A film about the historic and precedent-setting Nuremberg war crimes trial

This is a powerful documentary about the Nürnberg trials in 1945 was made by Stuart and Budd Schulberg, shown in Germany to appreciative audiences, but strangely, never released in the US (ostensibly not to distract people from the new enemy-creating propaganda campaign directed at the “red menace” of the Soviet Union).  The negative was lost with the sound-track, we now have a new release with a newly created sound-track and commentary. The historical significance of the Nuremberg trials cannot be overestimated: for the fist time in history, the principle of personal accountability for your actions, even (and especially) in war time,  was established as a principle of law – the Nazi functionaries were not released from responsibility by claiming they were “just following orders.” As such it was the precedent for all subsequent war crimes tribunal and the impetus for the setting up of the International Court in The Hague – a court that only the Americans (who were the chief prosecutors at Nuremberg, along with the English, the French and the Russians) have so far refused to sign on to.

This film is now being shown in a couple of venues in the SF Bay Area, and has been shown around the country. The passage below is from the website:


One of the greatest courtroom dramas in history, Nuremberg: Its Lesson For Today shows how the four allied prosecution teams — from the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union — built their case against the top Nazi leaders. As documented in the film, the trial established the “Nuremberg principles,” laying the groundwork for all subsequent prosecutions, anywhere in the world, for crimes against the peace, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide…. The original film was written and directed by Stuart Schulberg, and edited by Joseph Zigman, under the aegis of Pare Lorentz, chief of Film/Theatre/Music at the U.S. War Department, and completed by Schulberg in 1948, under the aegis of Eric Pommer, chief of the Motion Picture Branch of U.S. Military Government in Berlin. The film makes extensive use of footage from The Nazi Plan and Nazi Concentration Camps, evidentiary films compiled under the supervision of Budd Schulberg, that were presented at the Nuremberg trial. Schulberg Productions and Metropolis Productions now present the first complete 35mm picture and sound restoration of the U.S. Government’s 1948 film about the first Nuremberg trial – the International Military Tribunal.

2 Responses

  1. With respect Ralph, you are showing naivety here. Have you not heard of Project Paperclip where the CIA smuggled in Nazi war criminals and put them in top position in their space programme etc?? Or that IBM still got a Nazi war criminal to run their company after the war? AND that nothing has been learned, and in fact the Nazi mentality and active immorality in the U.S. etc is ‘alive’ and ‘well’

    Comon man, you need another trip–wake you the f**&k UP

    • Juliano –
      I’m going to let your disrespectful final comment stand here, my friend. The naiveté is yours. I’m quite aware of Project Paperclip, and the role of former Nazis in the American military and intelligence apparatus. I chose to focus on the contribution made by the film-makers (and film restorers) in shedding a clear light on the principles of international law established by the Nuremberg trials. The fact that the US has practiced imperial aggression by propaganda and invasion on a grand scale since WWII, does not detract from the important precedent set by the trials, and the educational value of the film.

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