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“But, I was just following orders…”. The Nuremberg Trials were military tribunals (court cases), held by the Allied forces of WWII, for the prosecution.

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Presentation on theme: "“But, I was just following orders…”. The Nuremberg Trials were military tribunals (court cases), held by the Allied forces of WWII, for the prosecution."— Presentation transcript:

1 “But, I was just following orders…”

2 The Nuremberg Trials were military tribunals (court cases), held by the Allied forces of WWII, for the prosecution of members of the political, military, and economic leadership of Nazi Germany. “We must establish incredible events by credible evidence.” —U.S. Chief Prosecutor Robert Jackson Accusation : Crimes Against Humanity War Crimes (War Atrocities)

3 “One death is tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic.” - J. Stalin The Crime Poland: 3 million killed (91%) Romania: 290,000 killed (84%) Hungary: 600,000 killed (74%) … France: 290,000 killed (22%) TOTAL: 65% of Jewish population in Europe was killed. + gypsies, homosexuals, Communists, enemies, other…

4 The Accusation : (summarized here) Crimes Against Humanity War Crimes (War Atrocities)

5 The Accused : Who should be charged? The Top Officers? Lower level military officials? Non-military workers? Nazi party members? Workers, teachers, custodians? Hitler Youth members? All Germans? No one?

6 Prosecutors: you need to write an argument for why your defendant is guilty, and what his punishment should be Remember Article 8! Defense Attorneys: You need to write an argument for why the defendant is not guilty of the crimes. Find plausible reasoning for innocence! Jurors: You must explain why a court case was necessary following the Holocaust/WW2, and why every defendant is entitled to a lawyer in a free society

7 Wilhelm Frick Minister of Interior (in charge of Germany’s internal operations/infrastructure) -Controller of the concentration camps -Helped write the Nuremberg Laws -Helped plan and organize logistics for war in Europe -Attempted to become police commander, but failed -Was largely a ceremonial officer with no real power

8 Hermann Goring (Goering) Hitler’s Second in Command -Commander of the Luftwaffe -Highest ranking official on trial -Ordered lieutenants to carry out the “Final Solution” -Claimed not to be anti-Semitic

9 Rudolf Hess Personal Aide to Hitler/Party Leader -Prominent in Nazi Party during rise of Hitler -Helped write and carry out Nuremberg Laws -Represented Nazi Germany to foreign leaders -Very educated -In 1941, Hess flew to Scotland hoping to make peace between Germany and Britain- was arrested then (not after the war) -Seen as unstable during the trial, often laughing for no reason or counting on his fingers randomly

10 Hans Fritzsche Propaganda Official (Head of the radio division of the German propaganda ministry) -propaganda ministry official who had not held a policy-making position -Was an on-air personality for news in Nazi Germany -Was head of German radio prior to Hitler’s rise

11 Baldur von Schirach Head of Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth/“Boy Scouts”) -Joined military cadet troops as ten year old -Moved up the Nazi ranks through fascist years -Helped deport Jews from Vienna -Reports that he also helped Jewish children escape occasionally

12 Has the jury reached a verdict…? We have, Your Honor…

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14 Wilhelm Frick Guilty on three counts against him (crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity) Sentenced to death. He was executed on October 16, 1946.

15 Hermann Goring (Goering) Was overheard at the trial saying, “There are Jews here? I thought we knocked them all off” The International Military Tribunal charged Goering on all four counts (crimes against peace, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and conspiracy to commit crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity). He was convicted and sentenced to death. On the eve of his scheduled execution, he committed suicide in his prison cell.

16 Rudolf Hess Personal Aide to Hitler/Party Leader -He was immediately arrested and imprisoned. Hess was found guilty on counts one (conspiracy) and two (crimes against peace) and sentenced to life imprisonment.

17 Hans Fritzsche Acquitted (found not guilty) of any wrong-doing.

18 Baldur von Schirach Head of Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth/“Boy Scouts”) -Schirach was found guilty on count four (crimes against humanity) and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. -He was released in 1966 and died in 1974

19 Legacy of the Nuremberg Trials: -While some may accuse the courtroom of being a “show trial,” the defense allowed for the Nazis was widely seen as a triumph for liberty and democracy -The world had announced that carrying out immoral commands would be punishable, and “I was just following orders” is NOT an excuse Exploding Swastika: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJzdgZ1lOTA


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