THE NUREMBERG TRIAL OF JULIUS STREICHER: The Crime of Incitement to Genocide

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In a total rational world, you would expect new offences to be enacted through a process of reflection, research or various programs of reform, undertaken deliberately, by planned law reform commissions, or through comparative analysis with other legal systems. This research proposes that the emergence of one particular offence, 'incitement to genocide', was not the result of a deliberate attempt to create new offence, nor that its origins came from a rational process of planned codification. Rather, it argues that the creation of this offence was an unintended side effect of the trial and pre-trial process, during the first major war crimes trial held in Nuremberg after World War II in 1945/6.

This reconstruction provides the first comprehensive study that gives an in depth analysis, which explores how the defendant, Julius Streicher's anti-Semitic propaganda published in a private newspaper, Der Stunner could, though a process of selective reinterpretation by the Nuremberg Tribunal, be classified as inciting mass murder through words alone, under the remit of crimes against humanity in Article 6(c) of the Nuremberg Charter, In 1945, the crime of inciting mass murder through words alone was not recognized or classified as a criminal offence by international criminal law, no precedents existed for its definition, nature, scope, or, its prosecution, defense, or determination of an appropriate sentence, should defendants be found guilty. This study fills a gap in existing literature by focusing on the legal dilemmas and interpretations faced by all parties 'behind the scenes' involved in the prosecution and 'birth' of' incitement to genocide' prior to its legal recognition as an offence by the 1948, Genocide Convention.


“…provides us with what can only be described as the authoritative study of the Streicher case. It fills an important gap in the literature and in our knowledge of the Nuremberg trial.”

-Prof. William A. Schabas, National University of Ireland

“Issues of comparability and context are carefully related to the legal analysis of the trial evidence and its relationship to the development of ‘incitement to genocide’ as an international criminal offence.”

-Prof. Ralph Henham, Nottingham Trent University

“…adds a vital institutional dimension to our knowledge of this topic: one that rightly emphasizes the interplay of political, organizational and discretionary factors, whilst recognizing that factors other than the faithful application of given rules to self-evident facts can often play a decisive role in international criminal trials.”

-Prof. Michael Salter, University of Central Lancashire

Table of Contents

Preface by Professor William Schabas


Chapter One – Back ground to Nuremberg and Pre-trial preparations

Who was Julius Streicher, Hitler’s notorious ‘Jew-baiter’?

Jurisprudence of the Tribunal

Incitement as a common law offence

The Mens Rea for an International Crime

Background to the Interrogations

Chapter Two – Submission of Evidence by the Prosecution

The Prosecution’s Trial Brief

Presentation of Evidence against Streicher

Streicher’s Early Anti-Semitic Propaganda

Anti-Jewish Boycott April 1, 1933

‘Ritual Murder’ Propaganda

‘Aryanization’ of Jewish Property in Franconia

Nuremberg Laws of 1935/Blood and Race Propaganda

Extracts from Streicher’s Speeches and Writings: 1933 – 1937

Increasing Propaganda and Persecution: 1938

The Kristallnacht Demonstrations of 1938

Streicher’s Position in the Nazi Party/Gauleiter

The Prosecution’s Final Submission

Concluding Remarks

Chapter Three – Julius Streicher’s Defence Arguments

Defendant’s Early Years 1933 – 1937

Anti-Jewish Boycott April 1 1933

Concentration Camps – Release of Communists

The Nuremberg Laws 1935

‘Blood and Race’ Propaganda

The Consequences of Inciting Mass Murder

‘Ritual Murder’ Propaganda

Propaganda and Persecution 1938 – 1940

The anti-Jewish Demonstrations 1938

The Escalation of Persecution

Streicher’s Unpopularity

The Development of Der Stürmer

‘Aryanization’ of Jewish Property

Events in Streicher’s Gau

Acquisition of the Mars Works

Streicher’s Relationship with Leading Nazis

Propaganda in Der Stürmer / 1940 – 1945

The Jewish State

The Jewish Question

Concluding Remarks

Chapter Four – Streicher’s Cross-Examination

New Evidence Relating to Lebensraum/Foreign Policy

The anti-Jewish Boycott– 1933

The Nuremberg Laws1935 – The ‘Jewish Problem’

Kristallnacht Demonstrations – 1938

‘Aryanization’ of Jewish Property

New Evidence Relating to Der Stürmer

Foreign Newspaper Reports / the Israelitisches Wochenblatt

Further Evidence from the Israelitisches Wochenblatt

Evidence for ‘Incitement to Murder’

Concluding Remarks

Chapter Five – Final Defence Pleadings

The ‘Jewish Question’/Aims of the Nazi Party

Persecution of the Jews

Streicher’s Attitude to the ‘Jewish Question’

Education to Encourage Hatred of the Jews

Der Stürmer 1933 – 1939

Der Stürmer 1940 – Collapse

Kristallnacht Demonstrations

German Knowledge of Exterminations

Active Extermination of Jewry

The Chief Persons Responsible for the Extermination of Jewry

Einsatzgruppe and Extermination Kommandos

Defence Summations

Concluding Remarks

Chapter Six – Pre-judgment statements / the tribunal’s judgment

Julius Streicher’s Final Statement

Pre-Judgment Deliberations

Examination of the Judgment

Crimes against humanity

Damming Articles in Der Stürmer

Concluding Remarks




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