Nuremberg trials

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Defendants; Carlos W. Porter writes: Uninformed people consider the "Nuremberg War Crimes Trials" as the ultimate proof of the guilt of the German leadership before and during World War Ii. The transcripts of the proceedings, however, tell an entirely different story. This volume contains the defense arguments put forward by the main defendants at the trials. It shows that the trials broke every legal precedent and procedure of evidence in the book. Defendants were refused the right to cross-examine "witnesses," blatantly forged documents were accepted as genuine without question, and evidence indicating torture of suspects was struck out by order of the judges. In addition, the blatant contradictions in the prosecution arguments (which saw the Germans charged with the exact same behavior as exhibited by the Allies during the war), combined with the persuasive counter arguments from the defendants themselves, provides a fascinating insight into the 1946 lynch-mob proceedings which masqueraded as "trials".

The Nuremberg trials (or Nuremberg Show Trials[1]) were a series of military tribunals, held by the Allied Powers after World War II, most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of National Socialist Germany. The legality of these trials has been hotly disputed.[2][3]

The International Military Tribunal (IMT) delivered its judgment against the leaders of the German Reich on 30 September and 1 October 1946. Twelve of the defendants were sentenced to death, three to life imprisonment, four to imprisonment ranging from 10 to 20 years, and three were acquitted.

Following Nuremberg and numerous other trials (including Denazification trials), politically correct historiography has relied heavily on the warped conclusions from the Nuremberg trials. While the Nuremberg military tribunals are today sometimes perceived as being trials only on the Holocaust, they involved many other aspects of National Socialist Germany, and the war.

The 1946 Nuremberg Trials of German leaders amounted to a form of show trial, as the judgments were not rendered by disinterested parties [judges], which is a key element of independent judicial integrity.[4]


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Following Germany’s surrender, in June 1945 delegations from the four Allied powers—the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union—met in London to write a charter to establish an international tribunal, or court, that would be responsible for conducting trials of Germany’s leaders. Article 6 of the charter described the "crimes" it would hear:

The following acts, or any of them, are crimes coming within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for which there shall be individual responsibility:
CRIMES AGAINST PEACE: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;
WAR CRIMES: namely, violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited to . . . murder, ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity;
CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.
Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the forgoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan.


Photo of the defendants at the Nuremburg International Military Tribunal. Wikipedia misleadingly uses it to illustrate its article on Superior orders and implies that all the defendants at the trials used it, ignoring that only some of the defendants used it as a defense regarding some of the allegations, and none of those depicted in the photo used it regarding the Holocaust.
The Auschwitz commander Rudolf Höss at the Nuremberg trials. Revisionists argue that he and others were tortured (sometimes by Jewish torturers) into making confessions that also non-revisionists now agree are false (such as three million being killed at Auschwitz under his command) and that sometimes are absurd (such as using dynamite to blow up the bodies in order to dispose of them).[5][6][7][8] See the article on Rudolf Höss for more details.

Revisionists argue that no proper cross-examination was allowed/done and that the only two Holocaust witnesses who have ever been cross-examined in a court (Rudolf Vrba and Arnold Friedman, long after the Nuremberg trials) admitted that their testimonies were based on hearsay.[7]
Shrunken human heads (one with war painting) and alleged human skin artifacts (including a lampshade), allegedly made from the corpses of Buchenwald camp prisoners. Used as evidence at the Nuremberg trials. Such alleged items have disappeared without a trace or have been shown to not be made from humans. See the article on the Western Holocaust camps for more details.

Regarding revisionist criticisms of claimed Holocaust photographs more generally, see: External link.
An Allied propaganda poster from 1946 with the words Nuremberg and Guilty surrounding a skull-like image of Adolf Hitler.
The German newspaper "Süddeutsche Zeitung" reports the first 12 death penalties, 1 October 1946










I. The United States of America, the French Republic, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics by the undersigned, Robert H. Jackson, Francois de Menthon, Hartley Shawcross, and R. A. Rudenko, duly appointed to represent their respective Governments in the investigation of the charges against and the prosecution of the major war criminals, pursuant to the Agreement of London dated 8 August 1945, and the Charter of this Tribunal annexed thereto, hereby accuse as guilty, in the respects hereinafter set forth, of Crimes against Peace, War Crimes, and Crimes against Humanity, and of a Common Plan or Conspiracy to commit those Crimes, all as defined in the Charter of the Tribunal, and accordingly name as defendants in this cause and as indicted on the counts hereinafter set out: HERMANN WILHELM GOERING, RUDOLF HESS, JOACHIM VON RIBBENTROP, ROBERT LEY, WILHELM KEITEL, ERNST KALTENBRUNNER, ALFRED ROSENBERG, HANS FRANK, WILHELM FRICK, JULIUS STREICHER, WALTER FUNK, HJALMAR SCHACHT, GUSTAV KRUPP VON BOHLEN UND HALBACH, KARL Doenitz, ERICH RAEDER, BALDUR VON SCHIRACH, FRITZ SAUCKEL, ALFRED JODL, MARTIN BORMANN, FRANZ VON PAPEN, ARTHUR SEYSS-INQUART, ALBERT SPEER, CONSTANTIN VON NEURATH and HANS FRITZSCHE, individually and as members of any of the groups or organizations next hereinafter named.

II. The following are named as groups or organizations (since dissolved) which should be declared criminal by reason of their aims and the means used for the accomplishment thereof and in connection with the conviction of such of the named defendants as were members thereof: DIE REICHSREGIERUNG (REICH CABINET); DAS KORPS DER POLITISCHEN LEITER DER NATIONALSOZIALISTISCHEN DEUTSCHEN ARBEITERPARTEI (LEADERSHIP CORPS OF THE NAZI PARTY); DIE SCHUTZSTAFFELN DER NATIONALSOZIALISTISCHEN DEUTSCHEN ARBEITERPARTEI (commonly known as the "SS") and including DER SICHERHEITSDIENST (commonly known as the "SD"); DIE GEHEIME STAATSPOLIZEI (SECRET STATE POLICE, commonly known as the "GESTAPO"); DIE STURMABTEILUNGEN DER NSDAP (commonly known as the "SA"); and the GENERAL STAFF of the HIGH COMMAND of the GERMAN ARMED FORCES.

