- The defendants of the Ministries Trial sit in the dock.
First row, left to right: State Secretaries Ernst von Wiezsaecker, Gustav Adolf Steengracht von Moyland, Wilhelm Keppler and Ernst Wilhelm Bohle. Second row: Press Chief Otto Dietrich, SS General Gottlob Berger, Intelligence Chief Walter Schellenberg and Reich Finance Minister Lutz Schwerin von Krosigk.
- Nuremberg, [Bavaria] Germany
- Variant Locale
- Photo Credit
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Robert Kempner
- Event History
- The U.S. Military Government for Germany created the Military Tribunal IV-A on December 11, 1947 in order to try the Ministries Case, the eleventh subsequent Nuremberg proceeding. The twenty-one defendants, including three Reich Ministers, as well as state secretaries and members of the Nazi Party hierarchy, were indicted on November 18 and arraigned two days later. The indictment listed eight counts: eighteen of the defendants were charged with committing crimes against peace by participating in the planning, preparation, initiation, and waging of wars of aggression and wars in violation of international treaties; seventeen of the defendants were charged with participating in a common plan or conspiracy to commit crimes against peace; eight were charged with committing war crimes by participating in atrocities and offenses, including murder, enslavement, and ill-treatment against POWs and those at war with Germany; thirteen were charged with committing crimes against humanity by participating in atrocities and offenses, including murder, extermination, and enslavement, against German nationals on political, religious, and racial grounds; nineteen were charged with committing war crimes and crimes against humanity by participating in the atrocities and offenses listed above against German nationals and civilians of territories under German occupation; sixteen were charged with committing war crimes and crimes against humanity by participating in the plunder of public and private property, exploitation, and spoliation of countries under German occupation; fourteen were charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity by participating in the enslavement, deportation for slave labor, and ill-treatment of civilians of territories under German control, German nationals, and POWs; and finally, fourteen were charged with membership in the SS, one with membership in the SD, and four with membership in the leadership corps of the Nazi Party, all recently-declared criminal organizations. The trial ran from January 6, 1948 until November 18, making it the second longest Nuremberg proceeding after the main IMT Trial. The Tribunal returned its judgment on six of the eight counts between April 11th and 13th, 1949, having dismissed count four during the trial, ruling it was beyond their jurisdiction, and dismissing count two for lack of evidence. It acquitted two of the defendants, but found the rest guilty on at least one charge. Sentencing was announced on April 13, the convicted defendants receiving terms ranging from 4 to 25 years. One final defendant was sentenced to time served. The United States High Commissioner for Germany revised these sentences on January 31, 1951, however, reducing eight of the sentences to various shorter terms or to time served.