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Human Rights After Hitler


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The history recounted in this book has remained hidden since soon after the end of World War II. It has been retrieved and meticulously researched by Dan Plesch and calls for a major revision of the history of international war crimes. This is essential reading for students, researchers or practitioners of international humanitarian law. Apart from that, it is a fascinating, accessible and well-written account. -- Richard Goldstone, Former Chief Prosecutor, Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal This important and revelatory book examines the remarkably prescient work of a UN Commission, in the years before the end of the war, to prepare legal doctrines and trial procedures by which perpetrators of the Holocaust and of Japanese army barbarities could be brought to justice. Its precedents have a resonance and relevance today, as we grapple with how to prosecute the crimes of ISIS and Assad. The book is clearly and comprehensibly written for a general readership, but will be of professional value for historians and lawyers involved in the sadly increasing business of punishing crimes against humanity. -- Geoffrey Robertson, Geoffrey Robertson Q.C., founder and joint head of Doughty Street Chambers and author of Crimes against Humanity: The Struggle for Global Justice,

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Prosecuting Rape: The Modern Relevance of World War II Legal Practices 2. A New Paradigm for Providing Justice for International Human Rights Violations 3. When the Allies Condemned the Holocaust 4. Pursuing War Criminals All Over the World 5. The Holocaust Indictments: Prosecuting the "Foot Soldiers of Atrocity" 6. Fair Trials and Collective Responsibility for Criminal Acts 7. Crimes against Humanity: The "Freedom to Lynch" and the Indictments of Adolf Hitler 8. Liberating the Nazis 9. The Legacy Unleashed AppendixesIndexAbout the Author

About the Author

Dan Plesch is director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS, University of London. He is the author of America, Hitler and the UN, coeditor of Wartime Origins and the Future United Nations, and has been a frequent contributor to the Guardian and other media.


The author must be congratulated for his personal efforts in securing the release of the archive as well as for this well-written history of how a valuable legal resource was kept for decades hidden from the public in denial of their right to know. * Irish Times *
Revelatory . . . Those interested in the development of human rights and justice will find this work essential reading. * Choice *
This is a well-researched and well-argued book. * The London Moment *
[An] important book . . . With so few survivors of the Holocaust alive today to give testimony the detailed accounts contained within, the UNWCC archives should be heard widely in order to counter those who still deny the horrors of the Holocaust. For every opponent of fascism this book is an essential read. * International Socialism *

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