Sociology Index

NUREMBERG TRIALS

Nuremberg trials were a series of trials of former Nazi leaders for alleged war crimes, crimes against peace, and crimes against humanity. Nuremberg trials was presided over by an International Military Tribunal representing the victorious Allied Powers. Nuremberg trials was held in Nuremberg in 1945-6.

Nuremberg trials was a tribunal established in the German city of Nuremberg by Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union and the United States, to bring to trial those war criminals whose actions during the Second World War were deemed to be international crimes against humanity. Many were brought to Nuremberg trials and some sentenced to death. Another tribunal was established in Japan to try Japanese war criminals.

Other nations brought to trial those thought to be guilty of war crimes against citizens of one nation. Israel, during Nuremberg trials, brought Adolf Eichmann, a major figure in the organization of the Holocaust, to Nuremberg trials in 1960, found him guilty and he was hanged. No trial provides a better basis for understanding the nature and causes of evil than do the Nuremberg trials from 1945 to 1949.

Those who come to the trials expecting to find sadistic monsters are generally disappointed. What is shocking about Nuremberg is the ordinariness of the defendants: men who may be good fathers, kind to animals, even unassuming - yet who committed unspeakable crimes. Years later, reporting on the trial of Adolf Eichmann, Hannah Arendt wrote of the banality of evil. Like Eichmann, most Nuremberg defendants never aspired to be villains.
Twelve Nuremberg trials, involving over a hundred defendants and several different courts, took place in Nuremberg from 1945 to 1949. By far the most attention - not surprisingly, given the figures involved - has focused on the first Nuremberg trial of twenty-one major war criminals. Several of the eleven subsequent Nuremberg trials, however, involved conduct no less troubling - and issues at least as interesting - as the Major War Criminals Trial. For example, the trial of sixteen German judges and officials of the Reich Ministry (The Justice Trial) considered the criminal responsibility of judges who enforce immoral laws. (The Justice Trial became the inspiration for the acclaimed Hollywood movie, Judgment at Nuremberg.) Other subsequent trials, such as the Doctors Trial and the Einsatzgruppen Trial, are especially compelling because of the horrific events described by prosecution witnesses. - The Nuremberg Trials - Douglas Linder, University of Missouri at Kansas City - School of Law

Nuremberg's Legacy Continues: The Nuremberg Trials' Influence on Human Rights Litigation in U.S. Courts Under the Alien Tort Statute - Gwynne Skinner, Willamette University - College of Law
Albany Law Review, Vol. 71, No. 1, 2008
Abstract: This article traces the Nuremberg trials' influence on human rights litigation in the United States under the Alien Tort Statute, especially in the area of corporate complicity, and argues that the use of the Nuremberg trials as precedent in modern domestic human rights litigation is appropriate.

Stages in the Evolution of Holocaust Studies: From the Nuremberg Trials to the Present
by: Irving Horowitz, Human Rights Review
Abstract Measuring genocide is an effort to treat the Holocaust within the framework of the history of ideas, specifically, how an event of enormous magnitude in terms of life and death issues as such embodied within a political system called National Socialism has an intellectual afterlife of some consequence. The article attempts to develop a four-stage post-Holocaust accounting of events that took place between 1933 and 1945. The first stage is biographical and autobiographical, followed by a second stage of ethnographies of survivors and victimizers. The third stage is dominated by historians and social scientific efforts to examine the “logic” of mass murder. The fourth and current stage is microanalysis, in which sharp and clear distinctions are made between differential treatment of victims in a variety of regions, states, nations, and even concentration camps.

What Can War Crimes Trials Teach? German Collective Memories of the Nuremberg Trials
Wolfgram, Mark - Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ISA's 50th ANNUAL CONVENTION "EXPLORING THE PAST, ANTICIPATING THE FUTURE".
Abstract: Political philosophers are divided over the role that courts should play beyond determining the guilt or innocence of the defendant. Hannah Arendt has argued that any attempt to add other roles to the court process, such as public education or the recording of historical truth, perverts the goal of justice as it risks politicization. In contrast, Judith Shklar has argued that it is a legal fable to argue that politics can be kept from the courtroom. What matters for Shklar is the pragmatic outcome of the trial. Does the trial lessen the likelihood that human cruelty will be perpetrated in the future? This article looks at both these arguments and more recent scholarship. Specifically, it reevaluates the legacy of the Nuremberg trial in Germany as a tool of public education.

Language and Implicit Attributions in the Nuremberg Trials: Analyzing Prosecutors' and Defense Attorneys' Closing Speeches. - Schmid, Jeannette; Fiedler, Klaus
Abstract: Investigates attributional implications of prosecutors' and defense attorneys' language strategies using the protocols of the historical Nuremberg trials. States that apart from more positive statements regarding the defendants being made by defense lawyers than prosecutors, both sides used a number of subtler strategies.