The Einsatzgruppen Trial (or, officially, The United States of America vs. Otto Ohlendorf, et al.)
On September 10, 1947, the U.S. Military Government for Germany created Military Tribunal II-A (later renamed Tribunal II) to try the Einsatzgruppen Case.
The 24 defendants were all leaders of the mobile security and killing units of the SS, the Einsatzgruppen.
On July 29, 1947, the defendants were indicted on three counts of criminality: crimes against humanity, war crimes, and membership in organizations declared criminal by the International Military Tribunal. Each of the 24 defendants was charged with all three counts, covering the period of their activity from May 1941 to July 1943. Each defendant pleaded "not guilty." Their defense hinged upon the argument that they had acted legally, as soldiers, and had merely been following orders. The defendants were arraigned between September 15 and 22, 1947, and the trial ran from September 29 to February 12, 1948.
The Einsatzgruppen Trial (or, officially, The United States of America vs. Otto Ohlendorf, et al.) was the ninth of the twelve trials for war crimes the U.S. authorities held in their occupation zone in Germany in Nuremberg after the end of World War II. These twelve trials were all held before U.S. military courts, not before the International Military Tribunal, but took place in the same rooms at the Palace of Justice. The twelve U.S. trials are collectively known as the "Subsequent Nuremberg Trials" or, more formally, as the "Trials of War Criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals" (NMT).
The Nuremberg Trials at PBS