Talk:Marinus van der Lubbe

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Hi! I started this article and I really like the way it is being fleshed out. I wonder, though, whether we should take some of the material here and put it into a separate article on the Reichstag fire and have this article focus more on van der Lubbe the person. What does everyone think? Danny 21:54 Mar 7, 2003 (UTC)

Not a bad idea. BTW, I don't like the reference to 'half-wit'. I also saw that Paul Mattick dedicated one of his books to M. v. d. Lubbe. There was also an article on him in an old copy of the UK magazine "Anarchy" (2nd series from the early 70s).

I cleaned up the most recent addition by an anonymous user and removed: "The travel diary of Rinus had been published in many languages (dutch, german, french,...)" since I could find no reference whatsoever for this.

Beheaded for what crime?[edit]

It mentions he was beheaded following a trial. What was the crime? Was it the Reichstag fire? If so, add this, and a link. --Rebroad 09:42, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

was it him?[edit]

hello, although many think it was marinus van der lubbe that started the fire was it organised by him, the communists, or the nazis themselves to gain control, there is a lot of evidence that leads to the belief the the nazis were behind these such evidence as karl ernst head of the SA in Berlin was asked if his storm troopers were behind the fire he answered ' If i said Yes, I'd be a bloody fool, If i said no I'd be a bloody liar.' evidence like this leads historians to believe the nazis tho be behind the reichstag fire.

Nazi documents and Nuremberg Trial testimony proves what quite a few historians at the time suspected - Hermann Goering set fire to the Reichstag. Marinus, used as a patsy, was then found naked in an alley behind the Reichstag, and subsequently convicted. However, some officials deny all of this and say that it is a blatant lie.--Firehawk1717 23:55, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
The current consensus among historians is, yes, it was in fact him. Read the article on the Reichstag Fire for more information. --Martcx 02:27, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
it's not definit if he was it or not —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:26, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, ask him then. It was him, give some credit to an ordinary guy. The left wants to cling to their old believes, but why? It is not as if the Nazis had not commited enough crimes.--Radh (talk) 21:46, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

POV statement?[edit]

"In short he seems to have been suffering from a mental disorder that led him to seek both fame and the role of victim."

This seems to me to be a judgmental statement solely designed to advance the theory that the Nazis were really behind the Reichstag fire. It doesn't seem necessary to me, we should just present the facts and let the reader decide.

which communist party?[edit]

There's an odd double-mention of his joining the Dutch Communist Party (CPH). Is the second reference meant to be to the German Communist Party (KPD)? OlYeller 21:20, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Tone of the Article[edit]

The overall tone of the article makes it sound like an opinion piece rather than an objective statement of what are believed to be facts. In particular, the use of the word "forced" immediately puts the subject of the article into the role of a bystander or victim. Based upon this discussion [thread] and references to this individual by conspiracy theorists, the conclusion I draw is that this is a subjective piece meant to emotionally predispose me to believe that he was a hapless victim/patsy, rather than an objective piece meant to convey information. That subjectivity leads me to question the entire article.


There are, or there is, people insisting in saying Marinus was Jewish. It'd would be nice to see this page protected for some time. Please, do this! 03:17, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

No detail[edit]

It is said that Lubbe's eye-sight was damaged, but it is not clear how this occured. More than one explanation has been given. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:12, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

The outcome of the trial?[edit]

The source speaks of a trial taking place after van der Lubbe declared himself to be one of the ringleaders of the strike at the Tielmann factory. It equally sais that he wished to take full responsibility for the trial, yet it dose'nt say the outcome. I am intrigued as to what the outcome is? Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Godwin69 (talkcontribs) 16:58, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Conspiracy theories[edit]

There's no substantive evidence whatsoever for the allegation that Van der Lubbe was "a pawn of the Gestapo", "assisted by the SA" and similar stuff. The book by Bahar/Kugel is full of CT nonsense and has completely flopped in Germany. No need to introduce it here as a prime source. Sulpiz Delhaye (talk) 23:15, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

The book is a much needed new source of unpublished information, such as original photos from the police archives. There is substantial evidence that van der Lubbe was in fact used by the Nazis to help burn the building. You should raise specific problems or issues rather than making sweeping and misleading statements. Peterlewis (talk) 05:39, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
You should refrain from introducing wrong and unsubstantiated information into the article, such as the statement that the Reichstag was destroyed. If you're indeed unaware of the fact that the fire didn't even reach most parts of the building (including the library, for instance), it's hard to see what, if anything, you've learned from Bahar/Kugel. Sulpiz Delhaye (talk) 10:59, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
FYI, here's Henning Köhler's trashing of Bahar/Kugel, both of whom, by the way, aren't academic historians. From FAZ Sulpiz Delhaye (talk) 11:08, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

