The allies views of the nuremberg trials
Nonetheless, most observers considered the trials a step forward for the establishment of international law. The reduction in resources and political enthusiasm left the war crimes teams to gradually wind down their work.
There is a reasonable doubt whether this kind of trial, despite the voluminous and accessible record it makes, persuades anyone. The fact that these rules had to be laid down in collusion with the Soviet Union, which had violated most of them in the previous ten years, was glossed over.
Who was on trial at the nuremberg trials
It alleges that the defendants participated "in the planning, preparation, initiation and waging of wars of aggression, which were also wars in violation of international treaties, agreements and assurances. In paragraph X of the indictment, reference is first made to "international conventions. The inclination of the British government and of the prime minister, Winston Churchill, in particular, was simply to shoot Axis leaders out-of-hand, as outlaws, once they were caught. He was not the only person to express this thought. That is, perhaps a German tribunal or one applying German law can disregard an obviously outrageous statute or executive order as offensive to natural law just as the Supreme Court of the United States can disregard a statute or executive order as offensive to the United States Constitution. But suppose Adolph raised as a defense the contention that he was acting pursuant to orders form superiors which were the law of Germany. A long list was drawn up of those deemed to be 'war criminals'. It rests on the political truth that if a law can be created after an offense, then power is to that extent absolute and arbitrary. To be sure, most trials do and should incidentally educate the public. This is not a new question. Over the next three years a whole series of lesser trials were held of soldiers, officials and industrialists accused of complicity with the actions deemed by the first trial to be criminal. First, there was no precedent for an international trial of war criminals. This sharp division of opinion has not been fully aired largely because it relates to an issue of foreign policy upon which this nation has already acted and on which debate may seem useless or, worse, merely to impair this country's prestige and power abroad. IBM provided the technology and recruited men and women from international telephone exchanges to provide on-the-spot translations through headphones in English, French, German and Russian. There was no precedent.
Goering was right to see international judgement as a function of Allied power and German helplessness. To those who support the trial it promises the first effective recognition of a world law for the punishment of malefactors who start wars or conduct them in bestial fashion.
To be sure it is also an exhibition of power and not of restraint.
What was the outcome of the nuremberg trials
For us and for them this opportunity will make the proceeding more convincing. Have we forgotten that law is not power, but restraint on power? At least one of those indicted, the armaments minister Albert Speer, had explored the possibility of assassinating Hitler in , a fact that may explain why he was eventually sentenced to prison rather than executed. Top Legacy Though the trial of the major war criminals in was legally flawed, its primary purpose was political. At the moment, the world is most impressed by the undeniable dignity and efficiency of the proceedings and by the horrible events recited in the testimony. But for all that, the trials reflected legal norms that were embedded in the natural law tradition, and were not mere expressions of vengeance. If that defense were raised, and if we assume contrary to what some German jurists tell us that in Germany there were on the statute books pertinent exculpatory laws, nonetheless under well-known principles of German law, going back to the middle Ages and differing from current Anglo-American theories, the superior order could be disregarded by a court applying German law, on the ground that it was so repugnant to "natural law" as to be void. Reference is made not only to the Briand-Kellogg Pact of August 27, , but to deliberations of the League of Nations in and subsequent years--all of which are said to show an increasing awareness of a new standard of conduct.
Roosevelt in Aprilhe insisted that enemy leaders should be given a formal trial based on western practice, with clear charges and the right to a defence.
Neither the Soviet nor the American government was happy with the British suggestion. If there is one axiom that emerges clearly from the history of constitutionalism and from the study of any bill of rights or any charter of freedom, it is that procedural safeguards are the very substance of the liberties we cherish.
The allies views of the nuremberg trials
The form of the determination need not have been absolute on its face. Quite apart form the effect of the Nuremberg trial upon the particular defendants involved, there is the disturbing effect of the trial upon domestic justice here and abroad. In addition, the International Military Tribunal supplied a useful precedent for the trials of Japanese war criminals in Tokyo ; the trial of Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann ; and the establishment of tribunals for war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda No one anticipates that the defense, if it has the evidence, will be given as long a time to present its evidence as the prosecution takes. Podcast: The big question of the Holocaust Unsurprisingly, the target was never reached. The Nazis' highest authority, the person most to blame for the Holocaust, was missing at the trials. But it is by no means clear that this trial will further any such program. And there is nothing more foreign to those proceedings than either the presumption that the defendants are innocent until proved guilty or the doctrine that any adverse public comment on the defendants before the verdict is prejudicial to their receiving a fair trial. There then followed six months of wrangling over who should be put on trial, and on what charges, and where. Three are sentenced to life imprisonment Hess, economics minister Walther Funk, and Raeder. There is not even one neutral sitting beside them.
Many investigating officers were demobbed without being replaced. Joseph Stalinthe Soviet leader, initially proposed the execution of 50, toGerman staff officers. Most reporters say that the Germans are neither interested in nor persuaded by these proceedings, which they regard as partisan.
The category of war crime, defined under international agreements made earlier in the century, covered specific violations of the rules of war such as the murder of prisoners of war, or the shooting of hostagesbut these were enforced against the immediate perpetrators - who were in most cases junior officers and regular soldiers.
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