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March 24, 1951

The Velpke Baby Home Trial: Trial of Heinrich Gerike, Georg Hessling, Werner Noth, Hermann Müller, Gustav Claus, Richard Demmerich, Fritz Flint, Valentina Bilien

JAMA. 1951;145(12):940. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.02920300080034

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Abstract

This book, one of a series devoted to reporting war crime trials, deals with the trial of a physician and several laymen jointly charged with the unusual crime of "killing by wilful neglect." All defendants were, in one capacity or another, connected with the operation of a nursery home where children of slave laborers were kept and where 96 children died of diarrhea, dysentery or malnutrition in a period of eight months.

The book actually has two parts: the introduction, an excellent essay discussing the reasons for and aspects of war crime trials, and the report of the trial itself, an abstract of the evidence of the trial. The introduction answers many common questions concerning the right of the victor to try the vanquished, discusses precedent and explains procedures. It points out the unusual nature of the crime forming the basis of this trial and explains adequately for a lay

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