The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/nca/nca-02/nca-02-16-responsibility-00

Archive/File: imt/nca/nca-02/nca-02-16-responsibility-00
Last-Modified: 1996/10/23

    Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression, Volume II, Chapter XVI

The crime of conspiracy is recognized, in various forms, in
nearly every legal system. The Anglo-American doctrine of
conspiracy, despite technical differences, is analogous in
purpose to the Soviet notion of a "criminal gang" and the
French association de malfaiters. German law, both before
and after the Nazi seizure of power, also contained a
similar concept. The fundamentals of the doctrine, common to
most systems of law, are reflected in Article 6 of the
Charter, which declares it a crime to participate in "the
formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy" to
plan or wage aggressive war, to commit War Crimes, or to
commit Crimes against Humanity. Count I of the Indictment
charges the existence of such a conspiracy on the part of
the defendants, acting together with divers other persons.

The essence of conspiracy is the joining together of persons
to pursue unlawful ends, by legal or illegal means, or to
pursue lawful ends by illegal means. A conspiracy may exist
even though the ends or means employed by the conspirators
might have been perfectly legal if carried out by one person
acting alone. The gravamen of the crime is association and
acting in concert for the purpose of formulating and
executing a common plan involving criminal ends or means.

Participation in a common plan or conspiracy results in
vicarious liability, in the sense that each member of the
conspiracy is liable for the acts of every other
conspirator, even though he may have actually committed no
criminal acts himself. He still may be adjudged criminal for
mere participation in a common plan to pursue a common
criminal purpose, regardless of disparities in the functions
performed by individual conspirators.

Nevertheless, in order to prove the participation of a
certain person in a conspiracy, his own acts must be
considered. The roles played by the various members of the
Nazi conspiracy are necessarily different. The following
sections sketch in rough outline the parts played by each of
the 22 defendants (excepting Sauckel and Speer who are
discussed in Chapter X) and the former defendant and co-
conspirator, Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, in the conspiracy
to commit Crimes against Peace, War Crimes against Humanity,
as alleged in Count I of the Indictment. These sections are
by no means exhaustive but merely indicate the general lines
of a particular defendant's participation. Further and more
detailed discussion of the parts played by the conspirators
in particular phases of the conspiracy will be found under
the pertinent subject matter in the preceding chapters.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.