Wilhelm Keitel (1882–1946) was Chief of Staff of the German Armed Forces High Command. Keitel was responsible for crimes committed by the armed forces while waging war and authorized the support and participation of German troops in these crimes, including the murder of the European Jews.
Keitel was found guilty on all four counts (conspiracy, crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity) and sentenced to death. He was hanged on October 16, 1946.
Critical Thinking Questions
- Explore how challenges to ethical behavior and leadership played out in the context of the Holocaust. How do these challenges confront us today?
- What pressures and motivations may have affected Keitel's choices before and during the war?
- How were various professions involved in implementing Nazi policies and ideology? Who was brought to trial after the Holocaust?
- Beyond the verdicts, what impact can trials have?
- The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg is among the best known postwar trials. Investigate trials conducted by other countries after the Holocaust.