At the end of World War II in Europe, the victorious Allied powers created the first international court to try war criminals from Nazi Germany. Headquartered in the German city of Nuremberg, the first and most famous trials of the major war criminals were held between November 20, 1945 and October 1, 1946, with verdicts announced on September 30 and October 1.
In the end, a large number of senior Nazi leaders were sentenced to death, including Hermann Goering (who killed himself with cyanide the night before his sentence was to be carried out), Karl Dönitz, Martin Bormann (who was missing but sentenced to death in abstentia), Alfred Jodl, Joachim von Ribbentrop and various others. Some leaders, like Rudolf Hess and Albert Speer, were given prison terms in Spandau Prison. The death sentences were carried out on October 16, 1946.
Described as "the greatest trial in history" by one of the presiding judges, Nuremberg was a leap in international law, and would set a precedent for trying war crimes in an international court. The effect of Nuremberg can be seen in the modern-day International Criminal Court and with the prosecution of criminals for actions during wars in Yugoslavia and beyond.
Photographer: Raymond D'Addario
Location taken: Nuremberg, Bavaria, Allied-occupied Germany
Source: Wikimedia Commons
- 1945-08-08 US, USSR, Britain and France sign Treaty of London which sets down procedures for the Nuremberg war trials of Nazi leaders
- 1945-11-20 The Nuremberg war trials begin as 24 Nazi leaders are put on trial before judges representing the victorious Allied powers
- 1946-09-30 Twenty-two Nazi leaders, including Joachim von Ribbentrop and Hermann Goering, are found guilty of war crimes and sentenced to death or prison at the Nuremberg war trials
- 1946-10-16 10 Nazi leaders are hanged as war criminals after Nuremberg war trials, including Wilhelm Keitel, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Alfred Jodl
Nazi Minister of Armaments and War Production
Nazi Leader and WWII General
Foreign Minister of the German Reich
Joachim von Ribbentrop
Naval Commander and Nazi leader