News from City Hall

75th Anniversary of the Start of the Nuremberg Trials

November 20th, 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the start of the Nuremberg Trials. Simultaneously, the city’s Memorium Nürnberger Prozesse celebrates its tenth anniversary. Several projects and events mark the occasion by approaching the historical spectacle from different perspectives. Due to the corona pandemic, they will take place mainly online.

For the first time in world history, on November 20th, 1945, the leading representatives of a country had to answer for their crimes before an international court. On this day the main trial against 24 high-ranking representatives of the Nazi state opened in Courtroom 600 of the Nuremberg Palace of Justice. The military court compiled representatives of the four Allied powers – USA, Soviet Union, Great Britain and France. The “trial of the century” lasted for just under a year until October 1st, 1946 and ended with twelve death sentences, three life sentences, four long prison terms and three acquittals.

The Memorium Nürnberger Prozesse, initiated by the Museums of the City of Nuremberg, provides information about the trial at the historical site and extends its focus to the “Nuremberg Succession Trials” conducted between 1946 and 1949 and their effects on the development of international criminal law to the present day. In spring 2020, the Nuremberg court ceased using the historic jury courtroom in which the trial took place for legal proceedings. This enables better accessibility for international visitors, and Courtroom 600, now detached from its original purpose becomes an important place of remembrance.

Ceremonial act in the historic Courtroom 600
Friday, 20th November 2020, 7pm

The city of Nuremberg celebrates the 75th anniversary of the start of the Nuremberg Trials with a ceremony in the Schwurgerichtssaal, the historic venue of the Nuremberg Trials. Guest of honour for the evening is Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Due to current hygiene and distance regulations, the event cannot be held in public. However, there will be a live stream broadcast by the Phoenix television channel.

Commemorative publication
” ‘That four great nations …’ 75 years Nuremberg Trial”

To mark the anniversary, the Memorium Nürnberger Prozesse is issuing a commemorative publication: authors from the four allied states and Germany approach the historical event from different angles and  disciplines. The anthology is intended to stimulate new perspectives and insights following the many years of reflection on this topic.. The focus is on the Nuremberg “Main War Crimes Trial” as a significant achievement of multilateralism as well as a place of international encounter and the potential for this historical site as a globally significant place of remembrance and learning. The richly illustrated publication will be published in German and English in November 2020 by Michael Imhof Verlag.

Exhibition project in Cube 600
“Sprayed! A project by school children for the 75th Anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials”.

25th November to 31st December 2020

Pupils of the Scharrer Mittelschule deal with the questions of how topical the Nuremberg Trials are 75 years after their opening and what personal significance they have. In a workshop with Carlos Lorente from Graffiti Academy Style Scouts, the knowledge and experience gained will be “translated” into graffiti and sprayed onto canvases.

In Cube 600, a former factory hall opposite the Memorium Nürnberger Prozesse, there will be a series of temporary and travelling exhibitions. The graffiti are on public display daily from 25th to 29th November 2020 from 10am to 6pm, and in December on Thursdays and Saturdays from 10am to 6pm. Admission is free.

Digital Poetry Slam
“Strong words – A Poetry Slam for the 75th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials”.

Thursday, 26th November 2020, 19.30

Five artists will present their thoughts and poems on the topic of “75 years of the Nuremberg Trials” according to the rules of poetry slam. The texts deal with historical and current issues as well as dealing with the significance and topicality of the Nuremberg Trials today. The moderator is Michael Jakob, regular presenter of the Poetry Slams in Ansbach, Bayreuth, Fürth and Nuremberg.

Due to the corona protection measures, the event will take place indigital form only, and will be streamed live on Youtube. Registration is not necessary. The Poetry Slam is free of charge.

Digital book presentation and reading with Philippe Sands “Die Rattenlinie – ein Nazi auf der Flucht” (“The Rat Line – a Nazi on the run“)

Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 7pm

British lawyer and author Philippe Sands presents his new publication in a digital book launch. In “Die Rattenlinie”, the practising international law expert and legal scholar tells the story of SS officer Otto Wächter. Wächter was the NS governor of Krakow from 1939 and of Galicia from 1942. After 1945 he was sought by the Allies as a suspected war criminal, but managed to escape. The story is closely linked to the Nuremberg Trials. In the run-up to the trials it was necessary to communicate with the accused – but many could be neither located nor brought to trial. The book presentation is in English and selected passages are presented in German. It takes place digitally via “Zoom”. To participate, an e-mail address is required, as well as registration by e-mail to memorium@stadt.nuernberg.de. Participants will receive a link to join the event. The book presentation is free of charge.

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