IMT Cases

View of the defendants in the dock at the International Military Tribunal trial of war criminals at Nuremberg.  PHOTO CREDIT: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park.
View of the defendants in the dock at the International Military Tribunal trial of war criminals at Nuremberg. PHOTO CREDIT: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park.

The IMT's single case tried 24 defendants, all charged with being “leaders, organizers [and] instigators [of] and accomplices” in the crimes defined in the Charter. They were chosen to represent a cross-section of Nazi diplomatic, economic, political, and military leadership. Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and Joseph Goebbels could not be tried because they committed suicide at the end of the war or soon afterwards. Hermann Göring was the highest ranking Nazi official among the defendants.

In the end, only 21 defendants appeared in court. German industrialist Gustav Krupp was included in the original indictment, but he was elderly and in failing health. The Tribunal decided in preliminary hearings to exclude him from the proceedings. Nazi Party secretary Martin Bormann could not be located. Borman was thus tried in absentia. Head of the German Labor Front Robert Ley committed suicide on the eve of the trial. (USHMM)

Browse Trial Records by Type

The Nuremberg Trial Archives are a heterogeneous collection of documents that can be divided into three categories: records of the work of the Tribunal itself, evidence submitted by the Prosecution and Defense and, finally, evidence produced for or during the trial, such as affidavits and the oral testimony of witnesses.

Joining the lead defendant, Reichsmarschall and Successor Designate to Hitler, Hermann Wilhelm Goering, were:

  • Rudolf Hess, former Deputy to the Führer;
  • Joachim von Ribbentrop, Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs;
  • Wilhelm Keitel, Chief of the High Command of the German Armed Forces;
  • Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Head of the Reich Main Security Office and highest ranking officer of the Nazi party Schutzstaffel (SS) at Nuremberg;
  • Alfred Rosenberg, racial theory ideologist and Reich Minister for the Eastern Occupied Territories;
  • Hans Frank, Governor General of the Occupied Polish Territories;
  • Wilhelm Frick, Reich Minister of the Interior and Reich Protector for Bohemia and Moravia;
  • Julius Streicher, Editor-in-Chief of the antisemitic newspaper Der Stürmer;
  • Walther Funk, Reich Minister of Economics and President of the German Reichsbank;
  • Hjalmar Schacht, former Reich Minister of Economics and President of the German Reichsbank;
  • Karl Doenitz, Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy and, briefly, successor to Hitler as Head of the German Government;
  • Erich Raeder, former Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy;
  • Baldur von Schirach, Head of the Hitler Youth;
  • Fritz Sauckel, Plenipotentiary of the Nazi slave-labour programme;
  • Alfred Jodl, Chief of the High Command of the German Armed Forces Operations Department;
  • Franz von Papen, former Reich Chancellor and Vice Chancellor;
  • Arthur Seyss- Inquart, Reich Commissar for the Occupied Netherlands;
  • Albert Speer, Reich Minister for Armament and Munitions and Hitler’s chief architect;
  • Konstantin von Neurath, Reich Minister of Foreign Affairs and later Reich Protector for Bohemia and Moravia; and
  • Hans Fritzsche, Ministerialdirektor of the Reich Ministry of Propaganda.

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