October 1943: Moscow Declaration

This lack of consensus among the Allies led to the third major diplomatic step, which occurred a year later in the Soviet Union. On October 30, 1943, the Big Three and China signed the Moscow Declaration, in which the Big Three issued a “Statement on Atrocities.” According to the statement, after the end of hostilities, the three Allied powers would send Nazis accused of atrocities “back to the countries in which their abominable deeds were done in order that they may be judged and punished according to the laws of these liberated countries and of free government which will be erected therein.” The signatories made one important qualification, however, writing that “[t]he above declaration is without prejudice to the case of German criminals whose offenses have no particular geographical localization and who will be punished by joint decision of the government of the Allies.”18 As a result, this declaration raised the possibility of both domestic trials and the establishment of an ICT. By Churchill’s design, this declaration also allowed the Allies to adopt other transitional justice options jointly, such as the U.K.-favored option, extrajudicial execution.

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