November 21, 1945
US Prosecutor Jackson Delivers Opening Statement to International Military Tribunal
Robert H. Jackson delivers opening statement at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg.
In the summer of 1945, representatives of the victorious Allied nations—the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union—met in London to discuss the formation of an International Military Tribunal. The questions on the table were daunting: how and where such a court would convene, what the criminal charges would be, and which perpetrators would be put on trial. US President Harry S. Truman issued an executive order designating Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson to be the US representative and chief prosecutor.
The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated.
Robert H. Jackson