Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Nuremberg Trials

On November 20 1945, 60 years ago today, 21 of Nazi Germany's leading figures took the stand to be tried for war-crimes during World War II.

In the Nuremberg Trials, Herman Goering, the Luftwaffe chief, and eleven others were sentenced to death by hanging (which took place on Oct.16 1946 for all but Goering, who committed suicide the day before). Three were sentenced to life, four to prison and the rest were acquitted.

Many of the highest officials of Nazi Germany, including Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, and Heinrich Himmler, had committed suicide before they could be brought to trial.

The court set up by the Allies for the Nuremberg Trials in the aftermath of WWII is the foundation stone for the permanent International Criminal Court that exists today in The Hague to try those accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.

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