I recently read the story in the Sun Journal (April 16) titled “Maranacook teacher brings WWII to life for students.” The story references a photo of the Nuremberg war crimes trial of Nazi and political leaders and an unattributed statement that “All of the Nazi leaders were convicted of war crimes, and all were executed by hanging.”

This statement is incorrect. Of the 21 Nazi defendants tried by the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg between Nov. 20, 1945, and Oct. 1, 1946, only 11 were sentenced to death. Three were sentenced to life imprisonment, four were sentenced to terms from 10 to 20 years, and three — Hans Fritzsche, Franz Poppen and Dr. Hjalmar Schacht — were acquitted.

There were four counts of the indictment, of which war crimes was only one. The other counts were conspiracy to wage aggressive war, crimes against peace, and crimes against humanity. Not all defendants were charged with each count.

Admiral Karl Donitz, who became president of Germany upon the death of Hitler, was convicted of crimes against peace and war crimes; he was sentenced to 10 years.

Julius Streicher, Gauleiter of Franconia from 1922 to 1940, and publisher of the weekly newspaper Die Sturmer, was found guilty of conspiracy to wage aggressive war and crimes against humanity. He was sentenced to death.

One hopes that teachers and reporters everywhere check their facts before attempting to educate.

Mike Banas, Brunswick

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