Trials after the Holocaust

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Trials after the Holocaust

The Holocaust had lasting effects on the relationship between the individual and society. Society put individual Nazis on trial for the actions they took in the Holocaust during World War II. The main trial was the Nuremberg trial and there were other subsequent trials as well. These trials were essential in showing the concern that justice and fairness should prevail for the victims. Therefore, the trials that took place after the Holocaust, especially at Nuremberg, involve and impact society as well as the lives of many people.

During the aftermath of World War I, two international conferences at Geneva and Hague gave the rules of conduct for warfare. Personnel differences were made concerning the treatment of civilians and military. Prisoners of war had rules especially made for them. These rules and personnel decisions were later used and applied in the trials.

Many countries started to draw up lists of wanted Nazi war criminals following World War II. In August 1945, the International Military Tribunal (IMT) was established to deal and try the war criminals.1 One of the only alternatives considered besides the Tribunal and its trial was swift execution. A war crime trial is trial of persons charged with criminal violation of the laws and customs of war and related principles of international law.

In early October 1945, the United States, Great Britain, France, and Russia issued an indictment against 24 men and six organizations.2 The indictment appointed against these men and organizations contained four courts: conspiracy to wage aggressive war, crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The trial at Nuremberg opened on November 20, 1945.3 For judgemen...

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8. Landau, 258.

9. Yahil, 8.

10. Landau 257.

11. Lawrence L. Langer, Admitting the Holocaust, (New York: Oxford University Press,

1995), 171.

12. Marrus.


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- Marrus, Michael R. "The Nuremberg Trial: Fifty Years After." The American Scholar,

Autumn 1997, 563-570.

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- Yahil, Leni. The Holocaust: The Fate of European Jewry, 1932-1945. New York: Oxford

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