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United States of America v. Otto Ohlendorf
Nuremberg Military Tribunal
4 N.M.T. 411 (1947)
During the Second World War, Otto Ohlendorf and 21 other German military officers (defendants) were members of the Einsatzgruppen, a group of mobile German army units. The Einsatzgruppen were charged with executing an order of the Fuehrer to kill anyone that was deemed to be a threat to Nazi Germany. They were alleged to have committed the mass execution of thousands of men, women, and children as they moved through eastern Europe into the Soviet Union. The majority of those killed were Jewish, but the Einsatzgruppen also acted on orders to kill Communists, gypsies, and members of other groups that were labeled as enemies to the Fuehrer. After the war, the defendants were tried in an American military tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany. They were charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity, and being members of an illegal organization. At trial, the defendants argued that international law only applies to nations, not individuals.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
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