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. Written by
"Nürnberg und seine Lehre" - the original title of this documentary - is very compelling and well put together. Aside from the importance of its contents, I must say that I was distracted by the poor quality of the film. I was under the impression that it had been restored, but it didn't seem like it. Most of the time, the heads of people were cut off and the poor pronunciation of German names by Liev Schreiber, the narrator, didn't help either. They should have picked someone more apt to pronounce some of the more difficult names like Joachim von Ribbentrop or Hjalmar Schacht.
However, the film is a crucial documentary as it gives inside to the key people of the so-called Third Reich and its demise. Germans who blindly followed Hitler find out at the end that they were lied to and betrayed by their Führer who broke all promises he ever made to them. Even though I don't have any sympathy for any of the Hitler followers, I was surprised by such statements. The film shows not only the crimes committed against 6 million Jews, but also the cruelties inflicted upon the Germans who were mentally ill or handicapped. They were deemed "useless eaters". It also shows the destruction WWII had brought to Europe. It's a painful reminder that dictators and war have no place in a free world.
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