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The Nuremberg Trial

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  479 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews

“Fascinating. . . . The Tusas’ book is one of the best accounts I have read.” —The New York Times

Here is a gripping account of the major postwar trial of the Nazi hierarchy in World War II. The Nuremberg Trial brilliantly recreates the trial proceedings and offers a reasoned, often profound examination of the processes that created international law. From the whimpering
Kindle Edition, 512 pages
Published (first published September 1st 1984)
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Jul 17, 2013 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Actually by Ann Tusa and John Tusa)
Published in the 80ies, with access to huge archives which included films of the proceedings, this may be the best general interest book on the subject. Not sure. I've only read one other and this was much better. The Tusas are British, he a Czech immigrant who became a BBC news reporter. At first I was a bit put off with the Britishisms (like the "curate's egg") but also because they criticized the American prosecutors and lauded the British...but after awhil
Oct 18, 2016 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: third-reich
Of the ten plus books I have read on the Nuremberg Trials I would consider this once the best researched and most authoritative.It loses a star for the beginning which tends to drag and contains a bit of superfluous detail,however once we reach the trial itself it becomes a much more absorbing read.A reader with a more casual interest in the topic might prefer a smaller overview of the process which can be found in a number of other books.

Considering how many World War II books I have read, it's surprising that I went into this knowing virtually nothing about the Nuremberg Trials. And after this book, I don't think I'll need to revisit it.

This was detailed, to the point of exhaustive. The audiobook is about 26 hours long, but doesn't really get bogged down in detail - at least for me.

Bullet point time:
• Very clear depiction of the attitudes of all the defendants and council, but without spending too much time on the character
Jan 07, 2015 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Nuremberg Trial was, and remains, an interesting and unique experiment in international justice. It was not intended simply as a trial of 22 Nazi defendants - in many ways it was not about them as individuals at all, but what they represented. It was an attempt to put the entire Nazi system on trial, the individuals and the organisations they were part of, from the Wehrmacht to the SA, the SS and the German Cabinet, the Navy and the Luftwaffe, the Hitler Youth and the diplomatic service. It ...more
Jul 25, 2015 Betsy rated it really liked it
A good overview of the Nuremberg Trial with lots of details. Unfortunately, serious proofreading was needed for the electronic version. I enjoyed reading about some of prominent judges and defendants, and learning about the lesser known defendants. This was a black period in human history, but this trial made some effort to see that it did not happen again.
May 17, 2012 Converse rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, history, law
This book about the first Nuremberg trial was originally published in 1983. The authors cover not just the trial itself, but why a trial was held and why it took the form it did.

The British, American, and Soviet governments had some difficulty in deciding what to do with any leading members of the National Socialist Party or German government that they captured. This difficulty did not affect German nationals accused of war crimes restricted to particular occupied nations, as the accused could b
Michael Scott

Overall, a good but too long read for everyone interested in the Nuremberg Trials. Too detailed for the amateur, too wordy and opinionated for the expert.

+ comprehensive account of the Nuremberg Trial of the 22 prime Nazi accused and of 7 Nazi-related organizations
+++ draws mayerial from the 22 published volumes of the transcripts of the proceedings
+++ politics : authors show good evidence that this was not a show trial, despite political pressure (including ruthless Russian desire to k
Peter N.
Sep 25, 2013 Peter N. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely superb (and spell-binding) account by husband-and-wife team. Often they draw on their interviews of then-living players (I think the first edition came out in the late 70's, and it's been up-dated). Heavy emphasis on primary sources; well-sourced and well-structured (and helpful pix, readable even in e version).

I'm glad I took my time and didn't rush, and I recommend others do the same. Many dramatic or chilling events pop up when you least expect them. I especially, as a lawyer, appr
Tariq Mahmood
Was the Nuremberg trial of Nazi leadership merely 'victor's justice' of was it an attempt to base line international law against war crimes by rogue nations? I think this book has proven that the whole exercise was designed to portray some level of impartial justice by the victorious Allies and to establish a moral high ground for generations to come. Subsequent world events have proven that the freedom to be right belongs only to the West, leaving the rest of the world opinion as mere noise. So ...more
Claudia Moscovici
Prosecuting War Crimes: Review of The Nuremberg Trial by Ann and John Tusa

How do you punish the perpetrators of the biggest genocide in human history? Do they deserve a fair trial, which their millions of victims never got? These are some of the questions the Allies debated during and after WWII. They were eventually resolved by the Nuremberg Trial, which Ann and John Tusa describe in vivid detail in their book by the same name (The Nuremberg Trial, New York: Atheneum, 1986). Several options wer
Roger L.
Feb 07, 2015 Roger L. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In deference to the other comments placed here, I did not know that the authors were British. I find prior knowledge like that tends to bias one from the true, inherent qualities of the book. My copy was also riddled with typographical errors which I attributed to problems with digital transcription - again, nothing to do with the actual content of the book (and at no time was I unable to understand the intended word or context).

