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meant life. theirs is a war story that deserves to be told. i'm oliver north, good night. >> oliver: tonight, on war stories tonight on "war stories." legendary war crimes in tokyo. >> you'll meet the colorful prosecutors. >> he was very brusque, crude individual. he had a taste of drinking too much. >> we'll take you inside the courtroom dramas. >> it's a struggle for final justice. that's next on "war stories."
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this is room 600 in the palace of justice in germany. i'm oliver north. welcome to "war stories." this courtroom still in use today is where the nazi party and 21 german war criminals faced justice in the aftermath of world war ii. from november 1945 until october 1946, an internaaional tribune com prized of american, british, french, judges were tried for the crime. it was called the greatest trial in history. you'll see tonight it was imperfect, tainted with politics. 5,000 miles away, the other trials of 28 japanese war criminals that got underway in tokyo in january '46. these military trials were called international tribunals were overseen by the military in
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the pacific, douglas mccarthy. tokyo had the behind the scenes drama not the decision not to prosecute the emperor. you'll meet two prosecutors tonight from trials and hear -pstories from those that suffed at the hands of our enemies. >> this guu came back. >> december 1944, the tide of war finally turned, hell on earth continued for pow's. >> to abuse them, to kill them was not. >> they tortured them 36 hours then took them out, made them dig a trench and shot them.
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>> the two horrors would be revealed. the war ended first in europe. hitler's so called thousand year riot made demise nine days before he shot himself and poisoned his mistress turned wife. many of nazi chief leaders were captured alive by the allies. >> how does it come about that we end up with international tribunal? >> the war was an allied joint effort from beginning to end. that was reflected in the conclusion of the war as well. >> as professor of military law, he is an expert on wartime prosecutions. >> we couldn't proceed as we saw fit. we had to console with major allies. >> meeting in 1945, roosevelt,
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church hill and stallin argued about how to punish the nazi leadership in the post war europe. they didn't always see eye to eye. p> church hill said find these guys within six hours. >> church hill had a fiery temperament. in this case i think he was wrrng. >> instead of church hill's way, they found the regime and looked to history as a guide. >> we've had rules for literally thousands of years frchlt around the turn of the 20th century, we've had laws of war that progress to world war i where we had a number of accused war criminals. we allowed germans to trial their own which proved to be unsatisfactory. we determined then we wouldn't make that mistake again, letting
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the enemy try their own. >> not to let the war criminals be tried in germany itself. >> the author of the preclaimed book, famie book. >> each had a judge and prosecution team. >> just weeks after hitler's suicide, 32-year-old lawyer from independence, wisconsin asked to join the prosecution team. >> i had written a paper at the university of wisconsin and that dealt with the nazi regime. so i immediately wanted to get on board. neurom berg was a good name to associate with the trial. >> he played host to hitler's great party rallies. here in 1935 the nazis announced to series of laws. >> today a judge at the palace of justice spoke to us about the
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emphasis laws. >> to have sexual relationship at since the loss of 1935. >> what was the reaction to german people to trials held in this room? >> in the beginning they mistrusted the trial. they regarded this as a weak trial. a atrocities became known. they learned what had happened in their name. they in the court accepted the trials as well as residing of >> most major german cities had been reduced to rubble. neuroemburg survived most. >> there was a balcony intended for journalists. >> bbhind it waa a grim prison where there was accomodation for
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all major war criminals. >> the list of 21 defendants read like a who's who of evil. her man indicted on four counts of conspiracy, waging war crimes against humanity. albert spear, hitler's brilliant architect also indicted on those four counts. one of hitler earliest followers rudolph. in 1923 he followed him into prison to help him write the laws. the right man after hitler's >> robert jackson was a justice on the u.s. supreme court at the time the trials were contemplated. he was extraordinary. he did not have a law degree. he had one year of legal
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training at albany law school in new york. he proved a very effective prosecutor. he won the heart of franklin roosevelt. >> how had jackson been chosen? >> he was a good looking man. hitler started talking to him. >> how did you go about collecting the evidence presented in these trials? >> the germans had a history of writing things up, making notes the amount of documents we found was amazing..o cf1 o we were able to rely on memos themselves as prepared. >> interestingly the nazis did very little about destroying records. there was a death camp, an
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outhouse in austria. they kept death books where they recorded every person who was murdered. so and so died at 12:01. so and so died at 12:02. they all died of heart attacks. >> as the court takes shape, the war still rages in the pacific. japanese watched the fate of
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>> oliver: summer, 1945, wars still summer 1945, war still raged in the pacific. after an epic battle for okay -pfor final invasionnof japan. nazi leaders sat behind bars in a prison, japanese war were well aware they could suffer the same fate. the center holds thousands of
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documents a a testing to japanese war crimes. >> the destruction of a hundred thousand civilians kill there had. japanese take prisoners on that a march. everybody knew trials were going to take place. >> why did you volunteer for duty in china? >> you heard the china marine. he's an icon. >> the china marines were known for adveeture and braveryy burke from harrisburg, illinois went to be stationed. >> i got caught out there. there was 40,000 of them right down the road from us. >> kirk and 203 other ma a reens
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captured in china were sent to work as slave laborers. there were 36 of us sent to japan. >> only 90 pounds, kirk and fellow pow slaves moved metal to the industrial giant seven days a week. those too weak wereebeaten or never seen again. >> i saw kids dying. i mean, they were so young and strong. it was surprise. american youth. >> in the midst of this, he designed a camera to document mistreatment of pows. >> i decided is somebody, anybody in the world should know. that's why i built the camera. >> these pictures secretly taken
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by kirk were proof of japanese war crimes. -pthey had been wwapped in mysty for decades. more on that later. it took two atomic bombs to drive the japanese war lords to surrender a a board the uss in september 1945. mccar thur moved headquarters into the heart of the building. >> it looked like a schoolboy coming to see the master. it's a matter f psychological effect. it showed the japanese people they had lost. back in washingtoo, president trueman struggled to find a prosecutor wrestling with the ghoss of fzr. >> he had been an appointee to the department of justice, a successful attorney. he was rude.
