Movie Review: 'Nuremberg: Its Lesson For Today'






Never before seen on U.S. screens, the documentary "Nuremberg: Its Lesson For Today" compels us as much because of its complicated and fascinating history as for what it has to show, which is a lot.

Written and directed in 1948 by Stuart Schulberg and meticulously brought back to life by his daughter Sandra Schulberg and Josh Waletzky, "Nuremberg" was commissioned by the U.S. War Department to answer a very specific need.

Once the November 1945 to October 1946 Nuremberg trial of top Nazi leaders, including Hermann Goering, Rudolf Hess and Albert Speer, was concluded, the Allies wanted a film that would both show what had happened in the courtroom and demonstrate why such an unprecedented trial for, among other things, "crimes against humanity" had been necessary.

Shown extensively in Germany, where it was a key component of the Allies' de-Nazification campaign, "Nuremberg" was supposed to be shown in the U.S. as well, but a change in the political climate apparently doomed that. Though no hard proof exists, most experts theorize that by 1948, with the Cold War gearing up, the powers that be in Washington decided that showing a film that made the Soviet Union look good and cast a dark light on our newly minted ally West Germany was simply not politically expedient....



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