International Conference on Military Trials : London, 1945
Aide-Me¨moire from the Soviet Government June 14, 1945
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Note: On June 14, 1945, Nikolai V. Novikov, Minister Counselor of the Soviet Embassy at Washington, called on Mr. Justice Jackson and delivered an aide-mèimoire in the Russian language along with the following translation. Its references are to the draft submitted to the Foreign Ministers at San Francisco [IV) and not to the later draft submitted to the embassies.



The Soviet Government considering it extremely important that the punishment of war criminals be realised as soon as possible agrees with the proposal of the Government of the United States about the necessity of an urgent establishment of an international tribunal for trial of principal war criminals-leaders of the Hitlerite Government, the Fascist German army and their agents and accomplices and expresses its readiness to sign without delay an appropriate agreement.

As regards the draft of the very agreement submitted by the Government of the United States the Soviet Government agrees with the outline in its principles and considers it possible to accept it as a basis. The Soviet Government considers it necessary, however, to make the following amendments and supplements to this draft:

1. The introductory part of the agreement (article 1) to be worded as follows: "In accordance with the Moscow Declaration of October 30, 1943 'About the responsibility of the Hitlerites for the atrocities committed' and other statements of the United Nations on the question of punishment of war criminals, the Governments of the USSR, the United States, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Provisional Government of France, acting in the interests of all United Nations, have concluded the following agreement:"

2. In article 4 instead of the words "committed by the Axis powers" to say: "committed by the European Axis powers" and further in accordance with the text.

3. To begin point one of article five with the words: "those German officers and soldiers and members of the Nazi party" and further in accordance with the text. The last paragraph of article five to begin with the words: "The present agreement is being concluded so as to establish an order for prosecution", and further in accordance with the text.

1. In the titles to the articles 6, 8 and 9 to substitute the word "declaration" for "provision" and change their wordings accordingly,

2. To supplement the enumeration of criminal actions (article six of the draft) by making mention of annihilation and other atrocities in respect to prisoners of war and the peaceful population, of plunder and forceful displacement of the population.

3. Article seven to be worded as follows: "In virtue of the present agreement accusation can be brought forward and the guilty be prosecuted also for committing other crimes not mentioned in article 6."

4. Article 11 to be worded as follows: "The fact that the accused acted under orders of his superior or his government will not be considered as justifying the guilt circumstance."

5. Points "C" and "D" of article 12 to be excluded as, in accordance with the Crimea decisions, it is supposed that the Allied Control Council will have the power of dissolution and prohibition, in administrative order, as mentioned in points "C" and "D" of article 12 fascist organizations. This, of course, does not exclude the right of the international tribunal or occupational tribunals to prosecute any member of an organization dissolved in such a way. Accordingly, all provisions pertaining to these organizations should be excluded in subsequent articles.

6. Point "C" of article 14 to be worded as follows: "Do not allow on the part of the accused any intervention, which can cause unjustified delay, or containing propaganda against the United Nations."

7. Division "Tribunals" to be supplemented by a new article of the following contents: "Governments signatories of this agreement pledge to provide the turning over to the jurisdiction of the international tribunal of any person subject to trial by this tribunal."

8. The last sentence of article 20 to be worded in the following way: "The Control Commission can approve the verdict or overrule it and direct the case for new consideration, or reduce the measure of punishment, or introduce other changes in the verdict of the tribunal, but it cannot increase the measure of punishment."

9. In article 22 to point out that the appointed four representatives form a committee of inquiry at the international tribunal for which purpose after the words "a representative" to add: "who form the committee of inquiry at the international tribunal". In the second sentence of this article the words "and acting as a group", should be substituted by the words: "and acting as a committee of inquiry".

10. To supplement article 23 by point "C" of the following contents: "The committee of inquiry uses as proof of guilt materials collected and prepared by the commissions of the United Nations and national commissions on investigation of crimes committed by war criminals subject to trial by the international tribunal." 1. 11. All the expenses on the maintenance of the international tribunal and committee of inquiry to come from the funds which will be allotted for the maintenance of the Allied Control Council in Germany. In accordance with this the wording of articles 24 and 25 should be changed.

12. Article 26 to be excluded. As the occupational courts and tribunals are situated with the occupation troops their maintenance expenses will be included in the general expenses for the maintenance of occupation troops.

13. The draft agreement to be supplemented by a new point providing that the agreement comes into force on the day it is signed.

14. At the end of article 15 and at the end of article 22 to point out accordingly that the members of the international tribunal and the committee of inquiry preside alternately at the meetings.

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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