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Crimes of the Holocaust

The Law Confronts Hard Cases

By Stephan Landsman

Publication Year: 2011

The problem of prosecuting individuals complicit in the Nazi regime's "Final Solution" is almost insurmountably complex and has produced ever less satisfying results as time has passed. In Crimes of the Holocaust, Stephan Landsman provides detailed analysis of the International Military Tribunal prosecution at Nuremberg in 1945, the Eichmann trial in Israel in 1961, the 1986 Demanjuk trial in Israel, and the 1990 prosecution of Imre Finta in Canada. Landsman presents each case and elaborates the difficulties inherent in achieving both a fair trial and a measure of justice in the aftermath of heinous crimes. In the face of few historical and legal precedents for such war crime prosecutions, each legal action relies on the framework of its predecessors. However, this only compounds the problematic issues arising from the Nuremberg proceedings.

Meticulously combing volumes of testimony and documentary information about each case, Landsman offers judicious and critical assessments of the proceedings. He levels pointed criticism at numerous elements of this relatively recent judicial invention, sparing neither judges nor counsel and remaining keenly aware of the human implications. Deftly weaving legal analysis with cultural context, Landsman offers the first rigorous examination of these problematic proceedings and proposes guideposts for contemporary tribunals. Crimes of the Holocaust is an authoritative account of the Gordian knot of genocide prosecution in the world courts, which will persist as a confounding issue as we are faced with a trial of Saddam Hussein. This volume will be compelling reading for legal scholars as well as laypersons interested in these cases and the issues they address.

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

Series: Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights


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pp. c-ii

Title Page

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pp. iii-iii

Copyright Page

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pp. iv-vi

Table of Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

In the face of the horrors of the Second World War, the international community struggled to come to grips with a radically new crime: genocide-the deliberate attempt to exterminate an entire people. This book traces the world's halting development of a courtroom response to the Nazis' effort to destroy all of Europe's Jews in what has come to be ...

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1: Nuremberg

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pp. 1-55

The prosecution of Nazi war crimes and crimes against humanity con ducted at Nuremberg, Germany, in 1945-46 was unprecedented, both in the magnitude of the crimes it sought to address and in the international nature of the tribunal, the scope of its investigation, and the open character of the proceedings. Although crucial aspects of procedure ...

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2: Eichmann

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pp. 56-109

On May 23, 1960, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion appeared before the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, and announced: "It is my duty to inform you that a short time ago the security services apprehended one of the most infamous Nazi criminals, Adolf Eichmann, who was responsible, together with the Nazi leadership, for what they called 'the "Final ...

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3: John Demjanjuk and Ivan the Terrible

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pp. 110-172

In 1986, a quarter-century after the Eichmann trial, Israel once again undertook the prosecution of a Holocaust perpetrator: John Demjanjuk, whom some survivors of Treblinka identified as "Ivan the Terrible." Ivan the Terrible was not, like Eichmann, a bureaucrat involved in planning the "Final Solution." Ivan the Terrible had earned his name by ...

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4: lmre Finta

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pp. 173-239

In 1987, Canada passed a law enabling the government to prosecute per sons charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity committed beyond Canadian borders. The first trial under the new law was that of Imre Finta, a Hungarian who, as a member of the gendarmerie, had participated in the 1944 concentration and deportation of the Jewish ...

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5: Prospects for the Prosecution of Genocide Perpetrators

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pp. 240-274

Are disasters like Demjanjuk and Finta idiosyncratic, or do they suggest more widespread and fundamental flaws in Nuremberg-style prosecutions of heinous crimes? Ever since Nuremberg, the world has generally accepted the legitimacy of prosecuting those who commit such crimes. The proceedings at Nuremberg and in Eichmann shared some important ...


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pp. 275-294


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pp. 295-304


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pp. 305-305

E-ISBN-13: 9780812202571
Print-ISBN-13: 9780812238471

Page Count: 320
Publication Year: 2011

Series Title: Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights
Series Editor Byline: Bert B. Lockwood, Jr., Series Editor See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 607578478
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Crimes of the Holocaust