Nuremberg Legacy: How the Nazi War Crime Trials Changed the Course of History

Nuremberg Legacy: How the Nazi War Crime Trials Changed the Course of History

by Norbert Ehrenfreund
     
 

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Sixty years have passed since the Nuremberg trials of the major Nazi war criminals, but that event still stands as the foundation of international justice. Nuremberg not only ignited a revolution in international law but affected domestic law as well with its simple but profound priniciple that every individual accused of crime is entitled to a full and fair

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Overview

Sixty years have passed since the Nuremberg trials of the major Nazi war criminals, but that event still stands as the foundation of international justice. Nuremberg not only ignited a revolution in international law but affected domestic law as well with its simple but profound priniciple that every individual accused of crime is entitled to a full and fair hearing.This book reveals how the precedents set at Nuremberg have affected human rights, race relations, medical practice, big business and even Germany's post-war development. It also examines the Nuremberg trials' influence on the modern war crimes trials of tyrants like Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

As a reporter for the U.S. Army newspaper Stars and Stripes, Ehrenfreund witnessed the trial of top Nazis at Nuremberg after World War II. After decades as a California lawyer and judge, he now combines his observations with secondary sources, especially the memoirs of Robert Jackson, the American prosecutor, and Francis Biddle, the American judge. Ehrenfreund effectively rebuts arguments against the tribunal-that it imposed "victors' justice" and ex post facto laws on the accused. Though he isn't the most agile pen portraitist of the participants, Ehrenfreund clearly presents the story and the legal concepts. The strongest part of his book examines Nuremberg's aftermath. The testimony and documents provided by the Nazis themselves gave history a record of their atrocities that cannot be denied. Nuremberg also established the precedent for holding the butchers of other nations-e.g. Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia-accountable for their crimes, here detailed by Ehrenfreund. An effective history and study of the impact of such powerful procedures on the modern world, this is a good purchase for all libraries.
—Michael O. Eshleman

Kirkus Reviews
An impassioned defense of the Nuremberg legacy by California supreme-court judge Ehrenfreund, a former journalist at the war-crimes trials. After serving with the occupation forces at the end of World War II, the author became a reporter for The Stars and Stripes, covering the trials of the captured Nazi high command from 1945 to 1949. In this pertinent, thorough overview, Ehrenfreund revisits the initial trial and considers its legacy, both as it affected his decision to become a trial lawyer, and the important precedents it has set in terms of prosecuting and checking future crimes against humanity. The author begins near the end of the war, when Secretary of War Henry Stimson and lawyer Murray Bernays successfully convinced President Roosevelt that a trial rather than summary execution was morally necessary in order to expose Hitler's plan as a criminal conspiracy and to establish a full record of Nazi atrocities. Supreme Court associate justice Robert H. Jackson, appointed chief prosecutor by President Truman, insisted that the Nazis must have a fair trial: due process, a lawyer for each, presumption of innocence. Hermann Goering, Rudolf Hess and 19 other defendants were charged with conspiracy to wage war, waging aggressive war, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Few witnesses were called; the bulk of the case was made with a mountain of documentary evidence. Despite the defendants' charges of unfairness, the trial convicted 18 on at least one count, and 12 were hanged. From this astounding precedent, the author considers the successes and failures of the 12 subsequent Nuremberg trials and the Tokyo trial of Japanese war leaders, as well as the Nuremberg precedent in cases ofmedical ethics, human rights, racial prejudice, criminal big business and the establishment of a long-overdue international court to try the world's dictators. The author makes a tremendous case for adhering to the Nuremberg legacy of fair treatment for even the most odious offenders. Students and young adults will especially value this accessible, personable work. Agent: Jill Marsal/Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781403979650
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
10/02/2007
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
7.44(w) x 9.58(h) x 1.07(d)

Meet the Author

Norbert Ehrenfreund has served as a judge for thirty years in the Superior Court of California. He served as a correspondant for The Stars and Stripes during the Nuremberg trials. He now lives in San Diego, California.

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