E-Net News

David Crowe presents on International Military Tribunals

David M. Crowe, professor of legal history at Elon Law and professor of history at Elon University, presented scholarship at the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies and the annual convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities.

At the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies in March 2013, Crowe presented, "The Soviets at Nuremberg IMT Trial: A Reassessment." That paper examines the role of Soviet judges and prosecutors at the Nuremberg IMT trial in 1945-'46.

"The traditional view of their role is that, given the nature of Soviet criminal law at the time, and the Soviet penchant for 'show trials' in the 1930s, as well as their collaborative relationship with Nazi Germany during the first two years of World War II, the Soviets would have no more than a token presence at the trial," Crowe said. "However, a careful study of the records of the London Conference in the summer of 1945 that created the tribunal, and the trial transcripts themselves, show that the Soviets played a very active role in the trial, particularly when it came to revelations about the crimes of the Holocaust and other German atrocities in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1945. This more assertive role was a reflection of the dramatic changes that took place in Soviet criminal law from the mid-1930s onward."

Crowe presented another paper at the annual convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities in New York in April 2013 titled, "The Nuremberg and Tokyo IMT Trials: A Comparative Look at the Adjudication of World War II Crimes in Europe and Asia."

"The Nuremberg IMT Trial, the most important international criminal trial in history, established long standing legal precedents in international law that are still cited in cases before a number of international criminal tribunals, particularly when it comes to questions of conspiracy, aggression, war crimes, and crimes against humanity," Crowe said. "Its sister trial in Tokyo, though theoretically modeled on the Nuremberg tribunal, strayed considerably from the trial in Germany, and has remained a source of considerable controversy among the handful of scholars who have combed through the tens of thousands of pages of transcripts. These transcripts, as well as the lengthy dissenting opinions of some of the trial's most important judges, has given rise to the charge of 'victor's justice,' one that continues to haunt the decisions of the Tokyo tribunal to this day."

Dr. Crowe’s most recent work is Crimes of State, Past and Present: Government-Sponsored Atrocities and International Legal Responses (2010). His The Holocaust: Roots, History, and Aftermath (2008) was selected by Choice as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2008. His 2004 Oskar Schindler: The Untold Account of His Life, Wartime Activities, and the True Story Behind The List (2004), was a selection of the History Book Club and has been translated into German and Dutch. His War Crimes, Genocide, and Justice: A Global History, will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013.  

More information about Elon Professor David M. Crowe is available here. 

Philip Craft,
7/9/2013 3:25 PM