International Conference on Military Trials : London, 1945
Memorandum to President Roosevelt from the Secretaries of State and War and the Attorney General, January 22, 1945
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Note: While Justice Jackson was considering acceptance of the designation to represent the United States, the following memorandum was furnished to him as a statement of the position already taken by the Government. It had been prepared to guide President Roosevelt when he attended the Yalta Conference. For early planning which it embodies see Henry L. Stimson, On Active Service in Peace and War, New York, 1948, vol. II, p. 584; Murray C. Bernays, "Legal Basis of the Nuernberg Trials", Survey Graphic, Jan. 1946, vol. 35, p. 4; and Robert H. Jackson, The Nuernberg Case, New York, 1947, p.v. At Yalta no action was taken other than an agreement for later consideration by the governments there represented.

The memorandum is initiated by H.L.S.--Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of War; E.S.--Edward R Stettinius Jr., Secretary of State; and F.B.--Francis Biddle, Attorney General. It formed the groundwork of the later drafts submitted by the United States for an international agreement.

This is sometimes referred to as the "Yalta memorandum" and sometimes as the "Crimean proposal."


January 22, 1945.
Subject: Trial and Punishment of Nazi War Criminals.

This memorandum deals with ways and means for carrying out the policy regarding the trial and punishment of Nazi criminals, as established in the statements on that subject which are annexed.

I. The Moscow Declaration

In the Moscow Declaration the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union took note of the atrocities perpetrated by the Germans and laid down the policy: (1) that those German officers and men who have been responsible for or have taken a consenting part in these atrocities "will be sent back to the countries in which their abominable deeds were dome in order that they may be judged and punished according to the laws of these liberated countries and of the free governments which will be created therein"; and (2) that the above declaration "is without prejudice to the case of the major criminals, whose offenses have no particular geographical localization and who will be punished by the joint decision of the Governments of the Allies."

II. United Nations War Crimes Commission

The United Nations War Crimes Commission is located in London, and consists of representatives of some fifteen of the United Nations. The Soviet Government is not a member.

This Commission has been charged with the collection of lists of the criminals referred to, the recording of the available supporting proof, and the making of recommendations as to the tribunals to try and the procedure for trying such criminals. The Commission has no investigative or prosecuting authority or personnel. It has no authority to try offenders of any kind.

The War Crimes Commission receives its lists of war criminals from the investigating authorities, if any, set up by the respective United Nations. The first unofficial meeting of the Commission was held in London on October 26,1943, and the first official meeting was held there on January 18, 1944. Up to this time, the cases of approximately 1,000 offenders have been docketed with the Commission. The labors of the Commission have not resulted in any governmental agreement as to the tribunals to try or the procedures for trying war criminals.

The Commission has been widely and publicly criticized for the paucity of the results of its work. In recent months its activities have been marked by dissensions. The British representative, who was also Chairman of the Commission, and the Norwegian member, have resigned.

III. Scope and Dimensions of the War Crimes Problem

The crimes to be punished. The criminality of the German leaders and their associates does not consist solely of individual outrages, but represents. the result of a systematic and planned reign of terror within Germany, in the satellite Axis countries, and in the occupied countries of Europe. This conduct goes back at least as far as 1933, when Hitler was first appointed Chancellor of the Reich. It has been marked by mass murders, imprisonments, expulsions and deportations of populations; the starvation, torture and inhuman treatment of civilians; the wholesale looting of public and private property on a scale unparalleled in history; and, after initiation of "total" war, its prosecution with utter and ruthless disregard for the laws and customs of war.

We are satisfied that these atrocities were perpetrated in pursuance of a premeditated criminal plan or enterprise which either contemplated or necessarily involved their commission.

The criminals to be punished. The outstanding offenders are, of course, those leaders of the Nazi Party and German Reich who since January 30, 1933, have been in control of formulating and executing Nazi policies.

In addition, the Nazi leaders created and utilized a numerous organization for carrying out the acts of oppression and terrorism which their program involved. Chief among the instrumentalities used by them are the SS, from the personnel of which the Gestapo is constituted, and the SA. These organizations consist of exactingly screened volunteers who are pledged to absolute obedience. The members of these organizations are also the personnel primarily relied upon to carry on postwar guerilla and underground operations.

