Yalta Conference,In February, 1945, Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt met to discuss what would happen after the Second World War. The conference was held in Yalta on the north coast of the Black Sea in the Crimean peninsula. With Soviet troops in most of Eastern Europe, Stalin was in a strong negotiating position. Roosevelt and Churchill tried hard to restrict post-war influence in this area but the only concession they could obtain was a promise that free elections would be held in these countries. Poland was the main debating point. Stalin explained that throughout history Poland had either attacked Russia or had been used as a corridor through which other hostile countries invaded her. Only a strong, pro-Communist government in Poland would be able to guarantee the security of the Soviet Union.

Yalta Conference ,the big Three between Joseph Stalin (Soviet Union), Winston Churchill(UK) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (The US)  met in Tehran(Iran) in November 1943, Churchill expressed Britain's preference for Nazi leaders to face execution .Stalin proposed executing 50,000–100,000 German staff officers.Divide Germany into four ‘zones’, which Britain, France, the USA and the USSR would occupy after the war,bring Nazi war-criminals to trial.Set up a Polish Provisional Government of National Unity 'pledged to the holding of free and unfettered elections as soon as possible'.Help the freed peoples of Europe set up democratic and self-governing countries The Nuremberg Trials were a series of trials held in Nuremberg, Germany in 1945- 46 where former Nazi leaders were tried as war criminals by the International Military Tribunal. The indictment filed against them contained four counts: crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, war crimes and " a common plan or conspiracy to commit" the criminal acts listed in the first three counts.Nuremberg was little more than a beginning. Its progress was paralyzed by cold-war antagonisms.As early as Jan 1942, the Allies began to discuss the punishment for European Axis leaders should the Allies become victorious in the European War. Through a series of discussions at meetings such as the Tehran Conference, Yalta Conference, and Potsdam Conference, the Allies determined the details of the International Military Tribunal. The legal basis for the trials was established by the London Charter, issued on 8 Aug 1945, which restricted the trials to the "punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis countries"; the term "war", seen in "war criminals", further restricted the actions eligible to be tried to after 3 Sep 1939, the date when the United Kingdom and France declared war on Germany. The Soviets initially suggested to hold the trials in Berlin, Germany, but ultimately another German city, Nürnberg (Nuremberg), was chosen for that the Palace of Justice at Nürnberg was largely undamaged and it had a large prison complex; some also preferred Nürnberg for the association of being the ceremonial birth place of the Nazi Party. The members of the International Military Tribunal were.Involving over a hundred defendants, the Nuremberg Trials took place between 1945 and 1946 and broke new ground. Twenty-one Nazi leaders were charged with crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity – and with having a common plan or conspiracy to commit those crimes. It was the first time judges and members of the judiciary had been charged with enforcing immoral laws. Doctors too stood in the dock for the many hideous medical experiments conducted in concentration camps, while members of the death squads were tried for the indiscriminate murder of civilians. The Nuremberg Trails brought closure to the Second World War.Differences between Yalta and Potsdam: It will help if you are able to describe the huge differences between Yalta and Potsdam - the issues were the same, but the goodwill to overcome them was gone, because the countries no longer needed to stick together. Note how not all the broken promises were by Stalin:Germany to be split into four zones. Arguments about the details of the boundaries between the zones.Germany will pay reparations. Disagreements about the amount of reparations Russia wanted to take. It was agreed that Russia could take whatever it wanted from the Soviet zone, and 10 per cent of the industrial equipment of the western zones, but Britain and the US thought this was too much.A government of 'national unity' to be set up in Poland, comprising both communists and non-communists. Truman was angry because Stalin had arrested the non-communist leaders of Poland.Free elections in the countries of eastern Europe. This part of the agreement was called the Declaration of Liberated Europe. America and Britain were alarmed because communists were coming to power in the countries of Eastern Europe.Russia would help against Japan when Germany was defeated. Truman dropped the atomic bomb so that Japan would surrender before Russian troops could go into Japan. America had the bomb in July 1945, but Truman did not tell Stalin about it. When he saw how he had been tricked, Stalin was furious.

Involving over a hundred defendants, the Nuremberg Trials took place between 1945 and 1946 and broke new ground. Twenty-one Nazi leaders were charged with crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity  and with having a common plan or conspiracy to commit those crimes. It was the first time judges and members of the judiciary had been charged with enforcing immoral laws. Doctors too stood in the dock for the many hideous medical experiments conducted in concentration camps, while members of the death squads were tried for the indiscriminate murder of civilians. The Nuremberg Trails brought closure to the Second World War.

