Dodd publishes father’s Nuremberg letters


U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) published a collection of the letters of his father, a U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials.

Thomas Dodd’s role was key to achieving the conviction of Hermann Goering, among others. The letters reveal the debates among members of a team that set precedents for war-crimes prosecutions as well as the elder Dodd’s disdain for allies – especially the Soviets – who were impatient with the rule of law and hoped for quick executions. Thomas Dodd eventually was elected a U.S. senator from Connecticut.

In a conference call Wednesday with Jewish reporters, Christopher Dodd, now a candidate for the presidency, said he published “Letters from Nuremberg” now in part because it has been difficult emotionally for his family to come to terms with the letters since they were discovered in 1990.

He added, however, that his father’s commitment to the rule of law resonated today, as the Bush administration faces legal challenges to its dismantling of some war-crimes guarantees, including the right of a detainee to judicial review.

“To watch the United States now step back, habeas corpus, Geneva – the conventions – the secret trials,” he said. “It’s important to remind people that in times of crisis we don’t need to walk away from the rule of law.”

Bush administration officials reject assertions that current U.S. policies on detainees violate the Geneva Conventions.

Recommended from JTA