Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Heise on Nuremberg and the Abiguous History of the Tu Quoque Defense
Posted by Mary L. Dudziak
Deciding Not to Decide: Nuremberg and the Ambiguous History of the Tu Quoque Defense is an article by Nicole A. Heise. Based on archival research in Nuremburg-related papers, the article won the Emerson Prize for outstanding academic promise in history, and was published in The Concord Review (2007). Heise wrote the article while a sophomore at Ithaca High School. Here's the abstract: Tu Quoque forged its historic legacy during the Nuremberg Tribunal following World War II when German Admiral Karl Doenitz used it as a defense to deflect war crime charges brought against him. By raising the Tu Quoque defense, Doenitz argued that he should be acquitted because other leaders and nations also committed the same crimes. Although many scholars note the Tu Quoque defense's importance, its history has largely been ignored. Using original court documents and personal papers from the Nuremberg Tribunal collection archived at Cornell University, this essay argues that the Tu Quoque defense's history is far from clear and that this ambiguous history clouds its legacy.