The Instigator
Grape
Pro (for)
Winning
32 Points
The Contender
angel-of-death
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points

The Nuremberg Trials: Just or Unjust?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Grape
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/24/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 19,939 times Debate No: 10936
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (5)

 

Grape

Pro

Resolved: That the Nuremberg Trials were not a true application of justice, but rather one that was heavily biased in favor of the victorious.

As Pro, I will assume the burden of proof. However, I would still expect my opponent to argue in favor of the Nuremberg trials as well as offering counterarguments to my statements. This will follow the normal 3 round debate format. My arguments in support of the resolution are as follows:

1. The charges pressed against the defense were created In Post Facto, meaning that they were created after the acts had already been committed. At the time that the German officials on trial committed the various atrocities for which they were charged, no international law specifically banned their actions. The prosecution was therefore able to construct their charges to maximize the rate of conviction. Most national legal codes, including the law of the United States, stipulate that a crime must have been illegal at the time the act was committed in order to charges to be pressed.

2. The Nuremberg Trials were meant only the punish Germans and not all those who had committed reprehensible acts during the war. Given that the charges were created after the crimes, it is suspicious that not of the questionable actions undertaken by the Allies were brought up. Both sides bombed large numbers of civilians, a notable example of this being the firebombing of Dresden by Allied forces. This was notably left out of the definition of both "crimes against humanity" and "war crimes" though it can easily be seen as either. It follows from this that the court was not interested in punishing actual crimes that had been committed, but simply in punishing the German leadership.

3. The record of the members of the court on carrying out justice was far from clean. Iona Nikitchenko was one of the Soviet judges at Nuremberg. He also presided over some of the most notorious of the 'show trials' used by Stalin to convict his enemies during the Great Purge. This history of a complete contempt for justice does not reflect well on what intent there would have been for Nikitchenko's role in the Nuremberg trials.

4. The main indictments of the Nuremberg Trials have not charged against nations of the winning side in following years. There is now a clear precedent for pressing charges of war crimes, aggression, and conspiracy against peace, but these charges have notably not been pressed against many world leaders. Noam Chomsky summed it up by saying, "If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged." The crimes pressed against the Germans during the Nuremberg trials have been committed by the United States numerous times since then, notably in the cases of Vietnam. The beginning of the war was certainly an act of aggression and the Strategic Hamlet Program, though far more benign than the Holocaust, was still a crime against humanity. Even if this specific example cannot be accepted, for every one that is struck down another can but brought up. Despite this, US and British government officials remain uncharged for any such crimes. It follows that when the charges were being brought against the Germans, Allied officials had no intention of these charges ever being brought against their own nations.

Conclusion:

Considering the historical context and legacy of the Nuremberg Trials, it is hard to believe that they were meant to be just at all. They were not fair to the defendants, and equally importantly they did not treat both sides equally. Though I do not deny the fact that many of the Nazis were terrible and deserved their punishment, the trials were nonetheless carried out in a way that was unfair to them. More importantly, many crimes just as terrible as theirs went unpunished because they were committed by the winning side.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org... - Wikipedia article providing general information on the Nuremberg Trails which repeats some of my criticisms.

http://en.wikipedia.org... - Wikipedia article providing information about the Strategic Hamlet Project in Vietnam. It notable omits the fact that a large number of people died as a result of this project, as discussed by Noam Chomsky in "Imperial Ambitions."

http://www.brainyquote.com... - The quote from Chomsky was found here.

http://en.wikipedia.org... - Wikpedia article provides information about the show trails of Stalin.

http://avalon.law.yale.edu... - This is a very detailed and unbiased assessment of the trial conducted at Yale Law School.
angel-of-death

Con

i believe that they are unjust because of what happened in the past i will further my info when i am done researching thank you
Debate Round No. 1
Grape

Pro

I'm sorry if my position on the topic was unclear. The topic of the debate "Just or Unjust" was just that, a topic. By listing my position as Pro, I meant that I was supporting my own resolution that they were an example of 'victor's justice' and thus 'unjust.' The position of Pro meant that the burden of proof was on me to defend that the trials were unjust since the idea that they were just is the more mainstream opinion. I did not mean to falsely imply that I meant the trials were just. If you believe, as you stated, that they were unjust than you have just agreed with my position. Not to be rude, but you should have my resolution as well as the title. In fact, had you read my arguments you would plainly be able to see that I was not supporting the Nuremberg Trials. In the future I will try to be more clear in my wording as this was my first debate.

Conclusion:

My opponent has agreed with my position. Therefore I have won the debate.
angel-of-death

Con

i hereby forfit this debate and proclaim my oppoent as the winner based on my lack of understanding on this topic he has opposed.
Debate Round No. 2
Grape

Pro

I believe it is necessary for you to formally forfeit the debate in some way. Otherwise please just post something for the third round so the debate can be concluded.
angel-of-death

Con

srry didnt know how to forfit the debate
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Demosthenes 7 years ago
Demosthenes
They didn't deserve a trial at all, they deserved to be taken to the roof of the tallest remaining building in Berlin, shot, thrown off the roof, and hung in public til their bodies rotted away.
Posted by Grape 7 years ago
Grape
I see. Is it normal here to vote in your own debate or not? I think here it is safe to say I won all seven points but I see how this could be abused.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Well, the debate was a bit dissapointing. It was a good topic, though. Grape, you should re-post this argument in a new debate.
Posted by angel-of-death 7 years ago
angel-of-death
NAILS i am a PF deabter in high school for two and a half years and therefore am not a noob i just did not understand the topic as well as my oppoent and to prove this i would like to challenge u to a debate and would like it if u would look at the other debate that myself and my oppoent grapes are in and take a look that you very much...................
Posted by angel-of-death 7 years ago
angel-of-death
hopefully our other debate goes better
Posted by angel-of-death 7 years ago
angel-of-death
dose not mater
Posted by angel-of-death 7 years ago
angel-of-death
sorry i read it wrong my fault
Posted by Grape 7 years ago
Grape
Technically speaking I'm also a noob myself, this is my first debate. It seems to me that he just forfieted the first round, effectively. I suggest to angel of death that in the future you accept a debate and then post a comment with that information since you have unfortunately wasted the round.
Posted by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
It's a shame that this debate got hijacked by a noob. Hopefully you'll be able to have an intelligent discussion on this in the future, Grape.
Posted by angel-of-death 7 years ago
angel-of-death
first*
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by TheSeeker 7 years ago
TheSeeker
Grapeangel-of-deathTied
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Vote Placed by lambda 7 years ago
lambda
Grapeangel-of-deathTied
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Vote Placed by Kahvan 7 years ago
Kahvan
Grapeangel-of-deathTied
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Vote Placed by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Grapeangel-of-deathTied
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Vote Placed by tochter_aus_elysium 7 years ago
tochter_aus_elysium
Grapeangel-of-deathTied
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Total points awarded:70