals Officer, and his loyalty towards, and his delight in, his Regiment was uncompromisingly stated in the Brigade of Guards' tie which he wore more often than any other, his Irish Guards blackthorn stick, which he carried for the rest of his life, and in his box -spur Wellington boots which he always wore with evening dress. Nor did thirty years as a distinguished academic ever change certain obvious Foot Guards' turns of phrase such as his description of any sort of reprimand or dressing-down, in any circumstances, as a "moderate hello". Indeed, it is striking that in a man whose impish sense of humour and delight in deflating the pompous, whether people, institutions or government departments was a hall-mark in all circumstances and all places, his Regiment - and indeed Regimental Officers generally (I stress the distinction, because his views on the higher staff and so-called support units could be as unprintable as they were never the object of any barb. He was kind enough to include in this self-imposed taboo field delegates and again the stress is on field, of the ICRC and all those, as he put it, who had had to get quite good at "dodging large pieces of metal travelling fast". (Letter, 1.8.82). There was, however, a twinkle in his eye when he referred to the Cavalry and Guards Club always and only as 'The Pig and Whistle" and to the Irish Guards Officers' Mess Tent in North Africa as "Whites" - while he delighted in his story of a field Court Martial at which he was defending officer in Tunisia which broke up in confusion when a herd of goats suddenly irrupted in the tent in which it was being held. He admitted quite candidly that all in all while deploring the loss of friends he enjoyed his war (retaining a respectful and chivalrous memory of his enemies, saying of the Germans in Tunisia "if that is how they fight in retreat and defeat God help me when they are in the attack") until circumstances made him one of the first allied Officers to arrive at a concentration camp, which I believe was Bergen-Belsen. Although he first told me of this nearly thirty years after the event, his voice quite clearly changed pitch, his eyes still expressed outrage and anger, and his bearing exuded contempt for what he always referred to simply as the "Schweinerei". The description of what he saw, and of the first night he spent unable to stop reading until daybreak from the immense and disordered bundles of files, marked him for life; as he put it himself "when dawn came up and I was still reading with disbelief at the extent of the evil of which I could see the evidence outside around me with my own eyes, I was a changed man". I am not certain whether his modesty prevented him from realising that the manner in which he told of his experience also deeply marked me and, I am certain, countless others of his pupils. He was much too good a lawyer to have allowed his feelings of outrage and disgust to have influenced him in his work as a Military Prosecutor in the War Crimes Trials between 1945 and 1949, and far too shrewd in his understanding of human beings to allow hate for one Nation, and the desire for revenge against one Nation to distract him from the fact that for him was the self-evident essential one: all men's almost limitless capacity for evil and the essential role that law, its dissemination and punishment of offenders could fulfil in "forcing back the frontiers of that evil". His horror and abhorrence of "Schweinerei" was never confined by the comfortable escapism through the scapegoats of merely national or ideological hatreds. Gerald did all he could to oppose, denounce, and bring the law to bear against all "Schweinerei", from Stalinist crimes to Khmer Rouges atrocities - to the Sabra Chatila massacres in Beirut in 1982 - some would say "although", but in fact precisely "because" - he was a deep friend of Israel. His immense integrity and absolute evenhandedness made it quite natural for him to feel equally strongly about conduct which he considered dishonouring for his own country, as was evidenced by his help to Count Nikolai Tolstoy on the legal aspects of the "Victims of Yalta", which he described "although I have in the course of my life had to read more about human foulness than I care to remember ... as ... More editions ... as one of the most appalling Schweinerei of the war" (Letter, 6.8.1986). Nor should it be forgotten that the prosecution of high ranking German regular soldiers - as distinguished from prominent Nazis and SS - was not by any means universally popular in English military circles. But he was unwavering in his belief that the law should be upheld and strengthened precisely by placing responsibility wherever it lay on the basis of the objective evidence and fair trial. Yet there was nothing personally sanctimonious in his assessment of his own personal role, and even in such circumstances he was fond of telling stories against himself: he described his cross-examination of Field Marshal von Manstein, in which an important point turned on whether the Field Marshal had or had not personally signed a particular order, and was met with the withering reply: "You see, Colonel Draper, I really do not remember, Colonel Draper. For at that time, Colonel Draper, I was not commanding a Regiment, a Brigade or a Division, or a Corps, or an Army, but a Group of Armies: 1 had six hundred Colonels under me, Colonel Draper". And at that, he would always smile his most impish and delighted smile - just before adding that the Field Marshal was convicted and sentenced to a long term of imprisonment.

