Monday, June 18, 2018


Nuremberg was the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire.  The Imperial Diet, a negotiating body, and the Imperial Courts met in Nuremberg's castle.  The city was one of the most important cities of the Empire.

For the Nazi Third Reich, Nuremberg again took on political importance.

Because of its past importance to the Holy Roman Empire, and with a desire to a align itself with the glory of that empire, the Nazis decided to hold their 1927, 1929, 1933-1938 enormous propaganda rallies in Nuremberg.

These huge propaganda events, catering to emotions and not intellect, were held to espouse the ideas that were the underpinnings of the Nazi party, including Aryan superiority.

In 1935, the infamous Nuremberg Laws laws were passed here.  It was with these laws that, it became illegal for Jews to marry non Jews, and the German citizenship of all Jews and non- Aryans was revoked, a necessary precursor to the Holocaust which was to follow.

The famous Nuremberg War Crimes trials were held here and not in Berlin because

      1.  Due to the numerous Nazi rallies and the passing of legislation to strip Jews of their citizenship here, it was felt to be symbolic that the Nazis should also be held accountable for their war crimes in Nuremberg.

      2.  The courthouse was one of the few in Germany that had a large enough courtroom, was relatively intact, and has an adjoining jail to hold the accused.

 Military and political leaders, including Herman Goring and Rudolph Hess, were held accountable for their involvement with the Holocaust and other Nazi war crimes.

Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels, and others, who would also have been tried, had already committed suicide before they could be brought to justice.  Others had fled to Argentina.

Twenty four individuals were tried at the initial tribunal.  Twelve were sentenced to death.  Three were sentenced to life in prison.  Two were acquitted of the charges against them.  Others were given lesser sentences.

Tribunals, prosecuting lesser individuals and holding these individuals culpable for crimes instead of the all encompassing state, were later held.

The Nuremberg tribunals are important, also, because they are the basis of today's International Criminal Court.

 The Nuremberg trials brought to the forefront very sobering examples of man's terrible inhumanity to man that should never be forgotten.

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