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Germany (War Crimes Trials)

Volume 437: debated on Thursday 22 May 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for War, now that leading German industrialists are being charged by the U.S. and British authorities as criminals for assisting the Nazi war machine, whether any works managers, foremen, coal miners, engineers, agricultural workers, mechanics and other artisans who assisted the Nazis are similarly to be tried; at what level of responsibility these charges are to stop: and when.

The Royal Warrant for the trial of war criminals provides for the trial of persons who are alleged to have committed acts in violation of the laws and usages of war. It is not the intention of the British military authorities to try industrialists as such has war criminals unless there is evidence that they have committed offences against the laws and usages of war. In the British zone of Germany under Control Council and Military Government legislation proceedings may, however, be taken by reason of membership of the Nazi Party under the denazification procedure or of membership of an organisation declared criminal by the International Military Tribunal, or for crimes against humanity. It is intended to complete the trials of members of criminal organisations by the end of this year and denazification proceedings in the course of this summer.