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May 22, 2011

the restored film Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today

Filed under: Germany, World War II — furtherglory @ 12:02 pm

Yesterday, I went to see the film entitled Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today which is playing in American theaters now. The film is a restoration of the film which was originally written and directed by Stuart Schulberg specifically for the de-Nazification program of the American Military government of Germany, and first shown to German audiences in 1948.  In other words, this film was INTENDED as a propaganda film to brainwash the German people so that they would accept the Allied contention that every German, without exception, was to blame for World War II, and every German must change his thinking to the American world view.  It wasn’t enough for the Allies to destroy every German city and town with bombs, it was also necessary to destroy the German people for the sake of American hegemony.

But I didn’t know the original purpose of the film before I entered the theater.  I thought that this was a new film, newly constructed out of old film footage, for American audiences today.  The title threw me off.  The word Today in the title refers to 1948, which was two years after the end of the Nuremberg IMT.  But I thought it literally meant Today, as in the Spring of 2011.

My first thought, after seeing the film, was that there should be an ex-post-facto law passed, making it a crime to make such a film.  My second thought was that this film will surely win an Academy Award.

The person who accompanied me to the theater said that this film is nothing special — it is just the same old propaganda that you see every day on the History Channel. That’s true; this is the official history that the History Channel promotes.

After learning that this film is a restoration, made by Sandra Schulberg (the daughter of Stuart Schulberg), of the film made by her father in 1947 and first released in 1948, my opinion is that the film desperately needs an introduction to explain it to today’s audiences.

I did a little research online and found this explanation, given here by Sandra Schulberg, for why she didn’t include an introduction:

SM: Why didn’t you add a brief introductory passage explaining this to viewers?

SS: (Laughing) We considered umpteen versions of opening explanatory credits. I had input from the Holocaust Museum and Josh and people at DuArt Labs, and we tested it on some other people close to the production. There was no simple way to do it. What I didn’t want to do was oversimplify it. We ultimately decided it was impossible. We did think of bringing in a well-known actor or television commentator. It might have seemed like the right thing to do, but I had to look at this as a historical document that would exist in perpetuity. Any choice one would make of a spokesperson to fill that role today might seem irrelevant or peculiar 40 or 50 years down the line. Ultimately, we thought it best to let the film stand alone as its own document.

I totally disagree.  Today’s audience for this film will be (1) young students who are studying the Holocaust, and (2) old people, like me, who were alive when the Nuremberg IMT took place.  I was only 13 years old at the time, but I clearly remember seeing film footage of the trial in the newsreels that were shown before every movie.  I was already interested in history at that young age.

The film was originally commissioned by the U.S. government; the original was made by  Stuart Schulberg, the brother of Budd Schulberg.  For his film, Stuart Schulberg used footage taken at the Nuremberg IMT and combined it with footage from two documentaries, one of which was the footage from the concentration-camp atrocities film made by Budd Schulberg, which was shown at the IMT on November 29, 1945.  Budd Schulberg was with the OSS in World War II.

Wikipedia gives this definition of the OSS:  “The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was a United States intelligence agency formed during World War II. It was the wartime intelligence agency, and it was a predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The OSS was formed in order to coordinate espionage activities behind enemy lines for the branches of the United States Armed Forces.”

The restored film, made by Sandra Schulberg and Josh Waletzky, is narrated by Liev Schreiber.  These are the same words that are in the original narration but were re-recorded for the restored film.

The first part of the film, which drones on and on ad nauseam, tells the American version of the start of World War II.  It tells about how Germany wanted to conquer the world and how the “Master Race” wanted to rule the world.  The narrator says that  “Two of the world’s mightiest nations—the United States and Soviet Russia—blocked the Nazi drive for world supremacy.”  What about the British?  Oh, that’s right, the British lost their empire after they foolishly declared war on Germany in 1939 and then didn’t fight until 1940.  The film tells about how Germany invaded Denmark and Norway but doesn’t say WHY Germany decided all of a sudden to start up its conquest of the world again after a long period called the “sitting war” or Sitzkrieg, which followed the defeat of Poland in 1939.

As I watched the first part of the film, I kept thinking “This was not part of the Nuremberg IMT.”  For example, there is a lot of footage on the German boycott of Jewish stores on April 1, 1933.  The German boycott lasted one day and it was an attempt to stop the world-wide Jewish boycott of German goods which started as soon as Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany and continued until the end of the war.

The burning of books in Germany is also shown in the film.  Was it a war crime to burn books?  There are more books banned in Germany today than there were books that were burned by the Nazis.

