War Crimes

Professor Setear

Spring 1999, University of Virginia Law School


The Nuremberg War-Crimes Trials


World War II Generally

Jump to a discussion of war-crimes trials generally.

Timeline: The History Place.  The History Place has a nice timeline relating to World War II.  (The European portion of World War II occurred between 1939 and 1945.  The timeline actually starts with 1919, but the page offers you the opportunity to jump immediately to any of the war years.) 

This timeline is especially suitable in connection with the Nuremberg trials for two reasons:

Prose: Grolier Online (Encyclopedia Americana).   You may prefer a prose description of World War II and pre-war events to a timeline thereof.  Grolier Online has a nice site devoted to World War II.  You should probably start with the site's brief summary of the whole war.  The site has a discussion of pre-war events that is fairly comprehensive.  If you are interested in learning more generally about World War II, there is an index page for the whole Grolier World War II site

Links: The History page of my Bookmarks pages.   The History page of my Bookmarks pages has a sub-section entitled "Specific Conflicts", and within that is a sub-sub-section entitled "World War II"; you may go there if you want a listing of a few more sites addressed generally to World War II.  You may also wish to look on the History page in the sub-section entitled "Photos and Maps" for a few visually oriented links addressed specifically to World War II.

Return to beginning of discussion on World War II.


War-Crimes Trials Generally

Nuremberg.  There is a very brief description of the goals and context of the Nuremberg trials at the History Net.

The History Place has a Web page about the Nuremberg trials.  For each of the twenty-two defendants, the page provides a brief biography and an extract from the judgment against (or in favor) of him.   Thanks to Jan, Jeff, and Peter for bringing this site to my attention!

There is also an article about the Nuremberg trials, apparently from World War II magazine, at The History Net.  The article  is journalistic but still useful.  It spends a fair amount of time on the various defendants, so you may find the middle section of the article redundant if you have already visited The History Place page mentioned in the paragraph above. 

Other war-crimes trials.  Shortly after the Nuremberg trials, the International Military Tribunal for the Far East conducted war-crimes trials in Tokyo of high-ranking Japanese officials.  The History Net has an article about the Tokyo war-crimes trials.  You may also read what appears to be a private individual's extended argument that the Tokyo trials were a failure. (That page is part of a larger site addressed to Japanese war crimes; I found that site on the Yahoo page about Japanese war crimes.) 

After the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials, decades elapsed without a major international war-crimes tribunal.  The late 1990s, however, saw such tribunals convened by the United Nations both for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda.  The UN's International Law page has links to both tribunals--as well as to links related to the International Criminal Court, an effort to constitute a standing international court with general jurisidiction over war crimes.   In the news in March of 1999 are proposals to create an international tribunal for Cambodia similar to those created by the UN for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

The Grolier Online site has an article about war crimes, which is not limited to international war-crimes trials.   The article covers the entire history of war crimes and so is a bit long for an on-line document, but you may find it useful nonetheless.

Note also that domestic tribunals, not merely international tribunals, may conduct war-crimes trials.  I've compiled a brief (and doubtlessly incomplete) list of contemplated or on-going war-crimes trials in domestic courts as of early 1999.


Return to beginning of discussion of war-crimes trials generally.

Return to beginning of discussion on World War II.


Feel free to visit the home pages for The History Place, Grolier Online, The History Net, Yahoo, or the United Nations.

(And even if you don't, be grateful to them for providing their various services to everyone via the World Wide Web.)


For corrections, comments, and questions, please e-mail John Setear.

This page was last updated on 09/06/99.