Synopsis: One of the greatest courtroom dramas in history, NUREMBERG shows how the international prosecutors built their case against the top Nazi war criminals using the Nazis' own films and records. The trial established the "Nuremberg principles" -- the foundation for all subsequent trials for crimes against the peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Commissioned by Pare Lorentz in his capacity as head of Film/Theatre/Film in the U.S. War Department's Civil Affairs Division, it was written & directed by Stuart Schulberg, who completed it in 1948.
Genre: Documentary
78 min



[NARRATOR] It was 1945.

The war was over.

Slowly, painfully,

life came back to

the ruins of Europe.


The war was over, but

there was no peace.

Despair crouched

over the continent.

Hopelessness circled

Europe like a bird of prey.


What were the forces?

What were the issues in

a war that turned nations

into rubble heaps and

populations into beggars.

The people wanted the answers.

They wanted to know

what happened and why.

In the Palace of

Justice in Nuremberg,

the people of the

world came together,

for there sat the

international military tribunal

to judge the chief

Nazi war criminals.


Justice Robert H. Jackson,

the chief American prosecutor

makes the opening statement

for the prosecution.


privilege of opening

the first trial in history.

[NARRATOR] The privilege

of opening the first trial

in history for crimes against

the peace of the world

imposes a grave responsibility.

The wrongs, which we seek

to condemn and punish

have been so calculated, so

malignant and so devastating

that civilization cannot

tolerate their being ignored,

because it cannot survive

their being repeated.

That four great nations,

flushed with victory

and stung with injury,

stay the hand of vengeance

and voluntarily submit

their captive enemies

to the judgment of the law is

one of the most significant

tributes that power has

ever paid to reason.

This inquest represents

the practical effort

of four of the most mighty

of nations with the support

of 15 more to utilize

international law to meet

the greatest menace of

our times, aggressive war.

The common sense of mankind

demands that law shall not stop

with the punishment of petty

crimes by little people.

It must also reach men who possess

themselves of great power

and who make deliberate

and concerted use of it

to set in motion evils,

which leave no home

in the world untouched.

In the prisoner's dock

sit 20 odd broken men,

reproached by the humiliation

of those they have led,

almost as bitterly

as by the desolation

of those they have attacked.

Their personal capacity

for evil is forever past.

Merely as individuals,

their fate

is of little consequence

to the world.

What makes this inquest significant

is that these prisoners

represent sinister influences

that will lurk in the world

long after their bodies

have returned to dust.

They are living symbols of

the arrogance and cruelty

of power, of racial hatreds,

of terrorism and violence.

They are symbols of

fierce nationalisms,

and of militarism, of intrigue

and war-making, which

have embroiled Europe

generation after generation,

crushing its manhood,

destroying its homes and

impoverishing its lives.

They have so

identified themselves

with the philosophies

they conceived

and with the forces they

directed that any tenderness

to them is a victory and an

encouragement to all the evils

which are attached

to their names.

What these men stand

for we will patiently

and temperately disclose.

We will give you undeniable

proof of incredible events.

The catalog of crimes

will omit nothing.

It may be that these men

of troubled conscience

do not regard a

trial as a favor,

but they do have a fair

opportunity to defend themselves,

a favor which they

rarely extended

to their fellow countrymen.

We will not ask you

to convict these men

on the testimony of their foes.

There is no count

of the indictment

that cannot be proved

by books and records.

And we will show you the

defendants' own films.

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    "Nuremberg" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 18 Jan. 2021. <>.

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