IV. Difficulties of an Effective War Crimes Program

Difficulties of identification and proof. The names of the chief German leaders are well known, and the proof of their guilt will not offer great difficulties. However, the crimes to be punished have been committed upon such a large scale that the problem of identification, trial and punishment of their perpetrators presents a situation without parallel in the administration of criminal justice. In thousands of cases, it will be impossible to establish the offender's identity or to connect him with the particular act charged. Witnesses will be dead, otherwise incapacitated and scattered. The gathering of proof will be laborious and costly, and the mechanical problems involved in uncovering and preparing proof of particular offenses one of appalling dimensions. It is evident that only a negligible minority of the offenders will be reached by attempting to try them on the basis of separate prosecutions for their individual offenses. It is not unlikely, in fact, that the Nazis have been counting on just such considerations, together with delay and war weariness, to protect them against punishment for their crimes if they lost the war.

Legal Difficulties. The attempt to punish the Nazi leaders and their associates for all of the atrocities committed by them also involves serious legal difficulties. Many of these atrocities, as noted in your statement on the subject of persecution dated 24 March 1944, were "begun by the Nazis in the days of peace and multiplied by them a hundred times in time of war." These pre-war atrocities are neither "war crimes" in the technical sense, nor offenses against international law; and the extent to which they may have been in violation of German law, as changed by the Nazis, is doubtful. Nevertheless, the declared policy of the United Nations is that these crimes, too, shall be punished; and the interests of postwar security and a necessary rehabilitation of German peoples, as well as the demands of justice, require that this be done.

V. Recommended Program

After Germany's unconditional surrender the United Nations could, if they elected, put to death the most notorious Nazi criminals, such as Hitler or Himmler, without trial or hearing. We do not favor this method. While it has the advantages of a sure and swift disposition, it would be violative of the most fundamental principles of justice, common to all the United Nations. This would encourage the Germans to turn these criminals into martyrs, and, in any event, only a few individuals could be reached in this way.

We think that the just and effective solution lies in the use of the judicial method. Condemnation of these criminals after a trial, moreover, Would command maximum public support in our own times and receive the respect of history. The use of the judicial method will, in addition, make available for all mankind to study in future years an authentic record of Nazi crimes and criminality.

We recommend the following:

The German leaders and the organizations employed by them, such as those referred to above (SA, SS, Gestapo), should be charged both with the commission of their atrocious crimes, and also with joint participation in a broad criminal enterprise which included and intended these crimes, or was reasonably calculated to bring them about. The allegation of the criminal enterprise would be so couched as to permit full proof of the entire Nazi plan from its inception and the means used in its furtherance and execution, including the prewar atrocities and those committed against their own nationals, neutrals, and stateless persons, as well as the waging of an illegal war of aggression with ruthless disregard for international law and the rules of war. Such a charge would be firmly founded upon the rule of liability, common to all penal systems and included in the general doctrines of the laws of war, that those who participate in the formulation and execution of a criminal plan involving multiple crimes are jointly liable for each of the offenses committed and jointly responsible for the acts of each other. Under such a charge there are admissible in evidence the acts of any of the conspirators done in furtherance of the conspiracy, whether or not these acts were in themselves criminal and subject to separate prosecution as such.

The trial of this charge and the determination of the guilty parties would be carried out in two stages:

The United Nations would, in the first instance, bring before an international tribunal created by Executive Agreement, the highest ranking German leaders to at number fairly representative of the groups and organizations charged with complicity in the basic criminal plan. Adjudication would be sought not only of the guilt of those individuals physically before the court, but also of the complicity of the members of the organizations included within the charge. The court would make findings adjudicating the facts established, including the nature and purposes of the criminal plan, the identity of the groups and organizations guilty of complicity in it, and the acts committed in its execution. The court would also sentence those individual defendants physically before it who are convicted.

The above would complete the mission of this international tribunal.

