On January 9th, 1946, the prosecution of individuals continued as Mr. Roberts presented his case against Keitel and Jodl. Interrogated months earlier by Thomas Dodd, the prosecution attempted to elicit new knowledge. In his presentation, Roberts outlined Keitel’s actions of encouraging military preparations and war as described in “the Common Plan”. Mr. Robert demonstrated his detailed knowledge of the Common Plan (The conspiracy produced by the Führer that Germans were a superior race, and that war was a necessary and honorable act) by stating that Keitel, “participated in the planning and preparation for wars of
aggression and in violation of treaties, he executed the plans for wars of aggression and wars in violation of treaties, and he authorized and participated in War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity” [http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/01-09-46.asp#keitel accessed 1/04/2016].
Two days later, Lieutenant Colonel M. C. Griffith-Jones from the (United Kindgom) Junior Counsel presented the case against Julius Streicher. Streicher was indicted for crimes against humanity. Unlike Keitel, who promoted aggressive war, Streicher promoted the active hatred of those of Jewish decent bu others within the German citizenry. He further advocated for the extinction of the Jewish race. Griffith-Jones discussed how Streicher did this for 25 years and had become known by the nickname “Jew-baiter Number One”. The Lt. Colonel continued his description of the man as “an accessory to murder, perhaps on a scale never attained before” [http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/01-10-46.asp#streicher accessed 1/04/2016].
The next few days saw the presentation of the cases against the other Nazi criminals with Doenitz, Funk and Schacht coming after Streicher.
Additionally, individual depositions were introduced before the Tribunal to provide hard evidence that would later be used to demonstrate beyond doubt the villainy of the defendants. Intriguing and detailed testimony came from Dr. Franz Blaha, a former prisoner of Dachau, the concentration camp that held political leaders at the time. Dr. Blaha was questioned by none other than Thomas Dodd who related the forced involvement of Blaha with Dr. Sigmund Rascher and his medical procedures. Rasher’s experiments included the effects of liver puncture, cold weather, and air pressure on blameless prisoners. Blaha wrote, “Most of the prisoners used died from these experiments, from internal hemorrhage of the lungs or brain. The survivors coughed blood when taken out. It was my job to take the bodies out and as soon as they were found to be dead to send the internal organs to Munich
for study. About 400 to 500 prisoners were experimented on. The survivors were sent to invalid blocks and liquidated shortly afterwards. Only a few escaped” [http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/01-11-46.asp#blaha accessed 1/6/2016]
–Owen Doremus and Betsy Pittman
[Owen Doremus, a junior at Edwin O. Smith High School, is supporting this blog series with research and writing as part of an independent study.]
The majority of the letters from Tom Dodd to his wife Grace have been published and can be found in Letters from Nuremberg, My father’s narrative of a quest for justice. Senator Christopher J. Dodd with Lary Bloom. New York: Crown Publishing, 2007.
Images available in Thomas J. Dodd Papers.