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Whether there was or was not any link between the disability which soon began to afflict him and the awful living conditions and immense overwork of his period in Germany remains unclear but certainly in the following years he was in excruciating pain, which he bore without complaint or self-pity. He who had played scrum-half for the Sandhurst rugby team, was left for the rest of his life under a handicap, his back bent forward and rigid, that would have brought most other men's careers and love of life to an end. Characteristically he went on to realise his greatest achievements, ever widened his already wide circle of friends and travelled prodigiously with an open mindedness and a curiosity that enriched him and those close to him beyond measure. It should be remembered that when he almost forcibly embarked on what was effectively a brand new career for him as an academic in 1956, at the age of forty-two, suffering already from a physical disability which was severe by any standards, he not only achieved a Professorship within twenty years but became considered by many the greatest English- speaking (the French misuse of "Anglo-Saxon" in this context never failed to reduce him almost to tears of laughter!) authority in his chosen subject, the Law of Armed Conflict, while teaching up to nine other branches of law. Practically concurrently, it should not be forgotten, he was for twenty years a part-time Chairman of Industrial Tribunals, member of the United Kingdom Delegation to many International Conferences, including all the Red Cross Conferences and those concerning the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, as well as continuing his legal practice at Hare Court in cases as well known as the Irish Peers' Case and as esoteric as the Revision of the Constitution of the Mothers' Union. Throughout, he regularly contributed what are usually known as 'letters to "The Times" ' - but might properly be called legal broadsides - as often as not directed against a Government decision or Authority acting in a way which he felt was illegal, legally unjustified, or merely shabby. As Professor Adam Roberts put it: "...there was something frightening about the Draper Gun. I sometimes felt ... that he was a bit like a weapon prohibited by the laws of war: liable to blow up at any time and to fire off in any direction!". Of course, he was well aware of, and on occasion hugely enjoyed, with almost child like provocation, his propensity for testing how far he could go too far, and his Quixotic streak gave him a well developed taste for lost causes provided he believed them to be right. He maintained a prodigious correspondence, usually a wonderful rich blend of friendship, scholarly observations, anecdotes and fun — mingled, on occasion, with sadness and depression at 'la condition humane' (I have over fifty of these long, very carefully written gems) and helped, as far as I can make out, anyone and everyone who sought his advice to the point of allowing himself to be regularly, and knowingly, plagiarised. The late sixties when he moved to Sussex University were not, by all accounts, easy ones and undergraduate attitudes of the time were strongly anti- establishment and anti-authoritarian. This never prevented Professor Colonel Draper from continuing to dress in his impeccable suits, as he always had, and from lecturing bedecked in his Brigade of Guards' tie and carrying his blackthorn - invariably to a full house. Once again the depth of his historical perspective - he was a considerable specialist on the Medieval Universities - made present-day so-called subversive undergraduates seem really very tame to him in relation to the Paris University of Villon, with the student body electing and ousting its Professors, as described by Wyndham Lewis in whose book on Villon he delighted and he was never a man to pander to popularity in any way. He was rewarded by intense respect, loyalty and in many cases affection by the many whom he quite simply taught to think. Although probably one of his only failures in this respect, I never forget the intensity of supervision periods with him which I attended from Cambridge, nor the essays submitted which he would hand back, generally covered in a text of his commentary rather longer than the original, with infinite care and trouble, on one occasion headed in block letters and in red ink: "Courage! "Courage! Rome was not built in a day!" He intensely disliked the political climate in England at that time referring in a letter to Socialism as "organised boredom" (Letter, 4.10.1976) - although I suspect that he didn't have much more time for the disorganised greed which followed: "Here, the dinner parties continue, the insincere remarks are exchanged and the worries about the rising costs of pleasures" (Letter, 4.5.1980) and "The contemporary clamour is for business and management training, after an earlier