Chapter 6.3: Was there justice?

Develop knowledge and understanding:

To deepen student knowledge and challenge common misunderstandings, in this chapter they will learn:

  • That 99 per cent of those who were responsible for the Holocaust never faced justice and were not punished.

Challenge myths and misconceptions:

Correct the misconception that all perpetrators of the Holocaust were punished.

Should you choose to share this with students it is very important to be clear that this is a false statement and it needs to be taught about with sensitivity and skill.

Support for in chapter activities:

Support for Think About p.93:

Students can access ‘The Holocaust Explained’ website to consider post war trials in more depth. They can also access information about the trial of John Demjanjuk, whose case was a turning point: ‘In 2011, the trial of 91-year-old John (Ivan) Demjanjuk set a new precedent in Germany. Until Demjanjuk’s 2011 trial, former Nazis were charged with individual murders, rather than ‘genocide’ or mass murder. As a result of this, to convict a former Nazi or collaborator of murder, the courts had to find direct evidence of their role in a specific crime, meaning that it was extremely difficult to charge.’ 

Following Demjanjuk’s trial several other former Nazis were brought to trial to face charges of mass murder.

Students could access this article to consider other trials like that of Bruno Dey:

The trial of Oskar Groening:

Additional resources for teachers:

Further reading materials:

Fulbrook, M. (2018) Reckonings: Legacies of Nazi persecution and the quest for justice: Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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