Based on extensive archival research, this book offers a historical examination of the arrest, trial and punishment of the leaders of the SS-Einsatzgruppen - the mobile security and killing units employed by the Nazis in their racial war on the Eastern front. Sent to the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941, four units of the Einsatzgruppen, along with reinforcements, murdered approximately 1 million Soviet civilians in open air shootings and in gas vans and, in 1947, twenty-four leaders of these units were indicted for crimes against humanity and war crimes for their part in the murders. In addition to describing the legal proceedings that held these men accountable, this book also examines historiographical trends and perpetrator paradigms and expounds on such contested issues as the timing and genesis of the Final Solution, the perpetrators' route to crime and their motivation for killing, as well as discussing the tensions between law and history.
Hilary Earl is Assistant Professor of History at Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario, Canada. Her research has been featured in several collections, including Lessons and Legacies IV (2004), Secret Intelligence and the Holocaust (2006), and Biography between Structure and Agency: Central European Lives in International Historiography (2008). Her most recent project, The Genocide Paradox: Prosecuting Genocide from Nuremberg to The Hague, is a historical examination of the legal outcomes of war crimes trials from the post-World War II period through the trials conducted by the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia. She has received fellowships from the Holocaust Educational Foundation, the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Leonard and Kathleen O'Brien Humanitarian Trust, and the Joint Initiative for German and European Studies.
Introduction; 1. The United States and the origins of the subsequent Nuremberg trials; 2. Otto Ohlendorf and the origins of the Einsatzgruppen trial; 3. Defendants; 4. Defense; 5. Trial; 6. Judge and judgment; 7. Aftermath; Conclusion.