I spoke at a conference in Brussels on the lessons from the Nuremberg war crimes trials – 75 years after the verdicts.
The Nuremberg Trials against the Nazis attracted the attention of the public and the media at a level that was unseen before.
At a conference by the Free University Brussels and McGill University Montreal, I spoke this week about the lessons from the mass trials.
In a joint presentation with journalist Janet Anderson, we showed that the media coverage played an important role for the acceptance of the trials at that time and helped to ensure their place in history books.
A key factor for the public mobilisation was the fact that the proceedings were carried out as mass trials with several defendants. If the trials had been conducted in sequence and were spread over several years, they would have received much less public attention. The massive legal response in the form of a maxi trial mirrored the massive violence and therefore triggered the attention of the media. The trials received massive attention because they were mass trials.