- Paperback: 704 pages
- Publisher: Texas A&M University Press; Revised edition (September 1, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0870744372
- ISBN-13: 978-0870744372
- Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #947,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Tyranny on Trial: The Trial of the Major German War Criminals at the End of the World War II at Nuremberg Germany 1945-1946 (Revised Edition) Revised Edition
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CRIMES, INCREDIBLE AND UNBELIEVABLE Tyranny on Trial: The Evidence at Nuremberg. By Whitney R. Harris. Illustrated. 607 pp. Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press. By Saul K. Padover. This is one of those books that are heart-rending to read and perilous to ignore... Solidly documented, it is probably the first complete historical and legal analysis of the Nuremberg trial and, in view of the nature of the subject, should be considered a book of enduring importance.
For this revised edition, Harris has added a new section on justice after Nuremberg, bringing the precedent of Nuremberg through the intervening years to the adoption of the permanent International Criminal Court with the Rome Treaty of 1998. -- The New York Times Book Review September 12, 1954 Vol. LIX - No. 37 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
What did I gain from this book? First hand accounts from the Trials of the war crimes and crimes against humanity that occurred on the part of Germany during World War II. I've read other books on World War II and accounts from survivors of concentration camps. I've also visited the US Holocaust Memorial in Washington DC and WWII exhibits at other museums. This book had just as much emotional impact because it used extensive quotes from the Trials themselves from the people who committed the crimes and their victims. In addition, I gained a deeper understanding of some of the other aspects of Germany's behavior leading up to and at the beginning of WWII. For example, while I knew that Germany had taken over Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia and other countries, I did not have a true understanding of the duplicitous actions and downright lies on the part of the German leaders that led these countries to feel safe while at the same time Germany was preparing for aggressive action. Actually reading the first hand testimony given by the war criminals had a great deal of impact.
There are a number of rather graphic photographs both of concentration camps and of the war criminals after execution, but this is expected in a book like this. The book also makes extensive use of transcripts from the Trials and of other reports gathered by the prosecuting countries in preparation for the Trials which cause the pace of the book to be rather slow at times. It is also clearly written with a bias towards the United States, but this makes sense because of the type of book it is. I also found myself thinking of this book as a summary of all of the trial information rather than as a historical book standing on its own.
Overall, I would recommend this book mainly to those interested in learning in detail about what the defendants in the Nuremburg Trials were convicted of and why. It is not fun or light reading but serious reading presented in a style that requires you to pay a great deal of attention.
Doing so was anything but easy, Indeed, achieving a fair result that would literally convince the watching world of the guilt of the participants in the war was anything but easy, and moving toward that deliberate goal is a theme providing an interesting theme punctuating the pace of the book. Churchill wanted revenge by way of summary trials and quick retribution, while the Russians just wanted to string up the whole group in a mass hanging. Yet American Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson was able to resolve the differences well enough to proceed, although at times the reader wonders if the trials will be anything like the fair-minded judicial event he has in mind. Indeed, the back-stabbing, personal ambitions, and petty jealousies of the various factions, trial officials, and individual defendants becomes a kind of political circus that sometimes resembles nothing so much as vaudevillian showboating.
Still, the efforts at conducting a fair and open forum for the world to watch as the prosecution and defense teams clashed before the international tribunal prevailed, and the trials concluded with mixed results in terms of the results. Most of the defendants were found guilty, and many were hanged. Yet few observers doubted that the defendants had had their day in court along with and adequate opportunity to defend their actions to a watching world. Given how little justice and liberty they collectively allowed for their tens of millions of victims, it is remarkable just how civilized and dignified a proceeding the Nuremberg trials were, with all their theatrics and subterranean undercurrents.
One marvels at the fact that after fifty years the world still stands in awe at the deliberate, careful, and methodical way in which the Allies achieved the result of a rational and fair trial of the defendants in history's most horrific modern nightmare, the terror of the Third Reich. This is an interesting and absorbing book, and a fascinating and entertaining book to read. It was also particularly interesting to me because it explores the lives of each of the defendants in looking at their individual guilt. I recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about these singular trials and their impact on history