70 years ago on this date, April 24, 1945, the People’s Court of Nazi Germany ceased its activity. I will post information about this Court from Wikipedia and other links.
Judge Roland Freisler (centre) at the People's Court
The People's Court (German: Volksgerichtshof) was a Sondergericht, a special court, established in 1934 by German Chancellor Adolf Hitler, who had been dissatisfied with the outcome of the Reichstag fire Trial (all but one of the accused were acquitted). The "People's Court" was set up outside the operations of the constitutional frame of law. The court had jurisdiction over a rather broad array of "political offenses," which included crimes like black marketeering, work slowdowns, defeatism and treason against the Third Reich. These crimes were viewed by the court as Wehrkraftzersetzung ("disintegration of defensive capability") and were accordingly punished severely. The death penalty was meted out in numerous cases in this court.
The Court handed down an enormous number of death sentences under Judge-President Roland Freisler, including those that followed the 20 July Plot to kill Hitler. Many of those found guilty by the Court died in the Plötzensee prison. The proceedings of the court were often even less than show trials in that some cases, such as that of Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans Scholl and fellow White Rose activists concluded in less than an hour, without evidence being presented or arguments made by either side. The president of the court often acted as prosecutor, denouncing defendants, then pronouncing his verdict and sentence without objection from defense counsel, who usually remained silent throughout. Unsurprisingly, it did not follow the laws and procedures of regular German trials, being easily characterized as a "kangaroo court". It almost always sided with the prosecution, to the point that being hauled before it was tantamount to a death sentence.
Manner of Proceedings
The trials of August 1944
Bombing of People's Court
Notable people sentenced to death by the Volksgerichtshof
Judge-Presidents of the People's Court
Legal Aftermath after World War II