the first of the blots of the Rorschach inkblot testthe first of the blots of the Rorschach inkblot test

Nuremberg ‘Patients’

Those who attended the Nuremberg Trials could never quite satisfy themselves on the question of whether the defendants were truly mentally normal. Could it be that they were all maniacs, psychopaths, deranged sadists? And sure enough there were those among the staff of the International Military Tribunal who had to decide this on a professional level – psychiatrists and psychologists. There were three in particular who played a vital role in assessing the mental state of the criminals from whose acts the civilised world shrank in disgust. They were all American and two of them were Jewish and their experiences, which made them international stars, haunted them to their dying day. They were Douglas Kelley, Gustave Gilbert and Leon Goldensohn. Day after day they explored the paradoxes of Nazi psychology and grappled with the subconscious of history's greatest villains. But the conclusions drawn after numerous tests and extensive examinations dismayed even the experts.
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.
Serafima PonomarevaSerafima Ponomareva

‘I Told No One About the Trials’ Part 3

Serafima Grigorievna Ponomareva headed to the front, wrote her name on the wall of the Reichstag, and became an interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials at the age of 18. The lady, now 94, told the “Nuremberg. Casus Pacis” project about her memories. We filmed and recorded Serafima Ponomareva's story. Her version of the events is presented without changes, uncut – as she remembered them. Today’s episode is the last in a multimedia series about the Nuremberg Trials interpreter. Read and watch the first and the second episode to learn how Serafima Ponomareva ended up at the trials and what she experienced in the courtroom.
Serafima Grigorievna PonomarevaSerafima Grigorievna Ponomareva

‘I Told No One About the Trials’ Part 2

Serafima Grigorievna Ponomareva, an MGIMO University student, headed to the front, sang patriotic songs with the troops at the recently-captured Reichstag on Victory Day, and became an interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials at the age of 18. The events of those months remain fresh in her memory despite her being 94 years old. We filmed and recorded Serafima Grigorievna Ponomareva's story. Her version of events is presented without changes, uncut – as she remembered them. Today’s episode is the second in a multimedia series about the Nuremberg Trials interpreter. Read and watch the first episode to learn how Serafima Ponomareva ended up at the trials.
Serafima Grigorievna PonomarevaSerafima Grigorievna Ponomareva

‘I Told No One About the Trials’ Part 1

Serafima Grigorievna Ponomareva, an MGIMO University student, headed to the front, sang patriotic songs with the troops at the recently-captured Reichstag on Victory Day, and became an interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials at the age of 18. The events of those months remain fresh in her memory despite her being 94 years old. We filmed and recorded Serafima Grigorievna Ponomareva's story. Her version of events is presented without changes, uncut – as she remembered them. Today’s episode is the first in a multimedia series about the Nuremberg Trials interpreter.
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.
Richard Baer, Josef Mengele, Rudolf Hoess at AuschwitzRichard Baer, Josef Mengele, Rudolf Hoess at Auschwitz

Stitched Twins, Pumped Blood: How Nazis Maimed and Killed Children

Among the crimes inflicted on countless interned children by the Third Reich, none was perhaps more harrowing than medical experimentation. Thousands of children were exsanguinated, infected with deadly diseases, and mutilated. The chief physician of the Birkenau camp (one of the subdivisions of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, also known as Auschwitz), Josef Mengele, who focused on experiments on prisoners, including children, was infamous. Prisoners called him "the angel of death".

Document: 300 Thousand Words for Soviet Radio Listeners

Mikhail Gus was a Soviet international radio journalist, publicist and art critic, who witnessed many of the events of the Second World War. He also worked at the Nuremberg Trials. Residents of the USSR listened to his reports from Nuremberg through special radio devices – so-called black "plates", which were in every apartment and at work places in those years. On 3 May 1946, he sent a telegram to the All-Union radio (the State Committee on Radio Broadcasting) with a report on five months of the work at the trials. And in 1971 he published a book of essays "Madness of the Swastika", in which he described many vivid episodes which he witnessed during the trial.

‘I Recalled the Smoke of Auschwitz’

Pravda’s special Nuremberg correspondent, the celebrated writer Boris Polevoi (who would soon shoot to fame in the Soviet Union for his book “The Story of a Real Man”) knew much more about Auschwitz than many other eyewitnesses at the Nuremberg trials. He visited the camp two days after it had been liberated by the Red Army in January 1945 and interviewed prisoners and witnesses, afterwards writing a memo about it to the Political Department at the Front. On 15 April 1946, he published his impressions of the examination of Rudolf Höss, the former commander of Auschwitz Extermination Camp, by the Nuremberg tribunal on the same day in an article for the Soviet Information Bureau. The authors of “Nuremberg: Casus Pacis” found the article in the archives of Sovinformburo. The full version of Polevoi’s article about Auschwitz is published for the first time.

Profession: Commandant of Concentration Camps

By mid-April 1946, the defendants were still trying to deny the fact of the mass extermination of people in concentration camps. According to them, it was all propaganda and exaggeration. But eventually, a man came to the podium and bluntly stated that he himself had sent 2.5 million prisoners to death and he had personally implemented the “final solution to the Jewish question”. This was Rudolf Höss, commandant of Auschwitz. Let's try to consider the commandants of the Nazi concentration camps in depth and analyse the people whose official duty was to organise torture and mass murder.

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