Adolf Hitler was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. He rose to power as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and Führer in 1934. During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland in September 1939, he was involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust. Hitler was raised near Linz, he moved to Germany in 1913 and was decorated during his service in the German Army in World War I. In 1919, he joined the German Workers' Party, the precursor of the NSDAP, was appointed leader of the NSDAP in 1921. In 1923, he was imprisoned. In jail, he dictated the first volume of his autobiography and political manifesto Mein Kampf. After his release in 1924, Hitler gained popular support by attacking the Treaty of Versailles and promoting Pan-Germanism, anti-semitism and anti-communism with charismatic oratory and Nazi propaganda, he denounced international capitalism and communism as part of a Jewish conspiracy.
By July 1932 the Nazi Party was the largest elected party in the German Reichstag, but did not have a majority, no party was able to form a majority parliamentary coalition in support of a candidate for chancellor. Former chancellor Franz von Papen and other conservative leaders persuaded President Paul von Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as Chancellor on 30 January 1933. Shortly after, the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act of 1933, which began the process of transforming the Weimar Republic into Nazi Germany, a one-party dictatorship based on the totalitarian and autocratic ideology of National Socialism. Hitler aimed to eliminate Jews from Germany and establish a New Order to counter what he saw as the injustice of the post-World War I international order dominated by Britain and France, his first six years in power resulted in rapid economic recovery from the Great Depression, the abrogation of restrictions imposed on Germany after World War I, the annexation of territories inhabited by millions of ethnic Germans, which gave him significant popular support.
Hitler sought Lebensraum for the German people in Eastern Europe, his aggressive foreign policy is considered the primary cause of World War II in Europe. He directed large-scale rearmament and, on 1 September 1939, invaded Poland, resulting in Britain and France declaring war on Germany. In June 1941, Hitler ordered an invasion of the Soviet Union. By the end of 1941, German forces and the European Axis powers occupied most of Europe and North Africa. In December 1941, shortly after Japan attacked Pearl Harbour, Hitler declared war on the United States, bringing it directly into the conflict. Failure to defeat the Soviets and the entry of the United States into the war forced Germany onto the defensive and it suffered a series of escalating defeats. In the final days of the war, during the Battle of Berlin in 1945, he married his longtime lover Eva Braun. Less than two days on 30 April 1945, the two committed suicide to avoid capture by the Soviet Red Army. Under Hitler's leadership and racially motivated ideology, the Nazi regime was responsible for the genocide of at least 5.5 million Jews and millions of other victims who he and his followers deemed Untermenschen or undesirable.
Hitler and the Nazi regime were responsible for the killing of an estimated 19.3 million civilians and prisoners of war. In addition, 28.7 million soldiers and civilians died as a result of military action in the European theatre. The number of civilians killed during World War II was unprecedented in warfare, the casualties constitute the deadliest conflict in history. Hitler's father Alois; the baptismal register did not show the name of his father, Alois bore his mother's surname Schicklgruber. In 1842, Johann Georg Hiedler married Alois's mother Maria Anna. Alois was brought up in the family of Johann Nepomuk Hiedler. In 1876, Alois was legitimated and the baptismal register changed by a priest to register Johann Georg Hiedler as Alois's father. Alois assumed the surname "Hitler" spelled Hiedler, Hüttler, or Huettler; the name is based on "one who lives in a hut". Nazi official Hans Frank suggested that Alois's mother had been employed as a housekeeper by a Jewish family in Graz, that the family's 19-year-old son Leopold Frankenberger had fathered Alois.
No Frankenberger was registered in Graz during that period, no record has been produced of Leopold Frankenberger's existence, so historians dismiss the claim that Alois's father was Jewish. Adolf Hitler was born on 20 April 1889 in Braunau am Inn, a town in Austria-Hungary, close to the border with the German Empire, he was christened as "Adolphus Hitler". He was the fourth of six children born to his third wife, Klara Pölzl. Three of Hitler's siblings—Gustav and Otto—died in infancy. Living in the household were Alois's children from his second marriage: Alois Jr. and Angela. When Hitler was three, the family moved to Germany. There he acquired the distinctive lower Bavarian dialect, rather than Austrian German, which marked his speech throughout his life; the family returned to Austria and settled in Leonding in 1894, in June 1895 Alois retired to Hafeld, near Lambach, where he farmed and kept bees. Hitler attended Volksschule (a state-owned primary schoo
Gottlob Christian Berger was a senior German Nazi official who held the rank of SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS, was the chief of the SS Main Office responsible for Schutzstaffel recruiting during World War II. Following the war, he was convicted as a war criminal, spending a total of six-and-a-half years in prison. Serving in the German Army during World War I, he was wounded four times and awarded the Iron Cross First Class. After the war, he was a leader of the Einwohnerwehr militia in his native North Württemberg, he joined the Nazi Party in 1922, but lost interest in right-wing politics during the 1920s, training and working as a physical education teacher. In the late 1920s, he rejoined the Nazi Party and became a member of the paramilitary Sturmabteilung in 1931, he clashed with other leaders of the SA, joined the Allgemeine-SS in 1936. Responsible for physical education in an SS region, he was soon transferred to the staff of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler as head of the sports office.
