Help: Nuremberg

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Momchil Milanov
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Help: Nuremberg

Post by Momchil Milanov » 10 Apr 2006 23:50

Hello :)
I really need your help, guys. I`m working on a short history of Nuremberg Military Tribunals 1945-49 (I received the task from my university). There`s no sources on bulgarian language that can help me (no books concerning Nuremberg trials since 1989 :( )
I need more information and details concerning:
1) Jurisdiction of the court
2) Creation of the court
3) The validity of the court
4) Influence on the development of international criminal law

I used an article from wikipedia
You can check it here:
(the titles - "Creation of the court" "Validity" "Influence" are the original titles from that article) but I need more information `cause wikipedia gives the basic knowledge.
If somebody knows some sites containing articles (5-10) pages with correct juridical terms and information, more details about there 4 questions it will be great. I hope that Mr. Thompson could help me! :)))

Best regads,

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Post by Brumbar » 11 Apr 2006 01:37

David Thompson
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Post by David Thompson » 11 Apr 2006 06:07

Momchil -- You asked for information about the American Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, specifically information and details regarding:
1) Jurisdiction of the court
2) Creation of the court
3) The validity of the court
4) Influence on the development of international criminal law
(1) Jurisdiction of the court. This has two aspects:

What was the basis for the creation of the court; and What jurisdiction did the court have once it was created.

(a) During the course of WWII, the various allied governments learned that the Nazi regime had authorized, or was committing, violations of various treaties and international agreements which Germany had signed. These included the Hague IV Convention on the laws and customs of land warfare, and the 1929 Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war. These documents can be seen at:
Hague IV - Laws and Customs of War on Land: 18 October 1907
See also: Signatories to the Hague IV Convention of 1907 ... 802#625802
1929 - Convention Between the United States of America and Other Powers, Relating to Prisoners of War; July 27

(b) The allied powers, on various occasions, issued public warnings to the German government that when Germany was defeated, there would be war crimes trials. The most prominent example is the Moscow Declation of 1 November 1943, which you can see at and which reads:
THE UNITED KINGDOM, the United States and the Soviet Union have received from many quarters evidence of atrocities, massacres and cold-blooded mass executions which are being perpetrated by the Hitlerite forces in the many countries they have overrun and from which they are now being steadily expelled. The brutalities of Hitlerite domination are no new thing and all the peoples or territories in their grip have suffered from the worst form of government by terror. What is new is that many of these territories are now being redeemed by the advancing armies of the liberating Powers and that in their desperation, the recoiling Hitlerite Huns are redoubling their ruthless cruelties. This is now evidenced with particular clearness by monstrous crimes of the Hitlerites on the territory of the Soviet Union which is being liberated from the Hitlerites, and on French and Italian territory.

Accordingly, the aforesaid three allied Powers, speaking in the interests of the thirty-two [thirty-three] United Nations, hereby solemnly declare and give full warning of their declaration as follows:

At the time of the granting of any armistice to any government which may be set up in Germany, those German officers and men and members of the Nazi party who have been responsible for, or have taken a consenting part in the above atrocities, massacres, and executions, will be sent back to the countries in which their abominable deeds were done in order that they may be judged and punished according to the laws of these liberated countries and of the free governments which will be created therein. Lists will be compiled in all possible detail from all these countries having regard especially to the invaded parts of the Soviet Union, to Poland and Czechoslovakia, to Yugoslavia and Greece, including Crete and other islands, to Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, France and Italy.

Thus, the Germans who take part in wholesale shootings of Italian officers or in the execution of French, Dutch, Belgian, or Norwegian hostages or of Cretan peasants, or who have shared in the slaughters inflicted on the people of Poland or in territories of the Soviet Union which are now being swept clear of the enemy, will know that they will be brought back to the scene of their crimes and judged on the spot by the peoples whom they have outraged. Let those who have hitherto not imbrued their hands with innocent blood beware lest they join the ranks of the guilty, for most assuredly the three allied Powers will pursue them to the uttermost ends of the earth and will deliver them to their accusers in order that justice may be done.

The above declaration is without prejudice to the case of the major criminals, whose offences have no particular geographical localisation and who will be punished by the joint decision of the Governments of the Allies.



