rebuilding their lives, the international community was confronted with some of the worst crimes against humanity in history, and forced to decide how they were going to hold the perpetrators of the Holocaust accountable. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Russia’s Joseph Stalin suggested the quick and perhaps obvious solution of executing all ranking Nazi leaders; however, the United States offered a different solution. They argued that here was the opportunity to not only punish the perpetrators, but to set a standard which maintained that those crimes committed during the Holocaust, and any future crimes would not be tolerated. In
November 1945, the Nuremberg Tribunals began. On December 10, 1948, one day after The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was adopted by the United Nations, Eleanor Roosevelt and the other members of the Commission on Human Rights passed a Universal Declaration that was created to send a message that every person has specific rights granted to them solely because they are a human being. It declared that every person, regardless of one’s race, religion, class, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation, language, or ethnic or cultural identity, has the right to be respected and to feel safe in their own home. With the liberation of Auschwitz, the end of Japanese-American internment and the start of the Nuremberg Tribunals, the world seemed focused on the protection of human rights and dignity.
- Fall '15