In 1938, he was appointed as head of the recruiting office of the SS Main Office, taking over as chief of the SS-HA the following year. To a significant extent, Berger was the "father" of the Waffen-SS, as he not only implemented recruiting structures and policies that assisted the Waffen-SS to circumvent Wehrmacht controls over conscription, but extended Waffen-SS recruiting first to "Germanic" volunteers from Scandinavia and western Europe Volksdeutsche outside the Reich, to peoples who in no way reflected Himmler's ideas of "racial purity", he advocated greater ideological training for the Waffen-SS, but did not view SS ideology as a replacement for religion. He sponsored and protected his friend Oskar Dirlewanger, whom he placed in command of a unit of convicted criminals. Berger clashed with senior officers of the Wehrmacht and with senior Waffen-SS officers over his recruiting methods, but he took advantage of opportunities as they presented themselves in order to grow the Waffen-SS to a total of 38 divisions by war's end.
Berger undertook several other roles in the latter stages of the war, while continuing as chief of the SS-HA. He had a key role in the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories from mid-1942, allowing the SS to direct much of the economic activity in the east. In this role he proposed a plan to kidnap and enslave 50,000 Eastern European children between the ages of 10 and 14, under the codename Heuaktion, a plan, subsequently carried out. In response to the Slovak National Uprising in August 1944, Berger was appointed as Military Commander in Slovakia, was in charge during the initial failure to suppress the revolt; the following month he was appointed as one of the two chiefs of staff of the Volkssturm militia, as chief of the prisoner of war camps. In the final months of the war he commanded German forces in the Bavarian Alps, which included remnants of several of the Waffen-SS units he had helped recruit, he surrendered to U. S. troops near Berchtesgaden, was promptly arrested. He was tried and convicted in the Ministries Trial of the U.
S. Nuremberg Military Tribunals for war crimes, was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment, his sentence was soon reduced to 10 years, he was released after serving six-and-a-half years. After release he advocated for the rehabilitation of the Waffen-SS and worked in several manufacturing businesses, he died in his hometown in 1975. Described as blustery, "one of Himmler's most competent and trusted war-time lieutenants", Berger was an ardent anti-Semite and a skilled and unscrupulous bureaucratic manipulator. Due to his organisational and recruiting skills, Berger was kept as the chief of the SS-HA throughout the war. Berger was born on 16 July 1896 at Gerstetten in the Kingdom of Württemberg, the son of saw-mill owners Johannes and Christine, was one of eight children, he attended Volksschule and Realschule and teacher training in Nürtingen. He volunteered for military service at the beginning of World War I, rose to the rank of Leutnant in the infantry by the time of his discharge in 1919. Wounded four times, he was awarded the Iron Cross First Class, was considered 70 per cent disabled at the time of his discharge.
During the war, all three of his brothers died, two killed in action and the other executed as a spy in the United States. Berger's combative temperament and conservative politics fitted him for a leadership role with the North Württemberg Einwohnerwehr militia in 1918–19, he married Maria in 1921. After joining the Nazi Party in 1922, he was arrested and held in custody after Adolf Hitler's Munich Beer Hall Putsch in November 1923, he trained and worked as a physical education teacher, despite his injuries, lost interest in politics for some years, before rejoining the Nazi Party in 1929, the paramilitary Sturmabteilung in January 1931. Berger's SA career was limited by his soldierly ideas of politics and leadership, but after the Nazi seizure of power in January 1933, he was found to be suitable to lead Schutzhaft operations, which involved the rounding up of Jews and "political undesirables". In April 1933, his clashes with younger leaders meant, his SA peers criticised Berger's ambitious nature and lack of self-reflection.
Beginning in July 1934, Berger worked with the SA training chief SA-Obergruppenführer Friedrich-Wilhelm Krüger. Between 1933 and 1935, he was a school inspector in Esslingen am Neckar near Stuttgart, in 1935 was a senior official
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
SS-Junker Schools were leadership training facilities for SS-Junkers, officer candidates of the Schutzstaffel. The term Junkerschulen was introduced by Nazi Germany in 1937, although the first facilities were established at Bad Tölz and Braunschweig in 1934 and 1935. Additional schools were founded at Klagenfurt and Posen-Treskau in 1943, Prague in 1944. Unlike the Wehrmacht's "war schools", admission to the SS-Junker Schools did not require a secondary diploma. Training at these schools provided the groundwork for employment with the Sicherheitspolizei, the Sicherheitsdienst, for the Waffen-SS. Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler intended for these schools to mold cadets for future service in the officer ranks of the SS; as part of an effort to professionalize their officers, the SS founded a Leadership School in 1934. Following shortly, a second school at Braunschweig under the direction of SS-Obersturmführer Paul Hausser was founded. In 1937, Himmler rechristened the Leadership Schools to "Junker Schools" in honor of the land-owning Junker aristocracy that once dominated the Prussian military.
