Jonathan Myerson

Nuremberg: The Trial of the Nazi War Criminals

Nuremberg: The Trial of the Nazi War Criminals

A BBC Radio 4 full-cast drama


A 16-part dramatised reconstruction of a landmark moment in history - the groundbreaking trial of the 22 most notorious Nazi war criminals

Summer, 1945. The war is over, and Germany has surrendered. Across Europe, the top surviving Nazis are being tracked down, arrested, and imprisoned in a once-opulent Luxembourg hotel, on 24-hour suicide watch. Now, the Allies must decide what to do with them. After much deliberation, Britain, America, Russia and France agree that Hitler's high command must be formally tried. This will be an entirely new kind of trial, with utterly new charges: those of 'Crimes against Humanity' and 'Genocide'. And before it can even take place, numerous crises and obstacles must be overcome...

As court proceedings finally get underway, the enormity of the Nazis' crimes is revealed via a mountain of documentary evidence: and chilling footage of the concentration camps. Over the next 218 days, the accused - among them Hitler's architect and close ally, Albert Speer, and deputy Hermann Goering - are cross-examined, and forced to admit to the shabby gangsterism of the Nazi war machine. With the judges' verdict imminent, who will be executed, and who acquitted?

Featuring a stellar cast, including Henry Goodman, Freddie Fox, Alex Kingston and Natalie Dormer, Jonathan Myerson's epic series brings the process alive from the ground up. We see the trial - and the events leading up to it - through the eyes of some of the myriad individuals involved: the US Army officer guarding the cells; the Russian interpreter translating the indictments; the psychologist who runs tests on the defendants, hoping to find the mystery of human evil; and the young German girl working in the court cafeteria, who must come to terms with her country's collective guilt.

Drawing on eyewitness testimony, contemporary reports, over 20 volumes of court transcripts and more than 2000 hours of audio and newsreel, this comprehensive drama gives us a fresh understanding of the immense achievement of those who fought for justice in 'the last battle of World War II' - and reveals how that phenomenal historical moment shaped our world today.

Also included is a bonus interview in which Jonathan Myerson discusses the writing of Nuremberg with Kristan McMahon of the Robert H. Jackson Center.

Written and directed by Jonathan Myerson
Produced by Nicholas Newton
Sound Designer: Adam Woodhams
Studio Manager: Mark Smith
Casting Director: Ginny Schiller
Original Score: Metaphor Music
A Promenade Production for BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 27 August-15 October 2021

With thanks to Kristan McMahon

© 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
(p) 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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