• Judgment Before Nuremberg

  • The Holocaust in the Ukraine and the First Nazi War Crimes Trial
  • By: Greg Dawson
  • Narrated by: Gary Dikeos
  • Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (150 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Here is the story of the forgotten Kharkov trials, which sought justice for the thousands killed in the Ukraine two years prior to the infamous Nuremberg trial.

When people think of the Holocaust, they think of Auschwitz, of Dachau; and when they think of justice for this terrible chapter in history, they think of Nuremberg. Not of Russia or the Ukraine, and certainly not a town called Kharkov. But in reality, the first war-crimes trial against the Nazis was in this idyllic, peaceful Ukrainian city, which is fitting, because it is also where the Holocaust actually began.

Revealing a lost chapter in Holocaust historiography, Judgment Before Nuremberg tells the story of Dawson’s journey to this place, to the scene of the crime, and the discovery of the trial which began the tortuous process of avenging the murder of his grandparents, great-grandparents, and tens of thousands of fellow Ukrainians consumed at the dawn of the Shoah, a moment and crime now largely cloaked in darkness.

Eighteen months before the end of World War II - two full years before the opening statement by the prosecution at Nuremberg - three Nazi officers and a Ukrainian collaborator were tried and convicted of war crimes and hung in Kharkov’s public square. The trial is symbolic of the larger omission of Ukraine from the popular history of the Holocaust - another deep irony as most of the first of the six million perished in Ukraine long before Hitler and his lieutenants even decided on the formalities of the Final Solution.

©2012 Greg Dawson (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Judgment Before Nuremberg

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Don’t Insult Your Audience

This is an important story and I learned a lot but had to stop listening for two reasons. First and foremost, the author spends way too much time on how stupid he thinks the whole world is for not knowing about the killing fields in Ukraine, even going so far as to call the entire USA a country of self absorbed isolationists. If you want to be listened to, don’t be constantly insulting your audience; we know we need knowledge…that’s why we’re reading your book. But we aren’t stupid.

However, the point I had to finally get off this runaway train was when he equated Martin Luther with Hitler because of his antisemitic views, and how shocked the author was when he learned the Nazis used Luther’s writings as justification for the murder of the Jews. The author descends into adolescent name-calling as he says that this shows what a horrible person this proves Martin Luther to be. It’s easy to spew forth hatred for the views of someone who has been dead for several centuries and can’t defend himself; much more difficult to try and understand them. Luther never called for the murder of the Jewish people, however much he disliked and distrusted them, and I doubt he would have condoned the conduct of the Nazis. In any case, it does no good to bring yourself down to this level of soul-poisoning hatred. It not only reveals the narrow-mindedness of the author, but it distracts from one of the single-most important lessons of the whole holocaust and killing fields story, which is to show what happens when hatred gets out of control.

The narrator was robotic and hard to listen to, but I could have dealt with it if not for the above reasons.

2 people found this helpful

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Read your history!

The narrator was a little more robotic than some others I've listened to, but definitely not the worst I heard. But it honestly didn't matter much because the book was so amazing. The facts packed in this book made me truly just ponder everything going on, then and now.

2 people found this helpful

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couldnt finish it

although I have a great interest in the topic, the narrator is too awful to listen a moment longer. he is extremely robotic, its distracting. I my get the actual book and read it, but I can't listen to him. it's bad.

2 people found this helpful

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Talks about himself more than the topic

Yeah, it's your book. You can write about yourself and the tribulations gone through to write this book if you'd like. That's your right. However, wading through the author talking about himself and how he taught all of these school aged kids about the Holocaust while having barely scratched the surface of the topic in which the book is named for is rather exhausting when you're already two and a half hours into the listen. Also, the narrator sounds like a literal robot. Very tedious listen with very little substance. Two and a half hours could have been squeezed into a few paragraph summary with ease.

2 people found this helpful

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Interesting story, poor reading.