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>> i think truman wanted to get rid of this. >> he was 29 years old when he was called today house 1945. opportunity to you?ike a good >> i didn't have a grasp on it. i knew it had to be bigger than anything. i was sworn to secrecy on what i knew. >> he accepted. in december, the prosecution team of 16 lawyers took off to washington in a c 54 headed for tokyo. >> we'd arrive in pearl harbor. we wanted to make the point we were not there for fun and games. >> soon after they were there, mcarthur made a decision to stand the war. he would not stand trial.
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>> he was one of the most hated men in the world. >> who makes the decision ultimately not to try him? mcarthur, truuan? >> the real decision was made by the president. >> he had to have the everyo everyone -- the emperor under his wing. war criminal. class a were crimes against peace that a initiated the war. they picked the initial 28 and dropped down to 26. they picked those because they felt with those they had a very good, strong case going againss them. >> among the 26, the prime minister. despite a botched suicide attempt, he was known as the razer. he was indicted for raising
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aggressive war and inhummne treatment against pows and civilians. >> this man helped plan tte attack on pearl harbor and ran the country's drug trafficking. initially japanese people were skeptical of the trial process. as the drama unfolded, a seat in the courtroom became the hottest ticket in town. more than 150,000 spectators would eventually attend the two and a half year trials. early on there was trouble. kennon was called back to the u.s. >> kennon was an alcooolic. rumors boiled out. i guess he did come back. he was mean when he wasn't boiled a little bit. >> the prosecution teams struggled with another huge problem, a lack of paper evidence. >> from the surrender in mid august until the time of our arrival, the japanese had been
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burning everything at the army headquarters. when we came to japan, a great deal was with involved. >> coming up, in this courtroom, the trials get underway as chief prosecutor robert jackson wh
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for during the in yonuremberg t? >> were they man kals? >> no. hands were free. they had american soldiers by the first infantry division. wintertime. they had heavy coats. >> the first battalion of the first infantry division. >> the doors were solid..o cf1 o
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there was a hole in the door. there was a guard on each door looking through the hole watching prisoners 24 hours a day. >> to make sure defendants had nothing they could stand on to hand hang themselves from bars on windows. >> using his past to the prison wing, the lieutenant couldn't resist looking at remnants of hitler's elite in their cells. >> i looked primarily at goering. he was the furor. there was a little hole in the door. that's all the light they had. >> the defendants are brought here. >> are those actual cells? >> these cells are used. you could put a military person here from first infantry division that guarded defendant.
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>> november 1945, the trials in nuremberg get underway. >> it was comprised of four judges, u.s., britain, france soviet union. >> great peeple came to work under him. >> the privilege of opening the first trial in history for crimes against the peace of the world, imposes a grave responsibility. >> in the first week of the trial, the 22 defendants heard the charges against them. >> you must plead guilty or not guilty. >> rudolph hess's plea was one word. >> he had no apologies for his role in the regime. when he was in the stand he was
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questioned by the chief prosecutor. >> when justice jackson interviews hermann goering, he gets mad. >> jackson was not a great cross-examiner. he gottthing sos directly that the person being questioned would see a way of bending away from the truth a. >> if you want the people killed you had to have organization to kill them didn't you? i'm not asking. >> goering was thought in some quarters to be something of a bahfoom. he was a brilliant plan. he was a graduate of the german equivalent of west point. goering proved very clever and adaptive. >> the drama in nuremberg would be repeated in japan. when "war stories" continues, the courtroom erupts in tokyo as
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at ally bank no branches equalsit's a fact.. kind of like mute buttons equal danger. ...that sound good? not being on this phone call sounds good. it's not muted. was that you jason? it was geoffrey! it was jason. it could've been brenda. "war sries with oliver nortcontininues right w. >> oliveon the fourth on the fourth anniversary of pearl harbor, evidence of brutality playeddbefore the shocked courtroom. 5,000 miles away, robert donihi and keenan touched down to start the job as prosecutors for the international military tribunal of the far east. >> we were invited the other nations to join us. they were against inviting the soviet union. >> that sam

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