We hear of the Nuremburg Trials, younger generations today, perhaps
Dec 12, 2015 Barb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The trials at Nuremberg of the major Nazi war criminals post World War II provided the final punctuation to a grizzly period in human history. This book is not a rehashing of the horrors inflicted by Hitler and his minions on the population of Europe and Asia; it is an account of the efforts of the victorious nations (United States, England, France, and Russia) to create a new category of tribunal to address crimes on a global level.

Tusa has compiled a detailed account of the problems involved i
Christy Gyger
Jan 01, 2016 Christy Gyger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up The Nuremberg Trial in an effort to understand the men who committed the atrocities in Nazi Germany, and how their self-deception was so complete that they (mostly) never defected from loyalty to their Fuhrer. It's conceivable to accept that one man was a genocidal maniac, but accepting that an entire regime of them existed proves much more difficult to swallow.
This book, a technical and academic account of the trial from conception to legacy, was alternatively fascinating and abho
Steve Caldwell
May 22, 2016 Steve Caldwell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a history buff, anything about WW2 has always fascinated me. What were the people who committed these atrocities thinking? Well, in this well researched and thorough examination of the trial of these sad degenerate men's defense at the Wholly unprecedented Nurenmberg military tribunal, we get a look the precursor to the World Court. You get an in depth look at the thought process behind the trial, the idea that it couldn't just be a kangaroo court, but a real, fair judicial process that had a ...more
Oct 10, 2014 Jeff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was set to give this book a 4. It was very informative and interesting. However, I deducted one star because the British authors were so horribly biased in their writing. As best as could be learned from their book, the Russians and French were only incidental actors at Nuremberg and served little purpose other than to emphasize the competence and effectiveness of the Brits. And their frequent comments about how the Americans, French, or Russians "screwed up" and it was "left to the British to ...more
Matt Hartzell
Oct 22, 2010 Matt Hartzell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History Buffs
Shelves: history
Tusa's extensive look at the Nuremberg Trials was an interesting read. She spent a lot of time looking at each defendant, which I appreciated. She also adequately described the processes and procedures that took place during this very important event in the formation of international law. I think Tusa gave as broad a look at the trials as is possible.

The one downside is that the book is fairly lengthy, and I found myself struggling at times to finish it. I'm not sure if Tusa can be blamed for th
Aug 07, 2013 PAЯTHAИ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german
The Nuremberg Trial was the last act of Second World War followed by Spandau Prison. Also this was the last thing Allies and Russians did together. Here we can see the painstaking preparation of evidences, tackling language problems, unifying 5 different judicial systems ( American, French, British, Russian and German)and an year long procedure in the devastated country ( 20 November 1945 - 1 October 1946). A marvellous book to know about the Joint Trial of War Criminals by the Victors (Which ha ...more
Oct 28, 2015 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fairly comprehensive look at the Nuremberg Trials which starts with the initial discussions about what to do after the War. Interesting to see the wrangling and the differences of opinions. The winners wanted to advance International Law, and it set a precedent for any future International War Crimes prosecutions. The trial was so long, and there were so many defendants that none is examined too closely. The overall narrative seems to focus on the Allied side, but that may be because s ...more
Jul 09, 2014 Bryoniadioica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK. Easily one of the best I've read in recent months. I haven't read much WWII history until lately - it hasn't been a period greatly covered by my academic work, or called my interest - but I was rereading the last chapters of Shirer's Rise and Fall the other night and decided that I wanted to know much much more about the Nuremberg Trial. This book is basically the Last Word - excellent on the legal ramifications of setting up international law for the first time, th ...more
NonFiction Extremely detailed accounting of all aspects of the Nuremberg trials. I read it on Kindle and had a hard time until making myself a list of all the participants. I found this to be a fascinating book, although the author seemed to have succumbed to the same failing as the American prosecutorial team. This is quite an undertaking to get through, and I only made it through 57% of the book. I ended up looking up everyone's fate on Wikipedia. 5 stars on the research, but marked down for l ...more
Nicola Roberto
Not a bad reading after all. I wasn't sure at first but in the end the book was quite enjoyable. However in my own opinion I stumbled upon too many unnecessary technicalities that the authors could have avoided. I enjoyed reading the human accounts of the defendants, their different ways of tackling the trial (the always defiant Goering, the "crazy"'behaviour of Rudolf Hess, the often trembling Ribbentrop that in the end was able to die as a man on the scaffolds and so on). Overall the authors a ...more
Apr 18, 2016 Denise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book explores the Nurenberg trials. From the concept of holding a international against and how to do it fairly without being vindictive to the end result of the sentences being carried out there was much to be learned. There were some great quotes in this book about justice. I did feel there was a bit of pro British bias but it didn't detract too much from the story. I did take off one star for the Kindle edition because of the horrible typos. They distracted quite a bit from the reading a ...more
Lou Fillari
Jan 01, 2015 Lou Fillari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heavy on the details but there was a very large story to tell. 21 defendants, of whom I kept track of half, maybe. There were also lots of prosecutors and the entire defense counsel. A cast of hundreds, briefly. Shit, it was even boring at times but still five stars because I learned so very much and read deeper into many movements and documents and side-characters summarized in this novel.

