Defendants in the Major War Figures Trial
criminal justice, the Nuremberg trials saw 24 major Nazi criminals tried as war author of A Passing Fury: Searching for Justice at the End of World War II, At a meeting between the main Allied powers in Moscow in Coordinates: 49°′N 11°′E / °N °E / ; The first and best known of these trials was that of the major war criminals . Some German war crimes defendants were tried at Nuremberg, and 1, .. How could the Nuremberg Tribunal have obtained jurisdiction to find. A brief sketch of the principal defendants in the Nuremberg Trials, their connection mainly for that section of the Indictment dealing with War Crimes on the seas, particularly It was at this meeting that the decision was made to hold the Jews.
The demise of the Morgenthau Plan created the need for an alternative method of dealing with the Nazi leadership. Stimson and the War Department. Following Roosevelt's death in Aprilthe new president, Harry S. Trumangave 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 20 Novemberin the Bavarian city of Nuremberg. At the meetings in TehranYalta and Potsdamthe three major wartime powers, the 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 Charterwhich was agreed upon by the four so-called Great Powers on 8 August and which restricted the trial to "punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis countries" Some German war crimes defendants were tried at Nuremberg, and 1, others were tried under the traditional channels of military justice.
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 She said we'd be better off dropping the whole minister business and moving into a three-bedroom flat. Funk agreed with Himmler to receive gold from the SS including gold teeth and rings taken from those killed in concentration camps and deposit in the Reichsbank.
Funk told subordinates not to ask questions about the shipments. He either knew or should have known the source of the gold received. Funk said, "The only accusation I can make to myself is Funk was often seen crying during the presentation of prosecution evidence and needed sleeping pills at night. Funk was sentenced to life imprisonment by the IMT.
He was released in because of poor health.
We had orders to obey the head of state. We weren't a band of criminals meeting in the woods in the dead of night to plan mass murders The four real conspirators are missing: The Fuhrer, Himmler, Bormann, and Goebbels.
The Nuremberg Trials: Brief Overview of Defendants & Verdicts
As Director of the Four Year Plan, Goering bore responsibility for the elimination of Jews from political life and for the destruction and takeover of Jewish businesses and property He was quoted as saying, "I wish you had killed Jews and not destroyed such valuable property" He looted art treasures from occupied territories and arranged for use of slave labor Goering surrendered to American officers.
The officers offered Goering drinks and sang songs with him, but the next day were reprimanded by an outraged Dwight Eisenhower Goering was the most popular prisoner with the American guards because he seemed to take an interest in their lives He seemed to wield a great deal of influence with the other defendants, and prison administrators sought to isolate him as much as possible Goering said, "We don't have much to say about our fate.
The forces of history and politics and economics are just to big to steer. Goering committed suicide on the day before his scheduled hanging by taking a cyanide pill that was smuggled into his cell. Goering wrote in his suicide note, "I would have no objection to getting shot," but he thought hanging was inappropriate for a man of his position. Every genius has the demon in him. You can't blame him [Hitler]--it is just in him It is all very tragic.
But at least I have the satisfaction of knowing that I tried to do something to end the war. Jackson called Hess "the engineer tending to the Party machinery. He signed decrees persecuting Jews and was a willing participant in aggression against Austria, Czechoslavakia, and Poland. During his detention following his failed putsch, Hitler dictated Mein Kampf to Hess Hess mysteriously flew to England in in an attempt to end the war on his own terms. He stayed there until the war ended Hess suffered from paranoid delusions, apathy, amnesia, and was diagnosed as having a "hysterical personality.
Hess was sentenced to life in prison. He remained--lost in his own mental fog-- in Spandau prison for many years as its only prisoner until he committed suicide in at age First of all, I hand no idea at all about 90 per cent of the accusations in it. The crimes are horrible beyond belief, if they are true. Secondly, I don't see how they can fail to recognize a soldier's obligation to obey orders.
DJCG-300 The Nuremberg Trials
That's the code I've live by all my life. He also planned attacks against Greece and Yugoslavia Jodl was quoted as saying, "Terror attacks against English centers of population Jodl signed Germany's unconditional surrender on May 7,ending the war in Europe He strongly disagreed with many of Hitler's harsh orders: From then on, I knew what kind of a man Hitler was. Jodl was hanged in Nuremberg on Oct. Critics have called Jodl's death sentence harsh in relation to the sentences received by other German officers of similar rank.
How can they say such things about me?