The identity and membership of the groups or organizations referred to in the

foregoing titles are hereinafter in Appendix B more particularly defined.

Different trials

The trials were held in the city of Nuremberg, Germany. The first, and best known of these trials, conducted by four major Allied powers (Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States), was the 1945-46 trial of the "major war criminals" before the International Military Tribunal (IMT). Not included were Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and Joseph Goebbels, all of whom had died before the trial started. The most well-known top National Socialist at the trial was Hermann Göring.

The IMT in effect made the official view of the so-called Holocaust and various other alleged events official truths that could not be questioned at the later Nuremberg trials: "The determination of the International Military Tribunal in the judgments […] that invasions, aggressive acts, aggressive wars, crimes, atrocities or inhumane acts were planned or occurred, shall be binding on the tribunals established hereunder and shall not be questioned except insofar as the participation therein or knowledge thereof by any particular person may be concerned. Statements of the International Military Tribunal in the judgment […] constitute proof of the facts stated, in the absence of substantial new evidence to the contrary."[9]

The IMT also had other legal effect, such as in 1949, when West Germany was established. "The basic treaty establishing the partial sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Germany decreed that the verdicts of the IMT were final and binding for all official and judicial authorities of the Federal Republic. [...] the Allies effectively placed their view of history resulting from their [appalling] post-war quasi-judicial conclusions and verdicts beyond revision even for German courts."[8]

The second set of trials, of "lesser war criminals", was conducted by the United States alone, as the Nuremberg Military Tribunals (NMT), during the 1946-49 period. While these trials are often seen as less important, in relationship to the Holocaust it has been argued that they are possibly more important, since the IMT relied almost exclusively on "confessions" and "testimonies", while the NMT introduced alleged documentary evidence, such as the first Posen speech and the laughable Wannsee protocol.[9]

In addition, there were at this time various other trials and commissions, which produced conclusions that were cited as evidence at or otherwise influenced the Nuremberg trials. See later sections in this article on Communist Polish and Soviet commissions, which produced reports cited as evidence during the Nuremberg trials. The British Belsen trial, which included accusations of gassings at Auschwitz (!), concluded already in 1945, at about the time the IMT started. The American Dachau trials, criticized as having been even worse than the Nuremberg trials, started before the IMT and some of the trials concluded before the IMT concluded. (The American Army units which massacred the garrison at Dachau, who had already surrendered and laid down their arms, have never been brought to justice.)


The alleged guilt of the German government and future punishment was declared long before the trials started. In April 1940, a joint British-French-Polish (in-exile) declaration protested "the action of the German government whom they must hold responsible for these crimes which cannot remain unpunished."[10]

In late 1943, during the Tripartite Dinner Meeting at the Tehran Conference, the Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin, proposed executing 50,000-100,000 German staff officers.[11] According to the minutes of a Roosevelt-Stalin meeting at Yalta, on 4 February 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said "that he had been very much struck by the extent of German destruction [destruction caused in battles rather than wanton destruction] in the Crimea and therefore he was more bloodthirsty in regard to the Germans than he had been a year ago, and he hoped that Marshal Stalin would again propose a toast to the execution of 50,000 officers of the German Army."[12]

Secret British War Cabinet documents, released on 2 January 2006, showed that as early as December 1944, the Cabinet had discussed their policy for the punishment of the leading National Socialists if captured. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had then advocated a policy of summary execution in some circumstances, with the use of an Act of Attainder to circumvent legal obstacles (!), being dissuaded from this only by talks with USA and Soviet leaders later in the war.[13]

The Jewish U.S. Treasury Secretary, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., put forward the Morgenthau Plan which proposed a de-industrialization of Germany, along with forced labour and other draconian measures. It also included summary executions without trials of "Arch Criminals", trials for "Certain Other War Criminals" with sentencing being death except in exceptional cases, and membership in the SS or Gestapo to automatically cause the inclusion into compulsory labor battalions to serve outside Germany.[14]

Both Churchill and Roosevelt supported this plan! Later, details were leaked to the public, generating widespread protest. Roosevelt, aware of strong public disapproval, abandoned the plan. The demise of the Morgenthau Plan created the need for an alternative method of dealing with the National Socialist leadership. A plan for the "Trial of European War Criminals" was drafted by the Secretary of War and the USA War Department. Following Roosevelt's death in April 1945, the new president, Harry S. Truman, gave strong approval for a judicial process. A series of negotiations between the Allies worked out details of the trial.

Part of the reason for finally deciding on a "fair trial" was that it was perceived that only this could have the desired propaganda effect on the German people.[7]

David Irving

David Irving has argued that it was actually Stalin who, mindful of his propaganda success with the elaborate show trials used during the Great Purge (which at the time duped at least many foreign Communist supporters), insisted that the German leaders be put on similar trials. Roosevelt and Churchill fell in line, after initially having argued for simply executing most German leaders without a trial! Furthermore, Irving has argued, based partially on access to the private papers of US chief prosecutor Robert H. Jackson, that

"Jackson had a serious disagreement about his job with "Wild Bill" Donovan, head of the United States’ OSS intelligence service (predecessor to the CIA): It soon became clear that the OSS had intended all along to manage the whole trial along the lines of an NKVD [Soviet] show-trial, with Jackson little more than a professional actor. As part of the stage-management, they proposed to run a pre-trial propaganda campaign in the United States, with "increasing emphasis on the publication of atrocity stories to keep the public in the proper frame of mind". To this end the OSS devised and scripted for the education of the American public a two-reel film on war crimes, called Crime and Punishment; it was designed to put the case against the leading "Nazis". Jackson declined to participate."[15] Furthermore, the OSS is stated to have had many members on the prosecution staff at the IMT.[9]

See also the "Quotes" section regarding views by the chief participants, such as the trials being "a continuation of the war effort of the Allied nations." See also the article on Allied psychological warfare.


