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

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  143 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
For some sixty years, the Nuremberg trials have demonstrated the resolve of the United States and its fellow Allied victors of the Second World War to uphold the principles of dispassionate justice and the rule of law even when cries of vengeance threatened to carry the day. In the summer of 1945, soon after the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany, Thomas J. Dodd, the ...more
Hardcover, 373 pages
Published September 11th 2007 by Crown Publishing Group (NY) (first published January 1st 2007)
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Russell Robinson
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. My interests in WW II pertain mainly to what happened with the Jews and in particular as to what was going with the Nazis in a detailed deep way. The simple offhanded way this matter s treated typically is "Oh the the Nazis were evil and this was a tradgedy lets not let it ever happen again". IN other words there is an underlying unspoken psychology that is typically being deployed without you realizing it. Its a sort of distancing them from us because ethat makes us feel comfort ...more
Jul 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: history buffs, civil libertarians
I read some excellent books in 2008, but this is probably the best non-fiction work of the year for me. One one level, it's a pretty straightforward read; other than an explanatory preface and some notes, this is simply a reprint of letters from one of the lawyers at Nuremberg (Christopher Dodd's father, Thomas Dodd ) writing home to his wife. Seems simple enough, really.

But this was Nuremberg, and Thomas Dodd not only had a front row seat for the proceedings, he was also a strong advocate for t
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting perspective on the Nuremberg Trials as related by Tom Dodd - with the prosecution team at the Nuremburg Trials. While the info about the trials was quite fascinating, the repetitiousness of the personal part of the letters - became just a tad annoying after a while. Mr. Dodd Sr. was clearly a man of principle, but without much sense of humor. His love for "Grace, my dearest one" and his toddler- school-age children shone through brightly .Because he was so principled I find it sad th ...more
May 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
It is an interesting enough footnote, but that's all. Christopher Dodd is still unhappy about his father's censure, and there is some tendentious re-fighting of that. And while it is true that he was a participant in one of the great historical events of the 20th century, Dodd Senior was not really all that reflective. Plus we get a lot of how much he missed the (undoubtedly) estimable Mrs. Dodd and his children. Meh.
Feb 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Charlaralotte by: Father
Shelves: read-in-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
Kathleen Hagen
Letters from Nuremberg: My Father’s Narrative of the Quest for Justice,
Christopher J. Dodd. Produced by Tantor Media, downloaded from Narrated by Michael Prichard.

Senator Dodd of Connecticut, recently found these letters written to his mother while his father, Thomas J. Dodd was a prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials. The Dodd siblings decided to publish these letters. The journal itself is rather disappointing reading because, most of what we learn is the ongoing petty politics that
Feb 01, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommended to Jeannie by: Susan
Aside from the fact that this book was clearly an election ploy by Mr. Dodd, it was OK. It has some interesting "behind-the-scenes" accounts of the Nurnberg trials. But I also felt like Thomas Dodd was an extremely unreliable narrator of the story - he claimed to not be interested in politics, yet he clearly was (and indeed, became a U.S. Representative in 1952, just a few years after he came back from Germany). He claimed to not be petty, and in the next sentence, he would make petty comments a ...more
Jul 04, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It is a pity that Thomas Dood did not keep a diary. But maybe its best if he would have written it the same way he wrote letters. His letters to his wife Grace are tedious and repetitive. Yes, he was lonely and depressed to be stuck in post WWII Germany when it was at its worst, dealing with awful things, but it I had to read one more time how much he was homesick and missed her I would have burned the book. Finshed up just in time. Senator Dodd was given almost no information about this time fr ...more
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: holocaust
What an interesting man portrayed through letters home to his cherished wife and family. Thomas Dodd's letters give insight to the day-to-day events of the Nuremberg trials, vignettes of the assorted personalities on both sides of the bench, and of a devoted husband and father to the family he is parted from for the duration of the trial. A sharp intellect, astute observer, and focused cross-examiner, it is his love for home and family that truly defines the man. It is the small but caring acts ...more
Jan 20, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book was a subject sandwich: politics, war, politics. Toss in frustration and loneliness, and you have a summation of the book. The epistolary narrative is sprinkled with a few gems - which was my purpose for reading.

