Prosecuting Kurt Meyer: The Abbaye d’Ardenne War Crimes Trial
39 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2020
Date Written: January 14, 2020
Between June 7 and 17, 1944, the German 12th SS Panzer Division (Hitler Jugend) executed 156 soldiers of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, captured in the first ten days after the D-Day landings. After the war, Canadian authorities tried only one man – SS Major-General Kurt Meyer – for two score of these murders. That trial, and the subsequent treatment of Meyer, fuelled consternation, and controversy, in Canada. The trial represented the high-water mark in Canada’s brief foray into war crimes trials after the Second World War – and tested law and procedure in a manner with modern echoes. This article examines this pivotal Meyer war crime trial, focusing especially on legal debates about the trial process and verdict.
Keywords: war crimes; Canada; Germany; World War Two
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