Nazi War Trials – Book by Andrew Walker

book cover

Andrew Walker, Nazi War Trials, Hardback, Pocket Essentials, 160 pp, RRP: £9.99
As 2006 marks the 60th anniversary of the first of the Nuremberg Trials, this informative, factual and comprehensive newest addition to the pocket essential series is well worth the £10 pounds price tag. Andrew Walker compresses the Nazi War Trials into 152 pages, structured into the three parts following the chronology of proceedings against those leading Nazis who had survived and were captured: The Prosecution Case, The Defence Case and the outcome of the trials.

He reveals the personalities and strategies of not only the defendants, but also the prosecutors.

_“He was flattered, that Adolf Eichmann had credited him with with the murder of two and a half million inmates. All this from a family man and animal lover, who would later claim in his memoirs, ‘I am completely normal. Even whilst carrying out the task of extermination I lived a normal life.”
The author also gives an introduction to the problems between the allies, the context and the public opinion.

“It became apparent, that reaching a conclusion about the defendants’ innocence or guilt was only one aspect of the trial. The other was to give a voice to the suffering of the victims of Nazi Germany, to provide the stage for the cathartic act of bearing witness.”

The Nottingham University graduate Andrew Walker gives an introduction to the problems between the allies, the contexts surrounding the trials and the public opinion. The writer stresses the historical importance of the first ever international tribunal, and explains legitimacy and legal validity on proceedings of crimes and conspiracy against humanity and aggressive warfare.

The trial against individuals and organisations was conducted in four languages and involved over 400 sessions of open court.

If the book suffers from something, it is the lack of pictures. There is only one picture available to identify the individual defendants, and it is situated in the inside cover of the book. The book is actually unsuitable as a reference, as re-finding specifics is difficult.

But the book is very useful to give a good round-up and introduction to this historical and hugely important event. The book is easy to read and to follow and full of captive revelations. It includes many quotes and descriptions, making it lively and interesting.

For the benefit of everybody, this book should be on the school reading list and can only be warmly recommended.

“The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilisation cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated. 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.”
Robert H Jackson, Opening Address for the United States, November 21st 1945


Comment by jason james on 2006-07-25 00:35:31 +0100

I agree wholeheartedly that the book requires more photos of the defendants,other than that it is a good detailed overview of the trials written in a style which isn’t politically loaded but is still easy to follow, and short enough not to put off the layman reader.

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