Akin to the Junker officers of their namesake, most cadets led Waffen-SS regiments into combat. By the time World War II in Europe was underway, additional SS Leadership Schools at Klagenfurt, Posen-Treskau and Prague had been founded. Created to educate and mold the next generation of leadership within the SS, cadets were taught to be adaptable officers who could perform any task assigned to them, whether in a police role, at a Nazi concentration camp, as part of a fighting unit, or within the greater SS organization. Additional administrative and economic training was included at the behest of SS-Gruppenführer Oswald Pohl and the SS Main Economic and Administrative Department. Pohl intended to shape future SS officers into effective and efficient managers of the SS economics industry and insisted that supplemental training in corporate operations was integrated into the curriculum. General military instruction over logistics and planning was provided but much of the training concentrated on small-unit tactics associated with raids and ambushes.
Training an SS officer took as much as nineteen months overall and encompassed additional things like map reading, military maneuvers, political education, weapons training, physical education, combat engineering and automobile mechanics, all of which were provided in varying degrees at additional training facilities based on the cadet’s specialization. Political and ideological indoctrination was part of the syllabus for all SS cadets but there was no merger of academic learning and military instruction like that found at West Point in the United States. Instead, personality training was stressed, which meant future SS leaders/officers were shaped above all things by a National Socialist worldview and attitude. Instruction at the Junker Schools was designed to communicate a sense of racial superiority, a connection to other dependable like-minded men, a toughness that accorded the value system of the SS. Throughout their stay during the training, cadets were monitored for their "ideological reliability."
It is postulated that the merger of the police with the SS was at least the result of their shared attendance at the SS Junker Schools
The Nuremberg trials were a series of military tribunals held by the Allied forces under international law and the laws of war after World War II. The trials were most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military and economic leadership of Nazi Germany, who planned, carried out, or otherwise participated in the Holocaust and other war crimes; the trials were held in the city of Nuremberg and their decisions marked a turning point between classical and contemporary international law. The first and best known of these trials was that of the major war criminals before the International Military Tribunal, it was described as "the greatest trial in history" by Sir Norman Birkett, one of the British judges who presided over them. Held between 20 November 1945 and 1 October 1946, the Tribunal was given the task of trying 24 of the most important political and military leaders of the Third Reich – though the proceeding against Martin Bormann was tried in absentia, while another defendant, Robert Ley, committed suicide within a week of the trial's commencement.
Adolf Hitler, Wilhelm Burgdorf, Hans Krebs and Joseph Goebbels had all committed suicide in the spring of 1945 to avoid capture. Heinrich Himmler was captured before he could succeed. Krebs and Burgdorf committed suicide two days after Hitler in the same place. Reinhard Heydrich had been assassinated by Czech partisans in 1942. Josef Terboven killed himself with dynamite in Norway in 1945. Adolf Eichmann fled to Argentina to avoid Allied capture, but was apprehended by Israel's intelligence service and hanged in 1962. Hermann Göring was sentenced to death, but committed suicide by consuming cyanide the night before his execution in defiance of his captors. Miklós Horthy appeared as a witness at the Ministries trial held in Nuremberg in 1948; this article deals with the first trial, conducted by the IMT. Further trials of lesser war criminals were conducted under Control Council Law No. 10 at the U. S. Nuremberg Military Tribunal, which included the Doctors' trial and the Judges' Trial; the categorization of the crimes and the constitution of the court represented a juridical advance that would be used afterwards by the United Nations for the development of a specific international jurisprudence in matters of war crime, crimes against humanity, war of aggression, as well as for the creation of the International Criminal Court.
The Nuremberg indictment mentions genocide for the first time in international law A precedent for trying those accused of war crimes had been set at the end of World War I in the Leipzig War Crimes Trials held in May to July 1921 before the Reichsgericht in Leipzig, although these had been on a limited scale and regarded as ineffectual. At the beginning of 1940, the Polish government-in-exile asked the British and French governments to condemn the German invasion of their country; the British declined to do so. Bland because of Anglo-French reservations, it proclaimed the trio's "desire to make a formal and public protest to the conscience of the world against the action of the German government whom they must hold responsible for these crimes which cannot remain unpunished."Three-and-a-half years the stated intention to punish the Germans was much more trenchant. On 1 November 1943, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States published their "Declaration on German Atrocities in Occupied Europe", which gave a "full warning" that, when the Nazis were defeated, the Allies would "pursue them to the uttermost ends of the earth... in order that justice may be done....
