Socially and economically distressed, following it’s defeat in World War I, Germany sought a new political reign; placing democracy, along with the Treaty of Versailles, at the root of it’s suffering. Despite momentary improvement, continuous economic downturn and political unrest resulted in the country’s rise of fascism under Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler. As the leader of the largest elected party, Hitler was successfully appointed chancellor, initiating the transformation of the Weimar Republic to Nazi Germany, a single-party totalitarian form of government based on the ideology of National Socialism. Determined to recreate Germany as the strongest country in Europe and enforce socialist ideology, Hitler, using acts of aggression and violence, initiated the next global infringement: World War II (WWII).
WWII was a three-front war waged by Nazi Germany on land, sea and air. It caused the destruction of entire countries and the desolation of supposed undesirables. Supporter and follower of Adolf Hitler, Martin Bormann, joined the party in 1926, obliging fully to the acts planned and committed by the Nazi regime, thereby submitting his participation in the acts against humanity during WWII. As a result, many, including Martin Bormann, the man considered influential in Hitler's rise to power, were charged and put on trial for their unjust acts in the Nuremberg Trials. Bormann, in light of his recent disappearance, was tried in absentia. The question to be considered is why was he tried in absentia?
In this exhibit we will examine Martin Bormann and his relevance to the Nuremberg trials by providing necessary background and historical information, and investigating the aspects surrounding his Nazi career, war crimes, trial and disappearance. Utimately reaching the overall conclusion that Bormann was charged in absentia to symbolically and legally provide closure for those affected his crimes against humanity.
This exhibit was created by Alexis Murad, Susie Nicolaysen, Nazifa Haque, Jessica Mehaylo, and Jessica Hardin for Professor Patricia Reeves' class, Gateway to the Past: The Historian's Practice (HST 200), Fall 2015, Suffolk University.