This book also forces one's brain to have compassion for these horrid people which is no small feat. One i
Apr 11, 2012 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Incrediby detailed, incredibly gripping, insanely long, just like the trial. The Tusas spare us the work of digging through all the participants' notes and evidence and documents, and give us the important details. There is a lot of colour commentary, but it never seems out of place. I wish I had known who was on trial before hand besides Goering, because I got confused between Protectors and who was who until the end, where they placed a quick biographical sketch of the 22 men included in the i ...more
Catherine Shereshewsky
Proofreader Please

This is an excellent, lawyerly history. Perhaps too much time and space allotted to things of interest to lawyers (rather than the general reader). But the overall experience was marred by Typos and other mistakes, virtually on every page. Dates were often unintelligible (193&). Names were butchered (Hitler, Hider, Hiler etc). And many other Abd frequent similar problems. Too bad.
Oct 16, 2014 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Well rounded book on the Nazi war trials at Nuremberg after World War II. The authors managed to convey the importance of the trial - the reliance on the idea of law rather than violence to settle criminal behavior.

The book identifies all the defendants,their alleged criminal activities, and the results, with emphasis on those that were sentenced to death. Interesting, but not captivating, this book describes the Trial very well.
Joel Ungar
Sep 29, 2013 Joel Ungar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Exhaustive discussion of the Nuremberg Trials of the surviving Nazi leaders after World War II. While parts were a bit tedious, the set up to the trial was quite interesting - lots of fighting and disagreements amongst the Allies on how to do things, and especially foreshadows the future disputes with the USSR.

Some of the Nazi leaders come across as somewhat human; those that were hung certainly didn't. Doenitz was quite interesting to read about.

Paul Kirhagis
Sep 10, 2014 Paul Kirhagis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an in depth look at the Nuremberg trial. I felt that the author did his best to omit as little detail as possible, but I found it ironic that the trial was referenced as being unnecessarily long when this book gives the same impression. Also there are a number of typos in the book which is a personal pet peeve. Still a five star read though just for the simple fact that the author obviously put a herculean effort into the book.
Brian C. Hellis
May 22, 2015 Brian C. Hellis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Very Interesting Boom

This book is well researched and is very detailed about all the aspects and difficulties in bringing it about. However, in my opinion it suffers noticeably through all the typos and misspellings in it. A professional book of this caliber should be meticulously proofread before it is sent for publication. This one obviously was not checked, which ultimately makes it look very amateurish and become rather painful to read.
Graham Mcmillan
Fascinating look at the seminal trial of the century - the Nazi war leaders / criminals. Explains how the trials were anything but "victors' justice" - clear rules of evidence were followed, most of it supplied from Nazi records and correspondence.
Far more detailed and lengthy than I needed, but nevertheless an extraordinarily informative read.
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“We may be certain that we do less injustice by the worst processes of the law than would be done by the best use of violence.” 0 likes
“four great nations, flushed with victory and stung with injury, stay the hand of vengeance and voluntarily submit their captive enemies to the judgement of the law is one of the most significant tributes that Power has ever paid to Reason.’ He” 0 likes
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