On June 22, 1945 representatives from France, Great Britain, Russia, and the United States started to plan the prosecution of the main Axis war criminals. These representatives had to establish a fair way of trying the criminals because the world had never seen a situation like the one at hand. The result of the meeting was the International Military Tribunal. The Tribunal’s constitution set forth the principles the defendants were subject to. The panel of Allied representatives decided to hold the trial in Nuremberg. Nuremberg was chosen because the city served as the center of Nazi activities and offered nice facilities (Keeshan 3). Lawyers from the Allied powers submitted an indictment to the Tribunal on October 18, 1945.
The indictment charged twenty-four Nazi leaders with crimes committed during World War II (Keeshan 9).
The trials were set to start in the middle of November in 1945. Allied troops with the help of some German citizens restored the city because the city was in ruins prior to the scheduled starting date of the trial. The Nazi leaders were incarcerated in Nuremberg in August 10, 1945 (Keeshan 13). A defendant named Robert Ley committed suicide two weeks before the start of the trial. Therefor, an Allied guard was placed at the door of each Nazi leader’s prison door to stop them from killing themselves. When the November trial date finally arrived the city was restored, the defendants were secured and the trial was ready to begin (Keeshan 20).
The brutal crimes that the defendants were on trial for revolved around the "Holocaust." It is important to understand the meaning of the word holocaust when viewing the defendant’s case. The definition of hol...
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...onot 498). The rest of the guilty defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment including Rudolf Hess. Hess was the deputy to the Fuehrer and successor to Hitler after Goering. Hess hung himself in 1987. The men sentenced to death were killed on October 16, 1946 and their ashes were put into a river outside of Munich. Symbolically, "the center of the Nazi movement became the grave of its leaders (Conot 507)."
- Bosch, William. Judgement on Nuremberg. Chapel Hill, NC: U. of North Carolina
- Conot, Robert. Justice at Nuremberg. New York: Harper & Row Press, 1983.
- Keeshan, Anne. Justice at Nuremberg. New York: Marvel Press, 1950.
- Rosenbaum, Alan. Prosecuting Nazi War Criminals. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1993.
- Smith, Bradley. The Road to Nuremberg. New York: Basic Books Publishers, 1981.
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