Rebecca Wittmann

in The Oxford Handbook of Holocaust Studies

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199211869
Published online January 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology


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The victorious Allies launched what became a series of postwar judicial proceedings against accused war criminals that continues more than sixty years after World War II ended. This article points out, however, that the most famous postwar trials seldom centred on the Holocaust. Although the indictments of Nazi leaders, followers, bureaucrats, camp guards, lawyers, doctors, and businessmen prompt most people nowadays to think primarily of the ‘Final Solution’, virtually all postwar prosecutions categorized the offenses at issue as war crimes, crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, or ordinary murder and manslaughter. The importance of these trials remains, as does that of the sometimes appropriate but often mild punishments meted out. However, recognition of the significance and distinctiveness of the Holocaust mainly came about in other ways.

Keywords: Allies; postwar trials; Holocaust; war criminals; war crimes; crimes against humanity

Article.  6983 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Judaism and Jewish Studies

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