'Following Orders'


Home Up Obedience

Nazi defendants under heavy guard during the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, 1945-46.

National Archives, courtesy of USHMM Photo Archives

      The term "Nuremberg Defense" was originally coined during the Nazi war crimes trials at Nuremberg after World War II.  Nazi war criminals who were charged with genocide, mass murder, torture and other atrocities used the defense "I was only following orders" so frequently that the argument became known generically as "The Nuremberg Defense".




After World War II the world was faced with the question of whether or not the Nazi's and the German people were different in some way that allowed them to commit such atrocities.  Were they more conditioned than the rest of us to be obedient? Could that explain The Holocaust?

In 1964 Stanley Milgram, a Harvard psychologist, conducted an experiment to answer that question.

Go to the link above.


Ms. S