Dr. Dan Plesch will present his analysis of thousands of newly available indictments of Germans and Japanese many made during the Second World War and supported by the Allies. His presentation will draw on his book Human Rights After Hitler: The Lost History of Prosecuting Axis War Crimes. The book is based on the archive of the 1943-1948, 17-nation UN War Crimes Commission. Among the findings are indictments of Nazis for the death camps in 1944 – while they were still operating – and that these were considered and endorsed by representatives of China and still-Imperial India along with the Western Allies. His research demonstrates that sexual violence in warfare was recognized during WWII as a war crime; that there was a working definition of a “crime against humanity” during WWII, not after; and that Asian states and Asians were involved in establishing this definition and in identifying war crimes prior to the end of the war.
Dr. Plesch directs the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS, University of London and his previous books include America, Hitler and the UN and Beauty Queen’s Guide to World Peace. Dr. Plesch read history at Nottingham and obtained professional qualifications in social work and public administration from Bristol in 1979 and 1980, he then worked for non-governmental organizations focused on the abolition of nuclear weapons. In 1986, he founded the British American Security Information Council (BASIC) and directed it from Washington, DC, until 2001, when he became the Senior Research Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies in London.
His book will be available for a modest donation to Asia Policy Point.
“Human Rights After Hitler: The Lost History of Prosecuting Axis War Crimes.” Plesch, Dan. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2017. 272 pages.