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The Nuremberg Trials
Transcript of The Nuremberg Trials
By: Sarah Huffman
Not categorized 9 Nazis
Joachim Von Ribbentrop
Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel
Grand Admiral Erich Raeder
Balder Von Schirach
General Alfred Jodle
Franz Von Papen
Artur Seyss Inquart
Baron Konstantin Von Neurath
-They started with 24 war criminals, this later turned into 22 major Nazi war criminals that were brought to the International Military Tribunal.
-Every single defendant denied the charges and pleaded not guilty
Hermann Göring was the Reichmarschall (Imperial Marshal). He served the Third Reich as commander in chief of air force(Luftwaffe). He was the chief of war economy. Most Important he was Hitler's successor. He was indicted on all four counts.
Rudolf Hess was second in line as a successor and the chancellor of the Third Reich. He was a trusted deputy, but later when he turned against the Nazis was called insane. He spent most of World War II imprisoned in Britain. For his acts earlier in the war, he was still indicted on all four counts.
Joachim Von Ribbentrop was a foreign minister throughout World War II. He was foreign minister of armaments. He was Hitler's spokesperson and established the Nazi policy. He was Indicted on all four accounts.
Wilhelm Keitel was head of the German armed forces (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht) .He was a professional soldier and eventually became second to only Hitler in the military. He listened to everything Hitler said and followed all orders without questioning them. He was indicted on all four counts.
Ernst Kaltenbrunner was a lawyer but joined Austrian Nazi party and the Austrian SS. He later became higher SS and police leader in Vienna. He advanced even higher to head the Reich Central Security Office of the SS. He was responsible for authorizing thousands of deaths. He was indicted for counts one, three, and four.
Alfred Rosenberg was the Reich minister of Easter Occupied Territories. He wrote for the Nazi party's newspaper Völkischer Beobachter. He later became editor of it. He was indicted on all four counts.
Hans Frank was a lawyer but he became Hitler's legal adviser. After that he became Bavaria's minister of Justice, President of German Law Academy, and eventually Governor-general in Nazi-occupied Poland. He was indicted for counts one, three, and four.
Wilhelm Frick was a lawyer, but he later became minister of the interior. Later he was the one who drew up the Nuremberg Laws. He was indicted on all four counts.
Julius Streicher established the anti-semitic German Socialist Party. He then founded and was editor in chief of Der Sturmer, a hate spreading newspaper. He was indicted on counts one and four.
Hjalmar Schacht preceeded Walther Funk as president of Reichsbank. Later as minister of economics he restored the German trade balance. He was later dismissed as president after an argument with Hitler. He joined the resistance and was then arrested then spent the rest of the war in concentration camps. He was still indicted on counts one and four.
Walther Funk was minister of economics and president of the Reichsbank. He helped plan the economic aspects of Hitlers attack of the Soviet Union. He was indicted on all four counts.
Grand Admiral Erich Raeder was commander in chief of the German Navy. His goal was to restore the navy and restore the naval power. He welcomed Hitler but was the dismissed in 1943 because of naval strategy disagreements. He was indicted on counts one. two, and three.
Karl Dönitz was the first commander in chief of U-boats and the commander in chief of the German Navy. He headed Germany's U-Boat fleet. At the wars end, he replaced Goring as successor and became the second and last Fuhrer of the Third Reich and ruled over the final days of the Third Reich. He was indicted on all four counts.
Baldur Von Schirach was a member of the German Reichstag (parliment). He founded and organized the Hitler Youth and directed the youth movement until he was appointed Gavleiter(political district leader) of Vienna. He was charged with counts one and four.
Fritz Sauckel headed the German Conscript labor organization. In Thuringia he became the Gevleiter, minister president, and governor. Hitler selected him to direct the modilization of Germany's workforce. He was indicted on four counts.
General Alfred Jodle one of Hitler's closest military advisers. He worked right under Hitler and Wilhelm Keitel. He was the chief of the operations staff of German Armed Forces High Command. He became the General of artillery and appointed OKW operations chief. He directed almost every German Campaign of War.
Martin Bormann was Rudolf Hess's right hand man and secretary and was elected as his party's representative to the Reichstag. He was head of the party chancellery and later replaced Hess as Hitler's private secretary. He was the second most powerful Nazi in the last days of the Third Reich. He was charged on all four counts in absentia since he disappeared at the end of the war.
Franz Von Papen was chancellor of Germany. He later became Vice Chancellor under Hitler and later he became ambassabor to Austria and Turkey. He was indicted on counts one and two.
Artur Seyss Inquart was the Austrian state councillor until he was appointed Austrian minister of the interior. In 1940 he moved to the Netherlands and served as Reich commissioner He was indicted on all four counts.
Albert Speer was an architect. More specifically he was Hitler's chief architect. He arranged the Nuremberg rally, and designed the Reichschancellery. He served as minister for armaments and munition. He turned against Hitler near the end of the war. He was indicted on all four counts.
Baron Konstantin Von Neurath was a foriegn minister was a foreign minister.In 1939 he was appointed Reich Protector of Czech territories. He was indicted on all four counts.
