Re Hoffmann

Date21 September 1948
Docket NumberCase No. 191
CourtEastern Provincial Court (Denmark)
Denmark, Eastern Provincial Court.
Case No. 191
In re Hoffmann.

Belligerent Occupation — Treatment of Civilian Population — Members of Resistance Movements — Legal Status of Resistance Movement — Limits of Self-Defence and Self-Preservation.

The Facts.—The accused, a member of the German Security Police in occupied Denmark, had in 1944–1945 in several cases ill-treated and tortured, or ordered the ill-treatment and torture, of Danish subjects who had been arrested as being members of the resistance movement. In his defence the accused contended that his acts and orders were lawful on the grounds that the resistance movement and its members, being francs-tireurs, enjoyed no protection from the rules of international law; that the German occupation authorities were therefore entitled to use all means in their power to defeat them; that the ill-treatment had been undertaken in self-defence seeing that the attacks of the resistance movement exposed to danger the lives of German soldiers; and that this danger could only be prevented by obtaining from the arrested members in the shortest possible time information as...

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