property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity: "(c) Crimes Against Humanity: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war, or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated. "Leaders, organizers, instigators, and accomplices, participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan."
These provisions are binding upon the Tribunal as the law to be applied to the case. The Tribunal will later discuss them in more detail; but, before doing so, it is necessary to review the facts. For the purpose of showing the background of the aggressive war and war crimes charged in the Indictment, the Tribunal will begin by reviewing some of the events that followed the first World War, and in particular, by tracing the growth of the Nazi Party under Hitler's leadership to a position of supreme power from which it controlled the destiny of the whole German People, and paved the way for the alleged commission of all the crimes charged against the defendants.

The Nazi Regime in Germany
the Origin and Aims of the Nazi Party

On 5 January 1919, not two months after the conclusion of the Armistice which ended the first World War, and six months before the signing of the peace treaties at Versailles, there came into being in Germany a small political party called the German Labor Party. On 12 September 1919 Adolf Hitler became a member of this Party, and at the first public meeting held in Munich, on 24 February 1920, he announced the Party's program. That program, which remained unaltered until the Party was dissolved in 1945, consisted of 25 points, of which the following five are of particular interest on account of the light they throw on the matters with which the Tribunal is concerned:

"Point 1. We demand the unification of all Germans in the Greater Germany, on the basis of the right of self-determination of peoples.

Point 2. We demand equality of rights for the German People in respect to the other nations; abrogation of the peace treaties of Versailles and Saint Germain.