Nuremberg (1948) Movie Script

[NARRATOR] It was 1945.
The war was over.
Slowly, painfully,
life came back to
the ruins of Europe.
The war was over, but
there was no peace.
Despair crouched
over the continent.
Hopelessness circled
Europe like a bird of prey.
What were the forces?
What were the issues in
a war that turned nations
into rubble heaps and
populations into beggars.
The people wanted the answers.
They wanted to know
what happened and why.
In the Palace of
Justice in Nuremberg,
the people of the
world came together,
for there sat the
international military tribunal
to judge the chief
Nazi war criminals.
Justice Robert H. Jackson,
the chief American prosecutor
makes the opening statement
for the prosecution.
privilege of opening
the first trial in history.
[NARRATOR] The privilege
of opening the first trial
in history for crimes against
the peace of the world
imposes a grave responsibility.
The wrongs, which we seek
to condemn and punish
have been so calculated, so
malignant and so devastating
that civilization cannot
tolerate their being ignored,
because it cannot survive
their being repeated.
That four great nations,
flushed with victory
and stung with injury,
stay the hand of vengeance
and voluntarily submit
their captive enemies
to the judgment of the law is
one of the most significant
tributes that power has
ever paid to reason.
This inquest represents
the practical effort
of four of the most mighty
of nations with the support
of 15 more to utilize
international law to meet
the greatest menace of
our times, aggressive war.
The common sense of mankind
demands that law shall not stop
with the punishment of petty
crimes by little people.
It must also reach men who possess
themselves of great power
and who make deliberate
and concerted use of it
to set in motion evils,
which leave no home
in the world untouched.
In the prisoner's dock
sit 20 odd broken men,
reproached by the humiliation
of those they have led,
almost as bitterly
as by the desolation
of those they have attacked.
Their personal capacity
for evil is forever past.
Merely as individuals,
their fate
is of little consequence
to the world.
What makes this inquest significant
is that these prisoners
represent sinister influences
that will lurk in the world
long after their bodies
have returned to dust.
They are living symbols of
the arrogance and cruelty
of power, of racial hatreds,
of terrorism and violence.
They are symbols of
fierce nationalisms,
and of militarism, of intrigue
and war-making, which
have embroiled Europe
generation after generation,
crushing its manhood,
destroying its homes and
impoverishing its lives.
They have so
identified themselves
with the philosophies
they conceived
and with the forces they
directed that any tenderness
to them is a victory and an
encouragement to all the evils
which are attached
to their names.
What these men stand
for we will patiently
and temperately disclose.
We will give you undeniable
proof of incredible events.
The catalog of crimes
will omit nothing.
It may be that these men
of troubled conscience
do not regard a
trial as a favor,
but they do have a fair
opportunity to defend themselves,
a favor which they
rarely extended
to their fellow countrymen.
We will not ask you
to convict these men
on the testimony of their foes.
There is no count
of the indictment
that cannot be proved
by books and records.
And we will show you the
defendants' own films.
You will see their own conduct
and hear their own voices,
as they re-enact for
you, from the screen,
some of the events in the
course of the conspiracy.
The acts of the defendants
have bathed the world in blood.
And set civilization
back a century.
They have subjected
their European neighbors
to every spoliation
and depravation.
They have brought
the German people
to the lowest ebb
of wretchedness.
They have stirred
hatreds and incited
domestic violence
on every continent.
These are the things
that stand in the dock,
shoulder to shoulder
with these prisoners.
The real complaining party
at your bar is civilization.
[NARRATOR] The United
States of America
present count one
of the indictment;
that all the defendants
participated as organizers
or accomplices in a
common plan or conspiracy
to commit crimes against
peace, war crimes
and crimes against humanity.
[MAN] The aims of this conspiracy
were open and notorious.
[NARRATOR] The aims
of this conspiracy
were open and notorious.
It was far different
from any other conspiracy
ever unfolded before
a court of justice.
[NARRATOR] Its history is
the history of the Nazi party,
which grew from the brawling
streets of Munich in the 20s.
And from the beginning, Adolf
Hitler and his followers
were committed to
the use of any means,
whether or not they
were legal or honorable.
Their aim was the
highest degree of control
over the German community.
Their intentions were
blatantly put forth
in Mein Kampf and
the party program.
And they preached
their favorite doctrine
up and down the land.
They said that persons of
a so-called German blood
were a master race
entitled to subjugate
or even exterminate other races.
They said that the
German should be ruled
under the Fuhrer Principle
or leadership principle
by which each sub-leader
owed unconditional obedience
to his superior and so on
right up to Adolf Hitler.
They said that war was a noble
and necessary
activity of Germans.
And they said that
the Nazi Party alone
had the right to rule
Germany and the right
to destroy the party's enemies.
Their rise to power
was based on fraud,
deceit, intimidation
and coercion,
culminating finally
in terror and flame.
Into that flame went the
Democratic constitution
of the Weimar Republic and the
freedom of the German people.
For the fire set by the Nazis
extended to the very Reichstag.
Hans Gisevius, a witness who
formerly held a high position
in the Berlin Police
tells of his investigation
of the Reichstag fire.
[NARRATOR] To speak briefly
and to state the facts.
