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Aerial view of the Nuremberg Palace of Justice, where the International Military Tribunal tried 22 leading German officials for war crimes. Nuremberg, Germany, November 1945.
During the Nuremberg Trial, American guards maintain constant surveillance over the major Nazi war criminals in the prison attached to the Palace of Justice. Nuremberg, Germany, November 1945.
The defendants listen as the prosecution begins introducing documents at the International Military Tribunal trial of war criminals at Nuremberg. November 22, 1945.
Defendant Adolf Eichmann takes notes during his trial in Jerusalem in 1961.
Leading German officials were tried before the International Military Tribunal (IMT) in Nuremberg, Germany. The IMT consisted of judges from Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States. The overwhelming majority of post 1945 war crimes trials, however, involved lower-level officials and officers. Among them were concentration camp guards and commandants, police officers, members of the mobile killing squads, and doctors who participated in medical experiments. These war criminals were tried by military courts in the British, American, French, and Soviet zones of occupied Germany and Austria; and in Italy. Others were tried by the courts of those countries where they had committed their crimes. Many war criminals were never brought to trial or punished.
Ben was born in a small village in the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania in Romania. When he was an infant, his family moved to the United States. Ben attended Harvard University, where he studied criminal law. Ben graduated from Harvard University Law School in 1943. He joined a US anti-aircraft artillery battalion that was training in preparation for an Allied invasion of western Europe. At the end of World War II in Europe, Ben was transferred to the war crimes investigation branch of the US Army. He was charged with gathering evidence against and apprehending alleged Nazi war criminals. He ultimately became chief US prosecutor in The Einsatzgruppen Case of the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings.
In the 1980s and 1990s, historian Peter Black worked for the US Department of Justice Office of Special Investigations, as part of a team tracking and prosecuting suspected war criminals. Black later served as the Senior Historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
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