The History Of Trials History Essay

The period between 1945 and 1949 opened an black chapter in the history of tests. That period witnessed one of the ugliest episodes of tests consisting of 12 tests that involved more than one 100 suspects.[ 1 ]The episode of the tests which were conducted in many different tribunals of Nuremberg registered its name in the history of the universe as ‘The Supreme International Crimes ‘ .[ 2 ]The high spot of all the tests conducted in Nuremberg between 1945 and 1949 was the detestable nature of the felon charges brought against the accused. The charges therefore brought by the suspects, made the accused expression like ace scoundrels who were accused of perpetrating indefinable offenses, the offenses that are good plenty to direct a iciness down the spinal column. In the indictment, the accused were charged with the offenses of war which included confederacy and deliberate aggression, the offenses against humanity which included ailment intervention, mass slayings, abduction and many more. Yet, traveling by the visual aspects, the accused did n’t look any different from the normal human existences. The full history of the tests was a narrative of ferociousness, malice, inhuman treatment, and confederacy that would stretch beyond the kingdom of possibilities which a human head and bosom could of all time conceive of.[ 3 ]It posed many inquiries, the replies to which are something that many historiographers and bookmans try to happen out, even today. One of the extracts of the full episode, ‘The Justice Trial ‘ raised a really of import inquiry that was ne’er raised before.[ 4 ]The inquiry was what sort of penalty should a justice get for perpetrating the offense of go throughing immoral Torahs straight or indirectly? There were many more inquiries like this that were raised at a clip. The judgement passed on the tests brought some in to the understanding that it was a just and square trade. For others, it was a acrimonious pill to digest easy, as they kept on raising their superciliums over the judgement naming it unjust and unreasonable.

However, in brief, it was an indifferent efforts of the four major members of the allied powers- the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and France to supply for a free and a just test.[ 5 ]That whether the judgement was merely or non, is the interesting thing to look at.

Background of Case

The background of the instance was the Holocaust. It was a widespread devastation of life and belongings which was powered by a wicked confederacy that was hatched intentionally. The Holocaust brought approximately incalculable losingss to life and belongings. The International Military Tribunal was established to penalize the offenders of the Axis Powers who were responsible for the Holocaust.[ 6 ]In order to ease this, all the offenses were separated under the three headings- War offenses, Crimes against humanity and Crimes against peace. The categorization was based on clear and distinguishable definition. The purpose was to avoid any confusion that would originate out of any ambiguity.

The 20 four suspects who were accused of perpetrating the offense were Hermann Wilhelm, Rudolf Hess, Joachim Von Ribentrop, Robert Ley, Wilhelm Keitel, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Alfred Rosenberg, Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Julius Streicher, Walter Funk, Hjalmar Schacht, Gustav Krupp, Von Bohlen, Karl Doenitz, Erich Raeder, Baldur Von Schirach, Fritz Sauckel, Alfred Jodl, Martin Bormann, Franz Von Pappen, Arthur Seyss Inquart, Albert Speer, Constatntin Von Neurath and Hans Fritzsche.[ 7 ]

The organisations which were held responsible for being involved in the offenses either straight or indirectly were Die Reichsregierung or the Reich Cabinet ; Das Korps Der Politischen Leiter Der Nationalsozialistischen Deutschen Arbeiterpartei ; Die Schutzstaffeln Der Nationalsozialistischen Deutschen Arbeiterpartei ( besides known as the SS ) ; Der Sicherheitsdienst ( besides known as SD ) ; Die Geheime Staatspolizei ( besides known as Secret State Police or the Gestapo ) ; Die Sturm Abteilungens Der Nsdap ( besides known as the SA ) and the General Staff and High Command of the German Armed Forces.[ 8 ]

The tribunal consisted of Robert H. Jackson acted on behalf of the U.S.A. , Francois De Menthon acted on behalf of the Gallic Republic, Hartley Shawcross acted on behalf of the United Kingdom and R.Rudenko acted on behalf of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic.[ 9 ]

The charges were framed under four counts. Count I comprised of confederacy to pay aggressive wars, count II comprised of offenses against peace, count III comprised of war offenses, count IV comprised of offenses against humanity. All the above mentioned persons and organisations were accused of imparting a assisting manus in the confederacy that was good planned and executed. The suspects comprised of all the German leaders who were captured alive.[ 10 ]

These were the offenses which dealt with the misdemeanor of war Torahs. It besides included slaying, ill-treatment, directing the guiltless people to the concentration cantonments for tormenting them, looting both public every bit good as private belongings, desolation of metropoliss, towns and small towns intentionally and with purpose to demo military might.[ 11 ]The courts found out during the test that all the above mentioned offenses were committed on a expansive graduated table which the history had ne’er witnessed earlier. The felons perpetrated the offenses in Germany and the countries outside it which were under the control of Germany. The tests aimed at penalizing the offenders against whom the charges were brought. The suspects were accused of perpetrating offenses against humanity during the period before 8 May 1945 in Germany and the other districts occupied by Germany since 1st September 1939. Article 6 ( degree Celsius ) of the charter references that the suspects acted in concert in the connexion of executing of confederacy. Harmonizing to this program, the culprits had active engagement in the slaying and persecution of those who were hostile to the Nazi Party and its involvements. The suspects were recognized as being involved as leaders, confederates, organisers or provokers. The methods adopted by them openly violated the international conventions, the internal penal Torahs and the general rules of the condemnable jurisprudence. Following were the charges leveled against the suspects under article 6 ( B ) :[ 12 ]

Barbarous slaying and maltreatment of guiltless civilians in occupied district and on the high seas.