Thereafter, there would be brought before occupation courts the individuals not sent back for trial under the provisions of the Moscow Declaration, and members of the organizations who are charged with complicity through such membership, but against whom there is not sufficient proof of specific atrocities. In view of the nature of the charges and the representative character of the defendants who were before the court in the first trial, the findings of that court should justly be taken to constitute a general adjudication of the criminal character of the groups and organizations referred to, binding upon all the members thereof in their subsequent trials in occupation courts. In these subsequent trials, therefore, the only necessary proof of guilt of any particular defendant would be his membership in one of those organizations. Proof would also be taken of the nature and extent of the individual's participation. The punishment of each defendant would be made appropriate to the facts of his particular case. In appropriate cases, the penalty might be imprisonment at hard labor instead of the death penalty, and the offenders could be worked in re"ring the devastated areas.

Individual defendants who can be connected with specific atrocities will be tried and punished in the national courts of the countries concerned, as contemplated in the Moscow Declaration.

VI. Nature and Composition of Tribunals

We favor the trial of the prime leaders by an international military commission or military court, established by Executive Agreement of the heads of State of the interested United Nations. This would require no enabling legislation or treaty. If deemed preferable the tribunal could be established by action of the Supreme Authority (Control Council for Germany).

The court might consist of seven members, one each to be appointed by The British Commonwealth, the United States, the Soviet Union and France, and three to be appointed by agreement among the other United Nations who become parties to the proposed procedure.

The court may consist of civilian or military personnel, or both. We would prefer a court of military personnel, as being less likely to give undue weight to technical contentions and legalistic arguments

The subsequent trials would be hat as noted, in occupation courts; or in the national courts of the country concerned or in their own military courts; or, if desired, by international military courts.

VII. Preparation of Case

A successful prosecution of the basic charge will manifestly depend upon early, careful, and thorough compilation of the necessary evidence. This is particularly important with regard to so much of the case as involves the basic criminal plan. Success will depend, further, upon cooperative action in this regard among the interested United Nations, and the early establishment of a competent executive and technical staff to carry out the project.

In our opinion, the United Nations War Crimes Commission cannot be satisfactorily employed for this purpose, and having performed its mission, may now be dissolved.

We recommend that there be set up a full time executive group consisting of one military representative each of the British Commonwealth, the United States, the Soviet Union, and France. This group should have under it an adequate staff of attorneys and research personnel to search out the available data, analyze them, prepare the charges to conform to the proof, and arrange the evidence for presentation to the international military tribunal.

VIII. Soviet Attitude

The Soviet attitude, we believe, is indicated in the Note of M. Molotov attached hereto. The position taken therein is that the Soviet Union is ready to support all practical measures on the part of the Allied and friendly governments in bringing the Hitlerites and their accomplices to justice, and favors their trial before "the courts of the special international tribunal" and their punishment in accordance with applicable criminal law.

IX. British Attitude

In an Aide Memoire from the British Embassy to the Department of State dated October 30, 1944, the British Foreign Office indicates that R is prepared to agree and to cooperate in establishing Mixed Military Tribunals to deal with cases which for one reason or another could not be tried in national courts. This would appear, according to the Aide Memoire, to include those cases where a person is accused of having committed war crimes against the nationals of several of the United Nations.


Statement of the President

[Released to the press by the White House, October 7, 1942]

On August twenty-first I said that this Government was constantly receiving information concerning the barbaric crimes being committed by the enemy against civilian populations in occupied countries, particularly on the continent of Europe. I said it was the purpose of this Government, as I knew it to be the purpose of the other United Nations, to see that when victory is won the perpetrators of these crimes shall answer for them before courts of law.

The commission of these crimes continues.

I now declare it to be the intention of this Government that the successful close of the war shall include provision for the surrender to the United Nations of war criminals.

With a view to establishing responsibility of the guilty individuals through the collection and assessment of all available evidence, this Government is prepared to cooperate with the British and other Governments in establishing a United Nations Commission for the Investigation of War Crimes.

The number of persons eventually found guilty will undoubtedly be extremely small compared to the total enemy populations. It is not the intention of this Government or of the Governments associated with us to resort to mass reprisals. It is our intention that just and sure punishment shall be meted out to the ringleaders responsible for the organized murder of thousands of innocent persons and the commission of atrocities which have violated every tenet of the Christian faith.

