“Our commitment must be to remember the victims who perished, respect the survivors still with us, and reaffirm humanity's common aspiration for mutual understanding and justice.”
-- Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust
On 4 May The Wiener Library will host the launch of Dr Dan Plesch’s latest book, Human Rights After Hitler – The Lost History of Prosecuting Axis War Crimes (Georgetown University Press, 2017).
Human Rights After Hitler reveals thousands of forgotten US and Allied war crimes prosecutions against Hitler and other Axis war criminals based on a popular movement for justice that stretched from Poland to the Pacific. These cases provide a great foundation for twenty-first-century human rights and accompany the achievements of the Nuremberg trials and postwar conventions. They include indictments of perpetrators of the Holocaust made while the death camps were still operating, which confounds the conventional wisdom that there was no official Allied response to the Holocaust at the time.
This history also brings long overdue credit to the United Nations War Crimes Commission (UNWCC), which operated during and after World War II. Dan Plesch describes the commission's work and Washington's reaction to a 1944 proposal to prosecute crimes against humanity before an international criminal court.
The event will include remarks by the author.
Dan Plesch is director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS, University of London. He is the author of America, Hitler and the UN, co-editor of Wartime Origins and the Future United Nations, and has been a frequent contributor to the Guardian and other media. On 16 February Dan Plesch took part in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance conference with the Holy See entitled “Refugee Policies from 1933 until Today: Challenges and Responsibilities”. You can watch Dan Plesch's presentation on our Youtube Channel.