Newsletter : 5fax1117.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Nov. 17, 1995, V3, #210
All the News the Big Guys Missed
For subscriptions or back issues, please contact POL management
New Book Discusses the Human Drama of Nuremberg Trials
By Nancy Beardsley (VOA-Washington)
When the UN established tribunals to investigate war crimes in the
former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, it had legal precedent in another
historic trial, launched 50 years ago this month.
On Nov. 20, 1945, A group of Nazi officials went before a newly
created international court in the German city of Nuremberg,
charged with the murder of millions of Jews and other minorities.
That court had no precedents to rely on--no established laws,
punishments, not even a clear justification for its existence.
American biographer and historian Joseph Persico details the
challenges faced by those who conducted the year-long trial--and
the legacy they left behind--in a book entitled "Nuremberg: Infamy
Joseph Persico was 15 years old when World War 2 ended and the
Nuremberg Trial began. Persico says one image would remain forever
etched in his memory from that time. It was a photograph of the
body of Nazi defendant Hermann Goering, who managed to swallow a
cyanide tablet just before his scheduled execution. That picture
first sparked his interest in the trial and eventually prompted him
to write a book, one that would examine Nuremberg in a new light:
"There are a number of excellent books on Nuremberg. The reaction
I came away with was that they were very solid legal treatises
dealing with the judicial controversies the trial aroused. What I
did not find in any of the literature on the trial was the human
drama that took place there in addition to the obvious contest of
prosecution versus defense. And that's the story I've tried to
Much of the drama grew out of the need to create an entire legal
system out of thin air. But there were smaller conflicts and
controversies as well--over official titles, lodgings, even
courtroom chair size--all of which caused dissension within
national delegations and among countries.
Persico also notes that those who conducted the Nuremberg trial had
to deal with charges they were relying on ex post facto law,
creating penalties for war crimes only after they'd been committed.
The legal machinery for such a trial is now written into the UN
charter--a lasting testimony to the energy and vision of those who
gathered at Nuremberg 50 years ago.
Amir Reenacts Assassination at Murder Scene
Yigal Amir reenacted the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak
Rabin after being brought to Yitzhak Rabin Square in Tel Aviv under
heavy guard Wednesday night. Passersby shouted words of
condemnation at the assassin.
Ha'aretz reports the police are likely to question more of Amir's
peers in the coming days in order to clarify whether he had other
partners who knew of his intentions or who helped plan the
The widening of the investigation comes in the wake of Wednesday's
arrest of Margalit Har-Shefi, 20, of Beit El, one of Yigal Amir's
friends who is also a law student at Bar-Ilan University.
Har-Shefi -- whose uncle is Zu Artzenu leader Rabbi Benny Elon --
is suspected of encouraging Amir to assassinate Rabin. Har-Shefi's
incarceration was extended by 12 days on Wednesday by a Petah
Tikvah magistrate court.
The newspaper quoted sources involved in the investigation as
saying that Har-Shefi knew of the plot from the outset and even
played a more active role. In requesting an extension of
Har-Shefi's incarceration, A police officer explained that "an
investigation which began with what was apparently an attack
carried out by a single assassin, has widened into the
investigation of the underground organization of several people the
size of an orderly, planned, and methodical organization."
Interior Minister Prevents Extremist's Entry into Israel
Interior Minister Ehud Barak has denied entry into for a member of
the extreme right Kach movement. Barak says he exercised authority
in accordance with the Law of Return and the Law of Entry to
extremists liable to breach the public peace and threaten the
country's security from entering Israel. The decision was accepted
in accordance with a detailed General Security Service report,
which began considering this issue several months ago
following consultations with professional and legal advisors.
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)