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The Nuremberg Trials Essay

907 words - 4 pages

Immediately following World War II, the Allied leaders had a tough decision to make. They had to decide what to do with the hundreds of Nazi military criminals. The Allies decided to form an International Military Tribunal (IMT) in order to charge the Nazi criminals based on four areas of crimes: “Conspiracy to wage aggressive war, crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity” (Timeline: The War in Europe and Its Aftermath N/A). This tribunal did not try those accused of similar crimes on the Allied side. These judgments were passed solely onto Nazi supporters and the tribunal considered the majority of the charges passed in the category of, “Crimes against humanity” (Holocaust History N/A).
These charges were placed upon 24 Nazi men who had actively or passively supported or been apart of the atrocities regarding the concentration and death camps. One of these men committed suicide before the actual trial began, one committed suicide before the trial began, and a third was not healthy enough to withstand the trial. The other 21 men were brought in front of a panel of eight men, who formed the International Military Tribunal. Each man consecutively entered a plea of “not guilty” and so the trial began. These men were the most dangerous men who were possibly deserving of death. After this main trial finished, there were many other courts that dealt with the smaller war crimes that did not necessarily deserve death (Timeline N/A).
Hermann Göring was the chief defendant during the main war criminal trial and before he entered his plea, he attempted to make a statement to the court; but the judge did not allow him to voice what he desired to say. Hermann Göring “had been commander in chief of the Luftwaffe, president of the Reichstag, director of the Four Year Plan, and Hitler's acknowledged successor at the outbreak of the war” (Timeline N/A). After the war ended, he had no hope of proving his innocence in a court and so he hoped that the Allies would pity him and have compassion on him. He hoped that they would forgive him despite the evilness that he had committed. Sadly, Hermann Göring’s plea for forgiveness was not enough to keep the International Military Tribunal from sentencing him to death by hanging on all four areas of crimes. He was able to avoid this embarrassment by committing suicide shortly before he was scheduled to die (Timeline N/A).
The majority of the evidence in opposition to the Nazi leaders came from the lenses of different Allied photographers. These photographers shot their film soon after the liberation of three main concentration camps: Buchenwald, Bergen-Belsen, and Dachau. This film showed the brutality and pure evilness in the treatment of the Jewish men, women, and...

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