First of all, we ascertain
that quite generally,
Hitler had stated the wish
for a large scale
propaganda campaign.
Goebbels took on the job of
making the necessary proposals
and it was Goebbels
who first thought
of setting the
Reichstag on fire.
A group of 10 reliable
S.A. men was made ready
and now Goering was informed
about every detail of the plan.
It was expected from Goering
and he gave his assurances
that he would do so, that the
police would be instructed,
while still suffering from
shock, to take up a false trail.
the Reichstag fire
as a pretext for seizing power,
the Nazi conspirators
lost no time in tearing
Germany away from
a policy of peace.
Late in 1933, they
led their nation
out of the Disarmament
quit the League of
Nations and embarked
on a course of
secret rearmament.
By 1934, the new armaments
program, designed by defendants
Goering, Schacht and Funk,
was going full blast.
German industry was again
turning out the tools of war.
The plants hummed and one year
later Goering could announce:
the strong foundation
of the National Socialist
Ideology today rises once again
the German Armed Forces.
[NARRATOR] A few days
later, General von Blomberg
announced the new law for
compulsory military service.
The law was signed by
defendants Goering, Hess, Frank,
Frick, Schacht and Von Neurath.
The training began.
Finally, in the spring
of 1936, the Nazis
sent their new troops
marching into the Rhineland.
[NARRATOR] Mein Fuhrer,
on March 7th, 1936,
soldiers of the army,
which was created
by order of the Fuhrer,
crossed the sacred river
of German history and occupied
their former garrisons.
They pledged the Fuhrer,
whatever decisions he may make,
unbreakable faith and
obedience and they vow
to follow him and to
prove their sincerity,
by their never ending
love for Germany.
columns grew longer.
The sound of boots grew louder
on the streets of Nuremberg.
But Hitler said:
[NARRATOR] The German
people is not a people,
which welcomes a war today,
tomorrow or the
day after tomorrow.
That is not in the
character of the Germans.
He is by nature not only
peaceful and peace loving,
but above all conciliatory.
He wants to work.
In our country are
millions of peasants,
they want to till their fields.
They want to bring
in their harvests.
There are millions of workers,
they want to perform their work.
[NARRATOR] But the
Nazi conspirators,
in the name of Lebensraum,
continued to plot
new aggressions against peace.
In November 1937, Hitler
called a special meeting
with defendants Goering,
Von Neurath and Raeder
and Generals von
Blomberg and von Frick.
The meeting was secret but
Lieutenant Colonel Hossbach,
Hitler's personal adjutant,
faithfully recorded
Hitler's words:
[NARRATOR] The German
question can be solved
only by way of force.
For the improvement of our
military-political position,
it must be our first aim, in
every case of entanglement
by war, to conquer
and Austria simultaneously.
The annexation of the
two states to Germany,
militarily and politically,
would constitute
a considerable relief.
[NARRATOR] This meeting set
the stage for Nazi expansion
and Act One came only three
months later at Berchtesgaden
where a defendant von Papen
finally engineered a meeting
between Schuschnigg,
the Austrian Chancellor,
and Hitler and defendants
Keitel and von Ribbentrop.
Guido Schmidt, who was
Austrian Foreign Minister
at the time, also
attended the meeting.
And now he takes
the witness stand.
Did Hitler demand
that Seyss-Inquart
be made Minister of Security?
[NARRATOR] That was one of
the demands on that program.
there also demands
made with regard to currency
exchange and customs?
[NARRATOR] There were demands
of an economic
nature of every kind.
told you that you
had until February 15th to
accept his terms, didn't he?
And he told you that if you
didn't do so he would use force.
[NARRATOR] The ultimatum
as Hitler stated it
was that he intended, as
early as February, to march
into Austria and that,
for the last time,
he was prepared to postpone it.
by these threats,
the Austrians carried
out all Hitler's demands.
But the Nazi conspirators
weren't satisfied.
A month later when Schuschnigg
announced a plebiscite
on Austrian Independence,
Hitler and defendant Goering
demanded the
plebiscite be canceled.
Another ultimatum demanded
Schuschnigg resign
within three hours.
Fearing invasion,
Schuschnigg resigned
and finally defendant
Seyss-Inquart was appointed
the new Chancellor of Austria.
That same day Goering in Berlin
called Keppler of the
German Embassy in Vienna.
The conversation
was transcribed.
Kepler spoke first:
[NARRATOR] Well, we
represent the government now.
Yes, that's it,
you're the government.
Listen carefully, the
following telegram
should be sent here
from Seyss-Inquart.
Take the notes.
The provisional
Austrian Government
sends to the German
Government the urgent request
for support in its task
to help prevent bloodshed.
For this purpose, it asks
the German Government
to send German troops
as soon as possible.
[NARRATOR] Well, SA and SS
are marching
through the streets.
Everything has collapsed
with the professional groups.
[NARRATOR] Seyss-Inquart
is the only one
who still has power in Austria.
Yes, there are troops who
have crossed the border today.
[NARRATOR] The act was written
joining Austria to Germany
and signed by defendant
Seyss-Inquart, Goering,
Frick, von Ribbentrop and Hess.
Hitler, of course, had said:
[NARRATOR] Germany neither
intends no wishes to interfere
in the internal affairs of
Austria, to annex Austria
or to conclude an Anschluss.
