The Trials

View from above of the judges' bench at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg.
Judge's Panel at the Nuremberg Trials
The Allied powers created the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany to prosecute the major war criminals of the Axis powers. After the collapse of the German Nazi Empire, the destruction of the war along with the atrocities committed against humans by the Axis powers prompted the trials. The “Four Powers”, France, the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom began outlining
and defining the crimes that would become the basis for the trials: war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes against peace. Case number one of the Nuremberg trials would pursue criminal charges against 23 leading German physicians and medical administrations for crimes against humanity and war crimes (1). This trial outlined each of the crimes committed in great detail, describing the different conditions the victims were being held in.

“The defendants in this case are charged with murders, tortures, and other atrocities committed in the name of medical science … To their murderers, these wretched people were not individuals at all. They came in wholesale lots and were treated worse than animals.” -Gen. Telford Taylor

These trials shifted many peoples’ views on medicine, as it was hard to accept the fact that a professional could let such a thing happen. Morality had no footing in German medicine, and the trials aimed to expose this fact to prevent future medical professionals from abusing their power.

  1. “The Nuremberg Trials: The National WWII Museum: New Orleans.” The National WWII Museum | New Orleans