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Old 01-04-2007, 09:47 AM   #26
Bryan Veis
Member Bryan Veis is offline
 
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Arlington  Virginia
Posts: 232
Neal,

I suggest that you do a little reading on the Nuremberg trials, for a start. Some argued, even at the time, that they were "victors' justice." Arguably, too, the prosecutions conflated law and morality. (The contrary argument is that no nation has the authority to legalize certain types of acts, i.e., that there are some things that are so obviously horrifically wrong, that no nation could ever make them legal.) Nevertheless, most of the defendants in the trials (most people are familiar with the one where the major Nazi figures were tried, but there were eleven additional trials after that) were found to be guilty of "crimes against humanity" in relation to the holocaust and various war crimes in relation to other conduct.

The law school at the University of Missouri, Kansas City has a pretty good summary for a start. http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/proj.../nuremberg.htm (Work and family safe, except for the possibility that you may run across graphic evidentiary matter on some pages)

As I said in my earlier post, international law is a tricky area, but it does exist. In many, perhaps most, cases, lower level individuals escaped prosecution for acts committed in World War II. The Demjanjuk case was a recent example, though, where there was a prosecution based on the actions of an individual concentration camp guard. It turned out that the defendant was the wrong man -- a different concentration camp guard, who had not committed those particular acts for which he was tried.

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