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When the international criminal tribunals were convened in Nuremberg and Tokyo in the mid-1940s, the response from lawyers was mixed.
The seven major war criminals sentenced to prison terms are remanded to the Spandau Prison in Berlin.
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In the event, the conference very nearly broke down.
The American delegate threatened to walk out over the question of the court's location, the French delegate objected to plans to bring charges of crimes against peace, the British fretted over the risk of German countercharges, and the Soviets refused to countenance a definition of aggression.
The death sentences are carried out on October 16, 1946, with two exceptions: Göring committed suicide shortly before his scheduled execution, and Bormann remained missing.
The other 10 defendants are hanged, their bodies cremated, and the ashes deposited in the Iser River.Four receive prison terms ranging from 10 to 20 years (Doenitz, Schirach, Speer, and Neurath).The court acquits three defendants: Hjalmar Schacht (economics minister), Franz von Papen (German politician who played an important role in Hitler's appointment as chancellor), and Hans Fritzsche (head of press and radio).Judges from the Allied powers—Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States—presided over the hearings of twenty-two major Nazi criminals. Most of the defendants admitted to the crimes of which they were accused, although most claimed that they were simply following the orders of a higher authority.Those individuals directly involved in the killing received the most severe sentences.Martin Bormann (Hitler's adjutant) is to be tried in absentia.October 1, 1946 Verdict at Nuremberg The International Military Tribunal (IMT) announces its verdicts.The debates were in turn acrimonious, meandering, portentous, repetitive and disjointed.There were frequent misunderstandings between common and civil law delegates, and all were compelled to advance their respective nation’s interests.Until the final day, none of them could be sure that a tribunal would be established at all, let alone that their discussions would provide the conceptual framework for two great assizes, one in Nuremberg, the other in Tokyo.This was history in the making, and its making was a messy and unedifying business.