Remembering The Nuremburg Trials

The Second World War has ended and the Allies are putting the remaining Nazis to trial….those that did not take the easy way out by committing suicide.

The trials were show trials for the world…the spin it was to help the world heal from the war but in reality it was nothing short of retaliation and revenge.

So now I ask…was justice served?

Do not get me wrong I am not saying that these people are guiltless….but rather that the trials were not carried out in an democratic and unbiased way.

Yes these accused were bastards and barbaric bunch….but I think the trials should have been handled in another way to prove that democracy and the rule of law prevailed.

For instance the judges were from Allied countries….UK, USA, USSR and France….4 judges and 4 alternates……the victors if you will.  A case could be made the the judges were biased.

This was just a low key Versailles Treaty….it is designed to inflict revenge on a defeated people…just as the WW1 treaty did to the German people.

“If in the end there is a generally accepted view that Nuremberg was an example of high politics masquerading as law, then the trial instead of promoting may retard the coming of the day of world law.”

Was the trials as fair as they were billed to be?

The Nuremberg War Trial has a strong claim to be considered the most significant as well as the most debatable event since the conclusion of hostilities. To those who support the trial it promises the first effective recognition of a world law for the punishment of malefactors who start wars or conduct them in bestial fashion. To the adverse critics the trial appears in many aspects a negation of principles which they regard as the heart of any system of justice under law.

This sharp division of opinion has not been fully aired largely because it relates to an issue of foreign policy upon which this nation has already acted and on which debate may seem useless or, worse, merely to impair this country’s prestige and power abroad. Moreover, to the casual newspaper reader the long-range implications of the trial are not obvious. He sees most clearly that there are in the dock a score of widely known men who plainly deserve punishment. And he is pleased to note that four victorious nations, who have not been unanimous on all post-war questions, have, by a miracle of administrative skill, united in a proceeding that is overcoming the obstacles of varied languages, professional habits, and legal traditions. But the more profound observer is aware that the foundations of the Nuremberg trial may mark a watershed of modern law.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1946/04/nuremberg-a-fair-trial-a-dangerous-precedent/306492/

Further Information:

https://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/Nuremberg_trials.html

Before some person decides to attack let me say….I do believe there should have been trials but that the judges should have been from Neutral countries during the war like Switzerland or Sweden…..

Any thoughts?

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

8 thoughts on “Remembering The Nuremburg Trials

  1. Technically the trials were conducted by a “tribunal” of the affected nations. While there is no real definition for what constitutes a “tribunal” it tends to historically take on a judicial process outside normal judicial norms. In this case, the judges, four, were also the jury. One could present an argument that those four represented a “jury of their peers”.. on the other hand one could argue for a “change of venue” given the “jury” was morally compromised… but a large percentage of the civilized nations were involved in the conflict.. even if they were not on a declared side. But let’s look at the judges themselves… the four nations had to agree on the process, one of which was a non-democracy and could have little use for it or have any support for it. Stalin had his own “tribunals” so the concept I am sure made sense to him. One the other hand… the justices did not blanket sentence to death all Nazis in question. Many were given lesser sentences… and in the case of Albert Speer, who should have gotten death, accepted his responsibility for his role contributing to the war and the deaths of forced laborers, showed some remorse.. and got only 20 years, while Hess.. interred for most of the war itself received a life sentence. So.. to presume the four justices were overly vindictive in their sentences is not true… as they did seem to impose some “thoughtful” sentences.
    On a separate note… as with passing moral judgement on most of historical events.. like the internment camps in America, for example, the one important aspect usually seldom considered was the moment in time of all the participants, the then political climate, and how the public was feeling in general that led to an event. We tend to look back on history with a contemporary viewpoint, not knowing the entire human condition at the time. In the case of the Nuremberg Trials never before had such an international tribunal been agreed upon.. and it did become the impetus for an equal trial against the Jap war crime-ers.. and the basis for the current international court in the post war years that did in fact try regional dictators.
    But honestly.. in the end… to the victor goes the spoils and to pass judgment.

    1. Then call them a “tribunal” and not a trial……I still say that the judges were biased……I would have chosen more neutral judges…..but you are right……it was revenge plain and simple, chuq

  2. Considering the appalling atrocities carried out, I think they were lucky to get any ‘trial’ at all. If the result had gone the other way, doubtless they would have just massacred all their prisoners. They get no sympathy from this chair.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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