Judgment at Nuremberg


This 1961 Academy Award-winning film referred to the Nuremberg war-crime trials of three classes of war criminals:

  • In the movie, the defense attorney argued strenuously that all those who supported or tolerated Nazis were guilty, not just those individuals then being tried.

  • Nazi villains such as Goering (though not depicted in this movie, the Nuremberg tribunals included Goering's trial and conviction as a war criminal)

  • Ordinary criminals such as the German judges who took advantage of the Nazi tyranny to feather their own nests

  • Germans who prided themselves on upholding the nation's principles, such as Emil Janning, former German secretary of justice (portrayed in the movie by Burt Lancaster) and the widow of a convicted German general executed for ordering the execution of American POWs (portrayed by Marlene Dietrich). These kinds of people were shocked when they found that the world held them responsible for what had happened in Nazi Germany.

the Justice Trials court      Abby Mann's brilliant screenplay "Judgment at Nuremberg" drives home the crucial point that others were also responsible for creating Hitler and the Nazi regime: American industrialists, the Vatican (corcordat with the Nazis), and Russia (non-aggression pact with Hitler) were all complicit in creating the Nazi horror, as the defense attorney in the movie pointed out.