Filming the Nuremberg Trials

The Nuremberg Trials were military tribunals held at the end of the war to try the leading figures of the Nazi regime. This was the first time ever that international leaders had attempted to put another nation on trial for war crimes, and numerous innovations were introduced in the trials, including the extensive use of film.

Newsreels of the court proceedings were screened across the Allied nations and Germany. Those watching this footage had never seen anything like it before. As well as screening the trials across the world, films were used in the courtroom as forms of evidence – one of the first times ever that this was done. These evidence films featured graphic scenes from the concentration camps during the Holocaust, as the camps were discovered by the Allied armies.

To the Allies, the use of film and news screenings at Nuremberg was crucial, not just as evidence but as propaganda – these films validated the Allies’ efforts in bringing to the Nazis to justice. The trials were witnessed by a global audience, and the Nazi leaders’ crimes were exposed in the most explicit way possible.

WARNING: Please be aware that this video contains footage of that some viewers may find disturbing.

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