The Concept “Crime against the Jewish People” in the Light of International Law: From S. Szajnkinder’s Diary
In London, on August 8, 1945, an agreement was signed between the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain, and France for the trial and punishment of major war criminals. Twenty-four were so tried and were sentenced at Nuremberg at the end of September. Nineteen member states of the United Nations acceded to the agreement. However, it was not passed in the UN General Assembly. In 1960 the Israel government passed law 5710 for the punishment of Nazis and Nazi Collaborators for “crimes against the Jewish People.” The law was not accepted internationally because of the claim that such crimes are covered by the phrase “crimes against humanity.” Only in 1948 did the UN General Assembly pass the Law against Genocide, which applies particularly to the Jewish people. The Israeli law may be considered as falling within this definition and included killing Jews, causing serious bodily or mental harm to Jews, placing Jews in living conditions calculated to bring about their physical destruction, devising measures to prevent births among Jews, forcibly transferring Jewish children to another religious or national group, destroying or desecrating Jewish cultural assets or values, and inciting hatred of Jews. Was such an Israeli law necessary as most of the clauses are covered by the UN definition of crimes against humanity and genocide? However, antisemitism is a unique phenomenon and calls for a special kind of protection not required by other peoples.