Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Seeking Justice for Nazi War Crimes

It’s remarkable how many Justices are connected to pivotal events in world history.

Take former Chief Justice Carrington Marshall for instance. He served on the Ohio Supreme Court from January 1, 1921 to December 31, 1932, but he’s better known for his later service to the worldwide legal community post-World War II.

On February 13, 1947 General Lucius Clay of the Office of Military Government for Germany appointed Chief Justice Marshall as presiding judge of an important case: The United States of America vs. Josef Altstotter, (1947). This trial, known as “The Judges’ Trial” was one of 12 held by the United States in Nuremberg after the end of WW II.

Sixteen German judges and lawyers were charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the abuse of the judicial and penal process that resulted in mass murder, torture, plunder of private property and slave labor. Ten of the defendants were eventually found guilty, four were acquitted, one was excused due to illness and one committed suicide before the beginning of the trial. Due to serious illness, Chief Justice Marshall resigned on June 19, 1947 and returned to Ohio.

To read Chief Justice Marshall’s full biography, click on this link:

The Ohio Supreme Court hosted a lecture in 2010 on how the courts in Germany failed to stand in the way of the Holocaust. (Watch video.) The lecture will be offered again in Cleveland this fall.

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