Joseph Stalinthe Soviet leader, initially proposed the execution of 50, toGerman staff officers. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill discussed the possibility of summary execution execution without a trial of high-ranking Nazis, but was persuaded by American leaders that a criminal trial would be more effective. Among other advantages, criminal proceedings would require documentation of the crimes charged against the defendants and prevent later accusations that the defendants had been condemned without evidence.
Origin[ edit ] There were, I suppose, three possible courses: Which was it to be? Was it possible to let such atrocities go unpunished?
It will be remembered that after the First World War alleged criminals were handed over to be tried by Germanyand what a farce that was! The majority got off and such sentences as were inflicted were derisory and were soon remitted.
At the beginning ofthe Polish government-in-exile asked the British and French governments to condemn the German invasion of their country. The British initially declined to do so; however, in Aprila joint declaration was issued by the British, French and Polish.
Relatively bland because of Anglo-French reservations, it proclaimed the trio's "desire to make a formal and public protest to the conscience of the world against the action of the German government whom they must hold responsible for these crimes which cannot remain unpunished.
On 1 Novemberthe Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States published their "Declaration on German Atrocities in Occupied Europe"which gave a "full warning" that, when the Nazis were defeated, the Allies would "pursue them to the uttermost ends of the earth The above declaration is without prejudice to the case of the major war criminals whose offences have no particular geographical location and who will be punished by a joint decision of the Government of the Allies.
The Background to the nuremberg trials Prime MinisterWinston Churchillhad 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 lateduring the Tripartite Dinner Meeting at the Tehran Conferencethe Soviet leader, Joseph Stalinproposed executing 50,—, German staff officers. US President Franklin D. Roosevelt joked that perhaps 49, would do.
Churchill, believing them to be serious, denounced the idea of "the cold blooded execution of soldiers who fought for their country" and that he would rather be "taken out in the courtyard and shot" himself than partake in any such action.
Churchill was vigorously opposed to executions "for political purposes. The plan advocated the forced de-industrialisation of Germany and the summary execution of so-called "arch-criminals", i. Later, details were leaked generating widespread condemnation by the nation's newspapers[ clarification needed ].
Roosevelt, aware of strong public disapproval, abandoned the plan, but did not adopt an alternative position on the matter. 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 Location[ edit ] The courthouse in Nuremberg, where the trials took place Leipzig and Luxembourg were briefly considered as the location for the trial.
Nuremberg was considered the ceremonial birthplace of the Nazi Party. It had hosted the Party's annual propaganda rallies  and the Reichstag session that passed the Nuremberg Laws. As a compromise with the Soviets, it was agreed that while the location of the trial would be Nuremberg, Berlin would be the official home of the Tribunal authorities.
Participants[ edit ] Each of the four countries provided one judge and an alternative, as well as a prosecutor.the course of the next three years 12 subsequent trials were held, after which twelve additional death sentences and 85 prison sentences were imposed. The international response to the Nuremberg Trials was controversial.
Background Essay on the Nuremberg Trials _____ During the Nazi regime from , under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, 11,, were killed in. Encyclopedia of Jewish and Israeli history, politics and culture, with biographies, statistics, articles and documents on topics from anti-Semitism to Zionism.
Background Essay on the Nuremberg Trials _____ During the Nazi regime from , under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, 11,, were killed in what is today known as the Holocaust. The Holocaust is commonly known for the mass killing of Jewish Europeans, but was also a .
The subsequent Nuremberg trials (formally the Trials of War Criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals) were a series of twelve military tribunals for war crimes against members of the leadership of Nazi Germany, held in the Palace of Justice, Nuremberg, after World War II from to following the Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal.
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