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Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal - Wiki. Visually. Coordinates: 4. N1. 1°0. 2. 9. 10. E / 4. 9. 4. 54. N 1. 1. 0. 48. 50.
E / 4. 9. 4. 54. The Nuremberg trials (German: die Nürnberger Prozesse) were a series of military tribunals, held by the Allied forces after World War II, which were most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, judicial and economic leadership of Nazi Germany who planned, carried out, or otherwise participated in the Holocaust and other war crimes. The trials were held in the city of Nuremberg, Germany, and their decisions marked a turning point between classical international law and contemporary international law. The first, and best known of these trials, described as "the greatest trial in history" by Norman Birkett, one of the British judges who presided over it, was the trial of the major war criminals before the International Military Tribunal (IMT). Held between 2. 0 November 1.
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October 1. 94. 6, the Tribunal was given the task of trying 2. Third Reich – though the proceedings of Martin Bormann was tried in absentia, while another, Robert Ley, committed suicide within a week of the trial's commencement. Not included were Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and Joseph Goebbels, all of whom had committed suicide in the spring of 1. Reinhard Heydrich was not included, as he had been assassinated in 1. The second set of trials of lesser war criminals was conducted under Control Council Law No. U. S. Nuremberg Military Tribunals (NMT), which included the Doctors' Trial and the Judges' Trial. This article primarily deals with the IMT; see Subsequent Nuremberg Trials for details on the NMT (the second set of trials).
The typification of the crimes and the constitution of the court represented a juridical advance that would be used afterwards by the United Nations for the development of a specific international jurisprudence in matter of War crime, Crimes against humanity, War of aggression, as well as for the creation of the International Criminal Court. There were, I suppose, three possible courses: to let the atrocities which had been committed go unpunished; to put the perpetrators to death or punish them by executive action; or to try them. Which was it to be? Was it possible to let such atrocities go unpunished? Could France, could Russia, could Holland, Belgium, Norway, Czechoslovakia, Poland or Yugoslavia be expected to consent to such a course? .. It will be remembered that after the first world war alleged criminals were handed over to be tried by Germany, and what a farce that was!
The majority got off and such sentences as were inflicted were derisory and were soon remitted.—Geoffrey Lawrence. December 1. 94. 6A precedent for trying those accused of war crimes had been set at the end of World War I in the Leipzig War Crimes Trials held in May to July 1. Reichsgericht (German Supreme Court) in Leipzig, although these had been on a very limited scale and largely regarded as ineffectual. At the beginning of 1.
Polish government- in- exile asked the British and French governments to condemn the German invasion of their country. The British initially declined to do so; however, in April 1. British, French and Polish.
Relatively bland because of Anglo- French reservations, it proclaimed the trio's "desire to make a formal and public protest to the conscience of the world against the action of the German government whom they must hold responsible for these crimes which cannot remain unpunished."Three- and- a- half years later, the stated intention to punish the Germans was much more trenchant. On 1 November 1. 94. Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States published their "Declaration on German Atrocities in Occupied Europe", which gave a "full warning" that, when the Nazis were defeated, the Allies would "pursue them to the uttermost ends of the earth .. The above declaration is without prejudice to the case of the major war criminals whose offences have no particular geographical location and who will be punished by a joint decision of the Government of the Allies." This intention by the Allies to dispense justice was reiterated at the Yalta Conference and at Berlin in 1.
British War Cabinet documents, released on 2 January 2. December 1. 94. 4 the Cabinet had discussed their policy for the punishment of the leading Nazis if captured.
The British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, had then advocated a policy of summary execution in some circumstances, with the use of an Act of Attainder to circumvent legal obstacles, being dissuaded from this only by talks with US and Soviet leaders later in the war.. Defendants in the dock at the Nuremberg trials. The main target of the prosecution was Hermann Göring (at the left edge on the first row of benches), considered to be the most important surviving official in the Third Reich after Hitler's death. In late 1. 94. 3, during the Tripartite Dinner Meeting at the Tehran Conference, the Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin, proposed executing 5. German staff officers. US President. Franklin D.
