The Nuremberg Trials The Nuremberg Trials The Nuremberg trial was built up to be the trial of the century. In the word’s of Norman Birkett, who served as a British alternate judge: it was “the greatest trial in history” . The four most intriguing characters of this trial were of vast contradiction to each other; there was Herman Georing the relentless leader, Joachim von Ribbentrop the guilty and indecisive follower of Hitler, Hjalmar Schacth the arrogant financial wizard of the Rich and Albert Speer the remorseful head of armament and munitions. Three of the four allies wanted the Nazi leaders to be executed without a trial Winston Churchill said, “They should be rounded up and shot like dog’s” but the Americans persuaded the other allies that a trial would be most beneficial from a public relations standpoint, so now with the allies agreed the stage for Nuremberg was set. The four most fascinating leaders of the Nazi party that were put on trial were Georing, von Ribbentrop, Schacth and Speer, not so much individually but together. Georing was presumably the most famous and high ranking of all the defendants tried at Nuremberg. He had joined the Nazi party in 1922 and ascended to the post of president of the Reichstag in essence Hitler’s number two man.
He like many of the others tried was very intelligent, but seemed to be much too aware of it. He defend himself and Hitler vigorously saying “the victor will always be the judge and the vanquished the accused. ” Von Ribbentrop was the German foreign minister in theory, but in reality he was just a messenger of Hitler’s will with no real power. He was said by all Nazi leaders to be very week and indecisive to the point of asking prison barbers and guards for advice for his defense. The once powerful man who made foreign policy decisions that cost millions there lives could not even decide if he felt remorse or if he was correct in his actions. Schacth the German in charge of finances and the Reichsbank considered himself to be innocent in the absolute.
He stated that he did help rearm Germany but that was hardly a crime because the allied military inspectors watched as we broke the treaty of Versailles. He said his proof of being innocent was that he served time in a German concentration camp for disagreeing with Hitler. The most repentant of all the Nazi higher ups was Albert Speer. He wanted to take responsibility for actions, and wanted the others to do the same. Speer was in charge of munitions and armament. The defendants all pleading not guilty, they were now left with the task of waiting for there fate. With the defendants all in custody the next step of the trial would be for the allies to organize their prosecution and manufacture the charges agents the defendants.
The allies indicted the Nazis under four counts with each allied country dealing with one count. Committee (1) Conspiracy to commit crimes alleged in other counts (United States) Committee (2) Crimes agents peace (England) Committee (3) War Crimes (France) Committee (4) Crimes agents humanity (Russia) The United States alleged that the Nazi party as a whole committed conspiracy to start an aggressive war, to commit crimes agents humanity (slave labor and the stealing of resources) and to cleanse the world of various ethnic groups. After the Nazi party acquired governmental control over Germany they conspired to:(a compressed version of the indictment as a whole by all four countries) Conspiracy to Commit Crimes Agents the peace -Re-arm and reoccupy the Rhineland in violation of the treaty of Versailles (World War II surrender terms, limitations on Army, Air Force and Navy) -On 5/21/1935 the Germans falsely announced to the world that they would fallow the Versailles and Locarno Pacts (Territorial and weapons treaty) -Aggressive action agents Austria and Czechoslovakia. -As of 1937 plans were made for the conquest of Austria and Czechoslovakia contrary to what Hitler said “Germany neither intends, nor wishes to interfere in the internal affairs of Austria” -The planning to start war with Denmark, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Yugoslavia, Greece, England and Russia. Conspiracy to Commit War Crimes and Crimes Agents Humanity.
-The Nazi party conspired to commit ethnic cleansing. -The Nazi party doctrine stated the fallowing. (a) That persons of German blood were a master race (b) That war was a necessary and noble activity of the German people (c) That the Nazi party was a supreme power even over God (d) Implementing anti-Semitism and the “master race” policy – The Nazi’s persecution of the various Religions of Germany – The Nazi’s use of slave labor from countries they conquered and stolen resources and national treasures The conspiracy charge of the United States covered all of the other counts of the indictment as well. To go along with the charges of the Nazi party there was an individual charge for each defendant as well. Goering was charged under all four counts of the indictment, specifically as president of the Richstage, setting up concentration camps, aggressive war and using his personal power to help the Nazis gain power and did not stop, but in fact encouraged the above-mentioned crimes.
Von Ribbentrop was charged with all four counts, using his power as foreign minister to encouraged aggressive war on the countries of Europe, persecute different ethnic groups and for breaking a laundry lists of treaties. Schacht was charged with the first two counts of the indictment for being a member of the Nazi party, helping Germany re-arm, and encouraging war on Europe. Speer was charge with the last two counts of the indictment for enlisting slave labor. With the charges laid out for the world to see the trial was now ready to begin. With all the charges laid out the trial was set to begin.
Each country would present its case to the court fallowed by each defendant presenting his case. The United States would present first. …