The Soviet Union had wanted the trials to take place in Berlin, but Nuremberg was chosen as the site for the trials because:

  • The "Palace of Justice" was spacious, had a large prison, and was largely undamaged (unusual after the Allied bombings of Germany).
  • Nuremberg was considered the ceremonial birthplace of the NSDAP. The planned "guilty" verdict would therefore have increased propaganda value, with Nuremberg also being the ceremonial deathplace.

Criticisms of procedure and evidence

  • A "victors' justice" in which the war victors were the alleged victims, the prosecutors, and the judges/jury, all at the same time. A more neutral trial would have been conducted in a neutral country, with neutral judges, and avoided a largely Jewish prosecution staff with various possible conflicts of interest (see the separate section "Jewish and Zionist influence").
  • New crimes were defined ("crime against peace" and "crime against humanity"), which earlier did not exist, and they were applied retroactively, but not to the Allies.
  • The Charter of the International Military Tribunal permitted the use of normally inadmissible forms of "evidence". Article 19 specified that "The Tribunal shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence [...] and shall admit any evidence which it deems to have probative value." Article 21 stipulated: "The Tribunal shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge but shall take judicial notice thereof. It shall also take judicial notice of official governmental documents and reports of the United [Allied] Nations, including acts and documents of the committees set up in the various allied countries for the investigation of war crimes, and the records and findings of military and other Tribunals of any of the United [Allied] Nations."[16]
  • On the basis of these articles, the Tribunal accepted as valid the most dubious "evidence" which included hearsay and unsubstantiated reports of Soviet and Polish "investigative" commissions. For example, the Tribunal accepted a Polish government report (submitted by the US) that "proved" killings by steam at Treblinka and Soviet reports about Auschwitz and Majdanek, which explained in detail how the Germans allegedly killed four million at Auschwitz and another one-and-a-half million at Majdanek. Today, even non-revisionist historians reject such figures.[16][17]
  • Another today rejected Soviet claim is that Finland during the war put the whole Soviet population of occupied territories into camps where 40% died.[18]
  • The Soviet Union submitted massive amounts of false evidence, including faked forensic evidence and false testimonies, in an attempt to blame Germany for the Katyn Massacre. However, the other Allies refused to support this particular falsification, possibly because it was already being widely known to be a Soviet massacre, the massacre was not part of the Holocaust narrative, and the massacre was useful as propaganda against the Soviet Union. In 1990, the Russian government acknowledged that the Katyn massacre was carried out, not by Germany, but by the Soviet Union.[19][16]
  • "the Western Allies said not a public word at Nuremberg to challenge the Soviet "evidence" on Katyn (the judges quietly glossed over the Red charges by omitting them from their verdict). [...] It is the special service of Made in Russia: The Holocaust to remind readers that the same Soviet stamp which converted the fake Katyn reports into admissible evidence at Nuremberg also provided proof of the extermination of millions of Jews at Auschwitz, Majdanek, Treblinka, and elsewhere. As Porter emphasizes, physical and forensic evidence for the Holocaust was never introduced, nor is there any reason whatsoever to imagine it ever existed. All we have is a handful of "testimonies," and "confessions," and the reports of a number of Soviet or Soviet-controlled "investigative" commissions. The same Red prosecutors who framed the victims of Stalin's purges at the Moscow show trials, and sent millions of innocents to their deaths in our gallant Soviet ally's Gulag archipelago, are the chief source for the vaunted Nuremberg evidence of the "Holocaust.""[20]
  • The prosecution sifted through enormous amounts of official and other German documents and archives, in order to find possibly incriminating evidence. Considering the scale of claimed German war crimes, the Allies have been argued to have found very little claimed evidence, despite this massive sifting. The defense was allowed only very limited access and was not allowed to use as evidence some of the material it was given access to. In some cases, the original documents are "lost" but there remain "copies" (which may or may not been altered compared with the original). At the IMT, the Soviet Union was allowed to submit photocopies of documents, promising to produce the originals, but this never occurred. There are also accusations of documents incriminating the Allies and exonerating the accused having disappeared on a large scale. On 22 October 1945, a report was issued titled “Report, German Document Conference”, referring to a conference held prior to the date shown. Issues included "views on documents which should be destroyed, or to which the Germans were to be denied access".[16][21]
  • Several other previously important documents introduced at the Nuremberg Trials are now generally admitted to be fraudulent.[16][22]
  • Not only WWII documents are argued to have been fabricated or edited, but also alleged pre-WWII documents, such as several key Crystal Night documents presented at the Nuremberg trial by the Allies in order to incriminate the German leaders.[23]
  • The forgers are argued to have had access to genuine German typewriters, stationary, stamps, and so on, making it no great achievement to fabricate “original” documents looking similar to genuine documents based on only these aspects.[21][24]
  • There are also various other criticisms of the alleged documents, such as "The documents used in evidence at Nuremberg consisted largely of "photocopies" of "copies". Many of these original documents were written entirely on plain paper without handwritten markings of any kind, by unknown persons. Occasionally, there is an illegible initial or signature of a more or less unknown person certifying the document as a 'true copy'. Sometimes there are German stamps, sometimes not. Many have been 'found' by the Russians, or 'certified authentic' by Soviet War Crimes Commissions."[25]
  • A very influential part of the evidence was movies showing heaps of corpses in camps located in Germany, as well as other forms of evidence supposedly supporting genocidal mass murders in these camps, such as statements by inmates and camp personnel in these camps. Also non-revisionists now agree that none of the western Holocaust camps were "extermination camps". The "extermination camps" are now all alleged to have been in eastern areas, such as Poland.[7] See also Holocaust documentary evidence: Movies.
  • See also the article on Sefton Delmer, a British propagandist involved in black propaganda, on Delmar stated to have admitted in an autobiographical book that he and his staff forged a large amount of German documents, including documents having Germans committing a large number of war crimes and used in the Nuremberg trials and history books.
  • The Jewish YIVO organization was involved in stealing documents from German archives, "processing" them, and then submitting claimed authentic documents as evidence at the Nuremberg trials.
  • Revisionists have also stated the existence of sometimes huge forgery workshops at several camps for Jewish displaced persons in the postwar period. These produced forgeries for purposes such as gaining compensations for people already dead, for non-existing people, for people not entitled to receive any, and so on. It was possible to obtain any document or certificate needed, in any language. Large scale fabrications of seals and signatures occurred. It has been suggested that for, example, the controversial Jewish Nuremberg prosecutor Robert Kempner may have obtained claimed authentic documents used as evidence from such forgery workshops.[26][21]
  • Examples of argued absurd and today seldom mentioned claims at the trials include vaporizing 20,000 Jews near Auschwitz with "atomic energy"; killing 840,000 Russian POW's at the Sachsenhausen camp (in one month, with special pedal-driven brain-bashing machines), then disposing of them in mobile [sic] crematoria; torturing and killing Jewish prisoners to the tempo of a specially composed "Tango of Death" in Lvov; steaming Jews to death like lobsters at Treblinka; electrocuting them en masse at Belzec; making not only lampshades and soap but also handbags, driving gloves, book bindings, saddles, riding breeches, gloves, house slippers, etc. from the remains of their victims.[20]
  • Another seldom aspect of the trials is the enormous amount of testimonial evidence presented by the defense against prosecution claims of German "criminal organizations" (such as by involvement in the Holocaust). This included the testimony of 102 witnesses and 312,022 notarized affidavits. Revisionists argue that this enormous amount of testimonial evidence, which supported the defense, was almost completely ignored by the tribunals.[27]
  • Dr. Horst Pelckmann, defense counsel for the SS at the Nuremberg trials, stated that "On the question of whether the SS members recognized the destruction of Jewry as an aim of the leaders, 1,593 out of 1,637 affidavits which mention this problem state that the Jewish problem was not to be solved by killing or the so-called "final solution," and that they had no knowledge of these intentions of the leaders. They point out that the SS members were forbidden to undertake individual acts against Jews. As evidence, numerous members refer to the fact that many death or other severe sentences were passed because of crimes against Jewish persons or Jewish property."[28] See also the article on Konrad Morgen.
  • Defendants: threats and psychological torture; prolonged interrogations; confiscation of personal property.[7]
  • Witnesses for the defense: intimidation, threats, even arrests; withholding of defense witnesses; forced testimony.[7]
  • Evidence: “proof” based on hearsay; documents of arbitrary kinds; disappearance of exonerating evidence; distorted affidavits; twisted documents.[7]
  • Procedure: dishonest simultaneous translations; arbitrarily rejected motions to introduce evidence; confiscation of files; refusal to provide defense access to documents; systematic obstruction of the defense’s efforts by the prosecution, and so on.[7]
  • See the Superior orders article regarding various criticisms related to this. One example is the Allies temporarily changing their own rules regarding this during the Nuremberg trials, in order to prevent the German defense from citing the Allied rules as a defense argument.
  • Physical torture and threats to relatives: The IMT was conducted during international publicity, so the prosecution, for the most part, is argued to have refrained from physical torturing the defendants, with exceptions such as Julius Streicher and Hans Frank. German prosecution witnesses, such as Rudolf Höss, appearing before the IMT or whose written statements were introduced into evidence, are argued to have been physically tortured in order to gain "confessions". The defendant Fritz Sauckel is argued to have signed a self-incriminating statement only after being told that his wife and ten children would otherwise be handed over to the Soviet Union. Defendants at other Nuremberg trials have also been stated to have been tortured or threatened in order to "confess", a prominent example being Oswald Pohl. Torture has been stated to have been used during both the Belsen trials and Dachau trials.[7]
  • The trials were deeply criticized by persons such as the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and even by judges at the Nuremberg trials. See the "Quotes" section.


