After World War II ended, the Allies established courts in each of their occupied zones in Germany to prosecute German officials for their role in the commission of war crimes, crimes against peace, and crimes against humanity. American military tribunals in Nuremberg, Germany, presided over 12 major proceedings against leading German industrialists, military figures, SS perpetrators, and others. Included among these Subsequent Nuremberg Trials was the Ministries Case.
United States v. Ernst von Weizaecker, et al.
The US Military Government for Germany created Military Tribunal IV-A on December 11, 1947, in order to try the Ministries Case, the 11th Subsequent Nuremberg Proceeding.
The 21 defendants included three Reich Ministers as well as state secretaries and members of the Nazi Party hierarchy. They were indicted on November 18 and arraigned two days later. The indictment listed eight counts:
The trial ran from January 6, 1948, until November 18, making it the second longest Nuremberg proceeding after the main International Military Tribunal trial. The tribunal returned its judgment on six of the eight counts between April 11 and 13, 1949, having dismissed count four during the trial, ruling it was beyond their jurisdiction, and dismissing count two for lack of evidence. It acquitted two of the defendants, but found the rest guilty on at least one charge.
Sentencing was announced on 13 April. The convicted defendants received terms ranging from 4 to 25 years. One defendant was sentenced to time served. The United States High Commissioner for Germany revised these sentences on January 31, 1951, however, reducing eight of the sentences to shorter terms or to time served.