As a Bachelor of History and Master of Jewish Studies, I researched WWII and the Shoah from various angles and through diverse lenses. I have read numerous eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust and participated in a Shoah Study Tour. My conclusion: WWII is modernity’s Bubonic plague; it too claimed lives, decimated entire cities, and showcased the frailty of our humanity.
What I had not researched in detail was Hitler’s cohort and their reckoning at the Nuremberg Trials. When I asked fellow millennial academics about their knowledge of the Trials, most responses paralleled mine: limited.
Just why is it so important to learn about the Nuremberg Trials? It is not just the trial of the century, it is the red flag of the century. It is a warning to all, especially those who promulgate greed, racism, and variance. Studying the Trials allows one access into the psyche of Nazi leaders, the motives behind their decisions, their blind allegiance (or lack thereof) to Hitler, and so much more.
Imagine a 360-degree portal into the history of the Trials: a detailed website that showcases the making of Nuremberg, Nazi criminals on trial, and life amidst Germany’s rubble. Courtroom 600 will offer unique insights into the cause and effects of WWII, shed light on untold stories, and indeed, fill a gap between WWII and Holocaust educational communities.
In addition, Courtroom 600 is our key to identifying the effects of narcissistic doctrines, racist ideology, and economic and political disillusionment. With this education, we can develop sustainable solutions that may minimize, if not totally eradicate, the damage of backwards ideologies. Current and future generations must learn the lessons of The Nuremberg Trials, to counteract social unrest, cultural dissonance, and anti-Semitism. If one is to fulfill the cry “Never Again!,” in-depth knowledge of the Nuremberg Trials is a pivotal starting point.
At this point in time, the international sociopolitical climate is just short of explosive. Just as one cannot ignore current affairs one surely cannot ignore the lessons of Nuremberg, for history is not doomed to repeat itself. The unlearned are doomed to repeat history.
Lanita Warner is a Research Assistant and Jewish Studies Consultant at Descendants Media Group. She received her B.A. in History and Jewish Studies from the University of Virginia, and M.A. in Jewish Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.