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.
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.

You will see their own conduct

and hear their own voices,

as they re-enact for

you, from the screen,

some of the events in the

course of the conspiracy.

The acts of the defendants

have bathed the world in blood.

And set civilization

back a century.

They have subjected

their European neighbors

to every spoliation

and depravation.

They have brought

the German people

to the lowest ebb

of wretchedness.

They have stirred

hatreds and incited

domestic violence

on every continent.

These are the things

that stand in the dock,

shoulder to shoulder

with these prisoners.

The real complaining party

at your bar is civilization.

[NARRATOR] The United

States of America

present count one

of the indictment;

that all the defendants

participated as organizers

or accomplices in a

common plan or conspiracy

to commit crimes against

peace, war crimes

and crimes against humanity.

[MAN] The aims of this conspiracy

were open and notorious.

[NARRATOR] The aims

of this conspiracy

were open and notorious.

It was far different

from any other conspiracy

ever unfolded before

a court of justice.



[NARRATOR] Its history is

the history of the Nazi party,

which grew from the brawling

streets of Munich in the 20s.


And from the beginning, Adolf

Hitler and his followers

were committed to

the use of any means,

whether or not they

were legal or honorable.

Their aim was the

highest degree of control

over the German community.

Their intentions were

blatantly put forth

in Mein Kampf and

the party program.


And they preached

their favorite doctrine

up and down the land.

They said that persons of

a so-called German blood

were a master race

entitled to subjugate

or even exterminate other races.

They said that the

German should be ruled

under the Fuhrer Principle

or leadership principle

by which each sub-leader

owed unconditional obedience

to his superior and so on

right up to Adolf Hitler.

They said that war was a noble

and necessary

activity of Germans.

And they said that

the Nazi Party alone

had the right to rule

Germany and the right

to destroy the party's enemies.


Their rise to power

was based on fraud,

deceit, intimidation

and coercion,

culminating finally

in terror and flame.

Into that flame went the

Democratic constitution

of the Weimar Republic and the

freedom of the German people.

For the fire set by the Nazis

extended to the very Reichstag.

Hans Gisevius, a witness who

formerly held a high position

in the Berlin Police


tells of his investigation

of the Reichstag fire.


[NARRATOR] To speak briefly

and to state the facts.

First of all, we ascertain

that quite generally,

Hitler had stated the wish

for a large scale

propaganda campaign.

Goebbels took on the job of

making the necessary proposals

and it was Goebbels

who first thought

of setting the

Reichstag on fire.

A group of 10 reliable

S.A. men was made ready

and now Goering was informed

about every detail of the plan.

It was expected from Goering

and he gave his assurances

that he would do so, that the

police would be instructed,

while still suffering from

shock, to take up a false trail.


the Reichstag fire

as a pretext for seizing power,

Rate this script:0.0 / 0 votes

Stuart Schulberg

All Stuart Schulberg scripts | Stuart Schulberg Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "Nuremberg" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 Jul 2024. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer



    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.


    Are you a screenwriting master?

    What does "A/B story" refer to in screenwriting?
    A Two different genres in the same screenplay
    B Two different endings
    C The main plot and a subplot
    D Two main characters