So Sad.

Memorium Nuremberg Trials

We are at risk of losing sight of our history.

It is only in recent years that historians have started to analyze the holocaust in macro terms. The further we get away from the events, the more generations that pass, the easier this becomes.

There is a reason that macro explanations have taken so long to be put forward. The nature of this genocide and the process by which it was conducted were so horrific that they demanded to be told as stories of individuals. Of the individuals who lived them and of those who died.

Entrance to exhibit area. Cost: 5 Euros.

I am in Nuremberg.

At the hostel last night I met a young woman whose grandfather, at the age of 16, fought in the Russian army against the Nazis. Miraculously, through the chance knowing of the right person, he was positioned behind the canons at the front and survived. Decades later, her parents moved to Germany.

Though this young woman is two generations removed from the horrors, she is intensely aware of her family’s history. And lest anyone in Germany forget, she told me that the German school curriculum covers it exhaustively. We got onto this subject mere minutes after meeting. And as we spoke she noted that her children will feel less for this dark period of history even than she does. They will not know their grandparents and they will not feel the impact of the Nazis in their beings in the same way as the generations before them.

The accused box.

At this moment of writing, I am at the Memorium Nuremberg Trials. Yes, I stopped, pulled out my computer and started writing. I am overwhelmed by this museum and yet it, too, looks at the history of the Nazis and World War II at a macro level. It contextualizes the role of industrialization and modernity in making the rise of the Nazi’s and the holocaust possible. It does not tell the stories of individuals.

At the Memory and Human Rights Museum in Santiago, Chile which I visited last year, they also contextualize genocide. But the time passed is only forty years. And it has been just over twenty years since the Pinochet regime that perpetrated the crimes has been replaced. In this museum, stories of individuals are told.

Most of history can be told on a high level. But it is important to remember, especially when dealing with a tragedy like the holocaust, that history happens to people. Their individual stories are not to be forgotten.

Once they are, we are in danger of forgetting. Of losing the meaning of the event.

Please, let’s not forget.

Walter Cronkite was one of the media covering the trial.

After Nuremberg, trials were held in Japan as well.

The Nuremberg trials laid the foundation for future trials in the Hague.


  • Natalia Djajarahardja

    Great article!
    I recommend you reading Education after Aushwitz, from Theodor Adorno. He wrote about how important it is to keep these memories alive so genocides don’t happen again.
    Unfortunately i didn’t have enough time to visit the museum in Santiago, but in Sao Paulo – where i live – there’s the resistence Memorial (Memorial da Resistência). U can actually go inside some of the cells. good tip if anyone is around.

    Keep going, the blog is great!

  • Steve Whitty

    I would recommend visiting the Imperial War Museum in London. There is a whole exhibit dedicated to genocide up to Rwanda. The sadness is there were more cases of genocide in the 20th Century then we would like to think.

  • Janice Waugh


    Thank you so much for letting us know of the march in New York. Let us remember so that the madness can stop.


  • Olya

    There is another memorial and historic remembrance, with a solemn march taking place in 2 days 11/17, in NYC. HOLODOMOR, the genocidal famine in 1932-33 which erased over 10m Ukrainians, was Stalin’s gift of remembrance to humanity. The march will be from St.George’s Church up midtown to St.Patricks Cathedral ending with a solemn Mass of rememberance. Only now a generation later, scholars, writers and the politicos are reaching an understanding of this horror committed under the communist regime in Ukraine. Pyschopathic leadership and behavior seems to be an affliction found in both the left and the right ends of the spectrum. macro-view?? these kinds of sick broad-sweep murderous actions are still being implemented today.

  • Janice Waugh

    And thanks for leaving a comment Susan. As a student of history, posts like these are particularly dear to my heart so comments are even more important than usual.

  • Susan Flagg

    Visited Nuremberg in ’93.Most recently Warsaw Uprising Museum .We so need to remember the history lest we repeat it.Thanks for sharing on this day