21st of May 1935, Adolf Hitler.
curtain fell on Act One,
but already the Nazi conspirators
prepared for Act Two
with this 1938 memorandum from
Hitler to his High Command.
[NARRATOR] It is my
unalterable decision to smash
Czechoslovakia by military
action in the near future.
It is the job of the
political leaders
to bring about the politically
and militarily suitable moment.
[NARRATOR] Konrad Henlein was
designated political leader.
The plan was labeled
Operation Green
and defendant Jodl issued
another memorandum reading:
[NARRATOR] Operation Green
will be set in motion by means
of an incident in Czechoslovakia
which will give Germany
provocation for
military intervention.
The fixing of the exact
time for this incident
is of the utmost importance.
[NARRATOR] A few months
later, Germany signed
the Munich Pact with
England, France and Italy.
This pact involved the transfer
of the Sudetenland to Germany.
The conspirators called it
their last territorial demand.
But before the ink was dry,
they were making other
plans for Hitler's goal
was the complete absorption
of Czechoslovakia.
And now the Czech
president Hacha
was called to a
meeting with Hitler
and defendants Goering
von Ribbentrop and Keitel.
They gave him the ultimatum.
Bohemia and Moravia
would be incorporated
into Germany immediately
or Czechoslovakia
would be invaded and Prague
destroyed from the air.
Hacha was helpless.
Defendants von Ribbentrop
and Frick signed the decree
making Bohemia and Moravia
a German Protectorate.
Speaking some months before
about the Sudetenland,
however, Hitler had said:
promised and repeated here
that there will be
no more territorial
problems for Germany in Europe.
I will be no longer
interested in the Czech State
and I will guarantee it.
26 September 1938, Adolf Hitler.
according to more
of his adjutants' notes,
Hitler reviewed the Nazi plan
of violence and treachery
from 1934 to 39.
The notes read:
[NARRATOR] First rearmament.
In 1935 the introduction of
compulsory military service.
After that militarization
of the Rhineland.
One year later Austria came.
It brought about a considerable
reinforcement of the Reich.
The next step was
Bohemia and Moravia,
then followed the erection
of the Protectorate
and with that the basis for
action against Poland was laid.
Basically, I did not
organize the Armed Forces
and order not to strike.
The decision to strike
was always in me.
[NARRATOR] In the name
of the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland,
Sir Hartley Shawcross
presents count two,
crimes against peace charging
that all the defendants
participated in the
planning and waging of wars
of aggression, was in violation
of international treaties,
agreements and assurances.
[SIR HARTLEY] The first
step was the Rhineland
and the next step was Austria.
Rhineland is occupied.
Austria and Czechoslovakia
are seized by Germany
and now the Nazi conspirators
turned to the next problem
a conquest of Poland.
Again, an adjutant,
lieutenant-colonel Schmundt
transcribed Hitler's words.
[NARRATOR] The solution of
the problem demands courage.
It is impossible without
invasion of foreign States
or attacks on foreign property.
There's, therefore, no
question of sparing Poland
and we are left with the
decision to attack Poland
at the first
suitable opportunity.
We cannot expect the
repetition of the Czech affair.
There will be war.
[NARRATOR] Meanwhile,
according to their
well-established practice,
the conspirators stirred up
the Danzig issue to
furnish frontier incidents
which could justify
an attack on Poland.
Then on 23 August,
the Nazis signed
their non-aggression
pact with Russia.
There Hitler told
his High Command:
[NARRATOR] Now, Poland
is in the position
in which I want her.
I am only afraid that at the
last moment some Schweinehund
will make a proposal
for mediation.
[NARRATOR] Appeals were made
twice by the Pope and
by President Roosevelt.
[NARRATOR] Finally, Mr
Roosevelt asks an assurance
be given him that the German
armed forces will not attack
and, above all, not invade
the territory or positions
of the following
independent nations.
He then names as those
coming into question:
Finland, Letland,
Litauen, Estland, Norway,
Sweden, Denmark,
Netherlands, Belgium,
Grossbritannien, Ireland,
Frank Reich, Portugal, Spanien,
die Schweiz, Liechtenstein,
Luxembourg, Poland.
[NARRATOR] On 1 September
1939, the Nazis sent
the Wehrmacht smashing into
Poland and into a new world war,
for France and England,
faithful to their mutual
assistance pact with Poland,
immediately declared
war on Germany.
The Luftwaffe
opened mass attacks
on Polish towns and cities.
And Hitler, according to
Schmundt's notes, said:
[NARRATOR] Destruction of
Poland in the foreground.
I shall give a propagandist
cause for starting the war,
never mind whether it
be plausible or not.
Have no pity.
Take a brutal attitude.
[NARRATOR] But as usual,
before the attack on Poland,
Hitler told the world:
[NARRATOR] During the troubled
months of the past year,
the friendship between
Poland and Germany
has been one of the
reassuring factors
in the political life of Europe.
30th of January
1939, Adolf Hitler.
[NARRATOR] The path of
destruction started in Poland
but soon it led north and
south across all Europe
and each new aggression was
based on Hitler's principle
that, in war, victory not
right is what matters.
