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Parent Remarks to Court on the motion attacking the jurisdiction of the Tribunal
Date June 1946
Language English
Collection Tavenner Papers & IMTFE Official Records
Box Box 3
Folder General Reports and Memoranda from June 1946
Repository University of Virginia Law Library
That as a matter of law, having set in motion and having directed forces threatening in a literal sense the continued existence of all beings throughout the world, they are beyond the reach of any legal power presently existing to punish them. They are, in effect, claiming that a person, or a group of persons who had scattered gasoline and gunpowder throughout a building, stuffed the closets with oil-soaked rage, piled tinder against the doors, and nailed the windows shut so that the occupants could not escape, and then because they handed a torch which they had lighted to an irresponsible individual, who applied it to the building, that they are not guilty of either arson or murder. Can it be that eleven nations represented on this Tribunal and in this Prosecution, and in themselves representative of orderly governments of countries containing one-half to two-thirds of the inhabitants of this earth, having suffered through this aggression the loss of a vast amount of their resources and deplorable and incalculable quantities of blood due to the crimes of murder, brigandage and plunder, are now totally impotent to bring to trial and punish those responsible for this world-wide calamity? These Allied nations, having brought about, as they were compelled to so do, by sheer force, the end of these wars of aggression, must they now stand idly by and permit the perpetrators of these offenses to remain without the reach of any lawful punishment whatsoever? There remains also the proposition in these motions that while these Allied nations in resisting this aggression have made necessary the sacrificed of lives of millions of innocent blameless individuals to end this carnage and this threat to civilization’s existence, we are utterly helpless to bring to book, we lack the lawful authority to punish, the wicked and evil forces that deliberately and designedly brought all this about. And they contend this is law, international law, sound law, and sustainable by legal precepts.