Hans Fritzsche was a minor official. He was chief of radio operations in Nazi propaganda ministry. He was indicted on a counts one, three, and four.
The Allies agreed that the Nazi war criminals should face some sort of punishment for their actions.
Winston Churchill believed that the major war criminals' fate should be decided by the Allies alone.
President Roosevelt thought differently. He believed that the war criminals should be held accountable for their actions, but not executed unfairly.
On November 1, 1943, the allies agreed that the war criminals would be tried instead of executed unfairly, and The Moscow Declaration that stated this.
Joseph Stalin, The Soviet leader believed that all of the war criminals should be tried, not just the minor ones.
The British believed that trials would hold up the healing process after the war and that the criminals should be executed.
Henry L. Stimson, a secretary of war in 1944, convinced Roosevelt to put the war criminals in front of an International Tribunal at a trial.
He also argued that a war crimes trial would change how the world dealt with its war criminals.
Robert H. Jackson (will eventually become U.S. chief Prosecutor) also disagreed with executions without trials. He did not believe in pre-determined guilt.
The United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, and France all agreed that the Major Nazis should be punished for their crimes.
The Nazis should be subject to the law like average people would be.
They decided to hold Trials against Nazi Germany's leaders for committing crimes before and during World War II.
Beginning on June 26, 1945 there was a conference held that was know as the International Conference on Military Trials. Robert H. Jackson led the meetings.
Later,The Americans, British, French, and Soviets met at Church House in London to agree on a way deal with, define, and punish for war crimes.
Eventually they agreed on a plan that worked for all the nations and signed the London Agreement, a plan similar to the one that Henry L. Stimson had originally thought of.
At the meetings at Church House, they also came up with the idea for an International Military Tribunal and the procedures this group would follow.
The International Military Tribunal consisted of eight judges(One judge and one alternate judge for each of the four nations).
The idea of The Moscow Declaration substituted for an easier idea; The International Military Tribunal Charter.
During The War
After The War
The International Military Tribunal
The Criminal Charges
Count 1: Conspiracy - Plotting with others to start wars in violation of international treaties and agreements.
Count 2: Crimes Against Peace - planning, preparing, and starting wars of aggression
Count 3: War crimes - Mistreating prisoners of war in violation of international agreements. Also, raiding occupied areas, and committing crimes on an area that is ruled by no specific country
(Article six of the International Military Tribunal Charter)
Allies signed a document defining the crimes
Included acts committed before and during the war
The Americans were in charge of count 1
The British were in charge of count 2
The French and the Soviets were in charge of counts 3 and 4
Details About the Charges
14 of the defendants were charged for all four counts. They were all charged for at least two
The International Militray Tribunal conducted the trials
-Some Nazis that The International Military Tribunal wanted to try also escaped, including Josef Mengele and Adolf Eichmann. Aldolf Eichmann was found and in 1960 brought to trial.
-Other Nazis that were brought to trial later were Nazis of lesser importance and recieved lighter sentences
Some exceptions of defendants that The international Military Tribunal wanted to try included:
-Robert Lay - He was the leader of the German Labor front. He hung himself in his cell before his trial
-Gustav Krupp - He was to old and too sick to be put in a trial
The Nazis that the Tribunal wanted to try the most were already dead. This included:
- Adolf Hitler
- Heinrich Himmler - The leader of the SS
-Joseph Goebbels - A propaganda minister
They had already committed suicide and avoided facing prosecution in a trial
The main part of the trials ran from November 1945to October 1946
From November1946 to April 1949 185 less important Nazis were tried.
The trials were held in Nuremberg Germany. The irony of this is that the Nazi party used to hold political rallies there.
Defendants were individually put in small cells in the Palace of Justice, near where the courthouse was.
The trials began on November 20, 1945 in room 600 in Nuremberg's Palace of Justice.
The first trial began at 10:00 AM with the first 19 Nazis
Lord chief Justice Sir Geoffrey Lawrence announced the beginning of the trial.
The entire trial was filmed. This was the first time a trial was filmed.
A day and a half focused on prosecution toward Nazi crimes against forced laborers, prisoners of war, and Jews.
Robert Jackson made a speech where he talked about how defeated criminals are now facing the law.
Defense summations began July 4, 1946. They lasted 16 trial days.
Prosecution summations required three extra days.
August 31, 1946, the defendants made their last speeches. The court part of the trial ended.
- Allies created a group of 23 U.S. attorneys under Robert H. Jackson, 7 British barristers directed by Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe and British attorney General Sir Hartley Shawcross, 5 French advocates, and 11 Soviet lawyers for the trial.
The American prosecution dealt with count one first. They supported their claims using German documents that contained proof of everything the Nazis had done.
On December 4, 1945 the British began their case on charges having to do with count 2. They also used the German documents to back up their claims.
Sir Hartley Shawcross was the main person in the British's prosecution.
The Americans and British wanted to prove that the Reich Cabinet, the Political Leadership Corps, The SS, the SD, the SA, the OKW, and the Gestapo were criminal. That way the defendants that were a part of those groups would be guilty through association.
The Americans and British ended their case on January 16 1946.
