Between 1939 and 1945, Nazi Germany invaded many countries across Europe, inflicting 27 million deaths in the Soviet Union alone. [83] The American and British prosecutors focused on documentary evidence and affidavits rather than testimony from survivors, as the latter was considered less reliable and more liable to accusations of bias, but at the expense of reducing public interest in the proceedings. Sentenced to death, Reich Law Leader 193345 and Governor-General of the, Hitler's Minister of the Interior 193343 and. No favoritism was shown nor was a selection offered. [47] Although the chief British judge, Sir Geoffrey Lawrence (Lord Justice of Appeal), was the nominal president of the tribunal, in practice Biddle exercised more authority. During the dead of winter, cell temperatures constantly hovered near freezing, partially due to severe coal shortages throughout most of Germany, and some prisoners were relegated to wearing stockings as gloves and wrapping their feet in underwear or any other available cloth to keep warm. Generally, I would describe the food, as I recall, quite good, Prestianni remembers. Prestianni did not recall any such instances. On the night he was to be hanged, Streicher gave Prestianni a signed, handwritten note after supper. But the Nuremberg Trials showed contempt for the only-obeying-orders position, and we hold it in contempt too.". [163] Contrary to the prosecution, the verdict dated the planning of aggression to the 1937 Hossbach Memorandum and not to the founding of the Nazi Party. Hans Frank, known as the Slayer of Poles, was small, outwardly arrogant, and had a cruel face, Prestianni revealed. [121], On 8 February, the Soviet prosecution opened its case with a speech by Rudenko that covered all four prosecution charges, highlighting both aggressive war and the devastation of Eastern Europe[122] and listing many crimes committed by the German occupiers against the Soviet people. They, as a group, had no problem with their guilt. [174] The judges interpreted crimes against humanity narrowly; they determined that crimes against German Jews before 1939 were not under the court's jurisdiction because the prosecution had not proven a connection to aggressive war. I have been searching for evidence that my Dad was a guard, so that the stories I have been told since I was a child could be documented. [43] The United States prosecution believed that Nazism was the product of a German deviation from Western history (the Sonderweg thesis) and sought to correct this deviation with a trial that would serve both retributive and educational purposes. To maintain the steady flow of Speer pencil sketches, guards always provided him with an adequate supply of paper and sharpened pencils. [76] Of the 24 men indicted, Martin Bormann was tried in absentia, as the Allies were unaware of his death; Krupp was too ill to stand trial; and Robert Ley committed suicide. My father became an MP after the war. FRD provides custom research services to federal agencies, the District of Columbia government, and authorized federal contractors. (Robert Ley committed suicide while in prison, and Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbachs mental and physical condition prevented his being tried.) Posted September 22, 2014. [95] None of the defendants tried to assert that the Nazis' crimes had not occurred; instead, they attempted to divert blame from their own actions. He argued that he was being persecuted.. And when he spoke, it was to lash out violently at anyone close to him at the time, even the guards.. Usually these are prosecution chargeslike crimes against humanityor a defense response. My Dad was murdered, hanged, when I was 5 years old in 1965. View full size Courtesy, U.S. Army The Military Tribunal proceedings in Nuremberg, Germany, Herman Goering sits between two guards, the left one being Andrew Wendland of Bay City. [119] Unlike the British and American prosecution strategy, which focused on using German documents to make their case, the French prosecutors took the perspective of the victims, submitting postwar police reports and calling eleven witnesses. Did guards favor some prisoners over others? Today, he carries on his World War II and Korean War heritage in various veterans organizations. [188] The Office of Chief Counsel for War Crimes identified 2,500 major war criminals, of whom 177 were tried. [65], Some of the most prominent NazisAdolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and Joseph Goebbelshad committed suicide and therefore could not be tried. Because of the tragic manner in which my father died, we did not often speak of the trials. It was in my family until the early 2000s. [232] On 11 December 1946, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously passed a resolution affirming "the principles of international law recognized by the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and the judgment of the Tribunal". Stahmer fought hard for his clie. Her last name was Marsico (cant recall her first name} and she was from Montgomery, WV. Some were gassed. He was a man of some stature with flowing white hair, but he would still never be noticed much in a crowd. A. Prestianni said that during his guard duties he tried to adhere to his fathers advice. Ten of themHans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Julius Streicher, Alfred Rosenberg, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Fritz Sauckel, Alfred Jodl, Wilhelm Keitel, and Arthur Seyss-Inquartwere hanged on October 16, 1946. Between 20 November 1945 and 1 October 1946, the International Military Tribunal (IMT) tried 24 of the most important political and military leaders of Nazi Germany. [169][170] The judges did not agree that the conspiracy extended to anyone who participated in the affairs of the Nazi government, only taking being present at the high-level meetings discussing war plans in 1937 and 1939 as evidence of belonging to the conspiracy. Hess, former deputy fhrer of the Nazi party and Hitlers private secretary during the early years of the National Socialist movement, was sentenced to life imprisonment and served every day of it to the age of 92 when he died in 1987 under mysterious circumstances in Berlins Spandau Prison. I only patrolled there once. [52][46] The Soviet personnel's lack of knowledge of English, lack of interpreters, and unfamiliarity with diplomacy and international institutions also limited their influence. The first, held by an international tribunal (American, British, French, and Russian), was the "War. [157] Over the course of the trial, crimes against humanity and especially against Jews (who were mentioned as victims of Nazi atrocities far more than any other group) came to upstage the aggressive war charge. 56 high-ranking SS and other police officers, including 24 leaders of the Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units) and key officials in Heinrich Himmler's . After the war, she and other WACS were asked to stay for the Nuremburg trials to serve as stenographers . Each prisoners cell was equipped with a simple, bench-like bed against one wall adjacent to the cell door, a primitive commode, a wooden table to hold the few allowed pictures and other personal items, and a chair too rickety to support the weight of a standing man. The International Military Tribunal set up by the . [129] The Soviet prosecution also attempted to fabricate German responsibility for the Katyn massacre, which had in fact been committed by the Soviet Union. [106][107] The Americans summoned Einsatzgruppen commander Otto Ohlendorf, who testified about the murder of 80,000 people by those under his command, and SS general Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, who admitted that German anti-partisan warfare was little more than a cover for the mass murder of Jews. [33], The negotiators decided that the tribunal's permanent seat would be in Berlin, while the trial would be held at the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg. [211] The educational purpose of the Nuremberg Military Tribunals was a failure, in part because of the resistance to war crimes trials in German society, but also because of the United States Army's refusal to publish the trial record in German for fear it would undermine the fight against communism. 08-12-2007, 10:07 PM. [94] All defendants pleaded not guilty. In most respects, fraternization between guards and prisoners was closely monitored by those who set the policies for the prisoners confinement. To some, he was demeaned as the foreigner., I didnt like his looks at all. [26], The final version of the charter only gave the court the ability to punish those crimes against humanity that had been committed "in connection with any crimes within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal". Among those brought to trial were. My Dad was a guard at the Nuremberg trials. She kept a scrapbook which had photos of her group and many signatures of court officials and army officers commending them for their service. [101] He described the fact that the defeated Nazis received a trial as "one of the most significant tributes that Power has ever paid to Reason". He thought a mature, Lutheran, German-speaking chaplain who had worked in prisons . Guards, for the most part, were not allowed to talk to each other or to prisoners while on security duty. In some cases, this arrogance lingered into their years of incarceration. Updated on January 22, 2020. [146][147] Defense lawyer Alfred Seidl[de] repeatedly tried to disclose the secret protocols of the GermanSoviet pact. Two and a quarter hours before he was to be executed he took poison under the. Updates? He was made an MP after the war William A Shoemaker from North Carolina. [50][51] Because the Soviet Union expected a show trial, its appointees were familiar with this form. Give me information about your Dad and I will help you research about your fathers deployment to Germany. My Dad Arthur Tacopino was a guard at The Nuremberg Trials. We were given strict orders to have no contact whatsoever with these women, no conversation, no nothing and to stay well away from them, noted Prestianni. Koch ordered skin emblazoned with tattoos to be stripped from the cadavers of prisoners and made into lampshades. He was a physical fitness fanatic who threw his cell window open in mid-winter and splashed toilet water over his bare chest and then did pushups, before meals, after meals, most any time, over and over. The defendants at Nuremberg. Ribbentrop was held in low esteem by others close to Hitler due to his perceived ineptness in many areas. In rendering these decisions, the tribunal rejected the major defenses offered by the defendants. Hitler's Minister of Economics; succeeded Schacht as head of the, Hitler's Deputy Fhrer until he flew to Scotland in 1941 in an attempt to broker peace with the United Kingdom. Answer (1 of 5): None of the footage I have seen of the trials revealed anyone but American MPs. Minister of Foreign Affairs 193238, succeeded by Ribbentrop. Each watch was of two hours duration, standing almost motionless looking in the cell door openings. Frick was rather taciturn, not given to talking. This is evidenced by the change of the guards uniforms back and forth from the heavier, darker, winter uniform to the lighter colored summer uniform. Prompt medical attention was readily available to all prisoners. End of the trial: Guardian report on the executions, 16 October 1946 Hermann Gring last night died by his own hand. Guards occasionally retaliated against unpopular, troublesome prisoners by rapping on the cell doors with their night sticks to disturb the occupants sleep. The Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy. [20][21] The offenses that would be prosecuted were crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. If an organization was found to be criminal, the prosecution could bring individuals to trial for having been members, and the criminal nature of the group or organization could no longer be questioned. 10 issued by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. [135] The Soviet Union also called two Holocaust survivors as witnesses, Samuel Rajzmana Treblinka survivorand poet Abraham Sutzkever, who eloquently described the murder of tens of thousands of Jews from Vilna, although their testimony did not directly incriminate any of the defendants. She was released after four years and eventually committed suicide in a Bavarian prison. [59] The conspiracy charge was used to charge the top Nazi leaders, as well as bureaucrats who had never killed anyone or perhaps even directly ordered killing. [120] Ultimately, the French prosecution was unable to convince the court that Germanization was a crime against humanity, and incidents such as the German annexation of AlsaceLorraine went unmentioned in the final verdict. He guarded the prisoners in their cells and also stood guard in the court room. [183][184] The judges proved their independence from the governments that appointed them, the defendants were seen as receiving due process, and the evidence of guilt amassed by the prosecution was overwhelming. [68] Most of the defendants had surrendered to the United States or United Kingdom. An enduring mystery of the 1946 Nuremberg trials was apparently solved yesterday when an American former prison guard claimed it was he who, as an unwitting accomplice, passed to Hermann. On 17 September, the various delegations met to discuss the indictment. [103], Much of the American case focused on the development of the Nazi conspiracy before the outbreak of war. He had been instrumental in establishing a totalitarian state. The purpose of the armored reinforcement was to prevent any possibility of attack by groups of still-fanatic Nazis. He was physically one tough guy, Prestianni offered. He greeted me in the morning and that was about it. During our conversations, he often asked questions about the United States, a subject in which he appeared to be quite interested, Prestianni added. Public to Get Access to Nuremberg Trials Digital Recordings He argued that Germans needed Lebensraum (living space) and that they were looking only for land expansion. It would be so greatly appreciated. In the prison cellblock, each single-occupant cell had two parallel heating pipes beneath a single, heavily scratched, plastic-covered window, the top half of which could be tilted open for limited ventilation. [167] The judges were aware that both the Allies and the Axis had planned or committed acts of aggression, writing the verdict carefully to avoid discrediting either the Allied governments or the tribunal. John C. Woods, hangman at Nuremberg Anyone else might have been embarrassed about botching such a high-level execution. The tribunal responded that such acts had been regarded as criminal prior to World War II. The verdict was drafted by British alternate judge Norman Birkett. Her guards were repulsed, and some requested reassignment to another cellblock. He was able to get to get the Hitler peoples autographs. The intentionally weakened table and chair, Prestianni said, prevented possible suicide attempts by hanging. [204] In the United Kingdom, although a variety of responses were reported, it was difficult to sustain interest in a long trial. Sykes supervised guards, including the iconic. Some were convicted of historys most barbaric crimes against humanity.