Lenin at Nuremberg : Anti-imperialism and the juridification of crimes against humanity

Book chapter


Alexander, Amanda. (2021). Lenin at Nuremberg : Anti-imperialism and the juridification of crimes against humanity. In In Greeman, Kathryn, Oxford, Anne, Saunders, Anna and Tzouvala, Ntina (Ed.). Revolutions in International Law : The legacies of 1917 pp. 56-82 Cambridge University Press.
AuthorsAlexander, Amanda
EditorsGreeman, Kathryn, Oxford, Anne, Saunders, Anna and Tzouvala, Ntina
Abstract

[Extract] In this chapter, I suggest that the IMT [International Military Tribunal] falls short when assessed according to these measures because it did not just tell the expected Enlightenment narrative and it did not intend to prosecute crimes against humanity in the way we understand them now. Rather, I will argue that the way the crimes were codified and then described at the trials shows that another narrative was also at work. This was an anti-imperial narrative that drew on Marxist theory and was given a practical impetus by the Bolshevik Revolution. It spread, in a diluted form, to 'advanced opinion' throughout the West. The Marxist approach described war, even European wars, as the result and expression of imperialism. Imperialism was an economic institution, and its depredations were depicted primarily in economic terms. Aggressive, imperialist war was, in this narrative, the worst crime - the crime that led to all the other horrors of war. An international legal regime that condoned imperialist war was, therefore, so ethically misguided that it should be changed.

Page range56-82
Year2021
Book titleRevolutions in International Law : The legacies of 1917
PublisherCambridge University Press
Place of publicationCambridge, United Kingdom
ISBN9781108495035
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All rights reserved
File Access Level
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Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Print2021
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Sep 2021
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