An objection to the trials being show trials is that the defendants disagreed with some of the claims of the prosecution and in some cases were acquitted. However, the revisionist book The Hoax of the Twentieth Century argued that the Allies were absolutely politically committed to the trials "proving" that Germany was guilty of committing crimes, such as starting the war and the existence of the Holocaust. But "On the other hand, with only a tiny handful of exceptions, the courts were not a priori committed on questions of personal responsibility of individuals. With respect to individuals the courts were not as greatly constrained, politically speaking. In most cases judgments of absence of personal responsibility were well within the realm of political possibility (as distinct from probability). All defense cases were organized in relation to these undeniably valid observations, and even with those individuals whose cases were hopeless, the lawyers had no choice but to proceed on the assumption that a favorable verdict was within the realm of the possible."[29] See also Holocaust testimonial evidence: The legal strategy of acknowledging the Holocaust while attempting to shift blame.

Three of the IMT defendants were acquitted, which has been cited as evidence against the trial being a show trial, as discussed above. A less well-known aspect is that these three individuals were then (despite their "acquittals") re-arrested and sentenced to imprisonment by "denazification" courts.

IMT defendants

Contrary to popular belief, none of the defendants during the International Military Tribunal used the superior orders defense regarding the Holocaust, but instead stated no personal participation/knowledge. The sentencing of Rudolf Hess (life imprisonment) has been seen as particularly unjust.