Non-aggression treaty,
it is firmly resolved
to maintain peace
between Denmark and Germany
in all circumstances.
31st of May in 1939, Ribbentrop.
on 9 April 1940,
German troops invaded Denmark.
[NARRATOR] The German Reich
government is determined,
in view of the friendly
relations which exists
between Norway and Germany,
under no circumstances
to prejudice the
inviolability and integrity
of the Norwegian state.
2nd of September 1939,
Das Deutsche Reich.
on 9 April 1940,
German troops invaded Norway.
[NARRATOR] I assure
the governments
of Belgium, Holland
and Luxembourg,
that Germany will not
violate their neutrality.
6th of October
1939, Adolf Hitler.
on May 10th 1940,
German troops invaded Belgium,
Holland and Luxembourg.
[NARRATOR] The firmly
established reliable relationship
of Germany to Yugoslavia
will represent an element
of calm on a wrecked continent.
This peace is the goal
of all who are disposed
to perform really
constructive work.
1st of June 1939, Adolf Hitler.
on 6 April 1941,
German troops
invaded Yugoslavia.
These criminal methods
of the Nazi conspirators
brought them early
success and, by 1941,
they had most of Europe
under their heel.
Now, an evil ambition for power
and more power drove them on.
But two of the world's
mightiest nations,
the United States and Soviet
Russia, remained to block
the Nazi drive for
world supremacy.
They had to be dealt
with firmly, immediately,
and now Germany
asked for cooperation
from her full partner in
aggression to the east
and from her junior
partner to the south.
In Berlin, they drew up the
Axis Pact - the blueprint
of the new order and
parceled out the continents
of the world for
Axis domination.
Italy was to get the
Mediterranean sphere.
Japan was to get the
Orient and, to Germany,
would go the rest of the world.
In June 1941, in violation
of their non-aggression pact,
the Nazis sent the Wehrmacht
deep into Soviet territory,
according to military
plans long made.
As usual, there was
no declaration of war.
Hitler had said, today
Germany, tomorrow the world
and this was tomorrow.
Planned warfare in the east,
air warfare in the West,
for now defendant Goering's
Luftwaffe was hurled
with full force against the
people and cities of Britain.
Hitler after all had
told the Reichstag:
I will blot out their city.
And then on 7 December
1941, the Japanese,
keeping their end of
an infamous bargain,
struck at the United States,
also without declaration of war.
Japanese bombs rained
on Pearl Harbor
spreading war finally
to the Pacific.
The new order was on the march.
World War II flamed
around the globe.
name of the Union
of Soviet Socialist
Republics, General Rudenko
presents counts three and four
charging that all the
defendants committed war crimes
in Germany and in all those
countries occupied by Germany.
conspirators committed crimes
against enemy armies,
against prisoners of war,
against the civilians
of occupied lands.
They believed in the barbaric
doctrine of total war
and considered themselves
freed from the restraints
of international law or the
established customs of war.
Their ruthless policies
were ordered in directives
like this one from
General Reinecke
of the Wehrmacht High Command.
The Bolsheviks soldier
has lost all claim
to treatment as an
honorable opponent.
Active or passive resistance
must be broken immediately
by force of arms.
Prisoners of war
attempting to escape
are to be fired on without
previous challenge.
No warning shot must be fired.
More proof of this
savage Nazi policy
comes from the affidavit
of Kurt Lindow,
former Gestapo officer.
[NARRATOR] There existed
in the prisoner of war camps
on the Eastern Front,
small screening teams
headed by lower ranking
members of the Gestapo.
It was the duty of
these teams to segregate
the prisoners of war who were
candidates for execution,
according to the orders
that had been given
and to report them to the
office of the Gestapo.
[NARRATOR] And a letter
from defendant Rosenberg
to defendant Keitel in
1942 stated clearly:
[NARRATOR] A large part of
the Soviet prisoners of war
has starved or died because
of the hazards of the weather.
In many cases, prisoners of
war could no longer keep up
in the march because of
hunger and exhaustion.
In numerous camps, no shelter
for the prisoners
was provided at all.
Even tools were not made
available to dig holes or caves.
[NARRATOR] Yet when some
objected that this treatment
violated the Geneva
Convention, defendant Keitel
answered with this memorandum:
[NARRATOR] We are concerned
with the destruction
of an ideology, therefore, I
approve and back the measures.
[NARRATOR] This is
proved by the testimony
of General Lahousen who worked
under Admiral Canaris
in the Abwehr.
General Lahousen attended
conferences where crimes
against whole
populations were plotted
in advance by the
Nazi conspirators.
Will you please explain
exactly what took place
at this conference in
the Fuhrer's train.
[NARRATOR] First of all,
Canaris had a short talk
with von Ribbentrop,
particularly as regards
the Polish region.
Secondly, Canaris spoke
vehemently against the measures
that he, Canaris, had
found out about to wit
the projected shooting
and extermination measures
that were being directed against
the Polish intelligentsia,
nobility and clergy as
well as all elements
that could be regarded
as embodiments
of the national
resistance movement.
Canaris said at the time,
more or less verbatim,
that the world will, at some
time, make the Armed Forces
under whose eye as these
events have occurred
also responsible
for these events.
