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Defendants plead not guilty; Jackson opens the Nuremberg IMT

Film | Accession Number: 1990.492.1 | RG Number: RG-60.0364 | Film ID: 163

War Crimes Trials, Nuremberg, Germany, November 20, 1945. MSs, Tribunal enters courtroom. MLS, German attorney makes statement to court and Lord Justice Geoffrey Lawrence is heard advising the defendants that they may consult with their lawyers. Justice Lawrence stresses that provisions according to Art. 24 will be followed by the court. Apparently, this refers to the fact that defendants, in their final statement, could only plead "guilty" or "not guilty," but otherwise would not be allowed to make any statements. The defense had complained that the defendants had only been informed about the stipulations of this final plea two days ago, and did not have time to prepare. A fifteen minute recess is granted by Justice Lawrence. MSs, Rudolf Hess standing in dock during adjournment. MSs, Wilhelm Keitel, with back to camera, speaks to Fritz Sauckel. Alongside of him sits Alfred Rosenberg. MS, group of lawyers conferring during adjournment. MLS, Hermann Goering stands up and starts to read statement to the court. The voice of Justice Lawrence interrupts, saying that the defendants are not permitted to read statements but are to plead guilty or not guilty. MLS, Goering, Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Keitel, Rosenberg, Julius Streicher, Walter Funk, Hjalmar Schacht, Franz Von Papen, Constantin von Neurath and Hans Fritzsche, one by one, plead not guilty. MLS, Goering again rises to make statement, but is warned by the court. Rear view, chief Prosecutor Robert H. Jackson starts opening address... "The privilege of opening the first trial in history for the crimes against the people of the world is a grave responsibility. The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant and so devastating that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored because it cannot survive their being repeated..." (Excerpt of opening address)

Event:  11/20/1945
Production:  11/20/1945
Nuremberg, Germany
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives & Records Administration
Record last modified: 2021-06-03 12:46:42
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