Nuremberg, Eichmann, and Extra-Judicial Murder

Thursday, October 20, 2011
By Paul Martin

by Laurence M. Vance

Nazi Germany – the totalitarian rule of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party from 1933-1945 – is infamously remembered for two things: World War II and the Holocaust.

After pulling out of the League of Nations, rearming, annexing Austria, remilitarizing the Rhineland, allying with Mussolini’s fascist Italy, stripping German Jews of their civil rights, occupying the Sudetenland, signing a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union, and turning into a fascist dictatorship, Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, and then conquered much of Europe.

The Holocaust that occurred during World War II is universally recognized as the greatest example of systematic, state-sponsored murder. The Nazis killed millions of Jews in their quest to rid Europe of them. Millions of Poles, Gypsies, Serbs, Slovenes, Ukrainians, Belarusians, and other “non-Aryans” were also killed, as well as Germans that were disabled, institutionalized, homosexual, communist, or opponents of the Nazi regime. The horrors of concentration camps like Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Buchenwald are well known, as are the Nazi doctor medical experiments on children, the slave labor, the death marches, the gas chambers, and the mass graves.

The Nazi’s are universally reviled and, rightly or wrongly, are the first choice of comparison when a modern oppressive regime needs to be made into an evil bogeyman.

After Germany was finally vanquished by the Allies in May of 1945, twenty-four Nazis were put on trial in Nuremberg, Germany, from November 20, 1945, to October 1, 1946, for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Soviet Union, France, Great Britain, and the United States supplied judges and prosecutors. The U.S. prosecutor was Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson. The defendants had German attorneys.

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