International Military Tribunal (IMT)


The International Military Tribunal was established in the summer of 1945 to try the “major war criminals” of the Nazi regime for committing wars of aggression, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Twenty-four individuals and 6 organizations were indicted. The trial opened on 20 November 1945, and the judgment and sentences were completed on 1 October 1946. The tribunal heard testimony from 33 prosecution witnesses, 19 defendants, 61 defense witnesses, and 22 witnesses concerning organizations; thousands of documents were received as evidence. Nineteen defendants were found guilty (with 12 given the death penalty), 3 were acquitted, and 3 organizations were found to be criminal.

Persons Involved


Geoffrey Lawrence, president of IMT, UK, lord justice
Iona T. Nikitchenko, USSR, major general, judge of supreme court
Alexander Volchkov, USSR alternate, lt. colonel
Norman Birkett, UK alternate
Francis Biddle, US, former attorney general
John Parker, US alternate, judge, court of appeals
Henri Donnedieu de Vabres, France, law professor, University of Paris
Robert Falco, France alternate


Robert Jackson, US Supreme Court
Telford Taylor, William Kaplan, Thomas Dodd, Ralph Albrecht, Richard
Sonnenfeldt (interpreter)
Hartley Shawcross, UK attorney general
David Maxwell-Fyfe, John Wheeler-Bennett, Mervyn Griffith-Jones, Anthony Marreco
Roman A. Rudenko, USSR, lt. general, prosecutor
Francois de Menthon, France, followed by Auguste Champetier de Ribes


Martin Bormann: head of party chancery, secretary of Hitler, council of ministers for
defense of the Reich (tried in absentia)
Karl Doenitz: commander of U-boat force, commander in chief of navy, head of government
after Hitler
Hans Frank: governor general of occupied Poland
Wilhelm Frick: minister of the interior
Hans Fritzsche: press and radio editor, official in ministry of propaganda
Walther Funk: minister of economics
Hermann Goering: commander of air force, Four Year Plan, council of ministers for the defense
of the Reich
Rudolf Hess: deputy to Hitler, minister without portfolio, council of ministers for the defense of
the Reich
Alfred Jodl: major general and chief of staff of high command (OKW)
Ernst Kaltenbrunner: head of Reich Main Security Office (RSHA), chief of the security police
and security service (SD)
Wilhelm Keitel: field marshal, chief of the high command of the armed forces (OKW)
Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach (not tried, due to illness)
Robert Ley (suicide, 25 Oct 1945): German Labor Front, official supervising foreign workers
Konstantin von Neurath: minister of foreign affairs, secret cabinet council, protector for Bohemia
and Moravia
Franz von Papen: diplomat, ambassador in Vienna and Turkey
Erich Raeder: admiral of the navy, secret cabinet council
Joachim von Ribbentrop: minister for foreign affairs, secret cabinet council
Alfred Rosenberg: editor, ideological training office, minister for the eastern occupied territories,
Einsatzstab Rosenberg
Fritz Sauckel: plenipotentiary for labor in Four Year Plan, supervisor of foreign labor
Hjalmar Schacht: minister of economics, president of the Reichsbank
Baldur von Schirach: head of Hitler Jugend, gauleiter of Vienna
Artur Seyss-Inquart: Austrian politician, senior official in Poland and Netherlands
Albert Speer: minister for armament and munitions, Organization Todt, armaments council
Julius Streicher: editor of Der Sturmer

Indicted organizations

General Staff and High Command (military)
Leadership Corps of the NSDAP
Reich Cabinet
SS, including the SD

Defense attorneys (including assistant attorneys)

Ludwig Babel (SS and SD)
Walter Ballas (Krupp, Raeder)
Friedrich Bergold (Bormann)
Georg Boehm (SA)
Werner Bross (Goering)
Rudolf Dix (Schacht)
Franz Exner (Jodl; General Staff, to 27 Jan 1946)
Hans Flaechsner (Speer)
Heinz Fritz (Fritzsche)
George Froeschmann (Ribbentrop)
Walther Funk (von Schirach)
Hans Gawlik (SD)
Willi Heim (Gestapo)
Martin Horn (Ribbentrop, from 5 Jan 1946)
Hermann Jahrreiss (Jodl)
Kurt Kauffmann (Kaltenbrunner)
Hans von Kittlitz (Speer)
Johannes Klefisch (SA)
Theodor Klefisch (Krupp, SA)
Josef Koessl (SS)
Otto Kranzbuehler (Doenitz)
Herbert Kraus (Schacht)
Egon Kubuschok (von Papen; Reich Cabinet)
Hans Laternser (General staff and OKW, from 27 Jan 1946)
Heinrich Link (Leadership Corps)
Victor von der Lippe (Raeder)
Martin Loeffler (SA)
Otto von Luedinghausen (Neurath)
Guenther Lummert (Reich Cabinet)
Hanns Marx (Streicher)
Hans Meckel (Doenitz)
Rudolf Merkel (Gestapo)
Hermann Mosler (Speer)
Otto Nelte (Keitel)
Otto Pannenbecker (Frick)
Franz von Papen (the younger) (Reich Cabinet; von Papen)
Horst Pelckmann (SS)
Hans Pribilla (Leadership Corps)
Max Rau (SS and SD)
Victor Rinke (Ribbentrop)
Guenther von Rohrscheidt (Hess, to 5 Feb 1946, General Staff)
Fritz Sauter (Funk; Ribbentrop, to 5 Jan 1946; Schirach)
Hans-Georg Schaetzler (Hess)
Wilhelm Schmidt (SS)
Seidl (Frank; Hess, from 5 Feb 1946)
Servatius (Sauckel; Leadership Corps)
Walter Siemers (Raeder)
Otto Stahmer (Goering)
Gustav Steinbauer (Seyys-Inquart)
Alfred Thoma (Rosenberg)
Josef Weisgerber (Gestapo)