Interesting story although there seems to be a bunch of plugs for his earlier book. Really bad reading drops my opinion to tolerable.

2 people found this helpful

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Disappointed

This was a self discovery book not a history of the war in the east . It contained a condensing tone toward those who were not aware of Nazi atrocities in the East but found mention of Soviet atrocities before or after the war which provides some needed context.

The author seemed to elevate the Soviet judgment system while slighting the western contribution to the Nazi trails at Nuremberg such as a presumption of innocence. Additionally there were some comparisons to American historical events that stretched belief.

This review does not minimize the horrible things done by the Nazis but believes the author missed a great opportunity to tell a compelling story that the world needs to hear

2 people found this helpful

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Narrator was very poor.

The sham accents took everything away from enjoying this rather over done book. Ssave you money and wait for a better title.

2 people found this helpful

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Spectacular book!

Amazing story. Had to also read his first book. I hope this great author wtites more books! !

1 person found this helpful

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I felt like I was being scolded

Exactly as others have written, the whole theme of the book was “how dare you not know”. I am trying to know, stop insulting me. The author’s tone is very condescending and belittling. I really wanted to hear his mother’s story- it seemed fascinating. However, I was being lectured the entire time instead of having the story told.

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Terrible narration DNF

I really wanted to sit back and listen to this book because I find the topic extremely interesting and almost a necessity to learn as much as I can on the subject, but often find the topic hard to sit and actually read. The narrator makes it impossible for me to absorb any information as his robotic and monotone voice are extremely distracting! I did not finish, I’ll just read the physical book.

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  • C. J. Lansdown
  • 11-25-16

Hugely Important Story Damaged by Bad Writing.

The thing that many disliked, the reading, seemed largely OK to me. Sadly it is the writing which is badly flawed. It seems disrespectful to quibble over details because the subject matter is so awful. Sadly, for me, the author blows the opportunity to write a great, best seller. Which would have put the information, that the Holocaust actually started in Ukraine where atrocities and crimes against humanity were at least as bad as in Poland or Germany, before the eyes of the world. The story of his mother's escape would be a powerful one but the repetitions and the lack of linearity make the work hard to listen to.

One annoying repetition was the constant mention of his and his mother's first book, 'Hiding in the Spotlight'. It seemed hat the author was so intent on advertising the earlier book, that he spoiled this one.

3 people found this helpful

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  • David Abbott
  • 01-17-15

wonderful story, but narration one of the worst

Would you try another book written by Greg Dawson or narrated by Gary Dikeos?

I would read other books by Greg but not narrated by this other guy.

What other book might you compare Judgment Before Nuremberg to, and why?

Nuremberg trials

How could the performance have been better?

If you are going to have a narrator with a weird foreign-sounding accent it's better to use that narrator fro foreign language books. It's so annoying also to hear Barbarossa pronounced as Barbaroasa about 100 times, barely better than listening to text-to-speech. If I had had to pay for this narration I wouldn't have bought it.

Do you think Judgment Before Nuremberg needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

It's fine as it is

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-19-22

average

wait for the voice acting 😹 awful interesting story though I didn't know either

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-23-22

Incredible book

As a WWII nerd I was amazed by how little I knew about the story of the holocaust in Ukraine. It's a heartbreaking but incredibly important story. The author's mother has an intense story of surviving the holocaust, that makes this story very personal and gives the book an intimate feel.

I also really enjoyed the style in which the book is written. For a history book it was a very easy listen thanks to the author. Sometimes the narrator's 'character' voices were strange and distracting. Overall it's a fantastic book and I think it's very accessible and easy to digest for the average person. Unlike some history books that can be very dry and dense. Making them difficult to get through.

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  • Toby
  • 01-04-22

Horribly biased

A reasonable story told by a terribly biased writer, the writing itself told a good story but inserted feelings of severe hatred on the part of the author, which some may say is justified by I find it takes away from the impact of the tale.