Telford Taylor describes Justice Case defendants

In the Justice Case of the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings, nine officials from the German Ministry of Justice and seven members of the Nazi-era People's and Special Courts were charged with “judicial murder and other atrocities, which they committed by destroying law and justice in Germany, and then utilizing the emptied forms of legal process for the persecution, enslavement and extermination on a large scale.” This footage shows US prosecutor Telford Taylor describing the defendants.


This case is unusual in that the defendants are charged with crimes committed in the name of the law. These men, together with their deceased or fugitive colleagues, were the embodiment of what passed for justice in the Third Reich. Most of the defendants have served, at various times, as judges, as state prosecutors, and as officials in the Reich Ministry of Justice. All but one are professional jurists. They are well accustomed to courts and courtrooms, while their present role may be new to them. But a court is far more than a courtroom. It is a process and a spirit. It is the house of law. This the defendants know or must have known in times past. I doubt that they ever forgot. Indeed, the root of the accusation in this case is that these men, leaders of the German judicial system, consciously and deliberately suppressed the law, engaged in an unholy masquerade of tyranny but disguised as justice, and converted the German judicial systems to an engine of despotism, conquest, pillage, and slaughter.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum
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