Hurry Up and Wait [70 Years After Nuremberg]

Nuremberg Palace

The end of February and beginning of March ushered in the end of the prosecution portion of the Trials at Nuremberg.  The Allied lawyers were wrapping up their presentations before the court and summing up the evidence in support of the indictments.  Meetings continued to alternate with time in the courtroom for Tom Dodd and the others but the focus was beginning to shift from prosecution to defense.  The overly long presentations of the prosecutors and grey weather fostered a feeling of depression and gloom–at least for Dodd.

Portion of a letter, 3/5/1946

Portion of a letter, 3/2/1946


Dinner parties, travel and socializing helped pass the time, but Dodd missed his family and the occasional trouble that Grace shared in her correspondence, when it arrived, only added to his general malaise [pp. 247-248, 3/2/1946].

The news that the prosecution was concluding their portion of the case provided a much needed lift.

Today we officially closed the case for the prosecution at 10:371/2 a.m. the day in court was taken up with the defense applications for witnesses.  Tomorrow will call for the same and by Thursday we will really be into the defense case. [p. 248, 3/4/1946]

The news came through that the defense would begin on Thursday, March 7th.

…Tribunal announced that the Göring defense would not begin tomorrow as announced but would begin as soon as we finish the examination of the defense application for witnesses.   Goring’s lawyer raised a fuss and said he could not be ready tomorrow. [p. 250, 3/6/1946]

Unfortunately, the defense requested more time and it was put off to the 8th, only to actually begin on the originally proposed date.

Portion of a letter, 3/7/1946

Portion of a letter, 3/7/1946

The beginning of the defense brought the vision of the end of his time in Germany that much closer. [p. 253, 3/7/1946]

–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.

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