The U.S. and The British
The French and the Soviets
The German Defense
The End of the Trials
On January 17 1946, the French case opened. Francois de Menthon was the chief prosecutor for the French.
The French case focused on the devastatingly horrible treatment of people in the concentration camps. They had witnesses from the camps tell their stories. Among them Marie Claude Vaillant Couturier was one of the most compelling.
The French case closed on February 7, 1946.
The Soviets began their case on February 8, 1946
Lieutenant General Roman A. Rudenko spoke first but, Colonel Yuri V. Pokrovsky was chief prosecutor.
The Soviets focused on the gory details of the killing of people and the terrible treatment of people. They even used Hans Frank's diary to prove their point.
On March 4 1946 the soviets finished and the prosecution rested.
On March 8, 1946 the German defense began. They had a disadvantage because the could not quetsion the Tribunal's rules or try to change anything. They were not familiar with the type of trial they were in.
On March 13, 1946 Hermann Göring took the stand. He was grilled with questions from each section of prosecution during cross examination. He outsmarted Robert H. Jackson, but Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe and Roman Rudenko both asked him tough questions. There was no denying his guilt.
The German defense were not able to help themselves much because the prosecutions proof was done very well.
The German defense was over on June 28, 1946
People had wanted to see Rudolf Hess on the stand but, he did not go up to the stand to defend himself.
The rest of the defendants had little to help themselves and their time in the stand was short and did not mean much.
On September 30 and October 1, 1946 revealed their verdicts.
Alfred Rosenberg - found guilty on all four counts. He was sentenced to death.
Hermann Göring - Found Guilty for all four counts. Sentenced to death.
Rudolf Hess - Found guilty for counts one and two. He was sentenced to life in Prison.
Wilhelm Keitel - found guilty on all four counts. He was sentenced to death.
Karl Dönitz - found guilty on counts two and three. He was sentenced to ten years in jail.
Joachim Von Ribbentrop - found guilty on all four counts. He was sentenced to death
Albert Speer - found guilty on counts three and four. He was sentenced to twenty years in prison.
Ernest Kaltenbrunner - found guilty on counts three and four. He was sentenced to death.
Hans Frank - found guilty on counts three and four. He was sentenced to death.
Wilhelm Frick - found guilty on counts two, three and four. He was sentenced to death.
Julius Streicher - found guilty on count four. He was sentenced to death.
Walther Funk - found guilty on counts two, three, and four. He was sentenced to life in jail.
Erich Raeder - found guilty on counts one, two, and three. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Baldur Von Schirach - found guilty for count number four. He was sentenced to twenty years in prison.
Frick Sauckel - found guilty on counts three and four. he was sentenced to death
Alfred Jodl - found guilty on all four counts. he was sentenced to death.
Martin Bormann - found guilty on counts three and four. He was sentenced to death.
Artur Seyss-Inquart - found guilty on counts two, three, and four. He was sentenced to death.
Konstantin Von Neurath - found guilty on all four counts. He was sentenced to fifteen years in Prison.
Hans Fritzsche, Franz Von Papen, and Hjalmar Schacht were found not guilty
The Nazi party leadership, the SS, the Gestapo, and the SD were found criminal.
The SA, the Reich Cabinet, and the High Command were found not guilty.
On October 15, 1946 Hermann Göring committed suicide by taking a cyanide capsule. He cheats his sentence.
On October 16, 1946 the hangings begin.
The Nuremberg Effects and Legacy
They had never punished war criminals through trials before.
They set legal examples for people. Leaders can go to trial for commiting crimes during war.
The trials documented Nazi crimes for the future.
Aggressive war acts are now criminal under international law.
Led to the UN wanting to create a permamnent International Criminal Court.
The Nuremburg Trials were the answer to the question of how to punish the Nazi war criminals after World War II. Through doing that, they set an example for the world and created history.
After Germany's surrender and the end of World War II representatives of Free World nations met to form the United Nations in 1945. While there, Harry Truman appointed Robert H. Jackson as U.S. Chief Prosecutor.
Count 4: Crimes Against Humanity - murdering, enslaving, and deporting people based on their race, beliefs, religion etc.
Goda, Norman J.W. “Nuremberg Trials.” World Book. 2010. 2010. Print.
Nussbaum, Soumerai Eve, Schulz, Carol D. The Holocaust. Westport: Greenwood Press,
1998. Print. Daily Life During.
Rice Jr., Earl. The Nuremberg Trials. San Diego: Lucent Books, 1997. Print. Famous
Tonge, Neil. Documenting World War II: The Holocaust. New York: The Rosen
Publishing Group, 2009. Print.
The Nuremberg Trials tested the idea of putting war criminals to trial and because of it, there is now an efficient way to deal with war criminals. The effect and legacy of the Nuremberg Trials is lasting. There is no question in anyone's mind that this event will never be forgotten.
-The defendants were categorized into 5 categories of people. The categories included top Nazis, capital criminals, bank presidents, fleet admirals, and the 9 nazis that were not categirized.
The claim that almost all Nazis made was that they did not commit crimes, they were just following orders.
The first successful trials for war crimes
They also exploited what the Nazis did.