I notice your use of unacceptable language such as "trashing": that indicates to me your POV pushing. I also notice that you don't have a talk page. Have you actually seen the book: if noy I suggest that you desist your attacks. Peterlewis (talk) 11:11, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

It's on my shelves. Got it for 1,99 euros which was actually rather steep, considering the worthlessness of all those contrived conjectures. Fortunately, there aren't as many CT books on the subject as there are on the JFK assassination. Otherwise I'd have to think about moving. Sulpiz Delhaye (talk) 21:32, 26 May 2008 (UTC) 16:26, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

acquited vs. pardoned[edit]

The opening paragraph says, "He was posthumously acquitted in 2008," and cites (and in the reference quotes at length from) this article in The Guardian. However, the quote and the article indicate that he was pardoned, not acquitted. So I'm going to change "acquitted" to "pardoned" in the opening paragraph. NCdave (talk) 03:08, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Can anyone, please, tell me the deeper sense or meaning of pardoning somebody, who was already executed? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:05, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

The legal wrangling after the war was much more complicated than that. Here is the sequence, constructed from some sources I found:
1. The desire for pardon or aquittal was initially driven by his brother, Johannes Markus van der Lubbe. Although Marinus had already been executed by guillotine in 1934, his surviving brother continued to seek aquittal. The brother hence requested 'suspension of the initial verdict', and 21 April 1967 the court of Berlin changed the original verdict from 21 December 1933. The Berlin Court confirmed the guilt of Marinus of arson, but Berlin Court nevertheless changed the death sentence into 8 years of prison. In the same finding the Berlin court found the request for suspension of the initial verdict as unjustified.
2. After continued pressure and further legal exchanges, the Berlin Court decided to cancel the initial verdict altogether. 15 December 1980 the Court cancelled the verdict and Marinus was thus acquitted of the 8 year prison sentence from 1967.
3. The state prosecution in Berlin objected to the Court findings of December 1980, and 13 February 1981 the 8 year prison verdict of 1967 was put back in force by the Court in Berlin.
4. On 23 August 1998 an amendment to German law was adopted, that allows to nullify certain criminal justice procedures performed under Nazi regime.
5. The Court in Karlsruhe considered the trial (not question of guilt) of Marinus with respect to the new amended law. On 6 December 2007, the Court concluded that the first verdict satisfied the criteria for nullification and was in fact a mistrial. Martinus was therefore again acquitted due to mistrial.
This is thus an extremely rare case of someone being sentenced to prison twice, and acquitted twice, decades after his execution.
The sources for much of the above can be found in a German magazine [1]. The magazine is clearly leftist, but seems reliable and consistent with other sources on this subject. The writer actually witnessed some of the legal procedures himself.
Any bid on how much of this complex story should go into the wiki article? --Uffe (talk) 19:38, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
In common law jurisdictions a mistrial is not an acquittal. In most systems "acquittal" represents a verdict of "not guilty." Dismissals and vacated convictions, for example, are not going to be considered "acquittals" because they are not verdicts, although they may procedurally thwart a verdict temporarily or even permanently. Likewise, mistrials generally do not create a double jeopardy bar to future prosecution. Hopelessly deadlocked "hung" juries for example, result in mistrials but not acquittals, and retrials are usually allowed. It seems to me that the event in 2007/2008 was, at the very most, only a vacation of a conviction (a conviction being "set aside"), which is tantamount to a dismissal, but does not create a new verdict of acquittal. However, it seems to me that it is only the setting aside a sentence, while leaving the verdict undisturbed. (Many jurisdictions make the distinction between a verdict alone and a judgment which includes as sentence as well.)

Needs some help[edit]

The article makes a great deal of factual claims and interpretations of facts that cry out for better sourcing. patsw (talk) 01:40, 6 November 2010 (UTC)


"The forensic evidence from the scene, a set of photographs taken by the Berlin police department, shows many small fires started by van der Lubbe after he entered the building, apparently using fire-lighters."

"All of the examples of fires he set, such as one near the window on the ground floor where it is alleged he entered, self-extinguished."

I'm sure the word SUPPOSEDLY is missing from these two sentences? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:12, 9 May 2011 (UTC)


German communists slandered him as gay.-- (talk) 17:06, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Result of the Fire[edit]

Shouldn't there be something about the disastrous political result of the fire? Whoever started it, it gave the Nazis an excuse to crack down on their opponents. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:21, 27 July 2012 (UTC)