The State, the Courts, and the Lessons of History: An Overview, with Reference to Some Emblematic Cases Chapter uri icon


  • The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018. This chapter explores the origins as well as the political, legal, and historic backdrops to the Nuremberg Trials of the 1940s, the trial of Adolph Eichmann in Jerusalem in 1961, and the French Trials for Crimes Against Humanity of the 1980s and 1990s of the Nazi Klaus Barbie and Vichy officials, Paul Touvier and Maurice Papon. It examines the legal hurdles encountered in each trial and also the ways in which the exigencies of the law and history were often at odds. Finally, in the case of the French trials, which occurred a half century after the crimes were committed, it shows how intervening events complicated both the legal proceedings as well as official efforts to explore thoroughly and make clear to the public the nature and extent of French complicity in the Holocaust.

author list (cited authors)

  • Golsan, R. J.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Golsan, Richard J

Book Title

  • The Palgrave Handbook of State-Sponsored History After 1945

publication date

  • February 2018