The entire canvas seemed too vast for a film alone, for there are too many protagonists and story lines to weave together – and not everyone will want to peruse the entire canvas. So then, how could this content be organized?
I began to envision:
- An online experience where the stories and lessons from Nuremberg are woven into an interactive tapestry of people, places, and events.
- A new kind of learning tool that leverages emerging technology, is visually rich and engaging for the next generation of digital-native students, researchers, and casual history buffs.
- An easy to navigate portal that links to curated lists of films, books, websites and various materials for further and much more in-depth research on many aspects of the trial.
The 1945-46 International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg has been one of the most studied trials in history.
Evidence, photos, oral history transcripts, interrogations and papers related to the prosecution have been declassified, written about extensively and digitized over the past several years – facilitating research for anyone with a computer and an interest (like me!).
Likewise, Nazi Germany remains the most researched period in history. Each year new books, documentaries, and television programs about the Third Reich are released and attract large audiences. Will the famous Amber Room ever turn up? How about the supposed trainload of gold in Poland, and over 100,000 missing pieces of art never repatriated to their rightful owners?
In May of 2017, a new book about Nazi drug use was published and became an international bestseller. The author spent five years studying diaries from Hitler’s personal physician, where he learned that from 1943-45, twice daily injections of steroids and oxycodone were administered (among other things) – and cocaine was swabbed inside Hitler’s nose. This while the trajectory of the war had already turned. How’s that for behind the scenes?
Less than a handful of people who witnessed Nuremberg are still alive today. Therefore it will be up to the descendants to carry forward their stories, in ways that leverage the transformative potential of digital.
As such, I founded a non-profit and named it Descendants Media Group. Our mission is to teach and inspire through experiential storytelling. By sharing and learning from the past, we’ll connect communities, foster empathy, and help create a culture of peace, understanding and tolerance.
Along with my talented group of directors and advisors, we’re actively building partnerships to help bring this vision to life: to vividly showcase the faults of Hitler’s Thousand Year Reich, the legacy of justice at Nuremberg, and its many lessons for future generations to ponder.
The best stories take you right inside them, and that’s exactly what we plan to do. Courtroom600.org will be an immersive website filled with short videos, podcasts, photo galleries, artifacts and more.
Should you want to get involved or donate, send a note, we’d love to meet you. And please share this website with friends or colleagues who may have an interest, so the story and teachings of Courtroom 600 can live on forever.