The Nuremberg Trials refer to trials held by USA, UK, USSR and France against members of the political, military and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany.
>> Towhat extent were the Nuremberg Trials of consequent influence on both history and international law ?
I.Origin and presentation of the Nuremberg Trials
As soon as the end of 1943, the Alliesstarted to think about the post-war treatment of Nazi leaders. At the Tehran Conference first and then at Yalta, Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin couldn’t quite agree on how to proceed, Stalin wanting toexecute German soldiers while Churchill was in favor of a trial. There is also the example of the Morgenthau Plan, which consisted in a total denazification and de-industrialisation of Germany. This planhas been abandoned by Roosevelt when he noted the strong public disapproval. After his death, his successor, Truman, strongly approved a judicial process.
The three major war-time powers eventuallyagreed on this matter and France was also awarded a place at the trial. The legal basis for the trial was established by the London Charter of the 8th of August 1945. Nuremberg was then chosen as thesite for the trials because its Palace of Justice was not too much damaged by the Allied bombings but also because it was considered as the ceremonial birthplace of the Nazi party.
There were twosets of trial : the first and best-known was the Trial of the Major War Criminals (November, 21st 1945 – October, 1st 1946) held before the International Military Tribunal and the second was a seriesof twelve trials (1946-1949) proceeded by American authorities against suspected war criminals of lesser significance (for example : the Doctors’ Trial or the Einsaztgruppen Trial).
Each of the fourcountries provided one judge and an alternate, as well as the prosecutors while most of the defense attorneys were German lawyers.
24 major war criminals and 6 criminal organizations are tried...
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