The movie was not shown to American audiences in 1948.  That should be explained in an introduction.  By 1948, America had turned against the Soviet Union and the Cold War had started.  America was now an Ally of Germany.  The war crimes trials at Dachau stopped and War Crimes Enclosure No. 1 at the former Dachau concentration camp was closed.  From the end of World War II to 1948, the American people were taught to hate the Germans, but all that changed in 1948. The lies told in this film no longer served a purpose in 1948, now that Germany and America were Allies.

During the first half of the film, I was mentally making notes and waiting for the German defense which would tell the German side of the story.  After all, this was a trial where the Germans were given a chance to defend themselves.  But the German defense was not really shown.  There was a very short film clip showing Goering as he says that he knew nothing about the extermination of the Jews.  Later, Robert Jackson, the American prosecutor, makes fun of Goering for saying that he didn’t know about the German plan to kill all the Jews.

The testimony of Goering was the highlight of the Nuremberg trial.  I was looking forward to seeing it and hearing it.  I was disappointed that more of his testimony was not shown. Robert Jackson almost quit after Goering’s testimony — that’s how good it was.

The German defense part of the film mainly shows the German defendants expressing remorse and admitting their guilt in their final statements.  You don’t see Rudolf Hess loudly saying “Nein” when he is asked whether he pleads guilty. Kaltenbrunner is shown on the witness stand, but this part is totally confusing because it doesn’t show the important part of his testimony.

The Nuremberg IMT was totally unfair to the Germans and this film is even more unfair; it is completely one-sided and disingenuous.  Here is the trailer for the film, so you can get an idea of what I am talking about:

13 Comments

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    Comment by Herbert Stolpmann — May 31, 2011 @ 2:16 am

  2. Yes, it looks like it’s footage of probable genuine German mental patients, or medical patients of the era being assisted in some fashion by staff spliced in with a dramatic film noir shot of the Nazi shadow cast against a wall with the car exhaust contraption leading into a purported gas chamber that’s never shown from any other angle. Sandra Schulberg reminded the audience at the screening that this was the only known movie footage of a Nazi gassing found by her father.

    Here is a brief email exchange I had with her afterwards:

    Subject: Post Nuremberg screening questions

    Hello Sandra,

    I was at your screening last night. I enjoyed it and I have three more questions to ask you.

    1. Have you read Lawrence Douglas’ book, with an excellent chapter on film evidence at Nuremberg, entitled THE MEMORY OF JUDGEMENT: Making Law and History in the Trials of the Holocaust?
    http://www.amazon.com/Memory-Judgment-History-Holocaust-ebook/dp/product-description/B0018L76QQ

    2. Have you seen the anonymous 2hr long deconstruction of the OSS psychological warfare dept.’s film of the liberation of Buchewnwald posted here: http://www.onethirdoftheholocaust.com/Buchenwald/

    3. In your remake of your father’s film’s ending credits I noticed the name Jurgen Graf roll by. Is this the same Swiss revisionist?!!

    Dear *****

    Thanks so much for your interest in NUREMBERG, and for the useful citations you sent me. Please also send your mailing address so I can inform you when the DVD edition becomes available. We plan to send a letter to all who requested one.

    To answer your question about Jurgen Graf, he was the first postwar Berlin radio news correspondent for RIAS (the democratic radio station created by the allies in the Western Zone), who came to be known as “Mister RIAS” — a dear friend of our family and a mentor to me when I moved to Berlin.

    Very best,
    Sandra

    Sandra Schulberg should be asked hard ball questions about her movie at it’s screenings. She’s carrying on the family tradition of manufacturing disinformation about WWII. I can’t help but think that she’s aware of what she’s doing. Being unable to anticipate the audience’s reaction to confronting her with a line of skeptical (impolite) questioning prevented me from pointing out some of the holes in her movie’s narrative. I wussed out because i was afraid of getting shouted down by some hysteric who may have been there.

    Comment by who+dares+wings — May 24, 2011 @ 9:18 am

    • Are there two people named Jürgen Graf? Jürgen Graf, the revisionist, can’t be a “dear friend” of the Schulberg family, especially since Bud Schulberg made the film about Buchenwald and the film about the Dachau gas chamber. Jürgen Graf, the revisionist, would say that those films told lies.

      Apparently Sandra didn’t answer your question about the “onethirdoftheholocaust”website.

      According to the True Believers of the Holocaust, the gassing got started with “gassing vans.” Apparently Schulberg could not find any footage of “gassing vans” so he had to improvise.

      At Hartheim Castle, the prisoners who were allegedly gassed, were first photographed before they were led into the gas chamber because the Germans wanted to prove that they were too deformed or mentally ill to live. Those photos used to be on the Internet years ago, but they have since disappeared. The photos show people who can’t walk, so I think it is more likely that they were injected with something to kill them instead of taking them into a gas chamber. The mental patients would have gone berserk if they had been crowded into a gas chamber. The idea was to give them a merciful death, not to terrorize them. BTW, the patients at Hartheim Castle were not gassed with car exhaust, according to the official story. So that scene in the film is completely fake.

