“The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated.”
With these commanding words, Robert H. Jackson, Chief Counsel for the United States, opened the War Crimes Tribunals at Nuremberg, Germany not long after the conclusion of World War II.
Empanelled to hold accountable military, political and judicial leaders for violations of international law… including war crimes, crimes against humanity and the law of war… the tribunals imposed personal accountability for genocide directed at Jews and others marked by the German state as a challenge to its declared racial, religious and political supremacy.
Although these offenses took many forms, at their core, each derived their evil from a common intersect that those targeted by the state for eradication were not just inferior, but unworthy of life itself… men, women and children, young and old, reduced to little more than objects of surreal derision whose mere existence contaminated the state’s supremacist lens.
There is no secret about the campaign of terror unleashed by the Third Reich as it swallowed states and triggered international violence unseen before or since. Nor are its tools of open warfare against military and civilians, alike, subject to any serious debate. While some choose to contest the number of…