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For some sixty years, the Nuremberg trials have demonstrated the resolve of the United States and its fellow Allied victors of the Second World War to uphold the principles of dispassionate justice and the rule of law even when cries of vengeance threatened to carry the day. In the summer of 1945, soon after the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany, Thomas J. Dodd, the father of U.S. Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, traveled to the devastated city of Nuremberg to serve as a staff lawyer in this unprecedented trial for crimes against humanity. Thanks to his agile legal mind and especially to his skills at interrogating the defendants—including such notorious figures as Hermann Göring, Alfred Rosenberg, Albert Speer, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and Rudolf Hess—he quickly rose to become the number two prosecutor in the U.S. contingent.
Over the course of fifteen months, Dodd described his efforts and his impressions of the proceedings in nightly letters to his wife, Grace. The letters remained in the Dodd family archives, unexamined, for decades. When Christopher Dodd, who followed his father’s path to the Senate, sat down to read the letters, he was overwhelmed by their intimacy, by the love story they unveil, by their power to paint vivid portraits of the accused war criminals, and by their insights into the historical importance of the trials.
Along with Christopher Dodd’s reflections on his father’s life and career, and on the inspiration that good people across the world have long taken from the event that unfolded in the courtroom at Nuremberg, where justice proved to be stronger than the most unspeakable evil, these letters give us a fresh, personal, and often unique perspective on a true turning point in the history of our time. In today’s world, with new global threats once again put-ting our ideals to the test, Letters from Nuremberg reminds us that fear and retribution are not the only bases for confrontation. As Christopher Dodd says here, “Now, as in the era of Nuremberg, this nation should never tailor its eternal principles to the conflict of the moment, for if we do so, we will be shadowing those we seek to overcome.”
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.84(d)|
About the Author
CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, son of the late Senator Thomas J. Dodd, is a U.S. senator from Connecticut. He is chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee and a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Labor and Human Resources Committee. A former Peace Corps volunteer, Senator Dodd is a recipient of the Edmund S. Muskie Public Service Award and is also widely known for his work on children and family issues. He and his wife, Jackie Clegg Dodd, have two young daughters, Grace and Christina, and live in a converted schoolhouse in East Haddam, Connecticut.
LARY BLOOM, author of The Writer Within, Lary Bloom’s Connecticut Notebook, and other books, is a columnist for the New York Times and Connecticut magazine. He is also a playwright, lyricist, and memoir teacher, and was the editor of the Sunday magazines of the Miami Herald and the Hartford Courant. He lives in Chester, Connecticut. His website is www.larybloom.net.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Through the vehicle of many letters written from the heart by Senator Chris Dodd's father to his mother, the story of the Nuremberg trials unfolds. The love which Tom Dodd had for his wife is a main character. The trial is another main character. We learn, through descriptions of individual defendants, of details of the horrors of the holocaust and our collective responsibility for historical events. One cannot avoid thinking about more recent events, and the relationship between means and ends.
The Title implies some detailed testifying, tough cross examinations of leading Nazis. Instead we get a stream of love letters from Dodd to his wife. Thats nice...but enough is enough. Mainly...we get a litany of complaints about procedures, the French, the Russians, going to parties. Almost no hard courtroom dialogue whatsoever. So whats the point? A complete letdown by a very good senator but a book that never, ever delivers.
Reading this book is a great way to spend a few hours. I loved all the history and politics, but what I enjoyed most was the love story. Who would have thought that a book about holding Nazis responsible for their horrible crimes would also share such an intimate correspondence between a husband and a wife? Tom Dodd was a really eloquent writer, particularly considering he was just writing letters home and probably not expecting they would ever become public! I just wish that we had his wife Grace Dodd's return letters as well. I read a lot and I found this book to be truly unique, with interest for almost anyone -- from history to politics to law to war to romance. I really enjoyed it.