Presentation on theme: "“But, I was just following orders…”"— Presentation transcript:
1 “But, I was just following orders…” The Nuremberg Trials“But, I was just following orders…”
2 “I was just following orders…” 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 JacksonAccusation:Crimes Against HumanityWar Crimes (War Atrocities)
3 “I was just following orders…” “One death is tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic.”- J. StalinThe CrimePoland: 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 “I was just following orders…” The Accusation:(summarized here)Crimes Against HumanityWar Crimes (War Atrocities)
5 “I was just following orders…” 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 You will prosecute or defend one defendant. Prosecutors: you need to write an argument for why your defendant is guilty, and what his punishment should beRemember 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 campsHelped write the Nuremberg LawsHelped plan and organize logistics for war in EuropeAttempted to become police commander, but failedWas largely a ceremonial officer with no real power
8 Hermann Goring (Goering) Hitler’s Second in CommandCommander of the LuftwaffeHighest ranking official on trialOrdered 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 HitlerHelped write and carry out Nuremberg LawsRepresented Nazi Germany to foreign leadersVery educatedIn 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 positionWas an on-air personality for news in Nazi GermanyWas 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 oldMoved up the Nazi ranks through fascist yearsHelped deport Jews from ViennaReports that he also helped Jewish children escape occasionally
12 Has the jury reached a verdict…? We have, Your Honor…
14 Wilhelm FrickGuilty 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 HessPersonal Aide to Hitler/Party LeaderHe 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 FritzscheAcquitted (found not guilty) of any wrong-doing.
18 Baldur von SchirachHead 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 democracyThe world had announced that carrying out immoral commands would be punishable, and “I was just following orders” is NOT an excuseExploding Swastika: