Law on Trial: the Nuremberg War Crime Trial

Four of the leading Nazi defendents at Nuremberg during the final session of the war trial, including from left to right Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Wilhelm Keitel (© DiePresse.com)

Part 1: The run-up to the trial

Part 2: The actual trial

With Europe in ruins in 1945 at the end of the Second World War, and tens of millions of people dead, wounded and homeless, the four Allies who had defeated Hitler’s Third Reich in Germany made the unprecedented decision to place the Nazi leaders responsible for the war on trial, specifically for “the crime of waging aggressive war”. By putting war itself on trial, the prosecutors were virtually placing the law on trial.  Would it be possible for the victors in a military conflict to demonstrate the detachment and integrity required of due process of law?

Produced and presented by Michele Ernsting.

Broadcast on the 60th anniversary of the trials in November 2005

Speakers include: Nuremberg prosecutors Whitney Harris and Benjamin Ferencz, former German upper state court vice-president Ewald Behrschmidt, professors of law John Q. Barrett and Lawrence R. Douglas, ICC president Philippe Kirsch.