The Nuremberg Trials
In October 1945, a tribunal of French, British, Russian, and American judges indicted twenty-four individuals for war crimes and atrocities committed during World War II. These charges included the instigation of war, the extermination of ethnic and religious groups, the murder and mistreatment of prisoners of war, and deportation of hundreds of thousands to slave labor in lands Germany occupied. A number of high-ranking members of the Nazi party were charged. The trial began on November 20, 1945. The persecution used much of the evidence that Allies discovered after the war.
Twelve defendants were sentenced to death by hanging, seven received lengthy prison sentences ranging from ten years to life, and three were acquitted. At the conclusion of the first trial, twelve additional trials occurred in which approximately 185 others were indicted, including doctors who performed medical experiments in concentration camps as well as SS officials.