German Policy of Extermination of the Jewish Race

[Released to the press by the Department of State December 17, 1942]

The attention of the Belgian, Czechoslovak, Greek, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norwegian, Polish, Soviet, United Kingdom, United States, and Yugoslav Governments and also of the French National

Committee has been drawn to numerous reports from Europe that the German authorities, not content with denying to persons of Jewish race in all the territories over which their barbarous rule has been extended the most elementary human rights, are now carrying into effect Hitler's oft-repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people in Europe. From all the occupied countries Jews are being transported in conditions of appalling horror and brutality to eastern Europe. In Poland, which has been made the principal Nazi slaughterhouse, the ghettos established by the German invader are being systematically emptied of all Jews except a few highly skilled workers required for war industries. None of those taken away are ever heard of again. The able-bodied are slowly worked to death in labor camps. The infirm are left to die of exposure and starvation or are deliberately massacred in mass executions. The number of victims of these bloody cruelties is reckoned in many hundreds of thousands of entirely innocent men, women, and children.

The above-mentioned Governments and the French National Committee condemn in the strongest possible terms this bestial policy of cold-blooded extermination. They declare that such events can only strengthen the resolve of all freedom-loving peoples to overthrow the barbarous Hitlerite tyranny. They reaffirm their solemn resolution to insure that those responsible for these crimes shall not escape retribution and to press on with the necessary practical measures to this end.


78th Congress
1st Session
S. Con. Res.

House Calendar No. 53
[Report No. 2521]

March 11, 1943
Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs
March 16, 1943
Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed
Concurrent Resolution

Whereas the American people view with indignation the atrocities inflicted, upon the civilian population in the Nazi occupied countries, and especially the mass murder of Jewish men, women, and children; and

Whereas this policy of the Nazis has created a reign of terror, brutality, and extermination in Poland and other countries in Eastern and Central Europe: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That these brutal and indefensible outrages against million of helpless men, women, and children should be, and they are hereby, condemned as unworthy of any nation or any regime which pretends to be civilized;

Resolved further, That the dictates of humanity and honorable conduct in war demand that this inexcusable slaughter and mistreatment shall cease and that it is the sense of this Congress that those guilty, directly or indirectly, of these criminal acts shall be held accountable and punished in a manner commensurate with the offenses for which they are responsible.

Passed the Senate March 9, 1943.

Attest: EDWIN A. HALSEY, Secretary

Statement Signed by President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill and Premier Stalin Regarding Atrocities

[Released to the press by the Department of State, November 1, 1943(1)]

The United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union have received from many quarters evidence of atrocities, massacres and cold-blooded mass executions which are being perpetrated by Hitlerite forces in many of the countries they have overrun and from which they are now being steadily expelled. The brutalities of Hitlerite domination are no new thing and all peoples or territories in their grip have suffered from the worst form of Government by terror. What is new is that many of these territories are now being redeemed by the advancing armies of the liberating powers and that in their desperation, the recoiling Hitlerite Runs are redoubling their ruthless cruelties. This is now evidenced with particular clearness by monstrous crimes of the Hitlerites on the territory of the Soviet Union which is being liberated from Hitlerites, and on French and Italian territory.

Accordingly, the aforesaid three Allied Powers, speaking in the interests of the thirty-three United Nations, hereby solemnly declare and give full warning of their declaration as follows: At the time of granting of any armistice to any government which may be set up in Germany, those German officers and men and members of the Nazi Party who have been responsible for or have taken a consenting part in the above atrocities, massacres and executions will be sent back to the countries in which their abominable deeds were done in order that they may be judged and punished according to the laws of these liberated countries and of the free governments which will be erected therein. Lists will be compiled in all possible detail from all these countries, having regard especially to invaded parts of the Soviet Union, to Poland and Czechoslovakia, to Yugoslavia and Greece including Crete and other islands, to Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Italy.

