The German war-crimes trials, 1949 to present : repercussions of American involvement

Cardinal Scholar

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Wires, Richard en_US Weir, Patricia A. (Patricia Ann Lyons), 1940- en_US
dc.coverage.spatial e-gx--- en_US 2011-06-03T19:32:19Z 2011-06-03T19:32:19Z 1973 en_US 1973
dc.identifier LD2489.Z68 1973 .W4 en_US
dc.description.abstract The purpose of this study was to determine how American involvement in the war-crimes trials held in Germany after World War II affected Germany's own prosecution of war criminals from 1949 to the present. Achievement of this objective entailed determining the role of the United States in war-crimes prosecutions, relating the role to that of the other occupation powers and then discovering the specific ways that the United States influenced Germany's conduct of its own trials.The procedure involved four steps. The United States plans for the prosecution of war criminals were traced throughout the war in order to determine attitudes and roles which might have affected planning for postwar Germany. Then the proceedings of the International Military Tribunal, the Dachau trials and Nuremberg trials were studied so their characteristics could be compared with the German-conducted proceedings. A note was next made 'on every individual who was indicted or tried in the Federal Republic. Also listed were the individual's age, former position in the Nazi regime, war-crimes charge, place of trial, results of the proceedings and appeal, public reaction, and any other data which might be pertinent to the trials, such as antiSemitic and neo-Nazi revivals, and Adolf Eichmann's trial in Jerusalem.General conclusions became immediately apparent. First, the trials of war criminals would have ended at the close of the International Military Tribunal had not the United States insisted they continue. Secondly, the United States conduct of its trials at Nuremberg and Dachau planted seeds which affected Germany's prosecution of war criminals. The most important seed was a crushing burden of guilt. Guilt in turn produced rationalizations about the past deeds of the Nazis. Consequently, no real atonement for the German people could take place. The number of trials declined appreciably from 1949 to 1957. Germany's delay in accepting its guilt was also due to the fact that American authorities determined that other issues were more important, including rebuilding Germany economically and. militarily to defend the Western world against the communist menace in Eastern Europe. Thirdly, the realization that German youth were not being taught the truth about the Nazi era, that Nazi war criminals had escaped prosecution, and that former Nazis had won their way back into the government and judiciary awakened people to the need to undergo a "national self-purification," The number of trials held in Germany increased. The Eichmann Trial was part of the momentum, but the Auschwitz proceedings were almost anti-climactic, creating more apathy and indifference than anything else. So deep, however, is the burden of guilt that the statute of limitations has been removed on genocide and extended twice for murder to insure that the remaining war criminals will be punished, despite the fact that two out of every five Germans opposed the trials. Finally, although a commendable effort has been made to write the last chapter in Germany's conduct of warcrimes trials, the Bonn government has undercut the force of extending the statute of limitations by allowing a penal code reform in 1968 to end the prosecution of war criminals except in cases of murder or aiding and abetting in murder out of such base motives as racial hatred. In spite of legal delays and manoeuvers in the trial of war criminals, one can expect the proceedings to continue but to slow down and then end completely in 1979. en_US
dc.format.extent xii, 545 leaves ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.lcsh War crime trials -- Germany. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Denazification. en_US
dc.title The German war-crimes trials, 1949 to present : repercussions of American involvement en_US Thesis (Ph. D.) en_US
dc.identifier.cardcat-url en_US

Files in this item

Files Size Format View

There are no files associated with this item.

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Doctoral Dissertations [3210]
    Doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

Show simple item record

Search Cardinal Scholar


My Account