One of the greatest courtroom dramas in history, Nuremberg: Its Lessons For Today shows how the international prosecutors built their case against the top Nazi war criminals using the Nazis’ own films and records. The trial established the “Nuremberg principles,” laying the foundation for all subsequent trials for crimes against the peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
This is the official U.S. government’s film about the trial, made for the War Department & U.S. Military Government by Stuart Schulberg, a veteran of John Ford’s OSS War Crimes film team. Though it was distributed in Germany in 1948 and1949 as part of the U.S. de-Nazification campaign, its release to American theaters and other countries was canceled due to political concerns.
Over the years, the original picture negative and sound elements were lost or destroyed. Filmmakers Sandra Schulberg and Josh Waletzky created a new 35mm negative (made from the German Bundesarchiv’s best “lavender print”) and reconstructed the soundtrack using original sound from the trial. The Schulberg/Waletzky restoration allows audiences to hear Justice Robert H. Jackson's famous opening and closing statements to the Tribunal, and the testimony from the German defendants and their defense attorneys — all in their own voices — as well as bits of the English, Russian and French prosecutors. Now, more than 60 years later, the newly restored film can be seen around the world for the first time. The film ends with Justice Jackson’s stirring words: “Let Nuremberg stand as a warning to all who plan and wage aggressive war.”