Thus, Germans who take part in wholesale shooting of Italian officers or in the execution of French, Dutch, Belgian or Norwegian hostages or of Cretan peasants, or who have shared in slaughters inflicted on the people of Poland or in territories of the Soviet Union which are now being swept clear of the enemy, will know they will be brought back to the scene of their crimes and judged on the spot by the peoples whom they have outraged. Let those who have hitherto not imbrued their hands with innocent blood beware lest they join the ranks of the guilty, for most assuredly the three Allied Powers will pursue them to the uttermost ends of the earth and will deliver them to their accusers in order that justice may be done.

The above declaration is without prejudice to the case of major criminals, whose offenses have no particular geographical localization and who will be punished by j but decision of the Governments of the Allies.

Statement by the President

[Released to the press by the White House, March 24,1944]

The United Nations are fighting to make a world in which tyranny and aggression can not exist; a world based upon freedom, equality and justice; a world in which all persons regardless of race, color or creed may live in peace, honor and dignity.

In the meantime in most of Europe and in parts of Asia the systematic torture and murder of civilians-men, women and children-by the Nazis and the Japanese continue unabated. In areas subjugated by the aggressors innocent Poles, Czechs, Norwegians, Dutch, Danes, French, Greeks, Russians, Chinese, Filipino&-and many others--are being starved or frozen to death or murdered in cold blood in a campaign of savagery.

The slaughters of Warsaw, Lidice, Kharkov and Nanking.--the brutal torture and murder by the Japanese, not only of civilians but of our own gallant American soldiers and fliers-these are startling examples of what goes on day by day, year in and year out, wherever the Nazis and the Japs are in military control-free to follow their barbaric purpose.

In one of the blackest crimes of all history-begun by the Nazis in the day of peace and multiplied by them a hundred times in time of war-Ale wholesale systematic murder of the Jews of Europe goes on unabated every hour. As a result of the events of the last few days hundreds of thousands of Jews, who while living under persecution have at least found a haven from death in Hungary and the Balkans, are now threatened with annihilation as Hitler's forces descend more heavily upon these lands. That these innocent people, who have already survived a decade of Hitler's fury, should perish on the very eve of triumph over the barbarism which their persecution symbolizes, would be a major tragedy.

It is therefore fitting that we should again proclaim our determination that none who participate in these acts of savagery shall go unpunished. The United Nations have made it clear that they will pursue the guilty and deliver them up in order that Justice be done. That warning applies not only to the leaders but also to their functionaries and subordinates in Germany and in the satellite countries. All who knowingly take part in the deportation of Jews to their death in Poland or Norwegians and French to their death in Germany are equally guilty with the executioner. All who share the guilt shall share the punishment.

Hitler is committing these crimes against humanity in the name of the German people. I ask every German and every man everywhere under Nazi domination to show the world by his action that in his heart he does not share these insane criminal desires. Let him hide these pursued victims, help them to get over their borders, and do what he canto save them from the Nazi hangman. I ask him also to keep watch, and to record the evidence that will one day be used to convict the guilty.

In the meantime, and until the victory that is now assured is won, the United States will persevere in its efforts to rescue the victims of brutality of the Nazis and the Japs. In so far as the necessity of military operations permit this Government will use all means at its command to aid the escape of all intended victims of the Nazi and Jap, executioner-regardless of race or religion or color. We call upon the free peoples of Europe and Asia temporarily to open their frontiers to all victims of oppression. We shall find havens of refuge for them, and we shall find the means for their maintenance and support until the tyrant is driven from their homelands and they may return.

In the name of justice and humanity let all freedom loving people rally to this righteous undertaking.

Reply the Soviet Government (2)

The Soviet Government replied on October 14th,1942, by the following Note of M. Molotov, the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs, to the Note Verbale presented to it by the Czechoslovak Minister and a representative of the French National Committee on behalf of the Belgian Government, the Czechoslovak Government, the French National Committee, the Greek Government, the Luxembourg Government, the Netherlands Government the Norwegian Government, the Polish Government and the Yugoslav Government:



In reply to the Note of July 23rd which I received from you and M. Garraux, I have, the honour to transmit to you herewith the text of the declaration by the Soviet Government on the responsibility of the Hitlerite interlopers and their henchmen for the crimes which they have committed in the occupied countries of Europe.

The Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the U.S.S.R., Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin, having acquainted himself with the collective appeal from representatives of countries temporarily occupied by Hitlerite Germany, and having given a solemn warning as to the responsibility for the crimes perpetrated by the Hitlerites on the territory seized by them, instructed the People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs, to bring the notice of the Governments of Czechoslovakia, Poland, Yugoslavia, Norway, Greece, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg and the French National Committee the following declaration of the Soviet Government:

The Soviet Government and the entire Soviet people are imbued with feelings of fraternal solidarity and profound sympathy for the sufferings and courageous struggle of the peoples of the countries of Europe occupied by the Hitlerites.

The misery, degradation and privation inflicted on these peoples by Hitlerite tyranny is all the more understood by the peoples of the Soviet Union since the Hitlerite invaders, in the Soviet areas temporarily occupied by them, are perpetrating crimes and atrocities on a monstrous scale; mass murders of civilians, destruction of towns and villages, plunder and ruin of the population, brutal violation of women, children and the aged, enslavement of hundreds of thousands of people.

The Soviet Government once more confirms the universal and deliberate character of the bloody crimes of the Hitlerite invaders, which prove that the German Fascist Government and its accomplices, in striving to enslave the peoples of the occupied countries, to destroy their culture and debase their national dignity, have also made it their aim to carry out the direct, physical annihilation of a considerable section of the population of the territories captured by them.

The Soviet Government at the same time puts on record that neither by their methods of annihilation and crime, nor by their incitement to internecine strife, nor by their plunder and starvation, nor by their bloody crimes have the German Fascists succeeded in breaking the will of the European peoples to struggle against the invaders for the liberation and restoration of their independent countries.

Dauntless in the face of the inevitable sacrifices which the just, liberating struggle brings in its train, and knowing neither mercy to the enemy nor to his accomplices, the patriots of the countries oppressed by the Hitlerites are making use of all available means of struggle against the invaders, including the launching of popular guerilla warfare.

The courageous fighters for the honour, freedom and independence of the peoples oppressed by the Nazis make every effort to inflict the greatest possible losses on the Hitlerite invaders and the German war machine.

They sabotage war industry and production in occupied territories, using a variety of methods-from slowing down output, and lowering the quality of the work to the calling of strikes, to mass withdrawals from production, destruction of machinery and production, diversionist acts in workshops, power stations and mines.

They sabotage the deliveries of agricultural produce to the German oppressors. They frustrate the Hitlerite measures to recruit for Germany's factories foreign workers, doomed to slave labour on the production of guns intended for use against the Allies and the oppressed peoples of Europe.

They are fighters against the violent German brigands and imperialists and strive to despoil the war supplies and raw materials of the invaders. They break down enemy communications, tear up rails, blow up bridges, derail trains, inflict damage on mercantile and naval vessels, cut telegraph and telephone wires.

They give practical aid to operations by the Allied air forces over occupied Hitlerite territory. They sabotage the measures of military and civil occupation authorities. They punish with death these guilty of organizing and carrying out Hitlerite violence and terror, as well as those traitors who give aid to the invaders.

The most substantial losses have been inflicted on the enemy in those countries where, on the lines of the great movement of people's avengers-guerillas-who are fighting against the invaders in temporarily-occupied Soviet territories, armies of patriots have fearlessly taken this path of armed struggle against the invader, such as has occurred in particular in Yugoslavia.

There is not the slightest doubt that the successful development of this glorious liberating struggle in all its forms will become one of the most important conditions making for the final defeat of the common enemy, and will bring nearer the retribution justly demanded by the representatives of the countries occupied by Hitlerite Germany.

In the note of Vyacheslav Molotov, People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R., dated November 254, 1941, on the abominable crimes of the German authorities against Soviet prisoners of war, and that dated January 6th, 1942, on the universal plunder and ruin of the population and the monstrous atrocities of the German authorities in Soviet territories captured by them, and that dated April 27th, 1942, on the monstrous atrocities and brutal violence of the German Fascist invaders in Soviet districts occupied by them and on the responsibility of the German Government and Military Command for these crimes, sent to all Governments with which the Soviet Union has diplomatic relations, the Soviet Government laid full responsibility for the inhuman and brigandly acts of German troops on the criminal Hitlerite Government of Germany.