"Hess came to this country in 1941 as an ambassador of peace. He came with the ... intention of restoring peace between Great Britain and Germany. He acted in good faith. He fell into our hands and was quite unjustly treated as a prisoner of war. After the war, we should have released him. Instead, the British government of the time delivered him for sentencing to the International Tribunal at Nuremberg ... No crime has ever been proved against Hess ... As far as the records show, he was never at even one of the secret discussions at which Hitler explained his war plans."[16]

See also the article on Hess on various theories regarding why Hess received such a harsh sentencing. Regarding more specific details on the accused at the IMT, the alleged evidence against them, revisionist arguments, and their fate, see the Category:IMT defendants as well the article "NOT GUILTY AT NUREMBERG: The German Defense Case" in the "External links" section.

Holocaust intentionalism and Holocaust functionalism‎

The Nuremberg trials in effect created/supported the mainstream Holocaust "intentionalism" view on the Holocaust. An alternative and more recent mainstream view is Holocaust "functionalism", which as a consequence must explicitly or implicitly criticize various aspects of the Nuremberg trials. One example is that Holocaust functionalism implies that Hermann Göring was falsely convicted of having ordered Reinhard Heydrich to implement the Holocaust on 31 July 1941. See Holocaust intentionalism and Holocaust functionalism‎.

Non-trial of the Allies for atrocities and starting wars

New crimes were defined ("crime against peace" and "crime against humanity") which earlier did not exist, and they were applied retroactively, but not to the Allies.

  • The Allies were never tried for events such as bombings of civilians (including the only uses of nuclear weapons); mass rapes, mistreatment, and large scale deaths of POWs and civilians in occupied areas; use of Germans for forced labor; plunder of German property and patents; and violent ethnic cleansing of Germans from large areas causing large scale deaths.
  • The Allies were never tried for starting wars, such as the Soviet invasions of the Baltic states, Finland, and 40 per cent of Poland; the British and Soviet invasions of neutral Iran; the British invasions of the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Iraq; the American occupations of Greenland and Iceland; the British attack on the neutral French State including the outrageous attack on Mers-el-Kébir murdering over 1000 sailors, various attacks on neutral France and her colonies; the Soviet attack on Manchuria and Japan despite a still valid non-aggression treaty.
  • The Jewish organizations Nakam and Tilhas Tizig Gesheften mass killed people whose group members may have been involved in the Holocaust and more generally planned and admitted planning to kill six million Germans. No one seems to have been prosecuted for these crimes.
  • The Allies together agreed on various postwar policies, such as the Communist Soviet Union controlling Eastern Europe and North Korea, in effect agreeing to the implementation of Communist dictatorships and terror in these zones. The plutocratic Western Allies also forcibly deported various non-German groups to Communist states, where many then were killed, such as the Bleiburg Massacres in Communist Yugoslavia, the Soviet POWs who had capitulated to the Germans and who were deported to the Soviet Union where they were treated as traitors and then murdered, and the killings of White Russia emigrés and Cossacks who had fled from the Soviet Union already during the Russian Civil War but who were deported to the Soviet Union.[31][32]

Holocaust revisionists argue that one of the primary reasons for the orthodox Holocaust version being created/supported was to justify, cover-up, or distract from the Allied mass killings and other possible crimes. See Holocaust motivations: Argued Exploitation

Alleged German guilt for starting the war

See: Causes of World War II

In contrast to the non-trial of the Allies for possibly starting various wars, the Allies placed great importance on the IMT as definitely "proving" that Germany was absolutely guilty of starting WWII. (This was not unlike Versailles in 1919.) This was then used as a general justification for all questionable Allied actions during and after the war and as a general justification for various punishments and demands for reparations.

Regarding revisionist criticisms, see the articles on the Revisionist views on the causes of the World Wars, Gleiwitz incident, and Lebensraum.

The revisionist Germar Rudolf has written that "The German amateur historian Gerd Schultz-Rhonhöf, a retired major general of the German army, pointed out in 2014 that the files given back by the Allies to the Germans are riddled with forgeries. These can be recognized, he stated by the fact that these forgeries were not written on original paper which, quite in contrast to authentic German documents, do not turn yellow as they age (Schultz-Rhonhof 2014). But he has only analyzed documents regarding the guilt question of the war". (Criticizing Holocaust documents in Germany may cause severe punishments for the crime of "Holocaust denial".) Rudolf has written that there may also be "forgeries on original paper among the German files. These could not so easily be recognized as such. After all, at war's end the Allies had all the official German stationary at their disposal."[33]

The secret protocols of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact between National Socialist Germany and the Soviet Union (and that proposed the partition of Poland) was falsely declared to be a forgery by the IMT, in order to place all the guilt on National Socialist Germany.

Other alleged crimes and alleged National Socialist ideology

The Nuremberg trials also involved various other alleged German crimes. See Claimed mass killings of non-Jews by National Socialist Germany. Also various aspects of alleged National Socialist ideology were parts of the trials. See Lebensraum, Master race, and Subhuman.

Judges, lawyers, and prosecutors

The main Soviet judge, Iona Nikitchenko, presided over some of the most notorious of Joseph Stalin's show trials during the Great Purge of 1936 to 1938. The Soviet prosecutor, Roman Rudenko, later became commandant of NKVD special camp Nr. 7. By the time the camp closed in the spring of 1950, at least 12,000 prisoners had died due to the catastrophic prison conditions, hunger, and psychological or physical exhaustion.[34][35][36]

