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US - 10 - MoWoHi - Crimes Against Humanity/Human Rights/Genocide Trial-2017: Assignment


Butler/Duquette/Zinn                                                                                                               Spring 2017


Crimes Against Humanity/Human Rights/Genocide Trial

Most studies of the Second World War end with a discussion of the Holocaust but we would like you to have a greater understanding of the definition of “crimes against humanity”, “genocide”, and “human rights” and how they were violated by many nations that participated in World War II, even though some of them were not held accountable for their actions.  Your task is to read the definitions of “Crimes Against Humanity”, “Genocide”, and “Human Rights”, as compiled by the United Nations in 1948 and the International Military Tribunal, create a position paper that states how your country was guilty of violating any or all of these definitions, and put members of your country on trial to prove your accusations.


The class will be divided into groups representing Germany, The Soviet Union, Japan, and The United States.

The main areas of investigation will be:

  1. Treatment of Prisoners of War
  2. The treatment of civilians, in their own country and in conquered areas
  3. The treatment of specific ethnic or racial groups


Specific areas for your research could be:


                        Stalag System (Prisoners of War)

                        Execution of US prisoners during Battle of the Bulge

                        Work Camps (Jews, etc.)

Death Camps (Holocaust)

                        Department “Aktion” T-4: Zyklon B Gas

                        Einsatzgruppen: Mobile killing squads


                        Wannsee Conference

                        Medical Testing

                        Babi Yar (Ukraine)

                        Nuremberg War Trials (Tribunal)          

            Malmedy massacre (Battle of the Bulge)



                        Treatment of Allied Prisoners of War/Japanese philosophy towards POWs

Death March at Bataan

                        Rape of Nanjing/Nanking

Comfort Women

Kill Order (POWs)

                        Medical Testing on the Chinese: Unit 731

                        Japanese War Trials: Tokyo Tribunal



                        Gulag System (Prison Camps)

                        Treatment of German Prisoners of War

                        Eviction and murder of Germans in conquered land: ex. Sudetenland

                        Stalin’s Death Lists (Civilians) – aka: Great Purge, Great Terror

“Rape” of Berlin/Treatment of Berliners


United States:

                        Atomic Bombing of:



                        “Fire-bombing” of Dresden, Germany

“Fire-bombing” of Tokyo, Japan

Treatment of Japanese “US Citizens” – internment camps

Treatment of “German American citizens” – internment camps

                        Japanese and German Prisoners of War

                        Sexual assault of French and German women

Important Dates:

Library Research: Thursday, February 2 – Wednesday, February 8

Group Work: Wednesday, February 8 & Thursday, February 9

Position Paper: Due Monday, February 13 at the start of class.  You must submit to prior to class on February 13 (the class ID & Password are on MyLatin page).



Position paper -  using evidence to support an underlined thesis stating how your country or government was a major violator of “Human Rights” as defined by the United Nations and the International Military Tribunal – these violations could be for one, two, or all three of the counts.

  1. The position paper must be 2 to 3 pages in length, typed, and double-spaced in a reasonable font.
  2. You must use MLA format and number your pages.
  3. You must use a minimum of four sources.
    1. One source must be a Primary Source.
    2. One source must be from a database.
    3. One source must be from an actual book (not a general encyclopedia).
    4. One source must be a visual (map, artwork, cartoon, photograph, chart, etc.).
  4. You must include an MLA works cited list; please include URLs in your Works Cited entries.
  5. You must use MLA in-text citations.


Trial Notes - using evidence to support your thesis about how your country or government was a major violator of “Human Rights” as defined by the UN and the IMT – these violations could be for one, two, or all three of the counts.

  1. The notes must outline your questions as a prosecutor.
  2. The notes must outline the evidence that you will present as a witness.
  3. You must include an MLA works cited list; please include URLs in your Works Cited entries.
  4. You must use MLA in-text citations.


Jury Notes – as you listen to the trials, you are to take notes on how the teams support their thesis about how their government or country was a major violator of “Human Rights” as defined by the UN and IMT – these violations could be fore one, two, or all three of the counts.


The overall point value for this assignment is 60 points

  • Position paper (30 points total)
    • Thesis (5 points)
  • Works Cited and In-Text Citations (10)
  • Trial Notes (15 points)
  • Constructive participation in the Trial/Jury notes (5 points)

Please note: if you do not submit to on time or if you are not on task in the Library, you will lose up to 5 points.



Please be aware of the following:


Plagiarism is improper use or misrepresentation of sources. It involves taking credit for information that comes from another source without proper citation of that source. The following examples of plagiarism are given by James D. Lester in Writing Research Papers: Offering someone else's words or ideas as one's own, use of another person's work and representing it as one's own, copying a direct quotation from a source without citation or quotation form, the paraphrasing of another's idea without proper identification or citation of the source. This would include "slight" paraphrasing, or changing only a few words in a sentence, but basically copying that sentence without giving any credit to the author. Some forms of plagiarism are blatant; others are unintentional but careless. Any kind of plagiarism constitutes an unacceptable breach of academic honesty, and may be considered an Honor Code offense.

For further information on plagiarism and help with MLA citations, see the Lib Guide, or your teacher or Ms. Stuart.  If you have any concerns or questions, please ask.


**Once you know which topic you will be researching, please let your teacher know; you will need to have topics decided by our first day in the Media Center, which is Thursday, February 2nd.