"The Arrogance and Cruelty of Power" speech, delivered by Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, introduced the court to the American prosecution's case against the defendants who faced indictment for war crimes related to their role in the German government and the Nazi party. The speech was the opening statement before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg on Nov. 21, 1945.Continue Reading
Justice Jackson's intent was to frame the case as the prosecution of a conspiracy against the civilized nations that the defendants knew would lead to war. In his opening remarks, Jackson urged that the court prosecute the defendants, not for their own crimes, which he called "petty," but as a warning to future aggressors that war itself is a crime punishable by international law. In this speech, and throughout the subsequent trial, Jackson made an effort to frame the prosecution as a civilized response to crimes so heinous that the world could not survive their repetition.
Jackson's speech at Nuremberg was brief, but it expressed the dual concepts of Nazism as a vast criminal conspiracy to plunder and exploit a defeated Europe and the individual guilt of the men in the dock. Nationalist aggression as a crime in itself was a new concept at the time, and Jackson's speech was intended to not only introduce the concept, but to convince the court of its legitimacy.Learn more about World War 2
World War II ended in two stages: the total destruction of the German government in Berlin in May 1945 and the capitulation of the Japanese government four months later. In each case, the victorious Allies accepted the unconditional surrender of the Axis nations' land, sea and air forces, as well as a political surrender of their civil governments.Full Answer >
As outlined by the American Bar Association, a pretrial hearing in criminal court allows the lawyers, defendants and any victims involved in the case to come before the judge and receive or share important information about the upcoming trial.Full Answer >
The German SchutzStaffel, or SS, was founded in 1925 as a section of the SA, the paramilitary arm of the Nazi party, to act as a personal bodyguard for Adolf Hitler and other party elites. In 1929, Heinrich Himmler was appointed as the leader of the organization. He expanded it to become the elite force of Nazi Germany. The force was frequently used in Hitler's "final solution" and saw combat in World War II.Full Answer >
Adolf Hitler brought the Nazi party to prominence in Germany, initiated the Holocaust and started World War II. He was responsible for the deaths of millions, including soldiers in the war and civilians killed in Nazi concentration camps.Full Answer >