education in plumbing and computers" (Letter, 6.4.1986). The assessment of the Professor Colonel's publications is a matter for the editors, in the introduction to this book. However, it is clear that Professor Draper's contribution to Sir Hersch Lauterpacht's Manual of Military Law, Part III, "The Law of War on Land", was very great, and he delighted in an American colleague's assessment that it was "typical of the British to produce the best book on the subject, print it on rice paper and tie it together with a boot lace". On and off, for the last ten years of his life, he talked of plans, to write a complete, systematic treatise updating The Law of Armed Conflict to include the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions and it is our loss that this great undertaking, to which, characteristically again, he was planning to devote his retirement, was never to be possible. I believe, however, that it is a fair conjecture that he would have taken further an analogy which, with his extraordinarily expressive speaking voice, he enjoyed pointing out in the context of the harsh penance attributed in medieval penitentials to "the Archers. Why the Archers?". He argued that this was not merely because the Archer, as a common soldier, threatened the existing social order by his ability to deal with a mounted Knight, but because the archers, with indirect fire at a distance, did not engage in direct combat, and were uncertain of how many they had killed or maimed. By analogy, Gerald felt the Law should be particularly severe with those who, in a time of better organisation, communications and technology, were enabled to kill, maim and torture, whether by action or failure to act, on a hugely vaster scale by a signature on a piece of paper, without leaving the safety of their desks. He sat for nearly twenty years as a part time Chairman of Industrial Tribunals, and although privately often exasperated by the nature of the cases and quality of argument and witnesses he was obliged to hear, by all accounts he was a model of impartiality, courtesy and clarity. Characteristically, however, he never lost either his sense of fun or his abiding respect for the importance of precision in law. "I have just tried a case in the industrial Tribunal at Brighton, in which the two Lay Members sitting with me expressed the erudite opinion that the case was to be decided by common sense. Anybody who has taken a brief look at the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978, as amended by the Employment Act, 1980, the former consisting of 160 sections and 17 Schedules, may beg leave to take a different view. In fact I had come to the conclusion which agreed with theirs. I then suggested that if that was their view I would, if so desired by the two of them, set out in the Reasons for the decision the words 'The case was decided by the majority on the basis of common sense and by the minority on the basis of the Statutes and some 5 decided cases'. Then they grew alarmed and begged me to decide the case on the basis of law. What a farce!" (Letter, August 1982). Yet it was perhaps at the International Conferences, particularly those relating to the Geneva Conventions and the Red Cross, that the full extent of his knowledge, gifts and powers was most evident, for he blended the authority of a Colonel of Foot Guards with the clarity and precision of a Professor of Law, while his deep personal courtesy and interest and understanding of human weaknesses and foibles made him a natural and formidable diplomat. He moved easily in international, academic, diplomatic and military circles, perhaps precisely because in none of these fields was he from a mould. Baroness Elles tells of the impact of his authority even in his absence when, as a recently created Life Peer she was appointed United Kingdom Delegate to the Third Committee of the United Nations dealing with humanitarian issues:" I was seeking to introduce an amendment to the draft text, in accordance with the advice received from Gerald before leaving for New York. I was not making much headway - possibly my argument was not sounding very convincing - so, as a last resort, I called in aid the words of my mentor and stated that the amendment was suggested by the distinguished international legal expert, Colonel Gerald Draper. The reaction was electric. No longer did the fate of the amendment remain in the hands of the United Kingdom delegate - myself. At once, the distinguished delegate from Australia intervened saying (in substance, if not verbatim) that he had the honour of being a pupil of Colonel Draper, held him in the highest regard, and if that was

Editors: Meyer, Michael A. & McCoubrey, Hilaire. Reflections on Law and Armed Conflicts: The Selected Works on the Laws of War by the Late Professor Colonel G.I.A.D. Draper, OBEThe Hague: Kluwer Law International. 1998. pp.xviii - xxvii.





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