Nuremberg War Trials: The Ministries Cases (The Nazi Judges Cases)
Kaltenbrunner and RSHA bear responsibity for "The Final Solution" to the Jewish question--and the 6 million jews killed by Einsatzgruppen 2 million and in concentration camps 4 million. Kaltenbrunner ordered prisoners in Dachau and other camps liquidated just before the camps would have been liberated by Allies. Kaltenbrunner was described as "a Nazi out of central casting: He was shunned by most of the other defendants His lawyer tried to portray him as a stooge for Himmler, rather than his right-hand man Kaltenbrunner believed fertile German women had a duty to produce babies, and if their husbands couldn't get them pregnant, other men ought to be given the job.
Kaltenbrunner was hanged on Oct.
He gave us the orders. He kept saying that it was all his responsibility. Keitel signed orders authorizing the killing of captured commandos and reprisals against the families of Allied volunteers He drafted the "Night and Fog" decree that authorized the nighttime arrests and secret killings of suspected members of the resistance.
Keitel's sons were killed in the German attack on the Soviet Union that Keitel helped execute Keitel, on Hitler's orders, sent two generals to Rommel who had supported attempts to assassinate Hitler offering him the the choice of a court-martial or suicide In prison, Keitel worked on his autobiography Gilbert said Keitel "had no more backbone than a jellyfish.
Keitel was one of ten defendants hanged in the Palace of Justice in the early morning hours of October 16, He simply had no respect for the truth. But nobody recognized it at first He must have done his conspiring with his little gang of henchmen late at night.
Concerning this first principle, Dr. Anybody who said something different expresses a wish that does not describe the actual legal facts.
Under the Nazi system, and even prior thereto, German judges were also bound to apply German law even when in violation of the principles of international law, As stated by Professor Jahrreiss: Again we quote a statement of extraordinary candor by Professor Jahrreiss: He was bound by international law.
Therefore, he could commit acts violating international law. Therefore, he could issue orders violating international law to the Germans. On 26 April Hitler addressed the Reichstag in part as follows: In case of violation of these duties, the Fuehrer is entitled after conscientious examination, regardless of so-called well-deserved rights, to mete out due punishment, and to remove the offender from his post, rank and position, without introducing prescribed procedures.
He is to convey to the German judge the will of the Fuehrer by authentic explanation of the laws and regulations. At the same time he must upon the request of the judge give binding information in current trials concerning fundamental political, economic, or legal problems which cannot be surveyed by the individual judge. On 13 NovemberGoering, in an address before the Academy for German Law, expressed similar sentiments concerning the position of Hitler.
Thierack, who, on 5 Januarysaid: Rothenberger summed up his legal philosophy with the words: The laws are the orders of the Fuehrer. Hitler did, in fact, exercise the right assumed by him to act as Supreme Judge, and in that capacity in many instances he controlled the decision of the individual criminal cases. The evidence demonstrates that Hitler and his top-ranking associates were by no means content with the issuance of general directives for the guidance of the judicial process.
They tenaciously insisted upon the right to interfere in individual criminal sentences. In discussing the right to refuse confirmation of sentences imposed by criminal courts, Martin Bormann, as Chief of the Party Chancellery, wrote to Dr, Lammers, Chief of the Reich Chancellery, as follows: I do not know exactly which sentences are concerned, but I have ascertained for myself that now and then sentences are pronounced, which are quite untenable.
In such cases I shall act with the utmost energy and decision. It is, however, of vital importance for justice and its standing in the Reich, that the head of the Ministry of Justice should know to which sentences the Fuehrer objects. In such cases I will take the necessary steps. Apart from this it is desirable to educate the judges more and more to a correct way of thinking, conscious of the national destiny.
For this purpose it would be invaluable, if you, my Fuehrer, could let me know if a verdict does not meet with your approval. The judges are responsible to you, my Fuehrer; they are conscious of this responsibility and are firmly resolved to discharge their duties accordingly.Nazi Leaders on Trial - Nuremberg 1945_Historical Documentary_WW2 Footages of War Crimes_Full Length
Upon his personal orders persons who been sentenced to prison terms were turned over to the Gestapo for execution. We quote briefly from the testimony of Dr. Hans Gramm, who for many years was personal referent to the defendant Schlegelberger, and who testified in his behalf. Do you know anything about transfers of condemned persons to the police, or to the Gestapo? I know that it frequently occurred that Hitler gave orders to the police to call for people who had been sentenced to prison terms.
To be sure, it was an order from Hitler directed to the police to the effect that the police had to take such and such a man into their custody.
Those orders had rather short limits. As a rule, there was only a time limit of 24 hours before execution by the police, after which the police had to report that it had been executed. These transfers, as far as I can remember, took place only during the war. Guertner, had protested to Dr.