Four counts:

  1. Common plan or conspiracy to commit crimes against peace (wars of aggression), war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
    1. Nazi party as the central core
    2. Common objectives and methods
    3. Doctrinal techniques
    4. Acquiring of totalitarian control in Germany: Political
      1. First steps, 1923--.
      2. Control acquired, 1933.
      3. Consolidation of control
    5. Acquiring of totalitarian control: Economic, and mobilization for war
    6. Utilization of control for foreign aggression
      1. Plan and rearmament.
      2. Austria and Czechoslovakia.
      3. Poland.
      4. Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Yugoslavia, and Greece.
      5. USSR.
      6. Collaboration with Italy and Japan, and war against USA.
    7. War crimes and crimes against humanity committed via the conspiracy
    8. Individual, group, and organization responsibility
  2. Crimes against peace:
    Wars against Poland; United Kingdom and France; Denmark and Norway; Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg; Yugoslavia and Greece; USSR; USA
  3. War crimes
    1. Murder and ill-treatment of civilian populations in occupied territories
    2. Deportation of civilians for slave labor
    3. Murder and ill-treatment of POWs and others in armed forces
    4. Killing of hostages
    5. Plunder of public and private property
      1. foodstuffs removed to Germany.
      2. seizure of raw materials and machinery.
      3. confiscation of businesses, plants, etc.
      4. coerced transfers of property.
      5. exploitation of local economies for German war effort.
      6. despoliation of commodities, wealth, currencies, and financial assets.
      7. abrogation of civilians’ rights to conduct agriculture and industry, in favor of Germans and their allies.
      8. destruction of industrial cities, and cultural and scientific institutions.
      9. profiteering from control of industries, forced labor, property, and materials
    6. Exaction of collective penalties, including fines
    7. Destruction of cities, towns, and villages
    8. Conscription of civilian labor
    9. Forcing civilians to swear allegiance
    10. Germanization of annexed occupied territories
  4. Crimes against humanity
    1. Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, etc., of civilian populations
    2. Persecution on political, racial, and religious grounds

General Chronology

8 Aug 1945London Agreement and Charter of the IMT
6 OctIndictment
14-17 NovPre-trial hearings
20 NovTrial begins
21 NovProsecution opening statement by Robert Jackson
3 DecProsecution of Count 2, crimes against peace, begins
4 DecShawcross address
4 July 1946Defense final statements
26 JulyProsecution final statements
30 JulyCriminal organizations
31 AugDefendants’ last statements
1 SepCourt adjourns
30 SepJudgment
1 OctJudgment and sentences

Verdicts and Sentences (numbers refer to counts of the Indictment)

Bormann: not guilty, 1; guilty, 3 and 4; death
Doenitz: not guilty, 1; guilty, 2 and 3; ten-year sentence
Frank: not guilty, 1; guilty, 3 and 4; death
Frick: not guilty, 1 guilty, 2, 3, and 4; death
Fritzsche: not guilty
Funk: not guilty, 1; guilty, 2, 3, and 4; life sentence
Goering: guilty, 1, 2, 3, and 4; death
Hess: not guilty, 3 and 4; guilty, 1 and 2; life sentence
Jodl: guilty, 1, 2, 3, and 4; death
Kaltenbrunner: not guilty, 1; guilty, 3 and 4; death
Keitel: guilty, 1, 2, 3, and 4; death
Neurath: guilty, 1, 2, 3, and 4; fifteen-year sentence
Papen: not guilty
Raeder: guilty, 1, 2, and 3; life sentence
Ribbentrop: guilty, 1, 2, 3, and 4; death
Rosenberg: guilty, 1, 2, 3, and 4; death
Sauckel: not guilty, 1 and 2; guilty, 3 and 4; death
Schacht: not guilty
Schirach: not guilty, 1; guilty, 4; twenty-year sentence
Seyss-Inquart: not guilty, 1; guilty, 2, 3, and 4; death
Speer: not guilty, 1 and 2; guilty, 3 and 4; twenty-year sentence
Streicher: not guilty, 1; guilty, 4; death

General Staff and High Command: not criminal
Gestapo: criminal
Leadership Corps of the NSDAP: criminal
Reich Cabinet: not criminal
SA: not criminal
SS, including the SD: criminal

Evidence Sets used, with number range

C 2-195British Admiralty
D 39-976British prosecution
EC 3-611Economics
ECH 2-174Economics, from Heidelberg document center
F 44-989
L 3-361London
M 1-158British prosecution
NO 7-116Nuremberg Organizations
PS 1-4071Paris-Storey, US prosecution
R 36-178OSS, London office
RF 9-1430French prosecution
TC 1-93Treaties and other international agreements
UK 20-170
USA 21-845
USSR 8-522Soviet prosecution

Parties entering exhibits, with exhibit number range

GB 1-628
RF 1-1545
USA document books A-J, 1-930
USSR 1-522
Defendants, by name