The Nuremberg Legacy in the New Millenium

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Genocide Perspectives IV, 2012, 1, pp. 234 - 271
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The 19451946 trial of major German perpetrators before the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg has often been called the greatest trial in history. More than the prominence the major protagonists, the principles at stake guaranteed its historical importance. For the very first time the entrenched principles of state sovereignty and raison détat came under challenge. In Nuremberg, state functionaries faced prosecution stripped of the impunity that had hitherto attached to state crimes. And they were forced to answer for actions that had hitherto self-evidently constituted prerogatives of a sovereign state, above all starting wars and massacring their own subjectsactions now declared so felonious as to attract the ultimate penalty. Nor were the orders of state functionaries any longer able to shield perpetrators from criminal liability.
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