Interpreters at a session of the International Military Tribunal.Interpreters at a session of the International Military Tribunal.

The Nuremberg Trials Wouldn’t Have Taken Place Without Interpreters

At the Nuremberg Trials, everything was a first - including the debut of international simultaneous interpretation. The new practice of interpretation was invented and introduced at the tribunal - "simultaneous interpretation" was necessary for the new world, which was going to live on without war. Countries and people managed to come to an agreement in every sense: a common space for dialogue was provided by interpreters, who bore perhaps the greatest responsibility and who had never done anything like this before or since. The Soviet interpreters had a particularly difficult time - and they passed the unprecedented test with flying colours.
Nuremberg trial, 1945Nuremberg trial, 1945

In-Between Genocide & Crimes Against Humanity

The Nuremberg Trials were the first of their kind in history, turning into a judgment against a regime and an entire era - the Nazi period that gripped Germany for one and a half decades. It gave a powerful impetus to the development of international law. In particular, it introduced the concept of "crimes against humanity" that we use today. The forging of a new term, a key one for the advancement of human rights, took place amid heated legal debates and even intrigues around the two concepts – "genocide" and "human rights". Georgy Bovt discusses the key legal collision for the modern world.
Gen. Alfred Jodl (right) and Gen. Wilhelm Keitel twist around to have a conference in the defendants box during the second day of the trials in Nuremberg, Germany, Nov. 21, 1945.Gen. Alfred Jodl (right) and Gen. Wilhelm Keitel twist around to have a conference in the defendants box during the second day of the trials in Nuremberg, Germany, Nov. 21, 1945.

The “Nodding Donkey” and Its Strategist

Adolf Hitler had a complicated relationship with the military. The career officers, brought up in the tradition of the Kaiser's Germany, could hardly trust the Austrian corporal; many openly despised the Führer. Hitler faced military opposition many times – ranging from quiet sabotage to an attempted assassination. But some generals became the mainstay of the Nazi regime and at the same time - war criminals on an international scale. Two of them, Wilhelm Keitel and Alfred Jodl, signed Germany's surrender in World War II and appeared before the Nuremberg trials.
Fritz Sauckel at the 1945–1946 Nuremberg TrialsFritz Sauckel at the 1945–1946 Nuremberg Trials

Fritz Sauckel: ‘Humans More Primitive Than Machines’

Coming from pretty humble origins - being the only child of a postman and seamstress - it’s unlikely that Ernst Friedrich Christoph “Fritz” Sauckel, ever imagined, while a child, that he would grow up to be a slave owner. Presumably he never dreamt of such a thing during his adolescence, joining the Merchant Navy aged 15 in 1909 and sailing in Swedish, Norwegian and German ships. He became a first-class sailor - which shows he wasn’t afraid of hard work - rising to the rank of Able Seaman. It was Nazism that made him a slave owner and a criminal.

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