Date on Honors Thesis

Fall 11-2016



Examining Committee Member

Dr. David Pizzo, Advisor

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Drew Seib, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Jared Rosenberger, Committee Member


The International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, commonly known as the Nuremberg Trials, is credited with indictment of the major Nazi war criminals of the Second World War. But, were all of the individuals who were indicted in 1945 actually major war criminals? Or, were they minor war criminals who happened to be more well-known? Through the use of historical and legal means, my research looks to why the twenty-four defendants were chosen to be indicted in an era which hosts scores of persons who could be labelled major war criminals. Reasons including the groups that these defendants were connected with and the government positions they held both formally and informally within the Third Reich. These defendants were chosen in order to be used as a first impression which would be used as legal precedent against the rest of post-Nazi Germany in the criminal cases that followed the fall of the Third Reich by both international and national powers.