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World War II
The 1940's
An Overview of the Nuremberg Trials



An Overview of the Nuremberg Trials
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.02

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    prosecutor, standing, prosecution, prosecute, suicide, bombings, defeat, humanity, killing, industry, nation, agreement, trial, victorious, death, original
     content words:    Allied Forces, World War II, Before Germany, After World War, War II, Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler


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An Overview of the Nuremberg Trials
By Jane Runyon
  

1     By 1944, the Allied Forces were confident that they were going to be victorious in World War II. Before Germany surrendered, leaders of the Allied nations began to discuss what should be done to punish Germany. After World War I, the Germans had trade restrictions imposed on them. Land they had taken was restored to the citizens of the original country. Many believed that the punishment for their acts during World War II should be more severe. The crimes Hitler and his Nazi troops committed were not easy to ignore. What to do with the leaders who committed these crimes was going to take time to figure out.
 
2     In August 1944, one of President Roosevelt's own cabinet members, Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, submitted his plan to the president. His plan was fairly simple. He suggested shooting any German leader who was caught. He also suggested putting German soldiers captured in the war to work rebuilding Europe. His final idea was to destroy all industry in Germany and force it to become an agricultural nation. The president was inclined to go along with Morgenthau. Meeting with other world leaders convinced him otherwise.
 
3     President Roosevelt met with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Russian leader, Joseph Stalin, in February 1945 in Yalta. They made an agreement that the leaders of the Axis powers would be prosecuted for their crimes just as soon as they could bring the war to a close. President Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945. He didn't live long enough to see the plan through to the end.

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