      Comment by furtherglory — May 24, 2011 @ 10:22 am

  3. I attended a showing of this film at which Sandra Schulberg was present to introduce it and answer questions afterwards. I went with a friend who has done a lot of primary source research in presidential, national and army archives on the OSS filmmakers and the disinformation created by them about the concentration camps. There is a shot in this movie of a German gassing purportedly of some mental patients in Poland. Sandra Schulberg told us her father found this film while he was stationed in Berlin and spliced into his film, but I suspect he staged it the car exhaust scene with the Nazi shadow cast against a wall. She explained she’d added the sound of a car engine revving up to dramatize it. The snippet can be viewed on You Tube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gx4pUKF7I1E

    The atmosphere at the screening was like a church gathering at the and neither myself or my friend wanted to point out any inconsistencies in the film that would have caused the other audience members discomfort. We didn’t want to challenge Sandra Schulberg or argue so we sat silently through the Q. and A. and then left the theater to discuss the disingenuousness of the remake of her father’s film in private.

    I also thought the movie’s implied “….Lesson for Today” was for these times. It’s a piece of old propaganda that’s been dusted off and re-released
    to maintain and reinforce the myth of the American victory over Nazi evil. Sandra Schulberg had everyone in that theater, including me, eating out of her hand with stories about her father and his more famous Hollywood director brother, Budd Schulberg.

    The OSS was filled with American and refugee German Jewish agents. Many were Marxists and
    went on to become high level bureaucrats in the Trueman and Eisenhower administrations. I believe Budd Schulberg was investigated by HUAC later.

    Comment by who+dares+wings — May 23, 2011 @ 7:52 am

    • Thanks a million for telling us about this. Sandra Schulberg was also at my theater on the opening day of the showing of her film. I think she plans to attend every theater where the film will be shown, so the film is being released in one city at a time. I didn’t hear about it in time to go on the opening day.

      I saw the gassing scenes in the film and I couldn’t understand what this was all about. I have never heard of car exhaust being used by the Nazis for gassing.

      I also noticed that the scenes of the Dachau gas chamber were very fleeting. The Dachau gas chamber footage was taken on May 3, 1945 and shown at Nuremberg on Nov. 29, 1945. It is a good thing that Schulberg’s film doesn’t show much of the Dachau gas chamber film because this would provide ammunition for revisionists. I blogged about the Dachau gas chamber film here: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/nov-29-1945-fake-evidence-day-at-the-nuremberg-imt/

      In fact, it is remarkable that Stuart Schulberg avoided everything that was controversial in the trial, so that his film can be shown today without attracting too much attention from revisionists.

      For example the film prominently displays the date November 21, 1945 which is the date that the trial opened, but neglects to mention the affidavit by Alfred Naujocks which was hurriedly entered into evidence on November 20, 1945. I blogged about Naujocks here:
      https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/alfred-naujocks-and-the-start-of-world-war-ii/

      The film does not mention that testimony was given by the Soviets that prisoners were “steamed to death” at Treblinka, and that 1.5 million were killed at Majdanek and 4 million were killed at Auschwitz. Also not mentioned is the testimony given by the Soviets that the Germans were the killers at Katyn Forest.

      Did Stuart Schulberg realize in 1947 when he was making his film that there was a lot of testimony in the trial that would be shown to be lies at a later date?

      Here is a quote from my own website about Ernst Kaltenbrunner:

      Begin quote:
      U.S. Associate Trial Counsel Col. John Harlen Amen read parts of the Marsalek affidavit on April 12, 1946 at the Nuremberg IMT, including the part pertaining to an order allegedly given by Ernst Kaltenbrunner to blow up all the prisoners at the Gusen camp. Ernst Kaltenbrunner was on trial at Nuremberg, charged with Crimes against Humanity which included the gassing of prisoners, to which Ziereis had confessed, according to Marsalek’s affidavit.

      Kaltenbrunner objected to the reading of the affidavit, saying:

      This Hans Marsalek whom, of course, I have never seen in my life, had been an internee in Mauthausen as were the two other witnesses. I have briefly expressed my views as to the value of a statement concerning me from a former concentration camp internee and my inability to speak face to face with this witness who now confronts me, and my application will be made through my counsel. I must ask here to be confronted with Marsalek. Marsalek cannot know of any such order. In spite of that he states that he did.

      The “order” that Kaltenbrunner referred to was the alleged order to kill all the prisoners just before the Americans arrived. Kaltenbrunner’s request to be confronted with Marsalek was denied and Marsalek never took the witness stand at Nuremberg.
      End Quote

      As I mentioned in my post, the important part about Kaltenbrunner being denied the opportunity to confront a witness was not included in the film. The Schulberg film gives viewers the impression that the Nazis were given a fair trial and allowed to defend themselves, but of course, this is far from the truth.

