‘Nürnberger Prozesse’ or Nuremberg Trials
Nuremberg Trials were held from 1945 to 1949. This court was organized much earlier because the Allied Forces were convinced that together, can win World War II. Among those forces were the United States of America, the former Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom.
Allied Trials were being covered by international law as well as the laws of war. On trial were the most prominent people that served under the ‘ Nazi Germany’, including the leaders, people from justice, economy and doctors during the war, and especially military staff.
The court was named International Military Tribunal and there were held trials for those who organized and executed the most gruesome crimes ever imagined. From then on, ‘The Holocaust’ was the shorter name for all that was done to people that weren’t by their standards.
In the earlier days, before the war began, bit by bit Germans turned to Hitler’s leadership, and the first target was Jews. After them, came the Gipsy people until the limit was so narrow that you had to have blue hair, and blue eyes, the perfect symmetry of the face, trying to make an inferior race which will one day ruled the whole world.
Nuremberg trials intended to punish all of those who made the concentration camps and killing everyone that didn’t have the right name, face, and last name. Some of the Germans had to prove several generations before them, were German by birth. Most of the people who could predict such a chain of events left Germany in hurry, but most of them had no means to leave. Most of their hiding places were found and would be killed on the spot, along with those who helped them hide.
The leader of the Nazi Party Adolf Hitler ( 1889 – 1945 ) killed himself along with his wife, and few other generals by poising, some speculate that he shoots himself so the Allied army wouldn’t catch him. He didn’t want to face the justice that came for almost all of them who were his followers.
The Nuremberg Trials had 13 separate series of trials. Also, this was the first trial against the crimes of humanity, and genocide, and it was the first example of how to deal with people that committed those crimes.
Hitler gain power and was chancellor of Germany in 1933. For the whole decade, he and his Nazi Party worked on prosecuting German Jews until the beginning of the Second World War in 1939. At that time, everything was ready for concentration camps, and for killing all the non-German people. Until the last moment, the German Nazi Party believed that they will win the war and that there will not be any consequences for the crimes committed.
In those camps were killed over 6 million Jews and 4 to 6 million people of the that weren’t Jews. In 1942 Allied Forces made the first declaration of the mass killing of people. Wanting to prosecute those who made the Holocaust they made the European Jewry which will prosecute those who weren’t killed or got away, usually to the United States.
Nuremberg Trials were an important step in the history of the world because from that trial to this day, not only that punishment was for the people, but for the whole states, like in this case, the Head o the State must be punished for the Crimes Against Humanity.
When the Nuremberg Trial started there were 199 people on the convict bench. Almost every one of them told the jury that they don’t recognize this court but it was in vain. From those 199 people, 161 was convicted and 37 of them got the death penalty. Only one of them, Hermann Goering, killed himself in his prison cell with arsenic that he got by being good to the guard that was in front of his cell the whole time. He did it in the evening of the hanging.
When the process was over, only three of the defendants were released, one got absentia, and those who weren’t sentenced to death got from 10 years in prison to the life sentence.
Hanging by death was executed on October, 16th 1946. Soviet leader at that time was Joseph Stalin proposed at the time that every soldier should be killed which was approximately 50 to 100 thousand people, including all, from the higher officers to the soldiers who only followed orders.
On the other hand, there was Winston Churchill which was Prime Minister of Great Britain at the time, had a proposition that all of the participants of the war should be killed without trial. He was pressured by the U.S.A. leaders that the trial was necessary.
More important was that the real trial will be written and would have evidence of the trial and punishments that followed.
Everything from the beginning to the end of the trial was documented, and transcripts of the trials were saved, and everyone can read them, even online. Transcripts were named ‘The Blue Series’ and it is made of 42 Volumes. Who has the time can read it from the first day of trial to the last one.
In the earlier years, every country held trials from World War I, but it was each country for itself. This trial, however, was made of the Allies which included the London Charter and International Military Tribunal. They got together on August the 8th, 1945. They separated three types of crimes including crimes against peace, including planning and executing war plans, war crimes, including violation of war laws and treatment of civilians, and the third one were crimes against humanity, including murders, the deportation of civilians to prison camps, forcible imprisonment of people and prosecution on religious, political, racial grounds and other things.
Since it was an open court, not only the jury got to be there, but was also open for the public. The main prosecutor was Robert H. Jackson, and he had an opening statement that went over many hours. During that time, the jury among the public, who barely could frit in the courtroom, were everyone was quiet, but the truth was told and impression on the people’s faces was enough. The first impression was too much for some people, some even went away from the trial because they couldn’t believe what they just heard.
The opening statement went from the 21st of November, 1945.
Chronologically on the 26th, the same month, The Hossbach Memorandum was presented to the jury which contained plans for war and after the winning of the war plans for Great Germany and was written in 1937 and presented to the highest-ranking officers. They were on the top of the chain of command in the Nazi Party.
On November the 29th, the same year, while the motion picture was still black and white, the movie of the people who were in the camps and the Nazi prisons was played in full. The room was quiet for the duration of the whole recorded material. To this day, some of the pictures are being seen, no one can believe that it happens, but it did, and there are still some of the old people wear the tattooed numbers on their hands because most of the prisoners were treated like animals, not human beings.
Barbed wires were all around camps, and their prisons were in every country which they conquered. From behind the barbed wire were pale faces of people who were so thin, that every single bone on their bodies could be seen from not that far away.
One of the accused, named Ervin von Lahousen took a stand and said that Keitel and von Ribbentrop were the first ones that gave the order of killing the Poles, Jewes, and Russians.
That was one of the first confessions given by the leading officers that committed monstrous crimes during The Second World War. Then, many others gave statements, from which one of them even admitted that he was the one that gave the order of killing 90.000 Jews and Russian prisoners.
Then came January the 28th, 1946 when the statement gave a girl from French Resistance named Marie-Claude Valliant-Couturier. She survived the concentration camp and the first one to testify about the Holocaust and the gruesome things she witnessed. Many others after her testified against the Holocaust and Nazi Party and everything that happened from 1939 to 1945. Among other witnesses, there were played two documentary movies that were described to the fullest things that happen in the whole world during those years.
The prosecutors were brutal in their honesty, and that lead to the successful ending of the trial. Finishing statements were given for several days and was ended on August the 31th, and two months after that court adjourned once again for sentencing. The jury voted from October 30 to the 1st November it took them only two days to convict all accused. The fact was that in World War II died over 50 million people, and that is just in Europe. All documentation was saved for future people to remember that something like this should never happen again.