[NARRATOR] Defendant Frank,
Nazi governor of Poland,
was another of the
conspirators guilty
of directing mass murder.
In his diary, he speaks of:
[NARRATOR] Taking advantage
of the focus of attention
on the Western Front
by carrying out
wholesale liquidation
of thousands of Poles.
[NARRATOR] These atrocities
were not restricted
to the east.
Here is the proof in the village
of Oradour-sur-Glane, France.
Here is the proof in the
town of Bande, Belgium.
Here is the proof in the
San Callisto Caves, Italy
where 350 hostages
were carefully listed
and systematically murdered.
And here is Lidice
in Czechoslovakia.
In blind retaliation
for the assassination
of SS Man Heydrich, the Nazis
murdered all Lidice's men
and sent their women and children
into slavery in Germany.
But this was not enough.
Boys of the Arbeiten were
moved into the ruins of Lidice
and ordered to level the
village to the ground.
Lidice was to be the Nazi's
example to all occupied peoples.
But more terrible still
were the concentration camps
which, from the
beginning, had been
the conspirators' chief weapon
against opposition
of every kind.
German anti-Nazis were
the first victims,
but with the war their
numbers swelled to include
citizens of all the
nations of Europe.
Their fate is described
by witness Rudolf Hoess.
commanded Auschwitz
until the 1st of December
1943 and estimate
that at least two and a half
million victims were executed
and exterminated there
by gassing and burning.
At least another half million
succumbed to starvation
and disease, making a total
dead of about three million.
Included among the
executed and burned
were approximately 20,000
Russian prisoners of war,
who were delivered at Auschwitz
in Wehrmacht transports.
The remainder of
the total number
included about a hundred
thousand German Jews
and great numbers of
citizens from Holland,
France, Belgium,
Poland, Hungary,
Czechoslovakia, Greece
and other countries.
[NARRATOR] Medical experiments
too were standard procedure
at many concentration camps.
These included lowering
the body temperature
to 28 degrees centigrade,
high-altitude tests
and pressure chambers,
experiments with poison bullets
and contagious diseases and
even sterilization experiments.
- This was genocide
- the premeditated
destruction of entire peoples.
Genocide, the direct
result of the Nazi's claim
that they had the right to
destroy the party's opposition.
Tomorrow the world,
dead or alive.
[NARRATOR] In the name
of the French Republic,
Monsieur de Menthon closes
count three and four
the final charges
of the indictment.
[NARRATOR] All the
defendants committed crimes
against humanity including
the murder and persecution
of all people opposed to the
Nazi Party and the enslavement,
exploitation and deportation
of civilian populations.
The slave labor policy
was the responsibility
of defendant Sauckel
who admitted in 1944:
[NARRATOR] Out of the
five million workers
who arrived in Germany not
even 200,000 came voluntarily.
labor often meant
brutal and degrading treatment.
For Sauckel himself suggested:
[NARRATOR] All the men
must be fed, sheltered,
and treated in such a
way as to exploit them
to the highest possible extent
at the lowest
possible expenditure.
defendant Bormann added:
[NARRATOR] The slaves
are to work for us.
Insofar as we do not
need them, they may die.
[NARRATOR] Slavery was only
one aspect of Nazi exploitation.
Defendant Goering, in a talk
with German occupation
authorities in 1942,
discussed another - plunder.
[NARRATOR] God knows you
are not sent out to work
for the welfare of the
people in your charge
but to get the
utmost out of them
so that the German
people can live.
This everlasting concern
about foreign people
must cease now once and forever.
I have here before me reports
on what you are
expected to deliver.
It makes no difference
to me in this case
if you say that your
people will starve.
crimes against humanity
were not limited
to foreign peoples.
Defendant Frick, as
Minister of Interior,
directed a program
aimed at aged, insane
or incurable Germans - the
so-called useless eaters.
Thousands were committed
to special institutions.
Few ever returned.
Evidence proves they were murdered
because they were useless
to the plans of the
Nazi conspirators.
But perhaps the greatest
crime against humanity
the Nazis committed
against the Jews.
A campaign of hate and murder
that goes to the heart
of the Nazi movement.
[NARRATOR] German citizens
are only those of German
or related blood
willing to serve
the German Reich and people.
Marriages between Jews
and citizens of German
or related blood are prohibited.
Brigadier General Stroop,
in charge of the
Warsaw Ghetto in 1943,
had learned his
Nazi lessons well.
In a secret report, he said:
Reichsfuehrer SS ordered
on the 23rd of April
1943, the cleaning out
of the ghetto with
utter ruthlessness.
I, therefore, decided to destroy
and burn down the entire ghetto.
Jews frequently left the hideouts,
but occasionally remained
in the burning buildings
and jumped out the windows
only when the heat
became unbearable.
Life in the sewers was not
pleasant after the first week.
Tear gas bombs were
thrown into the manholes
and the Jews were
driven out and captured.
Countless numbers of Jews
were liquidated in sewers
and bunkers through blasting.
The longer the
resistance continued,
the tougher became the
members of the Waffen SS,
police and Wehrmacht who
always discharged their duties
in an exemplary manner.
[NARRATOR] Little by little,
the Nazis were reaching
what they called
The Final Solution
the total extermination
of the Jews of Europe.