At exactly 10 am on 20 November 1945, Sir Geoffrey Lawrence banged his gavel on the desk in the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg. As presiding judge, he made an opening statement, saying: ‘The trial which is now about to begin is unique in the history of the jurisprudence of the world.’This was the first time that those defeated in a war had been put on trial by an international court of the victors. The proceedings were taking place under the auspices of the United Kingdom, the United States, the Republic of France and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.The reason these nations took this step became clear on the second day of the trial when US Supreme Court judge Robert H. Jackson made the opening statement for the prosecution.‘The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated,’ he said. ‘That four great nations, flushed with victory and stung with injury stay the hand of vengeance and voluntarily submit their captive enemies to the judgment of the law is one of the most significant tributes that Power has ever paid to Reason.’He conceded that the tribunal was both novel and experimental, but the four nations conducting it had the support of another 17 in their effort ‘to utilize international law to meet the greatest menace of our times aggressive war.Surveying the defendants, Jackson said: ‘In the prisoners’ dock sit twenty-odd broken men. Reproached by the humiliation of those they have led almost as bitterly as by the desolation of those they have attacked, their personal capacity for evil is forever past. It is hard now to perceive in these men as captives the power by which as Nazi leaders they once dominated much of the world and terrified most of it. Merely as individuals their fate is of little consequence to the world.‘What makes this inquest significant is that these prisoners represent sinister influences that will lurk in the world long after their bodies have returned to dust. We will show them to be living symbols of racial hatreds, of terrorism and violence, and of the arrogance and cruelty of power. They are symbols of fierce nationalisms and of militarism, of intrigue and war-making which have embroiled Europe generation after generation, crushing its manhood, destroying its homes, and impoverishing its life. They have so identified themselves with the philosophies they conceived and with the forces they directed that any tenderness to them is a victory and an encouragement to all the evils which are attached to their names.’These 21 Nazi leaders were charged with crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity – and with having a common plan or conspiracy to commit those crimes. (In total 24 Nazis were indicted at Nuremberg but only 21 faced trial, because one was considered too ill and senile, one was missing and one committed suicide in custody.)This was the first of 12 trials, involving more than a hundred defendants and several different courts, that took place at Nuremberg from 1945 to 1949. The trial of 16 German judges and officials of the justice ministry broke new ground, considering the criminal responsibility of judges who enforce immoral laws. Doctors were tried for the hideous experiments they conducted on inmates of concentration camps and members of Einsatzgruppen death squads  were tried for the indiscriminate murder of civilians.While the Nuremberg Trials had no precedent, they set one. Although the Nuremberg Trials had been a media circus, only a selected group of reporters were allowed into the execution chambers of the Nazi war criminals. The authorities feared that the Nazi leaders would get sympathy or they would become martyrs if the executions turned into a media spectacle. Eight journalists from Big Four countries were selected by lottery, but only one photographer (and he was from U.S. Army) was allowed behind the close doors to report the last moments inside the prison.The French judges suggested the use of a firing squad for the military condemned, but the other judges deemed undignified execution by hanging more appropriate. The hangings were carried out on 16 October 1946 by the executioner John C. Woods. Of the 12 defendants sentenced to death by hanging, two were not hanged: Hermann Göring committed suicide the night before the execution and Martin Bormann was not present when convicted. The remaining 10 defendants sentenced to death were hanged. The bodies were brought to Dachau and burned (the final use of the crematories there) with the ashes then scattered into a river.

Karl Brandt, Adolf Hitler’s personal physician, is addressing the court at the Doctors' Trial in Nuremberg. Brandt was key to the Nazi euthanasia program and other atrocities. He was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity and was hanged on June 2nd, 1948.Hermann Göring died by his own hand. Two and a quarter hours before he was to be executed he took poison under the eyes of the American security guard watching him every moment through the grating in the door of his cell.Without the guard noticing any unusual movement, Göring  who asked for a soldier's death before a firing squad and was refused – slipped a phial of cyanide of potassium into his mouth and crushed it with his teeth. He thus used the same type of poison and phial adopted by Heinrich Himmler, who committed suicide.While Göring was lying in the prison morgue, the 10 other Nazi leaders sentenced to death with him were hanged in the bomb-blasted gymnasium of the prison, its dirty walls lit up by 10 blazing lights in the ceiling. The 10 Nazis were hanged one after the other in one hour and 34 minutes.

