Remembering the 70th Anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials
70 years ago on this day, the Nazis were tried in the Nuremberg Palace of Justice for The Holocaust.
Today is the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials. The trails were a series of military tribunals that was set up to bring to justice the military and bureaucratic officials who were responsible for orchestrating the Holocaust. On November 20, 1945 the Nuremberg Palace of Justice initiated the trial of 24 Nazi officials.
The prosecutions were for:
- War crimes
- Participation in a conspiracy for the accomplishment of a crime against peace Initiating and waging wars of aggression
- Crimes against humanity that disrupt peace
This military tribunal was indeed a revolutionary initiative that was unique to its time and place. The trials have since come to be remembered as an international milestone of justice.
It has drawn its fair share of criticism for its asymmetrical “victor’s justice”. The participating entities were criticised for having a biased sense of what was right and wrong. Although Nazis were tried for attempted genocide, the allies had themselves committed crimes of a similar nature. The United States which had its representative, Justice Robert Jackson among the prosecutors of the trial was not tried for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.
The Nuremberg trials, like any other judicial law, represents the skewed and uneven nature of law.
Some potential criminal actions are often not legally perceived as a “crime”, such as the Russian occupation of Ukraine, bombings of Aghanistan after the 9/11 attacks or USA’s involvement in the Iraq War.
Yet, however imperfect, the democratic nature of the Nuremberg trials were a noteworthy step that gave liberty to even the perpetrators of the most atrocious crimes to defend their cause, instead of avenging them for their crimes.
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