Hess described the process well:
[NARRATOR] We had two SS
doctors on duty at Auschwitz
to examine the incoming
transports of prisoners.
The prisoners would be marched
past one of the doctors
who would make spot
decisions as they walked by.
Those who were fit for work
were sent into the camp.
Others were sent immediately
to the extermination plant.
Children of tender years
were invariably exterminated
since, by reasons of their
youth, they were unable to work.
We endeavored to fool
them into thinking
they were to go through
a delousing process.
It took from three to 15
minutes to kill the people
in the death chamber depending
upon climatic conditions.
We knew when the
people were dead
because their screaming stopped.
We usually waited
about one half-hour
before we opened the doors
and removed the bodies.
After the bodies were removed,
our special commandos
took off the rings
and extracted the gold from
the teeth of the corpses.
[NARRATOR] Much of this
loot was then transferred
to secret vaults of the
Reichsbank at Frankfurt am Main
the Reichsbank
of defendant Funk.
Labor Chief Robert Ley
knew that six million Jews
died in the Nazi's
Final Solution.
In his will, he said:
anti-Semitism, we violated
a basic commandment
of God's creation.
It is hard to admit mistakes
but the whole existence
of our people is in question.
We must have the courage to
rid ourselves of anti-Semitism.
God has taught me that
in my cell in Nuremberg.
defendant Frank himself
said before this Court:
[NARRATOR] We have
fought against Jewry
and we have allowed ourselves
to make utterances
which are terrible.
A thousand years will
pass and this guilt
of Germany will
still not be erased.
prosecution rests.
[NARRATOR] The defense begins.
They call 61 witnesses and
introduce 38,000 affidavits
on the defendants behalf.
They submit 136,000 more
affidavits on behalf of the S.S.,
10,000 on behalf of the S.A.,
7,000 on behalf of the S.D.,
3,000 on behalf of the
General Staff and the O.K.W.,
2,000 on behalf of the Gestapo.
These attorneys were personally
selected by the defendants.
Many are well known
German lawyers
and each now rises to plead
acquittal for his crimes.
Some make blanket
denials of all guilt.
[NARRATOR] Some of
the defendants had,
without doubt, a great
influence in those spheres
which did not interest, Hitler.
They had no part whatsoever
in the great decisions
concerning war and
peace, armistice
and peace offers, et cetera.
attorneys lead their clients
through a carefully
prepared defense.
Here Streicher is examined.
[NARRATOR] I now continue.
It has also been stated
by the prosecution
that Himmler and Kaltenbrunner
would have had no one
to carry out their orders
to kill if you hadn't made
that propaganda and if
you hadn't conducted
the education of the German
people in that sense.
[NARRATOR] I don't believe
that those who had been given
the order by the Fuehrer
to carry out the killings
or to pass an order to
kill, that those people
would have been made to
do this by my periodical.
Hitler's book, Mein Kampf,
existed and the contents
of that book were the
authority, the cause.
comes Kaultenbrunner.
[NARRATOR] You are accused
of establishing Mauthausen,
of inspecting and visiting
this camp regularly.
The witness Herriger testified
having seen you in this camp
and further testified
having seen you
at the inspection
of gas chambers
and while these gas
chambers were in operation.
testimony is wrong.
Every concentration
camp in the Reich,
of which I know
anything, was established
by Himmler through Paul.
[NARRATOR] Later the
prosecution is allowed
to cross-examine the defendants.
Rosenberg is questioned.
[NARRATOR] Did your
ministry force people to leave
their homes, to go to Germany
to work for the German state?
[NARRATOR] It is true
that force was used
and it is not denied
that some terrible
encroachments occurred.
Raeder takes the stand.
[NARRATOR] On the 23rd of
May, in the Reich Chancellery,
Hitler said that he would
give you an indoctrination
on the political
situation and he said,
we are left with the decision
to attack Poland at
the first opportunity.
Did you still think that he
had no aggressive intentions?
[NARRATOR] I believed
that for a long time.
Just as General Jodl said,
after Hitler had solved
the Czech problem
purely politically,
it was to be hoped he
would also be able to solve
the Polish question
without bloodshed.
I believed that until
the last moment,
until the 22nd of August.
is cross-examined.
[NARRATOR] Yesterday
your counsel showed you
this order dated
16th September, 1941.
It said that it is
necessary to take
immediate, cruel measures
and that human life
in the East is
absolutely worthless.
You remember the basic
idea of the order,
that human life costs
absolutely nothing?
answer the question.
[NARRATOR] You signed this
order with this statement?
[NARRATOR] Next Jodl.
remember any other reason
for such great mortality
among Soviet prisoners of war?
[NARRATOR] I didn't know the
reasons for this mass murder,
but they seemed to be completely
wrong, that I do know.
[NARRATOR] Now von Ribbentrop.
[NARRATOR] Are you
telling the tribunal,
on your oath, that
you knew nothing
about the effect of military
pressure on Austria?
to stress again
that I knew nothing
about military measures,
and that if I had
known something,
I wouldn't see any
reason not to say so.
But it is a fact that
during the days before
and after the
Hitler-Schuschnigg meeting,
I was so busy taking
over the foreign office
that I could give
only slight attention
to the Austrian problem.
