AGREEMENT [AMONG THE USA, THE UK, FRANCE, AND THE USSR] FOR THE PROSECUTION
AND PUNISHMENT OF THE MAJOR WAR CRIMINALS OF THE EUROPEAN AXIS1
[NUREMBERG CHARTER in the LONDON AGREEMENT]
August 8, 1945
The [Nuremberg] Tribunal . . . shall have power to try and punish persons who, acting in the interests of the European Axis countries, whether as individuals or as members of organizations, committed any of the following crimes. . . .
(a) CRIMES AGAINST PEACE: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances . . .
(b) WAR CRIMES:namely, violations of the laws or customs of war . . . [including] but not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population . . . in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment prisoners of war or persons the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity;
c) CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal . . . .
The official position of defendants, whether as Heads of State or responsible officials . . . shall not be considered as freeing them from responsibility or mitigating punishment.
The fact that the Defendant acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior shall not free him from responsibility, but may be considered in mitigation of punishment . . . .
1 Excerpts. Emphasis added.