Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today

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Look at the defendants' box and they're all there: Hess, Speer, Gring, Von Ribbentrop and other surviving members of the National Socialist Party's top brass. Gathered together in postwar Nuremberg, Hitler's henchmen listened to prosecutors detail the various atrocities they'd been accused of, both as individuals and as part of an administration that tore Europe apart. Some simply sat there; others had their heads in their hands, shaking back and forth. A few even expressed remorse when they stepped up to the witness stand. Viewers know how this courtroom drama ends, but to see the actual footage from the Nuremberg trials in such long, extended clips is shocking---mainly because this footage has been suppressed in North America for decades.

Originally shot and assembled by Stuart Schulberg, this recording of the famous indictments was banned by our government for reasons that are still murky. And while Sandra Schulberg's restoration of her father's film actually makes for a rather clunky update, complete with Liev Schreiber's PBS-ready narration and that vestigial tail of a subtitle, it's still an eye-opening find. Excerpts from the Nazis' own films of their dirty work, used as evidence against them, will shock even the most jaded History Channel addict; these real-life horror films only underscore the monsters lurking beneath the docile men in that courtroom, awaiting history's verdict.

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By: David Fear

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