Tuesday, October 1, 2013

This Day in History: Oct 1, 1946: Nazi war criminals sentenced at Nuremberg

On October 1, 1946, 12 high-ranking Nazis are sentenced to death by the International War Crimes Tribunal in Nuremberg. Among those condemned to death by hanging were Joachim von Ribbentrop, Nazi minister of foreign affairs; Hermann Goering, founder of the Gestapo and chief of the German air force; and Wilhelm Frick, minister of the interior. Seven others, including Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler's former deputy, were given prison sentences ranging from 10 years to life. Three others were acquitted.

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The trial, which had lasted nearly 10 months, was conducted by an international tribunal made up of representatives from the United States, the USSR, France, and Great Britain. It was the first trial of its kind in history, and the defendants faced charges ranging from crimes against peace to crimes of war and crimes against humanity. On October 16, 10 of the architects of Nazi policy were hanged one by one. Hermann Goering, who at sentencing was called the "leading war aggressor and creator of the oppressive program against the Jews," committed suicide by poison on the eve of his scheduled execution. Nazi Party leader Martin Bormann was condemned to death in absentia; he is now known to have died in Berlin at the end of the war.



Penalty Notes

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Martin Bormann

Death Successor to Hess as Nazi Party Secretary. Sentenced to death in absentia. Remains found in Berlin in 1972 and dated to have died in 1945.[avalon 2]
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Karl Dönitz

10 years Leader of the Kriegsmarine from 1943, succeeded Raeder. Initiator of the U-boat campaign. Briefly became President of Germany following Hitler's death.[avalon 3] Convicted of carrying out unrestricted submarine warfare in breach of the 1936 Second London Naval Treaty, but was not punished for that charge because the United States committed the same breach.[27] Defense attorney: Otto Kranzbühler
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Hans Frank

Death Reich Law Leader 1933–45 and Governor-General of the General Government in occupied Poland 1939–45. Expressed repentance.[avalon 4]
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Wilhelm Frick

Death Hitler's Minister of the Interior 1933–43 and Reich Protector of Bohemia-Moravia 1943–45. Co-authored the Nuremberg Race Laws.[avalon 5]
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Hans Fritzsche

Acquitted Popular radio commentator; head of the news division of the Nazi Propaganda Ministry.[avalon 6] Released early in 1950.[28] Fritzsche had made himself a career within German radio, because his voice was similar to Goebbels'.[29]
Walther Funk

Life imprisonment Hitler's Minister of Economics; succeeded Schacht as head of the Reichsbank. Released because of ill health on 16 May 1957.[avalon 7] Died 31 May 1960.
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Death Reichsmarschall, Commander of the Luftwaffe 1935–45, Chief of the 4-Year Plan 1936–45, and original head of the Gestapo before turning it over to the SS in April 1934. Originally the second-highest-ranked member of the Nazi Party and Hitler's designated successor, he fell out of favor with Hitler in April 1945. Highest ranking Nazi official to be tried at Nuremberg. [30] Committed suicide the night before his execution.[avalon 8]
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Life imprisonment Hitler's Deputy Führer until he flew to Scotland in 1941 in an attempt to broker peace with Great Britain. Had been imprisoned since then. After trial, incarcerated at Spandau Prison where he allegedly committed suicide in 1987.[avalon 9]
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Death Wehrmacht Generaloberst, Keitel's subordinate and Chief of the OKW's Operations Division 1938–45. Signed orders for the summary execution of Allied commandos and Soviet commissars [avalon 10] Signed the instruments of unconditional surrender on 7 May 1945 in Reims as the representative of Karl Dönitz. Posthumously rehabilitated in 1953.

Death Highest-ranking SS leader to be tried at Nuremberg. Chief of RSHA 1943–45, the Nazi organ comprised of the intelligence service (SD), Secret State Police (Gestapo), Criminal Police (Kripo) and had overall command over the Einsatzgruppen.[avalon 11]
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Death Head of Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) and def facto defence minister 1938–45. Known for his unquestioning loyalty to Hitler.[31] Signed numerous orders calling for soldiers and political prisoners to be executed. Expressed repentance.[avalon 12]
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Major industrialist. C.E.O. of Friedrich Krupp AG 1912–45. Medically unfit for trial; he had been partially paralyzed since 1941. Due to an error, Gustav, instead of his son Alfried (who ran Krupp for his father during most of the war), was selected for indictment.[32] The prosecutors attempted to substitute his son in the indictment, but the judges rejected this due to proximity to trial. However, the charges against him remained on record in the event he should recover (he died in February 1950).[33] Alfried was tried in a separate Nuremberg trial (the Krupp Trial) for slave labor, thereby escaping worse charges and possible execution.
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Head of DAF, German Labour Front. Committed suicide on 25 October 1945, before the trial began. Indicted but neither acquitted nor found guilty as trial did not proceed.
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15 years Minister of Foreign Affairs 1932–38, succeeded by Ribbentrop. Later, Protector of Bohemia and Moravia 1939–43. On furlough since 1941, he resigned in 1943 because of a dispute with Hitler. Released (ill health) 6 November 1954[avalon 13] after suffering a heart attack. Died 14 August 1956.

Acquitted Chancellor of Germany in 1932 and Vice-Chancellor under Hitler in 1933–34. Ambassador to Austria 1934–38 and ambassador to Turkey 1939–44. Although acquitted at Nuremberg, von Papen was reclassified as a war criminal in 1947 by a German de-Nazification court, and sentenced to eight years' hard labour. He was acquitted following appeal after serving two years.[avalon 14]
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Life imprisonment Commander In Chief of the Kriegsmarine from 1928 until his retirement in 1943, succeeded by Dönitz. Released (ill health) 26 September 1955.[avalon 15] Died 6 November 1960.

Death Ambassador-Plenipotentiary 1935–36. Ambassador to the United Kingdom 1936–38. Minister of Foreign Affairs 1938–45.[avalon 16]
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Death Racial theory ideologist. Later, Minister of the Eastern Occupied Territories 1941–45.[avalon 17]
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Death Gauleiter of Thuringia 1927–45. Plenipotentiary of the Nazi slave labor program 1942–45.[avalon 18] Defense attorney: Robert Servatius

Acquitted Prominent banker and economist. Pre-war president of the Reichsbank 1923–30 & 1933–38 and Economics Minister 1934–37. Admitted to violating the Treaty of Versailles.[avalon 19] Many at Nuremberg alleged that the British had brought about Schacht's acquittal to safeguard German industrialists and financiers; Francis Biddle revealed Geoffrey Lawrence had argued that Schacht, being a "man of character", was nothing like the other "ruffians" on trial.[34] By 1944, he had been imprisoned in a KZ by the Nazis, and was not pleased to be put to trial as a major war criminal.[35]
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20 years Head of the Hitlerjugend from 1933–40, Gauleiter of Vienna 1940–45. Expressed repentance.[avalon 20]
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Death Instrumental in the Anschluss and briefly Austrian Chancellor 1938. Deputy to Frank in Poland 1939–40. Later, Reich Commissioner of the occupied Netherlands 1940–45. Expressed repentance.[avalon 21]

20 Years Hitler's friend, favorite architect, and Minister of Armaments from 1942 until the end of the war. In this capacity, he was ultimately responsible for the use of slave laborers from the occupied territories in armaments production. Expressed repentance.[avalon 22]
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Death Gauleiter of Franconia 1922–40, when he was relieved of authority but allowed by Hitler to keep his official title. Publisher of the anti-semitic weekly newspaper, Der Stürmer.[avalon 23]

Taken from: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/nazi-war-criminals-sentenced-at-nuremberg [01.10.2013]

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