In 1946 the occupying powers cooperated in the international trial held at Nuremberg of twenty-two major Nazi leaders for crimes against humanity and world peace. Although evidence of evil deeds was massive and incontrovertible, there were misgivings in many quarters about the unprecedented step of punishing the leaders of a defeated army. While other works on the Nuremberg Trials have appeared, Eugene Davidson's new synthesis ranks among the best. The Trial of the Germans is in every respect an excellent book. Its success is due in part to its organization. Not a chronological transcript of the trials, the books tells in one incisive chapter what we need to know about the general structure of the tribunal. The charges against the defendants, the differing motives of the Allies are placed within the political framework of 1946. What follows is a series of portraits of the defendants, each a model of clarity and incisiveness. These sketches grow out of the voluminous evidence presented at the trials and thereby accomplish several purposes: the reader learns about the individual defendant, about the horrors of the Third Reich, and about the trials themselves. The final chapter is alone worth the price of the book. Here Mr. Davidson discusses the unprecedented Nuremberg judgments--successes and failures--in light of the present. It is a chilling and sobering performance, with an implicit warning for all responsible readers.