nurember - Rebecca Densen Section B5 April 8, 2011 Judgment...

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Rebecca Densen Section B5 April 8, 2011 “Judgment at Nuremberg” by Robert Shnayerson, Smithsonian , October 1996 “Inside a Nuremberg Trial” In this article Robert Shnayerson offers a look into the famous Nuremberg trials that many have never seen before. He shows the process of choosing the proper way of deciding punishment for the war, he shows various problems the judges and the defendants had, the decisions that were made and the way the trials are affecting war crimes years later. He went into specific detail on the first trial and the people that went along with it. He used specific peoples testimonies along with specific research the judges had done and different events that occurred throughout the entire process. It really shed light to me on the issues that went on during the trials, a lot, of which I did not know about. It showed me how the entire process was more complicated than I had previously known. One major point Robert Shnayerson made was how the decision for the trials was made. After the war was over, the Allies had trouble deciding the way to punish the German war criminals for their crimes. The Treasury Secretary thought that all captured Nazis should be shot right away, no trial needed and he said to leave Germany with the status of an “agricultural backwater”. I personally don’t think this approach would have been a good idea. We now know of many “Nazis” who joined out of fear and although this is no excuse for their actions it doesn’t mean that they should be killed just because they were once a Nazi. Also labeling Germany with that status punishes many Germans who did not do wrong, some who may have even tried to help by hiding people. This status would leave the country again in shambles, which is partially what got them in this mess. The Secretary of War had the same idea I did, he said that that
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approach violated the Allied belief in the Rule of Law, and would deny Germany of a working economy and may lead to war. President Roosevelt searched for a solution that combined the two beliefs. Roosevelt asked Murray Bernays, a 51-year-old lawyer and wartime army colonel in the Pentagon, to find a solution between the two beliefs. He had to figure out what a war crime was and decide how to deal with them. He defined a war crime as one that is excessively violent beyond military necessity. Looking at the past of the corruption of war criminals being tried through their own country, Bernays shared a new vision to Roosevelt, which later were the basics to the structure of the Nuremberg Trials. He envisioned an international court holding individuals responsible for their crimes. Having ones nation approve or require their actions would not count as an excuse. To deal with the crimes of Nazism before the war Bernays suggested putting Nazism and the
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This note was uploaded on 10/25/2011 for the course UGC 112 taught by Professor Barry during the Spring '08 term at SUNY Buffalo.

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nurember - Rebecca Densen Section B5 April 8, 2011 Judgment...

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