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.

Updated
World
2 min read
Nuremberg Trials are remembered as an international justice milestone. (Photo: iStockphoto)

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 Nuremberg Palace of Justice. (Photo: iStockphoto)
The Nuremberg Palace of Justice. (Photo: iStockphoto)

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.

The defendants at Nuremberg sit in the dock in this file photo circa 1945-46. (Photo: Reuters)
The defendants at Nuremberg sit in the dock in this file photo circa 1945-46. (Photo: Reuters)

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.

Nazi defendants (L-R front row) Hermann Goering, Rudolf Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Wilhelm Keitel sit in the dock of their war crimes trial at Nuremberg circa 1945-1946. (Photo: Reuters)
Nazi defendants (L-R front row) Hermann Goering, Rudolf Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Wilhelm Keitel sit in the dock of their war crimes trial at Nuremberg circa 1945-1946. (Photo: Reuters)

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.

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

Published: 
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!