Telford Taylor

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Telford Taylor (24 February 190823 May 1998) was an American lawyer best known for his role in the Counsel for the Prosecution at the Nuremberg Trials after World War II, his opposition to Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s, and his outspoken criticism of U.S. actions during the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s.

Telford Taylor addressing the court at a session of the Nuremberg Trials

Quotes by Telford Taylor[edit]

  • The laws of war do not apply only to the suspected criminals of vanquished nations. There is no moral or legal basis for immunizing victorious nations from scrutiny. The laws of war are not a one-way street.
    • The Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials: A Personal Memoir
  • To punish the foe — especially the vanquished foe — for conduct in which the enforcing nation has engaged, would be so grossly inequitable as to discredit the laws themselves.
    • Nuremberg and Vietnam: An American Tragedy

Quotes about Telford Taylor[edit]

  • If I was asked to name the person of my generation whom I most admired, I would promptly answer Telford Taylor. .. [W]ise counselor, persuasive advocate, careful scholar, all the qualities that signify distinction... were his in high degree.
    • Herbert Wechsler, law professor and member of the U.S. prosecution team at the Nuremberg Trials.[citation needed]
  • The human rights movement owes much of its legal foundation to the work of Gen. Telford Taylor....
  • For almost seven decades, from the days of FDR's New Deal through to the early 1990s, Taylor embodied the best of American legal liberalism. At least two generations of postwar Americans looked to him, as they did to no other lawyer, for tough, outspoken criticism of public affairs, from McCarthyism to the Eichmann trial or even the Vietnam War.
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