Charlaralotte's Reviews > Letters from Nuremberg: My Father's Narrative of a Quest for Justice

Letters from Nuremberg by Christopher J. Dodd
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's review
Feb 10, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2008
Recommended to Charlaralotte by: Father
Read in February, 2008

Skip the first part of the book and go straight to the letters that Dodd wrote his wife while working as one of the head attorneys at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial. You can hit the first part later...

I completely agree with Tom Dodd's reasons for bringing this collection out--to show that the U.S. did not always make a farce out of world justice (note Guantanamo), and that Nuremberg was a prime example of the victors restraining themselves properly.

The story of Dodd's rise from random attorney on staff of hundreds to right-hand-man of Supreme Court Justice & chief prosecutor Jackson is a great example of Emerson's admonition,"Do your work and I shall know you." Dodd at first is surrounded by military personnel who know diddly-squat about the law. As Dodd keeps saying in the midst of incredibly inept case preparations, "Meanwhile, I saw wood." He tries to keep clear of the internal politics, and it pays off for him as his talents are gradually recognized and rewarded.

Dodd's descriptions of Germany and all the ravaged countries of Europe in the immediate aftermath of WWII are wonderful. His daily quandary about the Russian role in the trial explains to some degree the resulting US fear of communism. He learns the Russians have committed just as many atrocities as the Germans, yet they are prosecuting the Germans.
At times I felt badly for his wife, as Dodd must have been a bear to live with. Talk about throwing around the guilt! Yes, he's concerned for her, but he does have an annoying way of asking, "Why can't you write longer letters?" Good lord! She's raising 5 (FIVE) children.

Also, the petty worries of Dodd about his political career back in Connecticut are amusing. One moment he says he wants a quiet life with his family. The next moment he's asking for newspaper articles about himself and hatching schemes to run for governor. Ah, we humans. Contradictory in all ways possible.

Anyway, great primary source material. Too bad Bush and his cronies will never read it.

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