"The conduct of the American judges at Nuremberg was, to say the very least, of the most questionable propriety. One of the judges, Francis Biddle, reveals in his article on Nuremberg in American Heritage, Vol. XIII, No. 5, August, 1962, that the U.S. judges knowingly permitted the Soviet prosecutor to admit false evidence against the defendants (page 70). Further, Justice Jackson hosted a party for visiting Andrei Vishinsky (notorious Soviet prosecutor in the bloody Soviet purges), at which party the American judges joined in a toast by Vishinsky, ‘To the German prisoners, may they all be hanged!’ (page 71). By any ethical standards of any bar association in the western world, such ‘judges’ should have been disqualified and themselves charged. Further, these ‘judges’ acquiesced in arbitrary and ever-changing ‘rules of evidence,’ accepting written depositions against prisoners charged with capital crimes, thus denying them the right of cross-examination. Section IV, paragraph (e) of the London Agreement of Aug. 8, 1945, provided that, ‘A defendant shall have the right through himself or through his counsel to present evidence at the Trial in support of his defense, and to cross-examine any witness called by the Prosecution.'"[37]
"Also, the defense lawyers were picked by the Allies, meaning that if a lawyer was a (former) member of the National Socialist Party (NSdAP), or sympathetic to National Socialism, he was not considered, thus eliminating all lawyers who were active during the years of National Socialism (Seidler, pp.101/02). National Socialism was a movement of the working class, and many of the so-called intellectuals had shunned it, while some, if not many, had joined the resistance. By calling them to defend former NS dignitaries, one left the door wide open for lawyers who had an axe to grind. Some lawyers refused to participate for fear of repercussions, as the press had unleashed a hate campaign against anything “Nazi”(Seidler, p.102). Thus, the accused were defended by people not free of fear or bias. In fact, when reading through the transcripts it becomes clear that most of the defense lawyers believed what was presented by the prosecution, and just tried to deflect guild from their clients onto others."[21]

Regarding examples of criticisms of prosecutors, see the articles on Benjamin Ferencz, David Marcus, Robert H. Jackson, Robert Kempner, and Telford Taylor. See above on the Soviet prosecutor Roman Rudenko.

Jewish and Zionist influence

Jews have been argued to have been influential in the creation of the trials and in the selection of judges, prosecutors, and lawyers. Some Jewish participants are argued to have been Jewish refugees from Germany who hated Germans. Some interrogators accused of using brutal methods have been stated to have been Jewish.[16]

Nahum Goldmann, president of both the World Jewish Congress and the World Zionist Organization, stated in his memoir that the World Jewish Congress had an influence on the creation of Nuremberg trials. The organization is stated to have had an influence on the day-to-day proceedings.[16][38]

Robert H. Jackson, chief US council when setting up the IMT and chief US prosecutor during the IMT, was a Zionist.[39] See Holocaust demographics: Six million Jews at the Nuremberg trials on stated World Jewish Congress influence on Jackson regarding the claim of six million killed Jews.

The Hoax of the Twentieth Century stated that the US “War Crimes Branch” (of the US Army occupying Germany) was the real controlling agency of US activities during trials such as the Dachau trials and the Nuremberg trials (and as noted earlier, the US conducted the later Nuremberg Military Tribunals (NMT) alone). In charge of setting up the NMT and deciding judges, prosecutors, and lawyers was the Jewish Zionist David Marcus, who would later become Israel's first general and who died in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.[9]

During the NMT, the most important prosecutor may have been the Jewish Robert Kempner, who is associated with some of the allegedly most important Holocaust documents, such as the first Posen speech and the Wannsee protocol, and who has been accused of numerous crimes (see the article on Robert Kempner).[9]

According to a 2005 article, the Jewish Chief Prosecutor of the Einsatzgruppen trial. Benjamin Ferencz, "says it's important to recall that military legal norms at the time permitted a host of flexibilities that wouldn't fly today. "You know how I got witness statements?" he says. "I'd go into a village where, say, an American pilot had parachuted and been beaten to death and line everyone one up against the wall. Then I'd say, 'Anyone who lies will be shot on the spot.' It never occurred to me that statements taken under duress would be invalid." On the practice of taking suspects to DPs (displaced persons, former camp prisoners) for legal "further questioning" (but this possibly being illegal executions): "cautions against making sweeping armchair moral judgments. "Someone who was not there could never really grasp how unreal the situation was," he says. "I once saw DPs beat an SS man and then strap him to the steel gurney of a crematorium. They slid him in the oven, turned on the heat and took him back out. Beat him again, and put him back in until he was burnt alive. I did nothing to stop it. I suppose I could have brandished my weapon or shot in the air, but I was not inclined to do so. Does that make me an accomplice to murder?""[40]

Did Six Million Really Die? stated that "the real background of the Nuremberg Trials was exposed by the American judge, Justice Wenersturm, President of one of Tribunals. He was so disgusted by the proceedings that he resigned his appointment and flew home to America, leaving behind a statement to the Chicago Tribune which enumerated point by point his objections to the Trials (cf. Mark Lautern, Das Letzte Wort über Nürnberg, p. 56). Points 3 -8 are as follows: 3. The members of the department of the Public Prosecutor, instead of trying to formulate and reach a new guiding legal principle, were moved only by personal ambition and revenge. 4. The prosecution did its utmost in every way possible to prevent the defence preparing its case and to make it impossible for it to furnish evidence. 5. The prosecution, led by General Taylor, did everything in its power to prevent the unanimous decision of the Military Court being carried out i.e. to ask Washington to furnish and make available to the court further documentary evidence in the possession of the American Government. 6. Ninety per cent of the Nuremberg Court consisted of biased persons who, either on political or racial grounds, furthered the prosecution's case. 7. The prosecution obviously knew how to fill all the administrative posts of the Military Court with "Americans" whose naturalisation certificates were very new indeed, and who, whether in the administrative service or by their translations etc., created an atmosphere hostile to the accused persons. 8. The real aim of the Nuremberg Trials was to show the Germans the crimes of their Führer, and this aim was at the same time the pretext on which the trials were ordered ... Had I known seven months earlier what was happening at Nuremberg, I would never have gone there."[41]

