After the defeat of Germany, the Allies tried leading state and party officials and military commanders of the Third Reich before a tribunal of military judges from the Soviet Union, Great Britain, France, and the United States. This International Military Tribunal tried 22 major war criminals during what is commonly known as the Nuremberg Trial, which lasted from November 1945 to October 1946. This footage shows the accused entering pleas following their indictment on charges of crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Hjalmar Schacht, Franz von Papen, and Hans Fritzsche were acquitted by the tribunal. Twelve of the defendants, including Hermann Göring, Wilhelm Keitel, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and Ernst Kaltenbrunner, were sentenced to death. Others served prison terms ranging from ten years to life in prison.
Hermann Göring: Before I answer the question of the tribunal whether or not I am guilty...
I informed the Court that defendants were not entitled to make a statement. You must plead guilty or not guilty.
Göring: I declare myself in the sense of the Indictment not guilty.
Rudolf Hess: No
That will be entered as a plea of not guilty.
Wilhelm Keitel: I declare myself not guilty.
Joachim von Ribbentrop: I declare myself in the sense of the Indictment not guilty.
Alfred Rosenberg: I declare myself in the sense of the Indictment not guilty.
Julius Streicher: Not guilty.
Walter Funk: I declare myself not guilty.
Hjalmar Schacht: I am not guilty in any respect.
Alfred Jodl: For what I have done or had to do, I have pure conscience before God, before history and my people.
Franz von Papen: I declare myself in no way guilty.
Constantin von Neurath: I answer the question in the negative.
Hans Fritzsche: As regards this Indictment, not guilty.
We would like to thank Crown Family Philanthropies and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of all donors.