Roosevelt joked that perhaps 4. Churchill, believing them to be serious, denounced the idea of "the cold blooded execution of soldiers who fought for their country" and that he would rather be "taken out in the courtyard and shot" himself than partake in any such action. However, he also stated that war criminals must pay for their crimes and that, in accordance with the Moscow Document which he himself had written, they should be tried at the places where the crimes were committed. Churchill was vigorously opposed to executions "for political purposes."[1. According to the minutes of a meeting between Roosevelt and Stalin at Yalta, on 4 February 1.
Livadia Palace, President Roosevelt "said that he had been very much struck by the extent of German destruction in the Crimea and therefore he was more bloodthirsty in regard to the Germans than he had been a year ago, and he hoped that Marshal Stalin would again propose a toast to the execution of 5. German Army."[1. 2]Henry Morgenthau, Jr., US Secretary of the Treasury, suggested a plan for the total denazification of Germany; [1. Morgenthau Plan. The plan advocated the forced de- industrialisation of Germany and the summary execution of so- called "arch- criminals", i. Roosevelt initially supported this plan, and managed to convince Churchill to support it in a less drastic form. Later, details were leaked generating widespread condemnation by the nation's newspapers.
Roosevelt, aware of strong public disapproval, abandoned the plan, but did not adopt an alternative position on the matter. The demise of the Morgenthau Plan created the need for an alternative method of dealing with the Nazi leadership. The plan for the "Trial of European War Criminals" was drafted by Secretary of War.
Henry L. Stimson and the War Department. Following Roosevelt's death in April 1. Harry S. Truman, gave strong approval for a judicial process.
After a series of negotiations between Britain, the US, Soviet Union and France, details of the trial were worked out. The trials were to commence on 2. November 1. 94. 5, in the Bavarian city of Nuremberg.Creation of the courtsOn 2.
April 1. 94. 2, representatives from the nine countries occupied by Germany met in London to draft the "Inter- Allied Resolution on German War Crimes". At the meetings in Tehran (1. Yalta (1. 94. 5) and Potsdam (1. United Kingdom, United States, and the Soviet Union, agreed on the format of punishment for those responsible for war crimes during World War II.
France was also awarded a place on the tribunal. The legal basis for the trial was established by the London Charter, which was agreed upon by the four so- called Great Powers on 8 August 1. European Axis countries"Some 2. German war crimes defendants were tried at Nuremberg, and 1,6.
The legal basis for the jurisdiction of the court was that defined by the Instrument of Surrender of Germany. Political authority for Germany had been transferred to the Allied Control Council which, having sovereign power over Germany, could choose to punish violations of international law and the laws of war.
Because the court was limited to violations of the laws of war, it did not have jurisdiction over crimes that took place before the outbreak of war on 1 September 1. Location. The courthouse in Nuremberg, where the trials took place. Leipzig and Luxembourg were briefly considered as the location for the trial. The Soviet Union had wanted the trials to take place in Berlin, as the capital city of the 'fascist conspirators', but Nuremberg was chosen as the site for two reasons, with the first one having been the decisive factor: [1.
The Palace of Justice was spacious and largely undamaged (one of the few buildings that had remained largely intact through extensive Allied bombing of Germany), and a large prison was also part of the complex. Nuremberg was considered the ceremonial birthplace of the Nazi Party. It had hosted the Party's annual propaganda rallies and the Reichstag session that passed the Nuremberg Laws.[1. Thus it was considered a fitting place to mark the Party's symbolic demise.
As a compromise with the Soviets, it was agreed that while the location of the trial would be Nuremberg, Berlin would be the official home of the Tribunal authorities.[1. It was also agreed that France would become the permanent seat of the IMT and that the first trial (several were planned) would take place in Nuremberg.[1. Most of the accused had previously been detained at Camp Ashcan, a processing station and interrogation center in Luxembourg, and were moved to Nuremberg for the trial. ParticipantsEach of the four countries provided one judge and an alternative, as well as a prosecutor.
Chief prosecutorsAssisting Jackson were the lawyers Telford Taylor,[2. William S. Kaplan[2. Thomas J. Dodd, and Richard Sonnenfeldt, a US Armyinterpreter. Assisting Shawcross were Major. Sir David Maxwell- Fyfe and Sir John Wheeler- Bennett.