The above declaration is without prejudice to the case of the major war criminals whose offences have no particular geographical location and who will be punished by a joint decision of the Government of the Allies." This intention by the Allies to dispense justice was reiterated at the Yalta Conference and at Potsdam in 1945. British War Cabinet documents, released on 2 January 2006, showed that as early as December 1944 the Cabinet had discussed their policy for the punishment of the leading Nazis if captured; the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, had advocated a policy of summary execution in some circumstances, with the use of an Act of Attainder to circumvent legal obstacles, being dissuaded from this only by talks with US and Soviet leaders in the war. In late 1943, during the Tripartite Dinner Meeting at the Tehran Conference, the Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin, proposed executing 50,000–100,000 German staff officers. US President Franklin D. Roosevelt joked that 49,000 would do.
Churchill, believing them to be serious, denounced the idea of "the cold blooded execution of soldiers who fought for their country" and that he would rather be "taken out in the courtyard and shot" himself than partake in any such action. However, he stated that war criminals must pay for their crimes and that, in accordance with the Moscow Document which he himself had written, they should be tried at the places where the crimes were committed. Churchill was vigorously opposed to executions "for political purposes." According to the minutes of a meeting between Roosevelt and Stalin at Yalta, on 4 February 1945, at the Livadia Palace, President Roosevelt "said
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
A war crime is an act that constitutes a serious violation of the laws of war that gives rise to individual criminal responsibility. Examples of war crimes include intentionally killing civilians or prisoners, destroying civilian property, taking hostages, performing a perfidy, using child soldiers, declaring that no quarter will be given, violating the principles of distinction and proportionality, such as strategic bombing of civilian populations; the concept of war crimes emerged at the turn of the twentieth century when the body of customary international law applicable to warfare between sovereign states was codified. Such codification occurred at the national level, such as with the publication of the Lieber Code in the United States, at the international level with the adoption of the treaties during the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907. Moreover, trials in national courts during this period further helped clarify the law. Following the end of World War II, major developments in the law occurred.
Numerous trials of Axis war criminals established the Nuremberg principles, such as notion that war crimes constituted crimes defined by international law. Additionally, the Geneva Conventions in 1949 defined new war crimes and established that states could exercise universal jurisdiction over such crimes. In the late 20th century and early 21st century, following the creation of several international courts, additional categories of war crimes applicable to armed conflicts other than those between states, such as civil wars, were defined; the trial of Peter von Hagenbach by an ad hoc tribunal of the Holy Roman Empire in 1474 was the first "international" war crimes trial, of command responsibility. He was convicted and beheaded for crimes that "he as a knight was deemed to have a duty to prevent", although he had argued that he was "just following orders". In 1865, Henry Wirz, a Confederate States Army officer, was held accountable by a military tribunal and hanged for the appalling conditions at Andersonville Prison, where many Union prisoners of war died during the American Civil War.
The Hague Conventions were international treaties negotiated at the First and Second Peace Conferences at The Hague, Netherlands, in 1899 and 1907 and were, along with the Geneva Conventions, among the first formal statements of the laws of war and war crimes in the nascent body of secular international law. The Geneva Conventions are four related treaties adopted and continuously expanded from 1864 to 1949 that represent a legal basis and framework for the conduct of war under international law; every single member state of the United Nations has ratified the conventions, which are universally accepted as customary international law, applicable to every situation of armed conflict in the world. However, the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions adopted in 1977 containing the most pertinent and virulent protections of international humanitarian law for persons and objects in modern warfare are still not ratified by a number of States continuously engaged in armed conflicts, namely the United States, India, Iraq and others.
Accordingly, states retain different values with regard to wartime conduct. Some signatories have violated the Geneva Conventions in a way which either uses the ambiguities of law or political maneuvering to sidestep the laws' formalities and principles. Three conventions were revised and expanded with the fourth one added in 1949: First Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field. Second Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea. Third Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Two Additional Protocols were adopted in 1977 with the third one added in 2005, completing and updating the Geneva Conventions: Protocol I relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts. Protocol II relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts.
Protocol III relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem. A small number of German military personnel of the First World War were tried in 1921 by the German Supreme Court for alleged war crimes; the modern concept of war crime was further developed under the auspices of the Nuremberg Trials based on the definition in the London Charter, published on August 8, 1945. Along with war crimes the charter defined crimes against peace and crimes against humanity, which are committed during wars and in concert with war crimes. Known as the Tokyo Trial, the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal or as the Tribunal, it was convened on May 3, 1946 to try the leaders of the Empire of Japan for three types of crimes: "Class A", "Class B", "Class C", committed during World War II. On July 1, 2002, the International Crimi