The Betrayal: The Nuremberg Trials and German Divergence

ISBN : 9780198790327

Kim Christian Priemel
496 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
May 2018
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The Betrayal is the first integrated, comprehensive history of the Nuremberg war crimes trials in 70 years. Building on previously unused archival materials it looks at all thirteen proceedings held at Nuremberg between 1945 and 1949, as well as at the corresponding British and French cases. Reappraising the trials' pivotal role in transitioning Germany into a liberal-democratic society, The Betrayal shows how notions of German divergence from a presumed Western path of development informed Allied interpretations of Nazi crimes and fed into the trial design. The idea that Germany had betrayed the Western model figured in virtually all proceedings, yet it was articulated in different ways and with uneven success in court, depending on different sets of protagonists, subject matters, and contexts. Approached from this vantage point, it is not only the effects of Nuremberg but also the way in which history underpins transitional trials which come to the fore.


1 Introduction: Drawing Lines
2 Mapping the West: Nuremberg's Textbooks
3 Constructing Nuremberg
4 The Lunatic Fringe, Mostly
5 Paving the Sonderweg
6 Saving Capitalism
7 Trying Modernity or La trahison des clercs
8 East by South-East: The Military Cases
9 Reintegrating the Other
10 After Nuremberg

About the author: 

Hailing from the north of Germany, Kim Christian Priemel studied modern history, public law, and English literature at the Universities of Freiburg and St Andrews. He graduated in 2002 and earned his PhD from Freiburg University in 2007 with a dissertation in business history. After a brief stint at the Munich-based Institute of Contemporary History he joined Viadrina University Frankfurt as an assistant professor in social and economic history. From 2009 to 2016 Priemel was an assistant professor and, from 2013, a Dilthey Fellow of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation at Humboldt University Berlin which he left upon completing his Habilitation with a study of the Nuremberg war crimes trials. He has held research fellowships at the German Historical Institute London, Wolfson College Cambridge, and the Center for European Studies at Harvard University.

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