Oct 22, 2006

Book Review: The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial, 1945-46: A Documentary History

The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial, by Michael R. Marrus Marrus, Michael R.

New York: Bedford Books, 1997, 276 pages

Marrus developed this book as part of the Bedford Series of History and Culture in order to present a documentary look at the Nuremberg trials, and he relied heavily on court transcripts to weave a narrative of the events involving the International Military Tribunal (IMT).

One of the more intriguing sections of the text was a chapter on the historical precedents of the Nuremberg trials, and Marrus included relevant excerpts of such documents as the Treaty of Versailles (1919), the Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928), and the Hague Convention of 1907 to provide a glimpse at the legal tradition behind the creation of the IMT. Also worth noting is the account of the testimony of Hermann Göring, whose intellectual prowess and combative, unrepentant demeanor made for riveting courtroom drama.

The text follows a chronological approach in its treatment of Nuremberg, and footnotes are provided for the reader. Marrus included a lengthy bibliography of primary and secondary sources for students and scholars interested in further research. Also included are a brief chronology of major events, synopses of the fates of the defendants, and a table that summarizes charges, verdicts, and sentences.

The illuminating commentary provided by Marrus in between documentary excerpts makes the text a valuable addition to the libraries of German and Holocaust historians. In addition, the text is also useful for the general reader who seeks a fuller understanding of the Holocaust, and requires only a minimal amount of familiarity with Holocaust history to be understood. .

1 comment:

-Sepp said...

For another peek into shoa studies, read "Death Dealer" by Rudolf Hoss which gives an in-depth look at the running of Auschwitz. Hoss also mentions his personal oppinions of different nazi leaders. It was written while he was awaiting trial in Poland. Readable and interesting and worth a look.