Lammers against this procedure and had received the reply: Lammers, former Chief of the Reich Chancellery whose hostility toward the prosecution, and evasiveness, were obvious, conceded that the practice was continued under Schlegelberger, though Lammers stated that Schlegelberger never agreed to it.
By reference to case histories we will illustrate three different methods by which Hitler, through the Ministry of Justice, imposed his will in disregard of judicial proceedings. One Schlitt had been sentenced to a prison term, as a result of which Schlegelberger received a telephone call from Hitler protesting the sentence. In response the defendant Schlegelberger on 24 March wrote in part as follows: Constant instructions in order to strengthen them in this intention, and the increase of threats of legal punishment, have resulted in a considerable decrease of the number of sentences to which objections have been wade from this point of view, out of a total annual number of more thanI shall continue to try to reduce this number still more, and if necessary, I shall not shrink from personal measures, as before.
In the criminal case against the building technician Ewald Schlitt from Wilhelmshaven, I have applied through the Public Prosecutor for an extraordinary plea for nullification against the sentence, at the Special Senate of the Reich Court. I will inform you of the verdict of the Special Senate immediately it has been given. In the case against Anton Scharff, the sentence of ten years penal servitude had been imposed.
Thereupon, on 25 May ,Bormann wrote to Dr. The Fuehrer requests that you inform State Secretary Schlegelberger again of his point of view.
I shall re-instruct the presidents of the courts of appeal and the Chief Public Prosecutors of this conception of the Fuehrer as soon as possible. On 25 October Lammers notified Schlegelberger: On 29 October Schlegelberger wrote Lammers: Among those of the Ministry of Justice who joined in the constant pressure upon the judges in favor of more severe or more discriminatory administration of justice, we find Thierack, Schlegelberger, Klemm, Rothenberger, and Joel.
Neither the threat of removal nor the sporadic control of criminal justice in individual cases was sufficient to satisfy the requirements of the Ministry of Justice. It will not anxiously search for support by the law, but, with a satisfaction in its responsibility, it will find within the limits of the law the decision which is the most satisfactory for the life of the community. As an illustration of the type of guidance which was furnished by the Ministry of Justice to the German judiciary, we cite a few instances from the Richterbriefs: A letter to the judges of 1 October discusses a case decided in a district court on 24 November A special coffee ration had been distributed to the population of a certain town.
The food authorities imposed fines upon the Jews for making the unsuccessful application.
In cases the Jews appealed to the court and the judge informed the food authorities that the imposition of a fine could not be upheld for legal reasons, one of which was the statute of limitations. In deciding favorably to the Jews, the court wrote a lengthy opinion stating that the interpretation on the part of the food authorities was absolutely incompatible with the established facts.
We quote, without comment, the discussion of the Reich Minister of Justice concerning the manner in which the case was decided: The judge should have asked himself the question: What is the reaction of the Jew to this page long ruling, which certifies that he and the other Jews are right and that he won over a German authority, and does not devote one word to the reaction of our own people to this insolent and arrogant conduct of the Jews. Even if the judge was convinced that the food office had arrived at a wrong judgment of the legal position, and if he could not make up his mind to wait with his decision until the question, if necessary, was clarified by the higher authorities, he should have chosen a form for his ruling which under any circumstances avoided harming the prestige of the food office and thus putting the Jew expressly in the right toward it.
He also attempted to conceal some of his assets. This cannot be sanctioned. The Jew is the enemy of the German people, who has plotted, stirred up, and prolonged this war.
In doing so, he has brought unspeakable misery upon our people. Not only is he of different but he is also of inferior race. Justice, which must not measure different matters by the same standard, demands that just this racial aspect must be considered in the award of punishment.
Notwithstanding solemn protestations on the part of the Minister that the interdependence of the judge was not to be affected, the evidence satisfies us beyond a reasonable doubt that the purpose of the judicial guidance was sinister and was known to be such by the Ministry of Justice and by the judges who received the directions. If the letters had been written in good faith with the honest purpose of aiding independent judges in the performance of their duties, there would have been no occasion for the carefully guarded secrecy with which the letters were distributed.
Thierack next took up the regimentation of the lawyers. An examination of these letters convinced the Tribunal that the actual, though undeclared purpose, was to suggest to defense counsel that they avoid any criticism of National Socialist justice and refrain from too much ardor in the defense of persons charged with political crimes. Not only did Thierack exert direct influence upon the judges, but he employed as his representative the most sinister, brutal and bloody judge in the entire German judicial system.
As a rule this will therefore be high treason and must be punished by the death penalty. In a private letter to his brother, the defendant Oeschey expressed his view of the situation created by Hitler's interference in the following words: Such a system would make the judge superfluous; such things have now com to pass.