Mark Weber testified at the Ernst Zundel's Holocaust trials in 1988 regarding the statements by Justice Wenersturm. "Concerning Point 6, that ninety per cent of the Nuremberg Court consisted of people biased on racial or political grounds, this was a fact confirmed by others present. According to Earl Carrol, an American lawyer, sixty per cent of the staff of the Public Prosecutor's Office were German Jews who had left Germany after the promulgation of Hitler's Race Laws. He observed that not even ten per cent of the Americans employed at the Nuremberg courts were actually Americans by birth. The chief of the Public Prosecutor's Office, who worked behind General Taylor, was Robert M. Kempner, a German-Jewish emigrant. [...] What Harwood wrote about Judge Wennerstrum was essentially accurate, said Weber. Wennerstrum, who was a member of the State Supreme Court from Iowa, was an American judge at one of the secondary Nuremberg trials conducted by the Americans. He was disgusted by what he saw there according to his own statement which was published in the Chicago Tribune. Weber had consulted the Chicago Tribune and confirmed that the statements quoted by Harwood were in fact correct. Wennerstrum felt that the people at Nuremberg were biased on racial or political grounds and Weber shared that belief. Interrogators and interpreters were very often Jewish refugees from Germany and from Central Europe who had taken refuge in the United States before and during the war. Judge Wennerstrum was alarmed and unhappy by the fact that these people, who he felt were biased, were used so extensively by the Americans in prosecuting the Germans at Nuremberg. Weber believed that the figure of 60 percent of the staff being Jewish as stated by Harwood was approximately correct."[41]


National Socialist Germany
Adolf Hitler
Allied psychological warfare
Book burning/censorship
and National Socialist Germany
Claimed mass killings of Germans
by the WWII Allies
Claimed mass killings of non-Jews
by National Socialist Germany
Clean Wehrmacht
Degenerate art
Foreign military volunteers
and National Socialist Germany
Master race
Munich Putsch
National Socialism and occultism
National Socialist Germany
and forced labor
National Socialist Germany
and partisans/resistance movements
National Socialist Germany revisionism
National Socialist Germany's
nuclear weapons program
Night of the Long Knives
Nuremberg trials
Pre-WWII anti-National
Socialist Germany boycott
Revisionist views on
the causes of the World Wars
Soviet offensive plans controversy
Superior orders
The Holocaust
The World Wars and mass starvation‎
We are dealing here with the chief war criminals who have already been convicted and whose conviction has been already announced by both the Moscow and Crimea [Yalta] declarations by the heads of the [Allied] governments... The whole idea is to secure quick and just punishment for the crime... The fact that the Nazi leaders are criminals has already been established. The task of the Tribunal is only to determine the measure of guilt of each particular person and mete out the necessary punishment -- the sentences.
—Iona Nikitchenko, Soviet judge at an infamous 1936 Moscow show trial during the Great Purge and also the main Soviet Judge at the International Military Tribunal. Stated even before the trial started at a joint planning conference.[16]
As a military tribunal, this Tribunal is a continuation of the war effort of the Allied nations. As an International Tribunal, it is not bound by the procedural and substantive refinements of our respective judicial or constitutional systems
—Chief U.S. prosecutor, Robert H. Jackson.[7]
[Chief U.S. prosecutor] Jackson is away conducting his high-grade lynching party in Nuremberg. I don’t mind what he does to the Nazis, but I hate to see the pretense that he is running a court and proceeding according to common law. This is a little too sanctimonious a fraud to meet my oldfashioned ideas.
—Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Harlan Fiske Stone.[7]
I thought at the time and still think that the Nuremberg trials were unprincipled. Law was created ex post facto to suit the passion and clamor of the time.
—U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.[16]
About this whole judgment there is the spirit of vengeance, and vengeance is seldom justice. The hanging of the eleven men convicted will be a blot on the American record which we will long regret. In these trials we have accepted the Russian idea of the purpose of trials -- government policy and not justice -- with little relation to Anglo-Saxon heritage. By clothing policy in the forms of legal procedure, we may discredit the whole idea of justice in Europe for years to come.
—U.S. Senator Robert A. Taft.[16]
I think the Nuremberg trials are a black page in the history of the world...I discussed the legality of these trials with some of the lawyers and some of the judges who participated therein. They did not attempt to justify their action on any legal ground, but rested their position on the fact that in their opinion, the parties convicted were guilty...This action is contrary to the fundamental laws under which this country has lived for many hundreds of years, and I think cannot be justified by any line of reasoning. I think the Israeli trial of Adolf Eichmann is exactly in the same category as the Nuremberg trials. As a lawyer, it has always been my view that a crime must be defined before you can be guilty of committing it. That has not occurred in either of the trials I refer to herein.
—Edgar N. Eisenhower, American Attorney, brother of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.[42]
As a representative of the American people I desire to say that what is taking place in Nuremberg, Germany, is a disgrace to the United States... A racial minority, two and a half years after the war closed, are in Nuremberg not only hanging German soldiers but trying German businessmen in the name of the United States.
—Congressman, John Rankin.[16]
If I had known seven months ago what I know today, I would never have come here. Obviously, the victor in any war is not the best judge of the war crime guilt. […] The prosecution has failed to maintain objectivity aloof from vindictiveness, aloof from personal ambitions for convictions. It has failed to strive to lay down precedents which might help the world to avoid future wars. The entire atmosphere here is unwholesome. […] Lawyers, clerks, interpreters and researchers were employed who became Americans only in recent years, whose backgrounds were imbedded in Europe’s hatreds and prejudices.
—Charles F. Wennerstrum, American judge of the Nuremberg Tribunal.[7]
One of the most shameful incidents connected with the War Crimes Trials prosecutions has to do with the investigations and the preparation of the cases for trial. The records of trials which our Commission examined disclosed that a great majority of the official investigators, employed by the United States Government to secure evidence and to locate defendants, were persons with a preconceived dislike for these enemy aliens, and their conduct was such that they resorted to a number of illegal, unfair, and cruel methods and duress to secure confessions of guilt and to secure accusations by defendants against other defendants. In fact, in the Malmedy case, the only evidence before the court, upon which the convictions and sentences were based, consisted of the statements and testimony of the defendants themselves. The testimony of one defendant against another was secured by subterfuge, false promises of immunity, and by mock trials and threats.
—Edward Leroy Van Roden, President Judge.[42]
You will understand when I tell you that this [prosecution] staff is about 75% Jewish.
—leading U.S. prosecutor Thomas Dodd.[7]
"The [Nuremberg] war-crimes trials were based upon a complete disregard of sound legal precedents, principles and procedures. The court had no real jurisdiction over the accused or their offenses; it invented ex post facto crimes; it permitted the accusers to act as prosecutors, judges, jury and executioners; and it admitted to the group of prosecutors those who had been guilty of crimes as numerous and atrocious as those with which the accused were charged. Hence, it is not surprising that these trials degraded international jurisprudence as never before in human experience."
—Professor Harry Elmer Barnes, Ph.D.[43]
It was clear from the outset that a death sentence would be pronounced against me, as I have always regarded the trial as a purely political act by the victors, but I wanted to see this trial through for my people's sake and I did at least expect that I should not be denied a soldier's death. Before God, my country, and my conscience I feel myself free of the blame that an enemy tribunal has attached to me.

