After World War II, numerous war-crimes trials tried and convicted many Axis leaders. Judges from Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States tried twenty-two Nazi leaders for: crimes against humanity (mostly about the Holocaust), violating long-established rules of war, and waging aggressive war. This was known as the Nuremberg Trials.
Late in 1946, the German defendants were indicted and arraigned before a war crimes tribunal at Nuremberg. Twenty of the defendants were physicians who, as governmental, military, or SS officials, stood at or near the top of the medical hierarchy of the Third Reich. The other three occupied administrative positions which brought them into close connection with medical affairs.
It all started when people started hearing about the Nazis in human acts, just about four months after World War II started. No one would believe that such a thing would happen. While the people were thinking like that the Jews were being shipped out of the country. Some of them were put in working camps or at a persons farm. This was the beginning of the Final Solution of the Germans Problem (the Holocaust). On August 8 the Four Power nation signed the London Agreement. They later named it the International Military Tribunal (IMT), it had 8 judges, one judge and one alternate. This was made so that they would try to stop the Nazi crimes (Rice Jr. 81). They had supplementary Nuremberg hearings that were broken down into twelve trials. In connection with these trials, the U.S. military tribunals had thirty-five defendants and released nineteen of them because they could find anything to get them on (Rice Jr. 76). They made Nuremberg Laws because of Hitlers concentration camps and his other inhuman acts (Rice Jr. 31). He didnt go by the lead system, he made himself the Supreme Judge. Hitler could imprison or execute anyone he wanted to. He made laws keeping Jews out of certain public places or jobs. He wouldnt let Jews have German citizenship. The Nuremberg Laws stated that there would be no more inhuman acts or segregation of Jews. One of the positive sides of the Nuremberg incident was the trials documented Nazi crimes for posterity. Many citizens of the world remember hearing about the Nazis brutalities and inhuman acts (Rice Jr., 5). Hundreds of official Nazi documents entered into evidence at Nuremberg tell the horrible tale of the Third Reich in the Nazis own words. Six million Jews, and others not liked by the Nazis were killed. Not one convicted Nazi denied that the mass killing had occurred. Each disclaimed only personal knowledge and responsibility. The negative things that happened at Nuremberg were the establishment of the I.M.T. has yet to lead to a permanent counterpart before which crimes against humanity can be tried. Twenty-four wars between nations and ninety-three civil wars or insurgencies between 1945 and 1992, no international body had been convened to try aggressor nations or individuals accused of war crimes. To prosecute and punish aggression rest still on the wavering will of an international community ever reluctant to impose sanctions on offending governments (Rice Jr. 100). Despite the reluctance of nations to unite in common cause and move swiftly toward a lasting road to aggression, hope yes abides for the best of Nurembergs brightest promise. The world had a problem of what to do about the Nazi regime that had presided over the extermination of some six million Jews and deaths of millions of others with no basis in military necessity. Never before in history had the victors tried the vanquished for crimes committed during a war (Rice Jr., 97). Yet never in history had the vanquished perpetrated crimes of such inhumanity. The I.M.T., like the courts in many countries, have held to the principle that persons committing a criminal violation of international law are responsible for violation, on the grounds that crimes of this nature are the result of their own acts (Rice 1492). The tribunal thought for crimes carried out on orders from above, since many of the crimes had been committed in one with the Reich policy (Rice 1493). The portion of the I.M.T. judgment dealing with war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the defendants in the trial and by the criminal organizations concerns, in large measure, the persecution and murder of the Jewish people. In its analysis of these crimes, the I.M.T. found it appropriate to single out the persecution of the Jews as a manifestation of consistent and systematic in humanity on a huge scale (Rice 1493). The testimony given at the Nuremberg Trial, the document presented by the prosecution, and the entire record of its proceedings constitute an incomparable source for the study of the Holocaust. The Nuremberg debates may continue for decades. But because of the tribunals rulings at Nuremberg, the initiating and waging of aggressive war is now irrefutably criminal under international law. And that in itself is not a bad legacy.
Category: European History