[NARRATOR] Then Goering
is cross-examined.
end of the meeting
you used the following
words didn't you?
German Jewry must, as a penalty,
forfeit one-billion marks,
then the pigs won't
commit any more crimes.
Do you still say
that neither Hitler
nor you knew of the policy
to exterminate the Jews?
[NARRATOR] I already have
said that not even approximately
did I know to what degree
this thing took place.
[NARRATOR] You did
not know to what degree,
but you knew there was a policy
that aimed at the
liquidation of the Jews.
[NARRATOR] No, not
liquidation of the Jews.
I only knew that certain,
perpetrations had taken place.
takes the stand.
[NARRATOR] You were
present on April 23, 1945,
when Hitler received the
telegram from Goering
suggesting that he
take over power.
What did Hitler say
on that occasion?
was most excited
about the contents of the
telegram and he expressed himself
in a very clear
manner about Goering.
He said that he knew for some
time that Goering had failed,
that he was corrupt, that
he was a drug addict.
It was typical of
Hitler's attitude
toward the entire problem,
however, that he followed
the statement up by saying,
but he can, nevertheless,
negotiate the capitulation.
He stated in an offhand manner,
it doesn't really
matter who does it.
His disregard for
the German nation
was expressed in the
way he said this.
months of examination
and cross-examination,
several defendants
make final statements
to the tribunal.
Frank is first.
[NARRATOR] I myself,
speaking from the very depth
of my sentiments and from
the experience of five months
of this trial, want to say this.
Now, that I have
gained the last insight
into all that which has
been committed in the way
of dreadful atrocities, I feel
a terrible guilt within me.
[NARRATOR] Funk declares.
[NARRATOR] When these
measures of terror and violence
against Jews were put up to me,
I suffered a nervous break
down because at the moment
it came to my mind
with full clearness
that, from here on, the
catastrophe took its course
all the way up to the
terrible and atrocious things
about which we have heard
and about which I knew only
in part at the time
of my imprisonment.
I felt ashamed and
guilty at that moment
and I feel the same way
today, but it's too late.
Schirach speaks.
[NARRATOR] It is my guilt
that I educated German youth
for a man who committed
murders million fold.
[NARRATOR] Schacht is next.
[NARRATOR] Everything he
promised to the German people,
and, thereby to himself,
he did not afterwards keep.
He promised equal
rights for all citizens
and, without regard
to their capabilities,
his adherents got privileges
before all other citizens.
He promised to fight
against political lies
and, together with his Minister
Goebbels and by himself,
he never did anything
but disseminate
political lies and
political fraud.
He released criminals and
put them into his service.
He did everything in the way
of not keeping his promises.
He deceived the
world, Germany and me.
[NARRATOR] Speer once more.
tremendous danger
contained in this totalitarian
system only became
really clear the moment we
were approaching the end.
Everything that has
happened during this trial,
everything you have seen
in the way of orders
which were carried out
without any hesitation
did, after all, turn
out to be mistaken.
That is why this
trial must contribute
to the prevention of such
distorted wars in the future
and to the establishment
of principles
for human cooperation.
[NARRATOR] And Keitel again.
[NARRATOR] I erred, I
was not able to prevent
what should have been prevented.
That is my guilt.
I can only wish that out
of a clear recognition
of the causes of the
disastrous methods
and the terrible
consequences of this war,
there will arise for the
German people a new hope
for a better future in
the community of nations.
[NARRATOR] Now Frank.
[NARRATOR] We call
on the German people,
whose representatives we
were, to abandon this way,
which was doomed to failure
in the will and justice of God
and which is doomed for everyone
who may try to follow it
anywhere in the world.
[NARRATOR] The last defendant
to speak is Fritzsche.
[NARRATOR] You of the
prosecution did not expect
anything good from
Hitler and you are amazed
about the extent of
what really happened.
But then try to understand
the indignation of those
who did expect something
good from Hitler
and were betrayed.
I am one of these betrayed.
[NARRATOR] Finally, both
defense and prosecution
sum up their arguments
for the tribunal.
[NARRATOR] An aggressor
can be branded only
by the world's conscience.
That supreme organ of humanity
must have not only real,
but also moral authority.
Its impartial judgment
must be looked upon
with general confidence.
It must stand above
the contesting parties.
[NARRATOR] In the name of
the United States of America,
Justice Jackson
delivers his summation.
[NARRATOR] According to the
testimony of each defendant,
these men saw no
evil, spoke none,
and none was uttered
in their presence.
If we combine only the
stories from the front bench,
this is the ridiculous,
composite picture
of Hitler's government
that emerges.
It was composed of
a number two man
who never suspected the
Jewish extermination program,
although he signed over a
score of anti-Semitic decrees.
A number three man who is
merely an innocent middle-man
transmitting Hitler's orders
without even reading them
like a postman or
a delivery boy.
A Foreign Minister who knew
little of foreign affairs
and nothing of foreign policy.
A field marshal who issued
orders to the armed forces
but had no idea of the results
they would have in practice.
A Security Chief who
was of the impression
that the policing functions
of his Gestapo and S.D.
were somewhat on the lines
of directing traffic.
A party philosopher who
had no idea of the violence
which his philosophy was
inciting in the 20th century.
