I'd like to write an essay about the Nurenburg Trials. What argument/stance can I make?

Should I discuss whether or not the trials were justified? Or how well they punished the criminals in Germany. I'm writing a 2000 word paper for my 12th grade IB history class!

4 Answers

  • Thomas
    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Best Answer

    The worst travesty of law in he history of mankind.

    Some quotes:

    US Supreme Court Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone remarked with irritation: "[Chief US prosecutor] Jackson is away conducting his high-grade lynching party in Nuremberg. I don't mind what he does to the Nazis, but I hate to see the pretense that he is running a court and proceeding according to common law. This is a little too sanctimonious a fraud to meet my old-fashioned ideas." In a private letter he wrote: ". . . I wonder how some of those who preside at the trials would justify some of the acts of their own governments if they were placed in the status of the accused." On another occasion Stone specifically wondered "whether, under this new [Nuremberg] doctrine of international law, if we had been defeated, the victors could plausibly assert that our

    supplying Britain with fifty destroyers [in 19401 was an act of aggression

    . . ."I3

    In Congress, US Representative Lawrence H. Smith of Wisconsin declared: "The Nuremberg trials are so repugnant to the Anglo-Saxon principles of justice that we must forever be ashamed of that page in our history . . . The Nuremberg farce represents a revenge policy at its worst."

    Another Congressman, John Rankin of Mississippi, stated: "As a representative of the American people I desire to say that what is taking place in Nuremberg, Germany, is a disgrace

    to the United States

    Milton R. Konvitz, a Jewish specialist of law and public administration who taught at New York University, warned at the time that the Nuremberg Tribunal "defies many of the most basic assumptions of the judicial process." He went on: "Our policy with respect to the Nazis is consistent with =neither international law nor our own State Department's

    policy . . . The Nuremberg trial constitutes a real threat to the basic conceptions of justice which it has taken mankind thousands of years to establish.""

    USSupreme Court Justice William 0. Douglas wrote: "I thought at the time and still think that the Nuremberg trials were unprincipled. Law was created ex post facto to suit the passion and clamor of the


    US Rear Admiral H. Lamont Pugh, former Navy Surgeon General and Commanding Officer of the National Naval Medical Center, wrote: "I thought the trials in general bordered upon international lunacy. I thought it particularly unfortunate, inappropriate, ill-conceived and dupably injudicious that the United States should have been cast in the leading role as prosecutors and implementators of the trials of German participants or principal^."

    Perhaps nothing better illustrates the essentially unfair character of the Nuremberg proceedings than the treatment of Rudolf Hess, Hitler's deputy. He was sentenced to life imprisonment even though he alone of leading figures of the countries involved in the Second World War risked his life in a dangerous but fruitless effort to conclude peace between two of the warring nations. British historian A.J.P. Taylor once succinctly summed up the injustice of the Hess case and, by implication, of the entire Nuremberg enterprise.

    Hess came to this country in 1941 as an ambassador of peace. He came with the . . . intention of restoring peace between Great Britain and Germany. He acted in good faith.

    He fell into our hands and was quite unjustly treated as a prisoner of war. After the war, we should have released him. Instead, the British government of the time delivered him for

    sentencing to the International Tribunal at Nuremberg

    . . .

    No crime has ever been proved against Hess . . . As far as the records show, he was never at even one of the secret discussions at which Hitler explained his war plans

    Source(s): Mark Weber: The Nuremberg Trials Richard Harwood: Nuremberg and other War Crimes Trials - a new look.
  • 7 years ago

    Whether they were justified sounds good, you can discuss how the accused were tried under laws which did not exist at the time when the alleged offences took place. Also, could a trial conducted by the victors in a war be fair? Could they really act in a neutral and unbiased way.

    You could also look into whether it was just to label entire organisations as criminal when these were part of a state which was recognised by other powers.

    Source(s): studied history
  • 7 years ago

    When a country murders as many people as Germany did (not counting battle deaths here) criminal trials are certainly in order.

    An interesting question you may want to consider: Why was Albert Speer put on trial? His responsibility was building weapons.

  • 3 years ago

    acquire and setting up the latest version of OpenOffice. i've got on no account had a project moving documents between Microsoft workplace (2003 and 2007 variations) and OpenOffice 3.

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