It declared that the Hitlerite Government and its accomplices would not escape responsibility and deserved punishment for all the unprecedented atrocities perpetrated against the peoples of the U.S.S.R. and against all the freedom-loving countries.

The Soviet Government declared in addition, that its organs would make a detailed record of these crimes and atrocities of the Hitlerite Army, for which the outraged Soviet people justly demand and will obtain retribution.

Having received information about the monstrous atrocities perpetrated and being perpetrated by the Hitlerites, by order of the Government and military and civil authorities of Germany, on the territories of France, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Yugoslavia, Norway, Greece, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg, and giving the widest publicity to the information received from these countries, the Soviet Government once more declares to the world its inflexible determination that the criminal Hitlerite Government and all its accomplices must and shall suffer deserved, stern punishment for the crimes perpetrated against the peoples of the Soviet Union and against all freedom-loving peoples in territories temporarily occupied by the German army and its accomplices.

The Soviet Government approves and shares the just desire expressed in the collective Note received, that those guilty of the crimes indicated shall be handed over to judicial courts and prosecuted, and that the sentence passed on them shall be put into execution.

The Soviet Government is ready to support all practical measures to this end on the part of Allied and friendly Governments, and counts upon all interested States giving each other mutual assistance in seeking out, handing over, bringing to court and passing sentence on the Hitlerites and their accomplices guilty of the organization, promotion or perpetration of crimes on occupied territory.

The Soviet Government is in agreement with the declaration of Mr. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, made in his speech of October 12th, on the question of punishing the Nazi leaders concretely responsible for countless acts of brutality, i.e., that the, clique of leaders and their cruel accomplices must be mentioned by name, arrested and tried according to the criminal code.

The whole of mankind knows the names and bloody crimes of the leaders of the criminal Hitlerite clique: Hitler, Goering, Hess, Goebbels, Himmler, Ribbentrop, Rosenberg and other organizers of German brutalities from among the leaders of Fascist Germany.

The Soviet Government considers that, like the governments of all states defending their independence against the Hitlerite hordes, it is obliged to regard the stern punishment of the aforesaid leaders of the criminal Hitlerite clique as its immediate duty to the countless widows, orphans, relatives and friends of all those innocent people who have been brutally tortured and killed by order of the criminals named.

The Soviet Government considers it essential to hand over without delay to the courts of the special international tribunal, and to punish according to all the severity of the criminal code, any of the leaders of Fascist Germany who in the course of the war have fallen into the hands of States fighting against Hitlerite Germany.

Renewing at the present time its warning of the full weight of responsibility which the criminal Hitlerite, leaders and all their accomplices bear for the monstrous atrocities perpetrated by them, the Soviet Government considers it opportune to confirm the conviction, expressed in its official declaration, that the Hitlerite Government, which recognizes only brute force, must be smashed by the all-powerful forces of the freedom-loving peoples, since the interests of the whole of mankind demand that as soon as possible the band of barefaced murderers called the government of Hitlerite Germany, shall be finished with once and for all.

Thanking you in advance, I beg you to communicate this declaration to your Government, as well as the Governments of Poland, Yugoslavia, Greece, Belgium, Norway, Holland and Luxembourg.

Please accept the assurance of my profound regard.

People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs,

To M. Z. Fierlinger,
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Czechoslovakia,

(1) The four declarations drawn up at the Conference of Foreign Ministers In Moscow Oct. 19-30, 1943, were released to the press on Nov. 1. The date, Oct 30, appeared on one of these declarations and Is frequently used with reference to the others as well. The documents in this volume which cite the Moscow declaration on atrocities sometimes refer to "the declaration of October 30" and sometimes to "the declaration issued on November 1." Back

(2) This Is a reply to a note verbale which was not Included in the memorandum to the President. Back

International Conference on Military Trials : London, 1945
Report of Robert H. Jackson, United States Representative to the International Conference on Military Trials : London, 1945
International organization and conference series; II
European and British Commonwealth 1
Department of State Publication 3080
Washington, DC : Government Printing Office, 1949

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