Friday, October 01, 2010

A lost war-crimes documentary

"Nuremberg": A lost war-crimes documentary lives again

Why Stuart Schulberg's film of the famous Nazi trial was destroyed -- and what it can tell us now

Justice Robert H. Jackson, chief U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg trial

Sep 30, 2010 - Maybe the title of the documentary "Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today" sounds a little pedantic and old-fashioned. That's because the "today" in question is not, like, today but 1948, when this film was completed by a United States military team and shown in occupied Germany. A compact and devastating record of the history-making trial -- held in the symbolic birthplace of the Nazi Party -- that held two dozen leading Nazi officials to account for the crimes of the Holocaust and other World War II atrocities, "Nuremberg" was never shown in U.S. theaters, and the master negative and soundtrack were destroyed, for reasons that remain mysterious. (But which can, I believe, be deduced from the evidence.)


For another, Nuremberg introduced an explosive and controversial principle into international law: the idea that political, military and business leaders could be held personally liable for waging aggressive warfare, for murdering civilians or captured enemies, and for the ambiguous category of "crimes against humanity." {read rest}

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