      Comment by furtherglory — May 23, 2011 @ 9:23 am

    • I just watched this video, especially the episode with gas pipes attached to the car exhaust system. I have always thought that the Germany was a country of superior engineering. Just attached some rubber house to any car and you get the gas chamber? As simple as that?
      This part of the video was staged by the Allies.

      Comment by Gasan — May 23, 2011 @ 8:30 pm

  4. Burning books in National Socialist Germany.
    We all have seen those horrible documentaries of “Nazis” burning the books. How dare they? I read somewhere; that happened nearby of University of Berlin and the “Nazi-students” participated in this crime against human spirit of expression. What kind of savages were they, anyway?
    Let us take step back. Which books, exactly were burned? Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, or maybe Karl Kautsky? How about books of Lenin, Trotsky and other communist “visionaries’? I bet, that their books were still present at the libraries in most Universities of Germany at that time. Were those books harmful? The answer is: yes. The books were burned, but we have never got the complete list of the titles.
    You walked into your local supermarket and can see several racks of books you could buy for five bucks. Almost 99% percent of them are not even worth the paper, their are printed on. But I want to discuss the writer of universal magnitude: Thomas Mann.
    Thomas Mann was an author I have admired since I was 18. I have read and re-read some of his books numerous times. His writing and language skills are impeccable. Nobody can write better than him! His writings sound perfect, even after being translated to other foreign languages.
    Allegedly, “Nazis” were burning his books as well. True or not, this claim has never been denied by anybody, including Thomas Mann himself. I think he was proud of the fact, that National-Socialists decided to burn some of his books. I was always wondering, why? Germany should be proud of him, right?
    Well,
    All of his writings are showing decadence, especially on basic moral issues. The best examples are:
    Death in Venice (Der Tod in Venedig) and The Blood of the Walsungs (Wälsungenblut).
    The first one is about a solid age man falling in love with a young boy, age 15-16. and the second describes the relationship between twins in their middle twenties, from an upper class family. They have finally engaged themselves into incest, right after the sister decided to marry another man.
    Would you recommend those books to you children or grandchildren to read?
    In early 1930, Germany had enjoyed around one million of homosexuals already, with unknown number of the “blood of Walsungs” incest-victims. Do you think, those books should be freely distributed, instead of being burned?
    Thomas Mann was a brilliant writer with a very sick mind.

    Comment by Gasan — May 22, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

    • Re: Burning books in National Socialist Germany.

      From the Wikipedia entry on Wilhelm Reich: “August 1956 several tons of his publications were burned by the FDA – a notable example of censorship in U.S. history” — and let’s not forget that revisionists’ books are being burned in contemporary, “democratic” Germany.

      So I find it very hard to see what is so evil about burning books.

      Comment by Rachel — May 25, 2011 @ 11:19 am

    • From the trailer, viewers get many false impressions — like the American public was not allowed to watch this film because the German atrocitites shown were too horrible.

      Some years ago, the exhaust gassing scenes were presented in an article in the Guardian, “Nursing can’t move on unless it addresses its black side” — about euthanasia.
      (http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/video/2008/apr/09/nuremberg
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2008/apr/09/highereducation.uk)

      The Schulberg version of this clip is much more dramatic and evil, though.

      Comment by Rachel — May 25, 2011 @ 11:57 am

  5. More interesting facts about “The Office of Strategic Services (OSS).
    The founder: William “Wild Bill” Joseph Donovan. He was also the found of AIG. Yes, the same AIG which was “too big to fail” and received $85 billion (with a “B”) “loan” from US Government, which will be never repaid. Those those “insurance agents” where spying all around the globe.
    http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread392224/pg1
    Other OSS-stars were Allen Dulles and James Jesus Angleton. Everyone knows about their “accomplishments”.
    I have never heard the name of Budd Schulberg before. Was he Jewish? Was he formerly from Germany? How many German jews were serving in OSS?

    Comment by Gasan — May 22, 2011 @ 8:45 pm

  6. Can Americans learn anything from Hitler–of course, not! They are getting what they deserve instead, economic collapse and depression–which will soon devolve into military dictatorship dressed up as “security” for American interests and, of course, Israel.

    Friedrich Paul Berg
    Learn everything at http://www.nazigassings.com
    Nazi Gassings Never Happened!

    Comment by Friedrich Paul Berg — May 22, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

  7. Thanks for writing this review, FG. It’s all such a terrible disgrace and ongoing crime in itself, I can’t even bear to comment on it. The fact that it’s in theaters now boggles the mind.

    My only comment: What filthy people these are who are behind this.

    Comment by Skeptic — May 22, 2011 @ 3:33 pm


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