The Nazi War Criminals Tried
During the Nuremberg Trials

The International Military Tribunal for the NAZI war criminals was opened on October 18, 1945, in the Supreme Court Building in Berlin. The prosecution entered indictments against 24 major war criminals.

The indictments against each of the 24 men were for:

1. Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of crime against peace
2. War crimes
3. Crimes against humanity
4. Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace

Each of the accused is described below along with the verdict of the trial against that person.

  • Martin Bormann - Successor to Hess as Nazi Party Secretary. He was sentenced to death in absentia. His remains remains were found in 1972.

  • Karl Dönitz- Sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. He was the leader of the Kriegsmarine from 1943. He was the initiator of the U-boat campaign and became President of Germany following Hitler's death. Dönitz was found guilty of breaching the 1936 Second London Naval Treaty.

  • Hans Frank - Sentenced to death. Frank was the Reich Law Leader from 1933 to 1945 and Governor-General of the General Government in occupied Poland 1939-1945.

  • Wilhelm Frick - Sentenced to death. Frick was Hitler's Minister of the Interior from 1933 to 1943 and Reich Protector of Bohemia-Moravia from 1943 to 1945. He authored the Nuremberg Race Laws.

  • Hans Fritzsche - Fritzsche was acquitted. Fritzsche was a popular radio commentator and head of the news division of the Nazi Propaganda Ministry. He was tried in place of Joseph Goebbels.

  • Walther Funk - Sentenced to life imprisonment. Funk was Hitler's Minister of Economics. He succeeded Schacht as head of the Reichsbank. Funk was released due to ill health on May 16, 1957.

  • Hermann Göring - Sentenced to death. Göring was Reichsmarschall, Commander of the Luftwaffe 1935-1945, Chief of the 4-Year Plan and several departments of the SS. He committed suicide the night before his execution.

  • Rudolf Hess - Sentenced to life imprisonment. Hess was Hitler's deputy and flew to Scotland in 1941 in attempt to broker peace with Great Britain. After thetrial, he was committed to Spandau Prison where he died in 1987.

  • Alfred Jodl - Sentenced to death. Jodl was Wehrmacht Generaloberst, Keitel's subordinate and Chief of the O.K.W.'s Operations Division from 1938 to 1945. He was subsequently exonerated by German court in 1953.

  • Ernst Kaltenbrunner - Sentenced to death. Kaltenbrunner was the highest surviving SS-leader. He was the Chief of RSHA, the central Nazi intelligence organ, from 1943 to 1945. Also, he commanded many of the Einsatzgruppen and several concentration camps.

  • Wilhelm Keitel - Sentenced to death. Keitel was head of Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) from 1938 to 1945.

  • Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach - Krupp, a major Nazi industrialist and C.E.O of Krupp A.G from 1912 to 1945 was medically unfit for trial. The prosecutors attempted to substitute his son Alfried (who ran Krupp for his father during most of the war) in the indictment, but the judges rejected this substitution. Alfried was tried in a separate Nuremberg trial for his use of slave labor.

  • Robert Ley - Ley was head of DAF, The German Labour Front. He committed suicide on October 25, 1945, before the trial began.

  • Baron Konstantin von Neurath - Sentenced to 15 years. Von Neurath was Minister of Foreign Affairs 1932-1938. Later, he was named Protector of Bohemia and Moravia 1939-43. He resigned in 1943 due to dispute with Hitler. He was released due to ill health on November 6, 1954.

  • Franz von Papen - Papen was acquitted. Papen was Chancellor of Germany in 1932 and Vice-Chancellor under Hitler in 1933-1934. He was ambassador to Austria 1934-38 and ambassador to Turkey 1939-1944. Although acquitted at Nuremberg, von Papen was reclassified as a war criminal in 1947 by a German de-Nazification court, and sentenced to eight years' hard labour. He was acquitted following appeal after serving two years.

  • Erich Raeder - sentenced to life imprisonment. Raeder was Commander In Chief of the Kriegsmarine from 1928 until his retirement in 1943. He was released due to ill health September 26, 1955.

  • Joachim von Ribbentrop - Sentenced to death. Ribbentrop was Ambassador-Plenipotentiary 1935-1936 and then Ambassador to the United Kingdom 1936-1938. He served as the Nazi Minister of Foreign Affairs 1938-1945.

  • Alfred Rosenberg - Sentenced to death. Rosenberg as a racial theory ideologist and later served as Minister of the Eastern Occupied Territories 1941-1945.

  • Fritz Sauckel - Sentenced to death. Sauckel was Gauleiter of Thuringia 1927-1945. He also served as the Plenipotentiary of the Nazi slave labor program 1942-1945.

  • Dr. Hjalmar Schacht - Schacht was acquitted. He was a prominent banker and economist. He was the pre-war president of the Reichsbank 1923-1930 & 1933-1938 and Economics Minister 1934-1937. He admitted to violating the Treaty of Versailles.

  • Baldur von Schirach - Sentenced to 20 years. Schirach was head of the Hitlerjugend from 1933 to 1940 and then Gauleiter of Vienna 1940-1943.

  • Arthur Seyss-Inquart - Sentenced to Death. Seyss-Inquart was instrumental in the Anschluss and briefly Austrian Chancellor in 1938. He was deputy to Frank in Poland 1939-1940. Later, he served as Reich Commissioner of the occupied Netherlands 1940-1945.

  • Albert Speer - Sentenced to 20 Years. Speer was Hitler's favorite architect and close friend, and the Minister of Armaments from 1942. In this capacity, he was ultimately responsible for the use of slave labourers from the occupied territories in armaments production.

  • Julius Streicher - Sentenced to death. Streicher served as Gauleiter of Franconia 1922-1945. He incited hatred and murder against the Jews through his weekly newspaper, Der Stürmer.

The death sentences were carried out Oct 16th 1946 by hanging using the standard drop method instead of long drop. The executioner was John C. Woods. The French judges suggested the use of a firing squad for the military condemned, as is standard for military courts-martial, but this was opposed by Biddle and the Soviet judges. These argued that the military officers had violated their military ethos and were not worthy of the firing squad, which was considered to be more dignified. The prisoners sentenced to incarceration were transferred to Spandau Prison in 1947.