Nuremburg and Precedence

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by jonwilly, Oct 13, 2006.

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  1. Gents serious question so placed in the Serious part of the board.
    Last night when I came in The History Channel had a program on about the Nuremberg trials, and perticularly on Herman Goring's Part as the Senior Nazi.
    Now I had, had a drink so maybe I am not 100 %, but from what was said

    It was the US prosecuter, Jackson, who wanted a 100% legal fair trial.
    All the rest UK, France and most of all USSR where for sticking the Nazi's up against the wall after a quick hearing.
    Jacksons 'Case' was that all stemmed from the waging of a "War of Aggresion".
    If he could prove that, then everthing else fell into place.
    Wars of Aggresion are illigal and Nuremburg set the Historical precedent.
    Trial by a World Body and ultimate punishment.
  2. The had a very good docu-drama on the BBC a few weeks ago which covered Goerings trial. Goering gave Jackson a hard time and I believe it was the Bristish prosecutor who did the most damage to Goering in the end.
  3. Didn’t see the programme, not having The History Channel, but it would be jingoistic if the American makers claimed a full Nuremberg trial came about solely due to the efforts of American persecutor Jackson. The issue of bringing people to justice for war crimes had been seriously discussed from 1941 with several conferences and summary resolutions passed.

    Oct 41, Anglo-American declaration
    Feb 42, Inter-Allied Review
    Oct 43, The Moscow Conference
    1944, War Crimes Commission, various London meetings
    Sep 44, United Nations (designate) War Crimes Commission
    Feb 45, The Yalta Conference
    - 12 April 45 Roosevelt dies, succeeded by Truman
    - 26 Jul 45 Churchill lost National Election to Clement Atlee
    Aug 45, The London Agreement and Charter
    Nov 45 to Oct 46, Nuremberg Trial

    The summary proposal Jackson sent to Truman in Jun 45 was the culmination of a joint draft by Britain, Russia and France, made in London. Jackson was only confirmed in his role by Truman at the beginning of May. Is there really any suggestion that he dissed everyone else’s work over four years, and ‘showed them the way’ in a few weeks?

    The ’43 Moscow Conference agreed war criminals should be returned to the location of their crimes to stand trial. Nuremberg was set aside for: "major criminals whose offences have no particular geographical localisation and who will be punished by joint decision of the governments of the Allies". ‘Aggressive War’, or rather ‘Crimes Against Peace’, was an major indictment criteria but only one of three together with ‘War Crimes’ and ‘Crimes Against Humanity’.

    Certainly Churchill, even up to Yalta, advocated shooting war criminals which I don’t expect the French or any of the other Europeans would have objected to. Stalin favoured the Show Trial. Plenty of pomp and publicity, and then shoot them. The US - whose homeland had not been directly ravaged, invaded or threatened with invasion – appeared to advocate going ahead with a moralistic trial, though in Roosevelts’ era at least his Treasury Secretary, Henry Morgenthau, advocated shooting on capture? scroll to August 44

    There’s a fair account at Nuremberg

    You may also be interested in a recent article by Senator Christopher Dodd who’s father was at Nuremberg and asks what’s happened to America’s sense of International justice? Nuremberg to Guantanamo

  4. "Nuremberg to Guantanamo"
    Er Yes No9, thats what I was really after getting some informed opinion on.
  5. Morgenthau also publicly advcated wrecking the German industrial base (beyond Bomber Command and USAAF) and turning it into an agrarian country. This did much to harden some german resistance.

    Nuremburg was always going to be difficult, given that the Soviets had also invaded Poland in 1939, and in 1945 clearly weren't going to vacate in a hurry. Stalin wanted to use show trials (he was always a fan) but the western allies dug their heels in.

    Th etrials were undoubtedly victors justice, but were nevertheless as close to real justice (given the political reality) that was available in 1945.
  6. Ah sorry John, appears I didn’t understand the question :? . Info on the Nuremberg Trial down to transcript detail and other documents relating, (as no doubt you’re seen), is all at the Avalon Project site of Yale Law School, together with other excellent internet facilities from those listed in ”Other Web Resources” towards the bottom of the page.

    Guantanamo is current and ongoing and continues to be challenged by American bodies, essentially v the inner circle of the present US administration. Everyone can join the debate, but realistically IMHO only internal politics is likely to bring about changes or a conclusion?