The United Nations Charter of June 1945 expressed the determination "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war'". Its Preamble spoke of the equality of nations, large and small, and called for enhanced social justice, tolerance and respect for international law. In August 1945, the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and France signed another Charter, creating the International Military Tribunal (IMT), to bring to justice some of the German leaders responsible for aggression, crimes against humanity and related atrocities. How far have we come and what more must be done before these noble goals can be achieved? Germany had suiTendered unconditionally and each of the four occupying Powers assigned leading jurists to serve as judges and prosecutors for the IMT. It was agreed that the proceedings had to be absolutely fair; the situs would be in Nuremberg, the home of Nazi party rallies. Robert H. Jackson, a leading architect for the trials, took leave from the United States Supreme Court to serve as America's Chief Prosecutor. In his opening statement, he set the standard: "We must never forget that the record on which we judge these defendants today is the record on which histoiy will judge us tomorrow." Adolf Hider and some of his top aides committed suicide, as did Field-Marshal Hermann Goering after he was sen- tenced to death by the Tribunal. Of the 24 defendants, 3 were acquitted, 9 were imprisoned and 12 were sentenced to hang-the world was put on notice that those who held the reins of power would be accountable for their crimes. oiicte5y of Hatry S. Tliman Library lie learned IMT jurists confirmed the legal jurisdiction of the court and the validity of the charges under existing law. All proceedings were open to the public.Grand-Admiral Karl Dönitz (1891-1980): As head of U-boats from 1939 came close to defeating Britain in Atlantic. Succeeded Hitler as Reich president in April 1945. Convicted of waging aggressive war and breaking laws of war at Nuremberg, but not of war crimes (or for unrestricted submarine warfare, after US Fleet-Admiral Nimitz admitted he used the same tactics).Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring (1883-1946): First world war flying ace who headed the Luftwaffe but bungled air strategy against Britain. He was the most rapacious empire-builder of the regime, with huge powers over the economy. He also stole art all over occupied Europe.Rudolf Hess (1894-1987): Deputy führer since 1933, Hess flew to Scotland in May 1941 and tried to persuade the British to make peace. The bewildered British and embarrassed Germans were united in regarding him as mad. He killed himself in Spandau jail in 1987, last relic of the Nuremberg trials.Wilhelm Keitel (1882-1946): Senior military leader and de facto war minister of the Third Reich. Advised Hitler against invasion of France and Operation Barbarossa but uncritical of the killings of political prisoners and other war crimes. Executed 16 October 1943.Joachim Ribbentrop (1893-1946): Reich foreign minister, praised by Hitler as "a second Bismarck", but despised by the majority of Hitler's apparatchiks. First of the 10 to be hung on 16 October.Alfred Rosenberg (1893-1946): Hitler's philosopher-in-chief, whose ideological diatribes on race and antisemitism in The Myth of the 20th Century were instrumental in shaping the "final solution". From 1941 minister for the Reich's newly acquired eastern provinces. Continued to defend national socialism as "the most noble idea" while in prison.Albert Speer (1905-1981): Hitler's architect whose sudden choice as war production minister in 1942 was a rare inspiration. He increased output despite allied bombing, opposing Hitler's scorched-earth policy. Escaped death at Nuremberg by accepting general responsibility while disingenuously denying personal involvement in the Holocaust, later debunked.Hans Frank (Governor-general of Nazi-occupied Poland, known as the "Jew butcher of Cracow") who said, on the dates noted: "Don't let anybody tell you that they had no idea. Everybody sensed there was something horribly wrong with the system.Hitler has disgraced Germany for all time! He betrayed and disgraced the people that loved him!...I will be the first to admit my guilt.Wilhelm Frick (Minister of the Interior): "Hitler didn't want to do things my way. I wanted things done legally. After all, I am a lawyer. "... The mass murders were certainly not thought of as a consequence of the Nuremberg Laws, (though) it may have turned out that way."Alfred Jodl (Chief of Operations for the German High Command): "The indictment knocked me on the head. First of all, I hand no idea at all about 90 per cent of the accusations in it. The crimes are horrible beyond belief, if they are true. Secondly, I don't see how they can fail to recognize a soldier's obligation to obey orders. That's the code I've live by all my life. "The order to kill the escaped British fliers - there was absolutely no justification for that. From then on, I knew what kind of a man Hitler was.

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