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|An overview of the Nuremberg trials|
When visualizing the Nuremberg Trials, one might picture a courtroom full of contemptuous villains. Preconceived perceptions of the accused were not reality. While the defendants had committed some of the most heinous crimes on earth, many had families, pets and religious convictions.
The Nuremberg Trials consisted of many trials, but two are notable: the Doctors trials and the Einsatzgruppen (German mobile killing squads) trials. The trials tool place from 1945-1949.
Doctors from Nazi concentration camps were given their own trial. They were indicted on three accounts: common design or conspiracy, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Many had performed unnecessary surgeries and experiments on patients under their care:
The Nuremberg Doctors Trial lasted 140 days. Out of the 23 defendants, seven were acquitted, seven were sentenced to death and nine were sentenced to various prison terms, according to UMKC School of Law.
The Einsatzgruppen Trials started September 1947. The Einsatzgruppen were charged with mass macabre murders, according to Middle Tennessee State University. They shot and buried Jews, Poles and gypsies. More than 34,000 Jews were killed by machine guns in a two-day massacre. Out of the 24 defendants, 14 were handed a death sentence, according to UMKC School of Law.
Most of the accused failed to show remorse for their crimes, even at their executions, said University of Florida American history professor Julian Pleasants.
“After the 10 [condemned prisoners] were hanged, they fired up the crematorium in Dachau, where thousands of victims had died, and cremated the Nazis,” said Pleasants.
Their ashes were thrown into a river to prevent homage in the form of erected statues. In effect, the Nazi movement ended in Munich were it had begun.