Telford Taylor during Justice Case

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.” In this footage from the trial, US prosecutor Telford Taylor describes the nature of the crimes committed.


The indictment accuses these men of major responsibility for visiting upon mankind the most searing and catastrophic war in modern history. It accuses them of wholesale enslavement, plunder, and murder. The crimes with which these men are charged were not committed in rage or under the stress of sudden temptation. They were not the slips or lapses of otherwise well-ordered men. One does not build a stupendous war machine in a fit of passion, nor an Auschwitz factory during a passing spasm of brutality. What these men did was done with the utmost deliberation and would, I venture to surmise, be repeated if the opportunity should recur. There will be no mistaking the ruthless purposefulness with which the defendants embarked upon their course of conduct. That purpose was to turn the German nation into a military machine and build it into an engine of destruction so terrifyingly formidable that Germany could, by brutal threats and if necessary by war, impose her will and her dominion on Europe and later on other nations beyond the seas. In this arrogant and supremely criminal adventure, the defendants were eager and leading participants.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum
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