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Capitalism's victor's Justice? The hidden story of the prosecution of industrialists post-WWll

Baars, G. (2013). Capitalism's victor's Justice? The hidden story of the prosecution of industrialists post-WWll. In: Heller, K. J. & Simpson, G. (Eds.), The Hidden Histories of War Crimes Trials. (pp. 163-192). Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199671144.003.0008


This chapter analyses the trials of industrialists at the US Military Tribunals at Nuremberg for their roles in the Nazis' aggressive wars and the Holocaust. The chapter is organized as follows. Section II examines the Allied consensus on the nature of World War II as imperialist; on the role of the industrialists in Hitler's aggressive war; the formulation of the ‘economic case’; and the indictment, trial, and judgment at the International Military Tribunal. Section III traces the post-World War II turnaround in US foreign and economic policy and its impact on US political and economic involvement in Europe. Section IV shows how this turnaround manifested itself in the conduct and outcomes of the trials of the industrialists at Nuremberg. Section V compares the US trials to the largely forgotten post-World War II international trials of industrialists by the French, British, and Soviet military tribunals, and with the decision of the Military Tribunal for the Far East not to indict Japanese zaibatsu leaders. Finally, Section VI connects the aftermath of the trials, the ‘McCloy clemency’, and subsequent reinstatement of most of the industrialists to their former positions, with contemporary debates around international criminal law, the economic causes of conflict, and ‘corporate impunity’.

Publication Type: Book Section
Publisher Keywords: Nuremberg trials; war crimes trials; military tribunals; international criminal law; German industrialists; economic policy; foreign policy; United States
Subjects: D History General and Old World
K Law
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
The City Law School > International Law and Affairs Group
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