Thursday, December 27, 2012

Courtroom 600.

On a gloomy, rainy, December day, we headed to the Palace of Justice's Courtroom 600 to learn about the Nuremberg Trials and to honor the victims whose stories were told here for the first time, for all the world to hear.


Dubbed "The Trial of the Main War Criminals," it was here that the 21 men who played key roles in the crimes and atrocities of World War II were tried and held accountable for their actions as Nazi officers and officials. 


In the museum one floor above, for almost two hours, I walked, stumbled, murmured, sighed, and cried my way through the convicting evidence — memos, artifacts, pictures, videos, telegrams and wrenching personal testimonies.   


Yet at the bottom of the horror and depression was hope and even a sense of relief.  Because it was here, during this trial, and in this courtroom that international criminal proceedings commenced a process that would establish a system fit to try leaders and even a government itself. And it was here that a framework was created for dealing with future crimes against humanity and a system, however flawed, that still endeavors to uphold human dignity and the law, even in the situation of war.

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