See also

Further trials (selection)

Further reading

External links

General topics



Article archives


  2. The Nuremberg Trials by Dr. August von Knieriem, published as Nurnberg in Stuttgart, and in English, Chicago, USA, in 1959. Dr. von Knieriem was an "outstanding lawyer" who was General Counsel for I.G.Farbenindustrie, and a Nuremberg Military Tribunals defendant in that respect.
  4. British jurist Frederick John Partington Veale (1897-1976) in his book Advance to Barbarism.
  5. "How the British Obtained the Confessions of Rudolf Höss." Journal for Historical Review. Retrieved on 11 March 2012.
  6. The Nuremberg Trials and the Holocaust
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 Holocaust Handbooks, Volume 15: Germar Rudolf: Lectures on the Holocaust—Controversial Issues Cross Examined 2nd, revised and corrected edition.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Holocaust Handbooks, Volume 1: Germar Rudolf (ed.): Dissecting the Holocaust—The Growing Critique of ‘Truth’ and ‘Memory’ 2nd, revised edition.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Arthur R. Butz. The Hoax of the Twentieth Century—The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry.
  10. Kochavi, Arieh J. (1998), Prelude to Nuremberg: Allied War Crimes Policy and the Question of Punishment, Chapel Hill, NC: pp. 7–8.
  11. Senarclens, Pierre de (1988), Yalta, New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers. ISBN 0-88738-152-9.
  12. United States Department of State Foreign Relations of the United States: Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945. p.571.
  13. "Shooting top Nazis? The Nuremberg option wasn't apple pie either" in The Guardian newspaper, October 26, 2012. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
  14. "The original Morgenthau memorandum from 1944". 2004-05-27. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
  15. Nuremberg: Woe to the Vanquished,
  16. 16.00 16.01 16.02 16.03 16.04 16.05 16.06 16.07 16.08 16.09 16.10 16.11 Mark Weber. The Nuremberg Trials and the Holocaust. Institute for Historical Review.
  17. "Part Five: The Origin of the "Convergence of Independent Accounts" in "The Real Case for Auschwitz—Robert van Pelt’s Evidence from the Irving Trial Critically Reviewed. Holocaust Handbooks 22.
  19. WAR CRIMES TRIALS KATYN: How the Soviets Manufactured War Crime Documents for the Nuremberg Court
  20. 20.0 20.1 Made in Russia: The Holocaust
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 Documentary Evidence-
  22. NOT GUILTY AT NUREMBERG: The German Defense Case.
  23. Review: Feuerzeichen: Die 'Reichskristallnacht,' Anstifter und Brandstifter -- Opfer und Nutzniesser
  24. Chapter "David Irving" in 'Did Six Million Really Die?' Report of the Evidence in the Canadian 'False News' Trial of Ernst Zündel -- 1988. Edited by Barbara Kulaszka. Available online at Institute for Historical Review:
  26. Manufacturing 'historical facts'
  27. The section "Criminial Organizations" in "Not Guilty At Nuremberg" by Carlos Porter.
  28. IMT Proceedings, vol. 21, p. 368. See
  29. Arthur R. Butz. The Hoax of the Twentieth Century—The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry. 4th, corrected and expanded edition. Holocaust Handbooks.
  30. Suvorov, Victor, The Chief Culprit - Stalin's Grand Design to start World War II, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, 2008, ISBN: 978-1-59114-838-8
  31. Tolstoy, Count Nikolai, Victims of Yalta, revised edition, London, 1979, ISBN: 0-552-11030-2
  32. Tolstoy, Count Nikolai, The Minister and the Massacres, Century-Hutchinson, London, 1986, ISBN: 0-09-164010-5
  33. Holocaust Handbooks, Volume 15: Germar Rudolf: Lectures on the Holocaust—Controversial Issues Cross Examined. Third edition.
  34. Encyclopedia Krugosvet (Russian)
  35. Parish, Matthew (2011). Mirages of International Justice: The Elusive Pursuit of a Transnational Legal Order. Edward Elgar Publishing. ISBN 9780857931184. p. 90
  36. "The Soviet special camp No.7 / No. 1 1945 - 1950". Retrieved 2015-02-22.
  37. Nuremberg Farce – Quote of The Week #6
  38. The section "Nuremberg Trials a Jewish Triumph" in the article "Defending the Defenseless"
  39. U.S. prosecutor at Nuremberg Robert Jackson was a Zionist
  40. Matthew Brzezinski. Sunday, July 24, 2005. Giving Hitler Hell. Washington Post.
  41. 41.0 41.1 The 'False News' Trial of Ernst Zündel -- 1988: Mark Weber
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 Reconsidering the Nuremberg Trials
  43. cited by Thompson, and Strutz eds., Doenitz at Nuremberg: A Re-appraisal, Torrance: Institute for Historical Review, 1983, p.148.