Genocide on Trial: War Crimes Trials and the Formation of Holocaust History and Memory

By Donald Bloxham | Go to book overview

CHAPTER ONE
Shaping the Trials: The Politics of Trial Policy,
1945–1949

One of the primary purposes of the trial of the major war criminals is to document and
dramatize for contemporary consumption and for history the means and methods em-
ployed by the leading Nazis in their plan to dominate the world and to wage an aggressive
war.

(Gordon Dean to Robert Jackson, 11 August 1945)1

The words of this American prosecutor are instructive, revealing the intent to make the trial of the major war criminals a history lesson writ large. Indeed, few criminal proceedings in history with any serious claim to being bona fide have been so explicitly accorded didactic functions. The relationship between the judicial and the extra-judicial underpins this book. The present chapter, though, is more directly concerned with the second half of Gordon Dean’s communiqué. Proving the Nazi ‘plan to dominate the world and to wage an aggressive war’ was the leitmotiv of the American prosecution throughout the Göring trial and the subsequent Nuremberg proceedings. It was the most important influence on the way in which ‘major’ war criminals were prosecuted between 1945 and 1949. In examining the course of that prosecutorial mission and others that were pursued beside it, this chapter provides the context and much of the empirical grounding for the conclusions of the rest of the study.


1.1 THE THEORY BEHIND THE IMT PROSECUTION

The indictment presented to the IMT contained four counts,2 of which the defendants each faced his own permutation. (The organizations were simply to be judged upon whether or not they were ‘criminal’.) The first count concerned participation in ‘the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit, or which involved the commission of, crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity’. The second charged complicity in ‘the planning, preparation, initiation and waging of wars of aggression, which were also wars in violation of international treaties, agreements and assurances’. The third involved ‘war crimes’ committed between 1 September 1939 and 8 May 1945 ‘in

1 Library of Congress, papers of Robert H. Jackson, hereafter ‘Jackson papers’, container 107, Gordon Dean to Jackson, 11 Aug. 1945.

2 The IMT Charter contained three generic charges, as reproduced below in Appendix A; the first of these charges was subdivided in the IMT indictment.

-17-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Genocide on Trial: War Crimes Trials and the Formation of Holocaust History and Memory
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 276

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.