26 January 2021

BOOK: Lorie CHARLESWORTH, The 'Minor' War Crimes Trials: A Socio-Legal Investigation of Victims' Justice (London: Wildy & Sons, 2021). ISBN 9780415598262, 105.00 GBP


(Source: Wildy & Sons)

Wildy & Sons has published a new book on the ‘minor’ war crimes trials held in occupied Germany and elsewhere from 1945-1948.


The Minor War Crimes Trials: A Socio-Legal History reconstructs the legal and military history of the 'minor' war crimes trials held in Occupied Germany and elsewhere from 1945-8. Although the International Military Tribunal held at Nuremberg, from the end of 1945, is extremely well known, there were in fact hundreds of trials of 'minor' so-called war criminals so called in Occupied Germany, liberated Europe and the Far East. But little is known about these trials: even their number remains uncertain, and they are still shrouded in mystery. This book remedies that lack: addressing why those trials began; their legal framework; the trial processes; where they failed; who investigated them; the role of the military; and why they stopped. Challenging orthodox accounts that there was no Holocaust-awareness in Allied prosecutions, the book reveals the extent to which these 'minor' trials involved a substantial contribution by Holocaust victims. Jewish and other witnesses confronted their abusers; and were an integral part of successful prosecutions. Detailing the extent and value of their contribution, this study of the minor war crimes trials thus serves as a counterweight to the now orthodox and widespread perception of Holocaust survivors as helpless, feeble and emaciated Jews.



Chapter 1: Law's history and victim's justice a neglected conjunction

Chapter 2: Setting contexts: the historical, political and administrative framework for British 'minor' war crimes trials

Chapter 3: Living justice: British soldiers investigating war crimes

Chapter 4 Justice observed: legal and other readings of the Belsen(-Auschwitz) Trial 1946

Chapter 5: Living a different story: 2 SAS investigating war crimes in Occupied German

Chapter 6: Distorting justice?: intelligence agencies' involvement in the Natzweitler Trial, 1946

Chapter 7: Experiencing law: war crimes investigations as human narrative

Chapter 8: Doctrinal law versus victims' justice: narratives of legal insecurity and Nazi law

Chapter 9: Socio-legal perspectives: theory's ahistorical fascination with Nazi 'jurisprudence' and 'legal' responses to German/Axis war crimes.


More info here

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