Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Nuremberg Trials

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After world war II, the German leaders were put on trial for Nazi Germany’s criminal activities, including the illegal activities of the Holocaust. Their hearing was held before an International Military Tribunal (IMT) in Nuremberg, Germany. Judges from the Allied powers- Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the USA– supervised the hearing of 22 biggest Nazi offenders. Consequently, the United States held 12 additional trials in Nuremberg of high-level officials of the German federal government, military, SS, and doctors. The offenses charged before the Nuremberg courts were criminal activities against tranquility, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and conspiracy to commit atrocities.

In all, 199 offenders were tried at Nuremberg, 161 were convicted, and 37 were given capital punishment, involving 12 of those tried by the IMT. Holocaust criminal offenses consisted of a few of the trials but were the primary focus of just the United States trial of Einsatzgruppen leaders. The accused generally acknowledged that the criminal activities they were charged with happened; however, they denied that they were responsible, and were following orders from a higher administration.

The Nazis’ highest administrator, the person most to blame for the Holocaust, Adolf Hitler, was missing at the trials. He had committed suicide in the last days of the war, as had several of his closest aides. Many more wrongdoers were never tried. Some ran away from Germany to live abroad, consisting of hundreds who fled to the United States.

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