ABC News’ Donna Hunter Reports: Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., joins the list of 2008 presidential hopefuls pursuing not only the top spot on the Democratic ticket but a top spot on the bestseller list. Dodd’s book, “Letters from Nuremberg: My Father’s Narrative of a Quest for Justice,” set to hit bookshelves Sept. 11, tells the story of his father, Sen. Thomas Dodd, and the elder Dodd’s role as one of the lead U.S. prosecutors in the Nuremberg trials during the spring of 1945.
Before Thomas Dodd was elected to the Senate, he was a staff lawyer chosen to serve on the Nuremberg trials. He quickly moved up the ranks, becoming the No. 2 prosecutor on the U.S.legal team. Walter Cronkite, who covered the Nurembergwar crimes trials, later said that Thomas Dodd saved the day.
Sen. Dodd presents his father’s story by sharing the private letters he wrote to his wife, Grace. In these letters, Thomas Dodd painted a vivid historical picture of what have been called the most important trials of the 20th century. The nightly letters, written over a 15-month period, give an intimate narrative of the trials’ ups and downs and capture the daily dramas and in-house squabbling between the prosecutorial team and judges.
“Letters from Nuremberg” eloquently carries the weight of this unprecedented trial for crimes against humanity all the while giving the reader a view into the emotions that were rumbling under the surface in the courtroom and in the personal lives of those chosen to serve on the cases.
Sen. Chris Dodd uses the Nuremberg trials as a bridge to present-day circumstances in the War on Terror. He writes, “For six decades, we learned the lessons of the Nuremberg men and women well. … We didn’t start wars we ended them. We didn’t commit torture we condemned it. We didn’t turn away from the world — we embraced it. But that has changed in the past few years.” Over the course of Sen. Dodd’s campaign for president he frequently stumps on the issue of restoring America’s Moral Authority and sites the passing of the Military Commissions Act as one of the saddest days in his life of public service. He puts that moral tug-of-war at the center of his book, writing, “Now as in the era of Nuremberg, this nation should never tailor its eternal principles to the conflict of the moment, for if we do so, we will be shadowing those we seek to overcome.”