A Governor-General of Poland
who reigned, but did not rule.
A Gauleiter of Franconia
whose occupation
was to pour forth filthy
writings about the Jews,
but who had no idea that
anybody would read them.
A Minister of the
Interior who knew
not even what went
on in his own office,
much less the interior
of his own department,
and nothing at all about
the interior of Germany.
A Reichsbank president
who is totally ignorant
of what went in and out
of the vaults of his bank.
To say of these men that
they are not guilty,
it would be as true to
say there has been no war,
there are no slain,
there has been no crime.
[NARRATOR] In the name
of the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland,
Sir Hartley Shawcross
delivers his summation.
[NARRATOR] This trial
must form a milestone
in the history of civilization.
Not only marking that
right shall in the end
triumph over evil, but
also that ordinary people
of the world and, I
make no distinction here
between friend and
foe, are now determined
that the individual must
transcend the state.
The state and law
are made for man,
that through them he may
achieve a fuller life,
a higher purpose and
a greater dignity.
name of the Union
of Soviet Socialist
Republics, General Rudenko
delivers his summation.
[NARRATOR] And when
we ask have the charges
against the defendants been
proved before the court,
have the defendants been
convicted of their guilt?
There is only one answer.
Their crimes have been proved.
Neither the statements of the
defendants nor the arguments
of the defense were able to
refute our grave accusations.
It has been impossible
to cast doubt
on events which
actually took place.
The truth cannot be challenged.
That is the real
meaning of this trial.
That is the lasting result of
our long and strenuous effort.
[NARRATOR] In the name
of the French Republic,
Monsieur de Ribes
delivers his summation.
[NARRATOR] When this
international trial is closed
and the principal war
criminals sentenced,
we shall go back to
our own countries.
The fate of these men now lies
entirely with your conscience.
This is beyond our competence.
Our task is finished.
Now it is for you, in the
silence of your deliberations,
to listen to innocent
blood crying for justice.
[NARRATOR] Lord Justice
Lawrence, Great Britain.
Mr Frances Biddle,
United States.
Monsieur de Vabres, France.
And Major General
Nikitchenko, U.S.S.R.
and their alternates
prepare the verdict.
It will be based on the
opinion of the majority.
[NARRATOR] On October 1st,
1946, the verdict is delivered
by Lord Justice Lawrence,
president of the tribunal.
organizations, the S.S., S.D.,
Gestapo and leadership
corps are found guilty.
The high command, S.A. and
Reich cabinet, not guilty.
As for the individual,
Wilhelm Hermann Goering:
guilty of conspiracy,
crimes against peace,
war crimes and crimes
against humanity.
Death by hanging.
Rudolph Hess: guilty of conspiracy
and crimes against peace.
Life imprisonment.
Joachim Von Ribbentrop:
guilty of conspiracy,
crimes against peace, war crimes
and crimes against humanity.
Death by hanging.
Wilhelm Keitel: guilty of
conspiracy, crimes against peace,
war crimes and crimes
against humanity.
Death by hanging.
Ernst Kaltenbrunner:
guilty of war crimes
and crimes against humanity.
Death by hanging.
Alfred Rosenberg:
guilty of conspiracy,
crimes against peace, war crimes
and crimes against humanity.
Death by hanging.
Hans Frank: guilty of war crimes
and crimes against humanity.
Death by hanging.
Wilhelm Frick: guilty
of crimes against peace,
war crimes and crimes
against humanity.
Death by hanging.
Julius Streicher: guilty
of crimes against humanity.
Death by hanging.
Walter Funk: guilty of
crimes against peace,
war crimes and crimes
against humanity.
Life imprisonment.
Hjalmar Schacht: not
guilty on this indictment.
Karl Doenitz: guilty of crimes
against peace and war crimes.
10 years imprisonment.
Erich Raeder: guilty
of conspiracy,
crimes against peace
and war crimes.
Life imprisonment.
Baldur von Schirach: guilty
of crimes against humanity.
20 years imprisonment.
Fritz Sauckel:
guilty of war crimes
and crimes against humanity.
Death by hanging.
Alfred Jodl: guilty of conspiracy,
crimes against peace,
war crimes and crimes
against humanity.
Death by hanging.
Franz von Papen: not
guilty on this indictment.
Albert Speer:
guilty of war crimes
and crimes against humanity.
20 years imprisonment.
Constantin von Neurath:
guilty of conspiracy,
crimes against peace, war crimes
and crimes against humanity.
15 years imprisonment.
Artur Seyss-Inquart: guilty
of crimes against peace,
war crimes and crimes
against humanity.
Death by hanging.
Hanz Fritzsche: not
guilty on this indictment.
Martin Bormann, tried in
absentia: guilty of war crimes
and crimes against humanity.
Death by hanging.
[NARRATOR] The trial is over.
Seven begin their
prison sentences.
Goering chooses to
die by his own hand.
The other 10 wait
for the gallows.
In Nuremberg, the people of
the world found out and why.
But Nuremberg is more than
an answer to a question.
As Justice Jackson
said, this trial is part
of the great effort to
make the peace more secure.
It constitutes juridical
action of a kind to ensure
that those who start a war
will pay for it personally.
Nuremberg stands as a
warning to all those
who plan and wage
aggressive war.