The Nuremberg trials were a series of military tribunals held after World War II by the Allied forces. The trials were most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, judicial, and economic leadership of Nazi Germany. Their decisions marked a turning point between classical and contemporary international law. For the first time in international law, the Nuremburg indictments also mention genocide.
About Nuremberg trials in brief
The Nuremberg trials were a series of military tribunals held after World War II by the Allied forces under international law and the laws of war. The trials were most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, judicial, and economic leadership of Nazi Germany. Their decisions marked a turning point between classical and contemporary international law. The first and best known of the trials was that of the major war criminals before the International Military Tribunal. The categorization of the crimes and the constitution of the court represented a juridical advance that would be followed afterward by the United Nations for the development of an international jurisprudence in matters of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and wars of aggression. For the first time in international law, the Nuremburg indictments also mention genocide. For more information on the trials, visit: http://www.nurembergtrial.org/ or go to: http:/www. nuremberg.org.uk/tribunal/trial-trial-trial-report-report.html. The trial was held between 20 November 1945 and 1 October 1946, and included 24 of the most important political and military leaders of the Third Reich. Primarily treated here is the first trial, conducted by the International military Tribunal. Further trials of lesser war criminals were conducted under Control Council Law No. 10 at the U.S. NUREmberg Military Tribunal, which included the Doctors’ trial and the Judges’ Trial. The tribunal was set up by the British, French provisional government, and Polish.
government-in-exile in response to the German invasion of their country in 1940. In April 1940, a joint declaration was issued by the UK, France, and the United States that the Allies would pursue the Nazis to the uttermost ends of the earth so that justice may be done. In late 1943, during the Tripartite Dinner Meeting at the Tehran Conference, the Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin, proposed executing 50,000–100,000 German staff officers. 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. In December 1944, the British War Cabinet discussed their policy for the punishment of the leading Nazis if captured. Churchill believed that perhaps 49,000 soldiers who fought for the country would do better than partake in any such action. However, he also stated that war criminals must pay for their crimes and that, under the Moscow Document, they should be tried at the places where the crimes were committed. According to the minutes of a meeting between Roosevelt and Stalin, Churchill was very much struck by the extent of the German destruction in Crimea and therefore was more bloodthirsty under the Nazis’ rule. In February 1945, at the Yalta Conference, Roosevelt joked that he would rather be shot in the courtyard of the Livadia Palace rather than in any other place.