Human Rights after Hitler

Human Rights after Hitler : The Lost History of Prosecuting Axis War Crimes

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Human Rights after Hitler reveals thousands of forgotten US and Allied war crimes prosecutions against Hitler and other Axis war criminals based on a popular movement for justice that stretched from Poland to the Pacific. These cases provide a great foundation for twenty-first-century human rights and accompany the achievements of the Nuremberg trials and postwar conventions. They include indictments of perpetrators of the Holocaust made while the death camps were still operating, which confounds the conventional wisdom that there was no official Allied response to the Holocaust at the time. This history also brings long overdue credit to the United Nations' War Crimes Commission (UNWCC), which operated during and after World War II. Dan Plesch describes the commission's work and Washington's bureaucratic obstruction to a 1944 proposal to prosecute crimes against humanity before an international criminal court. From the 1940s until a recent lobbying effort by Plesch and colleagues, the UNWCC's files were kept out of public view in the UN archives under pressure from the US government. The book answers why the commission and its files were closed and reveals that the lost precedents set by these cases have enormous practical utility for prosecuting war crimes today. They cover US and Allied prosecutions of torture, including "water treatment," wartime sexual assault, and crimes by foot soldiers who were "just following orders." Plesch's book will fascinate anyone with an interest in the history of the Second World War as well as provide ground-breaking revelations for historians and human rights practitioners more

Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 27.94mm | 567g
  • Georgetown University Press
  • Washington, DC, United States
  • English
  • 11 Tables, unspecified; 7 Figures
  • 1626164312
  • 9781626164314
  • 306,662

About Dan Plesch

Dan Plesch is director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS, University of London. He is the author of America, Hitler and the UN, coeditor of Wartime Origins and the Future United Nations, and has been a frequent contributor to the Guardian and other more

Table of contents

Introduction1. Prosecuting Rape: The Modern Relevance of World War II Legal Practices2. A New Paradigm for Providing Justice for International Human Rights Violations3. When the Allies Condemned the Holocaust4. Pursuing War Criminals All Over th World5. The Holocaust Indictments: Prosecuting the "Foot Soldiers of Atrocity"6. Fair Trials and Collective Responsibility for Criminal Acts7. Crimes against Humanity: The "Freedom to Lynch" and the Indictments of Adolf Hitler8. Liberating the Nazis9. The Legacy UnleashedAppendixesIndexAbout the Authorshow more

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