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Everyone, who are interested in history must have heard of the Nuremberg trials. In addition to punishing the criminals, these were also events to show the public that anyone who deserved it would be punished. Room 600, where these events took place, still exists today, and the Nuremberg Trials Memorium was created around it – a place that shows the history associated with this place.
The Nuremberg Trials Memorial and Room 600 itself are located at Bärenschanzstraße 72 in Nuremberg. If you want to get here by public transport, you can take the metro (U1) and get off at Bärenschanze station, from which you have to walk about 400 meters to your final destination.
Tickets and opening hours
The Nuremberg Trials Memorium and Room 600 are open to visitors differently, depending on the season. From November to March: Wednesday-Monday 10.00-18.00 and from April to October: Monday 9.00-18.00, Wednesday-Friday 9.00-18.00 and Saturday and Sunday 10.00-18.00. On holidays, opening hours may change – you can find them on the website.
An adult ticket costs 6 Euro, and a reduced ticket costs 1.5 Euro. If you are going with children, you can opt for a group ticket. It is worth knowing that you can visit this place for free if you have bought the Nürnberg Card – a city card that provides free transport for 48 hours and admission to most museums in the city.
If you are going in a group of more than 10 people, you must make an earlier reservation, preferably 14 days before the planned visit – thanks to this you will avoid longer waiting times.
Memorial of the Nuremberg Trials
While visiting this place, in addition to the room where the trials took place, we can also get acquainted with a large amount of information about the trials. There is an interesting exhibition on two floors, showing the organization of the trials, the criminals who were tried and their stories.
At our disposal, for the duration of the tour, we receive an audioguide, which, after entering the number of the stand, tells everything about it and describes the photos presented on it. One of the visiting languages is also Polish, which makes the exhibition even more accessible to tourists from Poland. Wandering around the exhibition, we press the numbers corresponding to the boards.
It is worth considering at this point why the most important of the Nazi trials took place in Nuremberg? The answer should be sought before World War II, when Nuremberg was supposed to be the center of the Nazi party. It was in this city that a huge hall, accommodating 50,000 people for Hitler’s speeches, began to be built. Right next to it, there is a parade ground and a lot of infrastructure used for propaganda purposes. Nuremberg was the place where Hitler’s rise to power was celebrated in 1933. Also in this city, rules were passed that deprived Jews of German citizenship and the right to own property.
Probably the biggest attraction, however, is the room where the trials took place. This is the so-called room 600. It is not always open to tourists, as it is still used today as a courtroom. Room 600 and its accompanying exhibition were opened to the public in 2010. Previously, access here was restricted.
It is located on the first floor and has been modified for post-war trials. Today, its appearance has changed a bit, but the old modifications are reminded of by the boards, and the audioguide also tells about it. We can watch it from the audience stand, which during the Nuremberg trials had two levels to accommodate guests and journalists from around the world.
The furniture we see today is not original. The benches on which the defendants were sitting are on display – they were designed by an American architect and found years later in court basements.
After the end of World War II, the International Military Tribunal was established to judge war criminals. The first main trial took place between November 20, 1945, and October 1, 1946. It took place in the former Palace of Justice requisitioned for the purposes of the trials. During this period, testimonies of over 240 witnesses were heard, and the documents of the trial were over 16,000 pages long.
The Nuremberg Principles, which were formulated in the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, are the basis for the operation of today’s International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague.
In the first trial, the Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Alfred Jodl, Alfred Rosenberg, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Fritz Sauckel, Julius Streicher, Martin Bormann, Wihelm Keitel, Erich Reader, Walther Funk, Albert Speer , Baldur von Schirach, Konstantin von Neurath, Karl Dönitz, Franz von Papen, Hans Fritzsche and Hjalmar Schacht.
More than half of the first group of defendants were sentenced to death by hanging (12 people), three people to life imprisonment, four to long prison terms, and three were acquitted (Franz von Pappen, Hans Fritzsche and Hjalmar Schacht).
The first trial was not the only one that took place after World War II. In later years, judges, entrepreneurs and doctors collaborating with the Nazis were also tried.
An interesting fact is that these were the first court trials on such a scale that were interpreted simultaneously. It is estimated that thanks to this, the duration of the processes was shortened more than four times.
Worth a visit?
Room 600 and the Memorial of the Nuremberg Trials are definitely worth a visit. It was here that the criminals who were behind the actions of World War II were tried. It was here that they were accused as “ordinary” people and judged for their faults.
Interesting history, mysterious atmosphere and a lot of curiosities are waiting for you on the spot! Be sure to check it out when in Nuremberg!