On October 1, 1946, twelve high-ranking Nazis are sentenced to death by the International War Crimes Tribunal in Nuremberg. Among those condemned to death by hanging were Joachim von Ribbentrop, Nazi minister of foreign affairs; Hermann Goering, founder of the Gestapo and chief of the German air force; and Wilhelm Frick, minister of the interior. Seven others, including Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s former deputy, were given prison sentences ranging from 10 years to life. Three others were acquitted. The trial, which had lasted nearly 10 months, was conducted by an international tribunal made up of representatives from the United States, the Soviet Union, France, and Great Britain. It was the first trial of its kind in history, and the defendants faced charges ranging from crimes against peace to crimes of war and crimes against humanity. On October 16th, 10 of the architects of Nazi policy were hanged one by one. Hermann Goering, committed suicide by poison on the eve of his scheduled execution. Nazi Party leader Martin Bormann was condemned to death in absentia; he is now known to have died in Berlin at the end of the war.
Michael Thomas Barry is a columnist for CrimeMagazine.com and author of Murder and Mayhem 52 Crimes that Shocked Early California 1849-1949. The book can be purchased from Amazon through the following link: