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Nuremberg is a 2000 Canadianmarker/United Statesmarker television docudrama, based on the book Nuremberg: Infamy on Trial by Joseph E. Persico, that tells the story of the Nuremberg Trialsmarker.

Plot summary

Part one

At the close of World War II, Hermann Göring surrenders to the Americans and enjoys the hospitality of a U.S. Air Force base. Samuel Rosenman, acting on the orders of U.S. President Harry S. Truman, recruits Justice Robert H. Jackson to prepare a war crimes tribunal against Göring and the surviving Nazi leadership. Göring, Albert Speer and others are arrested for war crimes and imprisoned in a U.S. Army stockade in Bad Mondorfmarker. Jackson, his assistant Elsie Douglas, and his prosecution team fly to Europe. Psychologist Gustave Gilbert arrives at the stockade with prisoner Hans Frank, who has attempted suicide.

Jackson negotiates with Allied representatives Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe, General Iona Nikitchenko and Henri Donnedieu de Vabres to ensure a unified prosecution. Jackson selects the Nuremberg Palace of Justicemarker for the site of the trials and reconstruction work commences. Göring and the others are stripped of their rank and transferred to the prison in Nurembergmarker where they come into conflict with the guards under the command of the strict Colonel Burton C. Andrus. Major Airey Neave serves Göring, Speer and the other with their indictments. U.S. judge Francis Biddle arrives to take control of the court but reluctantly passes the honour at Jackson’s insistence. Following the suicide of prisoner Robert Ley, round-the-clock watches are posted and Gilbert is appointed prisoner liaison.

Sir Geoffrey Lawrence opens the trial with all defendants pleading not guilty and Jackson gives a stirring opening statement. At lunch a jovial Göring holds court over the other defendants while Speer begins to show signs of repentance. Maxwell-Fyfe puts forward an emotive eyewitness account of the massacre of Jews while Jackson reads out dry documentation. As the court begins to tire of Jackson’s meticulous approach, Maxwell-Fyfe urges pushing on to the witness interviews, which reveal the horrors of the concentration camps. The court is shaken by documentary footage of the camps.

Part two

Speer explains Göring’s dominance to Gilbert and insists that his control over the others must be broken. Göring takes the stand and begins speaking to the German people. Jackson, at Gilbert’s suggestion, has Göring isolated. Under cross-examination, Göring outmanoeuvers and humiliates Jackson, who later accuses Biddle of giving Göring free rein in court. Douglas talks Jackson out of tendering his resignation, and the two share a kiss. Under advice from Maxwell-Fyfe, Jackson returns to confront Göring with evidence of his crimes against the Jews and successfully dismisses the defendant’s denials.

At a Christmas party, the housekeeper refuses to serve the Russiansmarker, but Douglas rescues the situation before slipping away with Jackson. Gilbert visits the defendants and, under Jackson’s advice, attempts to convince them to take responsibility for their crimes. Andrus relaxes the prison rules for Christmas, and Göring shares a friendly drink with his guard, Lt. Tex Wheelis. The cross-examination of the defendants intensifies and the defence calls Rudolf Höß, who casually reveals the horrors of Auschwitzmarker. Speer is implicated in the enslavement of foreign workers by fellow defendant Fritz Sauckel and in response accepts collective responsibility for the crimes of the Nazi regime.

Gilbert interviews Göring’s wife and she reveals Hitler’s orders to have them all executed, which that led to the family’s surrender. Jackson is moved by Gilbert’s summation of his examinations that the Nazi’s main evil was a complete lack of empathy, to give an impassioned closing statement. Goring uses his final statement to condemn the trial, and is sentenced along with 10 others to death by hanging. Speer uses his final statement to commend the tribunal and is given 20 years in prison. Göring commits suicide after his request to be executed by firing squad is denied. Andrus presides over the executions of the others while Jackson and Douglas head home.



Award Category Result
53rd Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Miniseries Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Won (Brian Cox)
Outstanding Single Camera Sound Mixing for a Miniseries or a Movie Won
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special Nominated
58th Golden Globe Awards Best Miniseries or TV Film Nominated
Best Actor - Miniseries or TV Film Nominated (Alec Baldwin)
Best Actor - Miniseries or TV Film Nominated (Brian Cox)
7th Screen Actors Guild Awards Best Actor - Miniseries or TV Film Nominated (Alec Baldwin)
Best Actor - Miniseries or TV Film Nominated (Brian Cox)
16th Gemini Awards Best Dramatic Mini-Series Won
Best Direction in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series Nominated (Yves Simoneau)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series Nominated (Alec Baldwin)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series Won (Brian Cox)
Best Photography in a Dramatic Program or Series Nominated
Best Original Music Score for a Program or Mini-Series Nominated
Best Production Design or Art Direction in a Dramatic Program or Series Won
Best Achievement in Make-Up Nominated
Best Costume Design Nominated
Best Overall Sound in a Dramatic Program or Series Nominated
Best Sound Editing in a Dramatic Program or Series Nominated
Best Visual Effects Won
2001 PGA Awards Television Producer of the Year Award in Longform Nominated
2001 Satellite Awards Best Motion Picture Made for Television Nominated
Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television Won (Jill Hennessy)

See also

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