Behaving civilian population of occupied districts for the intent of captivity.

Viciously slaying captives involved in the war and members in the armed forces of resistance states and besides for killing and ill-treating people on the high seas.

Murdering sureties.

Stealing and plundering public and private belongings.

Illegally taking advantage of aggregation punishments.

Recklessly destructing small towns, metropoliss, and town and non being to warrant their act as a military act.

Illegally enlisting civilian labour.

Coercing civilians populating in occupied districts to curse commitment to hostile power.

Coercing ‘Germinazation ‘ on occupied districts.

Following were the charges brought against the suspects under article 6 ( degree Celsius ) :[ 13 ]

Killing, enslaving, and behaving civilian population a long with other cold forceful Acts of the Apostless, before and during the war.

Maltreatment on racial, spiritual every bit good as political land in executing of and in connexion with the common program mentioned in count one

Appropriateness Of The Indictments

The US functionaries confiscated about 485 dozenss of paper and ran through all of them to happen the incriminating groundss. Out of that the US military forces selected about two 1000 paperss which they thought were good plenty to do solid groundss against the suspects. The paperss were published by the U.S. authorities in 42 volumes bluish series, 15 volume green series and 11 volume ruddy series. None of the paperss proved the extinction. The defence lawyers were denied the chance to analyze the paperss.[ 14 ]

The groundss besides included certain uncorroborated studies of the fact-finding committees of the U.S.A. and the Soviet Union. Some of the paperss submitted in this respect were USSR-54, USSR-378, Nuremberg papers 1721-PS, Nuremberg paperss 1515-PS, 3870-PS, and document 386-PS, document L-3 ( US -28 ) , document no. 1973 and so on. All the groundss produced during the tests were non wholly full cogent evidence. Most of the grounds were non decently examined either. This raises a inquiry over the rightness of the indictments.[ 15 ]

Issues Surrounding the Nuremberg Tests

There were many issues environing the Nuremberg tests. Some of the issues were related to the beginning of offenses against humanity, the instance for particular freedom, the instance against particular freedom, territoriality and cosmopolitan sovereignty, the catholicity of the jurisprudence.

First, history had no grounds of any test covering with such a instance predating the Nuremberg Tests from where any sort of an illustration could be taken. This made the suspects feel that they were being treated with a bumbling attack. Second, the issue of keeping the persons responsible for the offenses committed by a authorities. The large inquiry refering this issue was related to the justification sing whether it was just or non. Third, the groundss against the suspects were non unfailing and needed to be examined. Fourthly, the issue of the ‘higher bid ‘ turned out to be a hard job. The suspects ‘ version was that they acted harmonizing to the orders given by the curates and functionaries above them.

Questions of Legality and Fair Trial

Many inquiries were raised sing legality and just test. Since it was the first test of its sort, the whole universe was looking at it with wonder. The rough intervention meted out to Germany after her licking in the First World War sowed the seeds of the lay waste toing Second World War. Many opined that the determinations made in connexion to the Treaty of Versailles were unreasonable and unjust.[ 16 ]Hence, the large challenge before the military court was to transport the proceedings based on legality and in a just manner. Though the test was non free from dual criterions, it served as an illustration for everyone.[ 17 ]The finding of fact and the penalty given to the inmates were backed by the fact that they committed the indefinable crimes- the detestable atrociousnesss carried out against a big figure of people which the history had encountered for the first clip. Hence, that was the destiny of the hr.[ 18 ]

Analysis of Verdict

Herman Goring, Alfred Jodl, Wilhelm Keitel, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Alfred Rosenberg were given decease sentence under all the four counts.[ 19 ]Martin Bormann under counts III and IV, Hans Frank under counts III and IV, Wilhelm Frick under counts II, III and IV, Ernst Kaltenbrunner under counts III and IV, Fritz Sauckel under counts II and IV, Arthur Seyss-Inquart under counts II, III and IV and Julius Streicher under count IV were besides given decease sentence. Karl Donitz was given ten old ages in prison under counts II and III, Walther Funk was given life in prison under counts II, III and IV, Rudolf Hess was given life in prison under counts I and II, Konstantin von Neurath was given 15 old ages in prison under all the four counts, Eric Raeder was given life in prison under counts II, III and IV, Baldur von Schirach was given twenty old ages in prison under count IV. Hjalmar Schacht, Franz von Papen, Hanz Fritzsche were acquitted as they were non found guilty.[ 20 ]


The four major powers that constituted the International Military Tribunal could non keep complete transparences every bit far as managing the groundss were concerned. In fact, the full procedure of the tests right from the beginning to the terminal showed that the powers used the tests as an instrument to penalize the vanquished. They maintained dual criterions and did non let the defence to support the instance without any prejudice. To sum up, the existent purpose of supplying justness fell upside down.