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Nuremberg: Tyranny on Trial
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World War II did not end on the battlefield, but in a courtroom in Germany. The Nuremberg Trials revealed the full scope of Nazi Germany's atrocities and ended in the execution of many of the top Nazi leaders. Follow the historic trials from accusations through executions. See how Nuremberg was the defining point for new principles in the laws of nations, with the war-time actions of defendants like Rudolph Hess and Hermann Goering the measuring sticks. Meet some of the men who were present at the trials, including the chief counsel for the prosecution, and hear how they planned the case against the defendants, knowing that the eyes of the world and the judgement of history watched their every move. And find out how the Trials established a new standard for atrocity "Crimes against Humanity."
Top Customer Reviews
This is primarily because of the generous footage of both the actual war trial itself as well as the vintage clips from World War II and the death camps. The narrative that accompanies the clips is sound so far as it goes, and the people interviewed--including author Whitney Harris--are articulate and knowledgeable. Special emphasis is properly given to the fact that the trial was breaking new ground, because up to that point there was no formal international law that under which to prosecute war criminals. Eventually, the American prosecution team decided that criminal conspiracy was the best approach. The British, French, and Russian teams supplemented this charge with more formal charges of crimes against humanity.
"Nuremberg" focuses exclusively on the conspiracy charge, which isn't surprising because the film focuses almost exclusively on the American prosecution team, virtually ignoring the other three. This is unfortunate, because the entire issue of crimes against humanity gets sidestepped.
Also overlooked is the significant fact that the Nuremberg Trial put natural law back on the map. The prosecutors held that certain acts constituted crimes against humanity even if they violated no positive law. In making this distinction, they invoked natural law (although not explicitly), the same move that the framers of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would make in a couple of years.
Overall, though, not a bad introduction to the trial.
(Note: One fact I did not know before I watched this was that during the executions, instead of their necks snapping instantly, several of the convicted instead slowly strangled to death. Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel alone took 28 mintues to die.)
This video, like many documentaries, is merely an overview. It is under an hour which is hardly enough time to get in-depth but it is a decent summary. Be aware of some tough images and material that is presented here. If you are interested in expanding your knowledge, there are some highly rated books on the subject including: Justice at Nuremberg,The Nuremberg Interviews, and several others.