The Nuremberg trials

During World War II the Allies were determined that both Hitler and the men around him
should be punished for starting World War II and the crimes they had committed while
they were waging it. These crimes included the extermination of the Jewish people of
Europe known as the Holocaust or the Shoah. After some debate it was decided that the
fairest way to proceed was the public trial of the men and organizations who committed
At the most famous of these, the Nuremberg Trial, , andthat had been organized to carry
out the Nazi programs, were placed on trial for their crimes. Martin Bormann was tried in
absentia. Additionally Robert Ley was charged as a defendant but committed suicide
before the trial, and Gustav Krupp, who was named in the indictments, was found to be
medically unfit to stand trial. Many of the leading Nazis, such as Hitler, Himmler, and
Goebbels, were not present at the Nuremberg Trial because they has committed suicide at
Thefirst step was to agree upon the rules for the trial. They adopted aof the four Allies
(the United States, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union). The defendants were
given the right to be represented by counsel, call witnesses, and present evidence in their
own behalf. They were not given the right to a jury trial which was part of the law only in
Great Britain and the United States. Finally, after all the evidence was presented, the
defendants were permitted to make statements to the court without being sworn or
The next step was the , a statement of the charges against each defendant. The Allies
charged the defendants with four types of crimes: conspiracy against peace, crimes against
peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The Allies stated that the Nazis, when
they started the war, had deliberately broken the treaties that Germany had signed. The


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