"Defending the Indefensible: Douglas Bates and the Dachau War Crime Trial"
Alan Garfield, Chair

While the Dachau War Trials have been well-documented in Holocaust literature, the strategy and arguments of the chief defense counsel, Douglas T. Bates II, have not. In this study, I will focus on the first (and therefore the precedent-setting) trial within the context of the Military Tribunal. The first-ever concentration camp trial - an 8 man military tribunal, the Dachau War Trial - started five and a half months after Dachau's liberation, on November 15, 1945. And while final arguments and the Tribunal's findings were delivered on December 12, 1945, actual sentencing occurred on December 13, 1945, one month after the beginning of the trial. What were the precedents and how did the trial influence later legal proceedings? The answers to these questions have moral as well as legal implications.

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