Memorium Nuremberg Trials

Memorium Nürnberger Prozesse



4.0/5 Pros

  • The memorium tries to give a detailed overview about the trials
  • Well explained how the trial has been set up
  • Link to nowadays international lawsuits Cons

  • Difficult topic to present: sometimes, I felt I miss something
  • Courtroom 600 renovated / restructured in the meantime

Nuremberg is deeply linked to the German Nazi regime between 1933 and 1945. The key reason for that are of course the Nazi Rally Grounds (Reichsparteitagsgelände). However, even after the defeat of Hitler and his followers, Nuremberg was key in Nazi history. The Nuremberg Trials (Nürnberger Prozesse) were the key trials against Nazi leaders being accused for crimes against humanity. At the former location, the Nuremberg justice hosts the Memorium Nürnberger Prozesse (“Memorium Nuremberg Trials”) to explain the set-up and the outcome of the trials, including they importance to nowadays processing.


Memorium Nuremberg Trials – Location & Admission

Memorium Nuremberg Trials is located slightly West of Nuremberg city center / the old town. The easiest way to reach the exhibition, which is still located on disctrict court (Landgericht) grounds, is to take the Underground train to Bärenschanze.

The memorium is open for visitors between 9:00 and 18:00hrs daily. Tuesday is closed. On Saturdays and Sundays, the exhibition opens at 10:00 hrs. The museum is one of the museums driven by the city of Nuremberg. They have unified pricing: adult admission is six Euro. If you are visiting another Nuremberg city museum, the second visit is three Euro to upgrade to a day ticket, which allows you visit any additional of their museums for free.


Memorium Nuremberg Trials – The Visit

I decided to split up my review into three sections, so that the pictures are in a more logic structure. In fact you visit the exhibition about the importance of the Nuremberg Trials for nowadays justice right after the exhibition. Having a look into Courtroom 600 can be done before or after that, depending on personal preferences and availability (the courtroom is not used for trials typically, but it is the starting point for guided tours). Practically all parts of the exhibition are in English and German in parallel and there are audio guides for other languages.

The Trial

The main part of the exhibition, of course, deals with the (main) trial itself and the challenges around it. The trial was held in an anglo-American type of court setting, based on the victorious powers. Judges and prosecutors were assigned by the Soviet Union, the USA, the UK and France. The exhibition also introduces the 24 defendants and how rules were set up to create a fair trial. Some of the key defendants were Hermann Göring and Rudolf Heß. Göring was sentenced to death, but could commit suicide beforehand, while Heß committed suicide in 1987 in prison, still being in life imprisonment.

There were quite a lot of partial and complete acquittals as well, some of them due to the lack of proofs, which at least makes you feel that the trial tried to be fair. Overall, eleven people were sentenced to death and three received life imprisonments (all but Heß received amnesty about ten years later). Three accused persons were not penalized at all. This part of the exhibition concludes with with hangings of people sentenced to death.

Apart from the main trial, there were numerous follow-up trials, e.g. against doctors, industrial managers and military leaders. These trials are also briefly explained in the exhibition.

Courtroom 600

Unfortunately, Courtroom 600, where the trials have been held, is not in the historic setup any more. You can just see a mode of the original setup from the former upper tribune. Nowadays, the courtroom is no longer used for trials, so that you can visit the renovated version of the courtroom as part of your visit.


The Influence of the Nuremberg Trials until Today

The main Nuremberg Trial as well as the follow-up trials has a massive influence on today’s international law. To me, this was a very interesting part of the visit. For example, most of the rules which are currently used for the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, are based on Nuremberg experience. The memorium gives a really well illustration of that and shows trials held in The Hague thereafter.


Memorium Nuremberg Trials – My View

I feel that the Memorium Nuremberg Trials is doing a good job. There is a lot of information, some original exhibits and videos, so that everything is very illustrative. Finally, it is an exhibition about juristic trials, which might not be a too easy topic to present in a way that you really get it in full extent. Thus, I felt that here and there, I would have loved to have some more illustration. What I definitely liked is the way the museum is pointing out the strong link from the Nuremberg Trials to nowadays international trials. If you are in Nuremberg, you will likely have a city museum day ticket anyway – and thus, it would be a shame if you would not visit this place.


German Museums

Here are all my postings about museums and exhibitions related to or located in Germany:


Nazi Germany Memorials

Here are all places memorizing about the cruelties during the German Nazi leadership:

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