International Military Tribunal v. Goering and Others (also known as Nuremberg Judgment against Major War Criminals)
Systemic Practice | Refusal to Disclose Fate | Relatives as Victims
The Tribunal found that war crimes under its Charter were merely declaratory of the existing laws of war as expressed by the earlier Hague Regulations. It found that by 1939, these rules were recognised by nations and regarded as binding customary international law. It held that the issuance of the "Night and Fog" programme (see Facts of the Case) was a war crime violating "family honours and rights", and condemned it as a form of mistreatment inflicted upon both those who were disappeared, as well as their families.
October 1, 1946
Article 46 [HRLCWL]
Facts of the Case
In 1941 Field Marshal Keitel, Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces of the German Reich, signed a directive known as the "Night and Fog" decree, under which persons who had been accused of offences against the Reich or the German forces in occupied territories were to be taken secretly to Germany and handed over to the police and the intelligence services for trial or punishment in Germany. According to the decree, the families of these civilians were not to be informed of their fate, with a view to create anxiety and intimidation.