(c) On 8 May 1945, Germany surrendered unconditionally to the allies.
Grand Admiral Doenitz's broadcast to the German people, informing them of the unconditional surrender
Broadcast to the German people by Foreign Minister Lutz Schwerin von Krosigk
The German Surrender Documents of WWII

(d) Pursuant to that surrender, the German government was extinguished and replaced by a quadripartite military Control Council consisting of the US, UK, the USSR and France:
Allied Declaration on Control of Germany

(2) The creation of the courts, and their jurisdiction.

(a) The Control Council enacted Law No. 10 to set up war crimes courts, and defined what crimes could or would be punished:
Control Council Law No. 10 (Punishment of Persons Guilty Of War Crimes, Crimes Against Peace And Humanity) and

(b) This was done pursuant to the allies' previous agreements in regard to the International Military Tribunal (IMT) and other military courts:
Charter of the International Military Tribunal
International Conference on Military Trials: London, 1945
Minutes of Conference Session of July 23, 1945 ... jack44.htm
London Agreement of 8 August 1945

(c) The President of the United States directed the US Army authorities in the American Zone of occupied Germany to establish a system of military courts to try war crimes charges:
Executive Order 9547
Executive Order 9670

(d) Pursuant to the President's orders, the US military government of Germany then set up the court system:
Military Government - Germany Ordinance No. 7 (Organization and Power of Certain Military Tribunals) and
Military Government - Germany Ordinance No. 11

(3) The validity of the courts.

(a) The validity of the International Military Tribunal's authority was questioned by the defendants in the IMT trial on various grounds, such as the Latin legal maxim "No punishment without a crime" and the similar argument that the laws prohibiting and punishing war crimes were created after the acts had been committed ("ex post facto" argument). The IMT rejected these jurisdictional defenses. For discussions on the arguments in the H&WC section, see:
Crimes against humanity - an ex post facto law?
Ex post facto law and the Nuremberg trials
Crimes Against Peace (Waging Aggressive War)
On the validity of the Nuernberg trials

For the rules of evidence used in the trials see:
Rules of Evidence

For various arguments about the applicability of war crimes charges, see:
The Laws of War: To whom do they apply?

(b) The IMT rulings served as a precedent for similar challenges raised in the Nuremberg Military Tribunal (NMT) proceedings. The Mazal Library has been scanning and posting the reports of the NMT trials for several years, and has the largest collection of that material available on line. You can see it at:
Nuernberg Military Tribunal
This site is also helpful:
Nuremberg Trials Project: A Digital Document Collection ... t=site_map

4. Influence on the development of international criminal law

(a) There have been scores of essays written on this subject, which I'll leave you to find. Here are some places to get started:
International War Crimes and Criminals ... rimes.html
University of Minnesota Human Rights Library

(b) The most notable effect has probably been the creation of the International Criminal Court at the Hague:
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Website) (Statute)
Ratifications ... eaty10.asp

The modern-day version has several branches which track their proceedings. You can see them at:
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
Last edited by David Thompson on 11 Apr 2006 15:54, edited 1 time in total.

Momchil Milanov
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Post by Momchil Milanov » 11 Apr 2006 09:11

Wow, great!
Thank you, David!

Best regards,

David Thompson
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Post by David Thompson » 11 Apr 2006 15:56

Momchil -- I had the urls for the Mazal Library's NMT collection and another site reversed in paragraph 3(a), above, so I've corrected it.

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Post by Duncan » 11 Apr 2006 16:16

If you send me your email address I can scan and send you some pages of a book written in Germany in September 1949, by Rudolf Aschenauer. There are various articles in it. One particular one of interest is from "Human Events" - a weekly analysis for the American Citizen Issue no.277 (18 May 1948), which criticizes the legailty of the Nurenburg Trials, and shows how Allied forces, including Russia violated the same International Laws as the Germans.

Very Interesting - if anyone one wants it listing here. Let me know.



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Post by iwh » 11 Apr 2006 22:23

I would be very sceptical about any comments on the Nuremburg trials by Rudolf Aschenauer. A simple Google of his name will soon point to his political afiliations. His name comes up on a French anti fascist website: ... rticle=128

which places him as a member of the SA and Nazi parties during the war, with several links to Nazi organisations post war. He seems also to be a defence lawyer for the nazis on trial at Nuremburg. I don't think his opinion of the Nuremburg trials will be a positive one. Still it could make interesting reading.

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