The Nuremberg SS-Einsatzgruppen Trial, 1945-1958: Atrocity, Law, and History

The Nuremberg SS-Einsatzgruppen Trial, 1945-1958: Atrocity, Law, and History

by Hilary Earl
Pub. Date:
Cambridge University Press


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The Nuremberg SS-Einsatzgruppen Trial, 1945-1958: Atrocity, Law, and History

Based on extensive archival research, this book offers the first historical examination of the arrest, trial, and punishment of the leaders of the SS-Einsatzgruppen - the mobile security and killing units employed by the Nazis in their racial war on the eastern front. Sent to the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941, four units of Einsatzgruppen, along with reinforcements, murdered approximately one million Soviet civilians in open air shootings and in gas vans, and, in 1947, twenty-four leaders of these units were indicted for crimes against humanity and war crimes for their part in the murders. In addition to describing the legal proceedings, this book examines recent historiographical trends and perpetrator paradigms and expounds on such contested issues as the timing and genesis of the Final Solution and the perpetrators' route to crime and their motivation for killing, as well as discussing the tensions between law and history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521178686
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 09/30/2010
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,271,998
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Hilary Earl is Assistant Professor of History at Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario, Canada. Her research has been featured in several collections, including Lessons and Legacies IV (2004), Secret Intelligence and the Holocaust (2006), and Biography between Structure and Agency: Central European Lives in International Historiography (2008). Her most recent project, The Genocide Paradox: Prosecuting Genocide from Nuremberg to The Hague, is a historical examination of the legal outcomes of war crimes trials from the post-World War II period through the trials conducted by the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia. She has received fellowships from the Holocaust Educational Foundation, the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Leonard and Kathleen O'Brien Humanitarian Trust, and the Joint Initiative for German and European Studies.

Table of Contents

Illustrations and Tables ix

Abbreviations xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction 1

1 The United States and the Origins of the Subsequent Nuremberg Trials 19

2 Otto Ohlendorf and the Origins of the Einsatzgruppen Trial 46

3 Defendants 96

4 Defense 135

5 Trial 179

6 Judge and Judgment 217

7 Aftermath: From Perpetrators of Genocide to Ordinary Germans 265

Conclusion 296

Bibliography 305

Index 329

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