Talk:Ernst von Weizsäcker

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Neutral?[edit]

This article reads like a brief for the prosecution, not a balanced account of Weizsäcker's career. john k (talk) 22:58, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Well, he did some bad stuff. I've checked in Evans's new history of Nazi Germany and added some references, good and bad. --Andersonblog (talk) 01:06, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree with John. I'm about to begin the cleanup. Geithe (talk) 16:12, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

I have read several version of this article from different stages of its history. Certainly at one time it was distinctly biased. Since John Kenney's comment above (5 January 2009) there have been numerous edits, some of which have considerably reduced such bias, and the article is much better as a result. However, a few edits have gone rather the other way, for example removing some mentions of Nazis, and stating "Weizsäcker was closely associated with the anti-Nazi resistance" as though it were a fact, rather than a disputed opinion, which it is. I have made a number of changes in an attempt to produce more of a balance between the two sides: I hope I have succeeded. JamesBWatson (talk) 12:20, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
It's not neutral to describe him as a "convicted war criminal" for multiple reasons. First off, political convictions are dubious in itself and hardly neutral facts (are people convicted by Joseph Stalin's regime "criminals"? – many would dispute that). Secondly, he was given an amnesty shortly thereafter. Amnesty is defined by our article as an "act by which a state restores those who may have been guilty of an offense against it to the positions of innocent people. It includes more than pardon, in as much as it obliterates all legal remembrance of the offense". Hence, he is not considered to be convicted of anything.
The article still has severe problems as pointed out by John Kenney. It includes POV language and reads like a brief for the prosecution. Negative material and accusations are given undue, even excessive, weight, and needs to be reduced significantly. The issues can be addressed in a much more neutral and concise way. Geithe (talk) 22:13, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, he was given an amnesty, but it is still a fact that he was convicted. Probably the most balanced presentation is to mention both facts together: I accept that giving prominence to the conviction in the lead, while hiding the amnesty further down was unbalanced coverage, but so is hiding the fact of his conviction in the "small print". JamesBWatson (talk) 10:20, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
He has never been convicted of anything. The appropriate place to describe political convictions that were since repealed is the section below, not the introduction. This is not a significant issue compared to his career as a diplomat and cannot be dealt with appropriately in the introduction without being given undue weight. Geithe (talk) 06:28, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Just to weigh in here: I like Geithe is way off base. vW was convicted at Nuremberg. The conviction itself is a neutral fact. It's OK to say "vW was convicted of warcrimes at Nuremberg"; what Geithe is saying would make sense if the language in question was "vW committed war crimes". The article says who did the convicting and the reader can decide for herself; for example, by going to the article about Nuremberg. The amnesty can also be noted in the lead but it does not mean he was not convicted. However, its preposterous to say that this is nothing more than a footnote in his biography. For better or worse, it is enormously significant. Right or wrong, the conviction is an incredibly notable part of vW's biography. The fact that you are so riled up about it 50 years later is proof enough. Savidan 07:03, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree entirely with the previous editor. Right or wrong, convictions are an incredibly notable part of any biography, nicht wahr? Hammersbach (talk) 01:23, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Unbalanced[edit]

This page is seriously unbalanced. There is not much here about Weizsäcker's time as State Secretary while rather more is devoted to his time as an Ambassador to the Holy See. Given the World War II broken out in 1939 while Weizsäcker was State Secretary, surely his actions in 1939 merited mention? Second, Weizsäcker was opposed to war in 1938-39 because he thought Germany needed more time to rearm. His oppostion was only pramatic, not moral as all of the evidence shows that Weizsäcker was all for German expansion in Eastern Europe, his only problem being the timing of said opposition. So, Weizsäcker was opposed to timing of Nazi foreign policy without being opposed to either its aims or the Nazi regime itself. This article should made that more clear.--A.S. Brown (talk) 20:20, 13 October 2010 (UTC)