from October 7, 1945
"I pulled my hat brim down, turned my top coat collar up and discovered that I got a better reception. No cold stares but instead smiles and greetings. On the main street, particularly in the company of U.S. officers, I get ice water treatment. Some apparen
Feb 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is an important book historically, as it gives an entirely different point of view of the Nuremberg trial. The day-to-day observations and opinions of Thomas Dodd are on-the-spot reports of the backstage maneuvering, posturing generals, human egos and capabilities that you would never find in a formally written history. In spite of human weaknesses and flaws, they finally pulled it together and conducted a fair trial for all the world to see; and, they documented the Nazi atrocities for all ...more
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This was a great book about the Nuremberg trials that took place in Germany at the end of World War II. Senator Christopher Dodd's father was the assistant trial attorney to Justice Robert Jackson and these are his letters written to his wife during his time in London, then Paris, and finally Germany. They are truly wonderful letters, not only because he tells so much about his time involved in the trial but because of the love he shows for his wife and children. He really makes you feel as if y ...more
Oct 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: democrats
Who is going to be the next president? Well my vote is for Cris Dodd. I always liked his position on the Iraq war and this book gives some background, a history of his father's service at the nuremberg trials through never before published correspondance to his wife. How do you spell integrity Mr Bush - never mind. The letters are very personal, some better written than others, but all establish a thread of consistant thinking. It was brave of the Senator and his siblings to publish them. They a ...more
Dec 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating subject but I thought there would be more about the actual trial. Most of the letters were too repeptitive. I find it ironic that there was a statement about how people got bored with the trial (when they kept reading documents aloud) and how it shook things up when he displayed the lampshades and the skull. That's how I felt about the letters. I realize there were things from the trial he could not share but I expected some significant revelations on background info, not questions a ...more
Jul 08, 2008 rated it liked it
This wasn't the best book on the trial I've read, but it did give some insight into the prosecution side of things and how one lawyer (at least) felt about the US prosecutors he worked with, as well as how the army and the prosecutors from Britain, France, and the Soviet Union handled things. A bit too much of Dodd's homesickness and yearning for his wife for my taste, but his isolation helped him have to describe events for his wife back in Connecticut.
Rae Hittinger
Oct 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: history buffs, folks interested in law
I am listening to this on CD . It is like reading someone's diary - and getting the inside scoop on the Nazi regime all at once. It is a very nice book to read at the same time as the Devil's Doctor. It adds humanity and a compelling personal narrative. The beginning intro is a little dry- but still powerful.

I ended up returning this to the library before completion. I plan to get it out when I have more time to listen. I highly recommend it to others.
Jan 11, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dodd's behind-the-scenes views at the earliest Nuremberg trial are interesting, but especially when he shares a viewpoint never meant for public consumption. I know little about the trials and so found the book almost all new information. His description of Lidice (unknown to me) was startling and sad.

Also interesting to me were Dodd's comments to his wife on caring for the children, paying bills, running the household, and his future political interests.
An interesting glance into history, based on the letters home to his wife from one of the chief prosecuters at the Nuremberg war-crime trials at the end of WWII. Details of life in Germany by the occupation forces, the tensions between the Allied parties, and the defendents, as well as the politics of the trials.
Feb 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. The author (a current US Senator) goes off on his foreign policy once and a while, but on the whole, it is a great book about the tragedy of some terrible men, and some weak men who are controlled by Hitler.
Doug Wells
Jan 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was much better written than I expected from Dodd. It's the story of his Father who was one of the main prosecutors at the Nuremberg trials after WWII. Interesting story and insights into some of the Nazis on trial.
Dawn Hadley
Mar 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
At times daunting and tedious. But I was touched by this mans love for his wife, the longing of her companionship and his want to seek her opinion before he made decisions. It was another take on a dark time in our history, I am glad there were men who were dedicated to fairness and justice.
Apr 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
Wow. I got incredibly tired of hearing "Grace, my dearest one". Not to mention I find what happened during the Nuremburg Trials far more intriguing than what Dodd had for dinner. Unfortunately, Christopher thought we would benefit from this information.
Nicole Marble
Jan 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
The letters are fascinating - something younger readers need to know about WWII and the immediate days after the war in Europe. The letters should be paired with re-reading Vonneguts 'Slaughterhouse Five'. But Chris Dodd should have cut a lot of extraneous stuff - needs lots of editing.
Stacey Blackburn Ousley
LOVED IT! In my mind's eye, i can envision when Senator Dodd was describing the postwar Nuremburg and walking through the leveled city, what it looked like. Beautiful book.
Jan 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
i liked thomas dodd's insider take on working at the nuremburg trials, but what i loved more was how his letters outlined his absolute love and devotion to his wife and children at home.
Jane Llewellyn
Jim Swike
This is not a cover to cover read, but I learned much more about the Nuremberg trials from this book. If you are doing research on this era i recommend it.
Apr 26, 2008 is currently reading it
Shelves: non-fiction
Justice not revenge. The moral authority nations earn when they are true to their laws. These are the themes Senator Dodd emphasizes when he talks about this book.
Nov 13, 2012 rated it liked it
I'd have preferred more about the trials and less about Dodd.
Kim Freitas
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic collection, very explicit
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Christopher John "Chris" Dodd is an American lawyer and Democratic politician currently serving as the senior U.S. Senator from Connecticut.

Dodd is a Connecticut native and a graduate of Georgetown Preparatory School in Bethesda, Maryland, and Providence College. His father, Thomas J. Dodd, was one of Connecticut's United States Senators from 1959-1971. Chris Dodd served in the Peace Corps for two
More about Christopher J. Dodd...

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“you will understand when I tell you that this staff is about 75% Jewish

--Letters from Nuremberg, page 135”
“the Jews should stay away from this trial -- for their own sake. For -- mark this well -- the charge "a war for the Jews" is still being made, and in the post-war years it will be made again and again. The too-large percentage of Jewish men and women here will be cited as proof of this charge. Sometimes it seems that the Jews will never learn about these things. They seem intent on bringing new difficulties down on their own heads. I do not like to write about this matter... but I am disturbed about it. They are pushing and crowding and competing with each other, and with everyone else. They will try the case I guess...

--Letters from Nuremberg, page 135”
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