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The Nuremberg and Tokyo War Crimes Trials: History and Legacy

Evening Program

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Code: 1H0317

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Defendants in the dock at the International Military Tribunal trial of war criminals in Nuremberg, 1945

In 1945, the victors of World War II took the unprecedented step to hold the vanquished leaders of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan responsible for criminal acts of war, including torture and systematic murder carried out by their war machines. Military Tribunals in Nuremburg and Tokyo set new standards for crimes against humanity but their success was not pre-ordained. Their stories—which include elements of intrigue—reveal how new rules were negotiated and applied in an attempt to establish legal proceedings that the world would view as fair. By their conclusion, these riveting trials became a turning point between classical and contemporary law, setting new standards for war crimes and crimes against humanity and leading to the creation of the International Criminal Court. 

Tonight, Judge Evan Wallach explores the history of these trials and their enduring impact on the world.


S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)