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The Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials: A…
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The Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials: A Personal Memoir

by Telford Taylor

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1684111,848 (3.84)4
In 1945, the Allied nations agreed on a judicial process, rather than summary execution, to determine the fate of the Nazis following the end of World War II. Held in Nuremberg, the ceremonial birthplace of the Nazi Party, the British, American, French, and Soviet leaders contributed both judges and prosecutors to the series of trials that would prosecute some of the most prominent politicians, military leaders and businessmen in Nazi Germany. This is the definitive history of the Nuremberg crimes trials by one of the key participants, Telford Taylor, the distinguished lawyer who was a member of the American prosecution staff and eventually became chief counsel. In vivid detail, Taylor portrays the unfolding events as he "saw, heard, and otherwise sensed them at the time, and not as a detached historian working from the documents might picture them." Taylor describes personal vendettas among the Allied representatives and the negotiations that preceded the handing down of sentences. The revelations have not lost their power over the decades: The chamber is reduced to silence when an SS officer recounts impassively that his troops rounded up and killed 90,000 Jews, and panic overcomes the head of the German State Bank as it becomes clear that he knew his institution was receiving jewels and other valuables taken from the bodies of concentration camp inmates. The Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials has proven to be a defining piece of World War II literature, an engrossing and reflective eyewitness account of one of the most significant events of our century.… (more)

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If you want to read your way to a comprehensive understanding of the Nuremberg trials this is a must read. Not a big fan of Taylor and his world view as an internationalist but his insight into the people and process at the trials is primary material. ( )
  Chris_El | Mar 19, 2015 |
The author was a member of the American Prosecution staff at the International Military Tribunal that was held in Nuremberg in 1945-6 with the purpose of judging major Nazi war criminals. The book, as the subtitle states, is a personal description of the trial, including its pre-history, that is, the negotiations between the Allies in the last part of the War that resulted in the decision of constituting the IMT and helding the trials (largely an American idea) instead of some other methods of dealing with the emprisioned Nazi top leadership (such as shooting them without trial, as Churchill defended, or prosecuting them in national courts). The problems and frictions encontered in drafting the Charter of the IMT, the Indictements, and the selection of the defendants is covered in detail in the first fourth of the book. The remaining deals with the trial itself. What makes this a very interesting book is that it not only describes the public part of the trial but also the backstage, and even some developments that would probably never been known if the author had not been himself personaly involved in the works. Near the end of the trial the author was made Chief U.S. Prosecutor for the ensuing war crimes trials that took place in Nurember for the next three years. It would have be interesting to read his account of those ones. ( )
  FPdC | May 24, 2010 |
Excellent. Taylor has an even hand between claims of "victors' justice" and just retribution.
  lklusek | Feb 1, 2008 |
Not exactly a book to take to the beach, but this is a fascinating look at the Nuremberg trials. The diaries of Dr. Gilbert might provide more insight into the defendants, but this book goes behind the scenes of how the trials worked and the incredible struggle just to pull them off. ( )
  ardh | Dec 4, 2005 |
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