The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial
American President Truman wanted a legal proceeding that would show the world that Nazi
barbarism was the exception, not the rule, and would make an example of the most heinous
perpetrators of the Holocaust of World War Two. But would the result be victors' justice or the real thing?
Nuremberg War Crimes Trial 1945-46:
A Documentary History
by Michael R. Marrus
Commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the most
important judicial proceeding of the twentieth century, this is the first book to examine
historically the indictment of 22 Nazi leaders at the end of World War II.
Skillfully weaving text and documents, the author presents the complex trial in its
dramatic setting, in its historical context, and in legal perspective. The wide array of
73 primary documents - including journalistic accounts, private reflections, and tribunal
transcripts - lets students evaluate first-hand the words of both prosecutors and
defendants. Also provided are photographs of the trial, a chronology, brief
biographies of the defendants, a selected bibliography, and an index.
by Gustave M. Gilbert
Gustav Gilbert gives a brilliant account of isstay at
Nuremberg for the duration of the infamous trial. He exposes the men on trial
not only as monsters but as humans. An account like no other as he remains
steadfast to his work until the end when other such as Gen Kelley have left to return home
and publish their own accounts. Gilbert allows us full access to these men as
they realize what has happened and that they have no escape from their fate.
shows his own compassion for the condemed as he pays visits to their families to give them
hop as well as get information vital to his book.
From Kirkus Reviews, 1994
Most books about the Nuremberg trials have focused on the jurisprudential aspects of this
unprecedented event. Persico has chosen to write an overview that offers a
picture of the comparatively underreported battles behind the judgments.
Persico traces the history of the war crimes tribunal, from the waning days of the war,
when Churchill was calling for drumhead court-martials and
summary executions. Throughout the several months from the time the idea was
hatched to the execution of sentence, there raged a series of behind-the-scenes struggles.
Within the prosecution, there were turf wars over who would take the lead in
examining witnesses, over which of the four participating powers -- the US, Great Britain,
France, and the Soviet Union -- would carry the most weight, and over genuine differences
of opinion as to what kind of prosecution would be most effective. Among the
defendants, there were numerous factions, with the supremely cynical anad evil Reichsmarshal Hermann Goering emerging as a dominant figure.
Drawing on interviews with many participants who have never spoken of their
experiences for publication, Persico delineates the personal clashes (Supreme Court
Justice Robert Jackson, the head of the US prosecution team, vs. former attorney general
Francis Biddle, the US judge; a duel between the prison psychiatrist and psychologist over
who would publish a book first), often at the expense of the courtroom action.
Gradually the focus on the out-of-sight nastiness among the Allies becomes
numbing and unpleasant, and the book is most lively when it shifts its attention back to
the proceedings themselves. Nuremberg has an undeniable timeliness, especially
in light of the new wave of Holocaust deniers. Persico writes well, despite
occasionally drifting into melodrama, and the subject exerts its own fascination. --
Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
by Robert E. Conot
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