Long-lost Nuremberg Trials film restored, 66 years late

By Martin Bright, February 23, 2012

An extraordinary lost film of the Nuremberg war crimes trial enjoyed its UK premiere this week six decades after it was first made. The newly-restored film, Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today, was unveiled at a screening in Parliament on Wednesday. It includes footage from the trial of 21 members of the Nazi high command and extracts from Nazi films, collected by a unit under the command of Hollywood director John Ford.

Attorney General Dominic Grieve, who hosted the event, said: "The Nuremberg Trial was a defining moment in the history of international justice, establishing principles which are still in use today." He paid tribute to his predecessors in the post of Attorney-General, Sir Hartley Shawcross and Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe, who acted as prosecutors at the trial, he added that the film provided "a unique opportunity to hear and see the events of 66 years ago, as they happened."

The film has been restored by Sandra Schulberg, daughter of the original filmmaker Stuart Schulberg.

A symposium to mark the film's release in Britain was held at Hendon Town Hall on Wednesday hosted by Wiliam Schabas, professor of international law at Middlesex University. Panellists included US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes issues, Stephen J Rapp, and Don Ferencz, founder of the Global Institute for the Prevention of Aggression. Jewish veteran Leslie Sutton, who was present at the Nuremberg trials, also spoke. "I was just 24 years old and didn't understand the full impact of the camps. I didn't quite know at the time what I was witnessing," he said.

Last updated: 1:58pm, February 23 2012