Post-War Justice

The purpose of the the next lessons in the course is to engage students in a conversation regarding post-war attempts at justice.  The two lessons look first at the Nuremberg Trials and then at other major trials that followed the original year-long trial of major Nazi officials. The development of these lessons was influenced by largely by materials from USHMM, and assistance from Colorado Holocaust Educator's Network member, Todd Hennessy. These lessons take a total of two full blocks of eighty-six minutes to complete.  All materials listed (minus direct technology) are listed below. 


Core Lesson Concept:  This single day lesson begins with asking students to brainstorm and discuss the immediate aftermath of World War II.  It then connects students from liberation to justice utilizing the 2011 USHMM Days of Remembrance video, "Justice and Accountability".  Students then engage in a lecture and discussion regarding the evolution and execution of the initial Nuremberg Trial.  This lecture is accompanied by a Power Point that was adapted from two Power Points created by Sandy Renken and an anonymous teacher.  Students learn about the progression of the trials, with a focus on the lead-up and initial statement by Chief Prosecutor Robert Jackson.  The lecture also includes USHMM testimony from Ben Ferencz who was a survivor and key player in the evidence accumulation process leading up to the trials.  At the conclusion of the lecture, they are asked to "rank" the charges against the individuals who are on trial and then to determine if the outcome of the trial served justice in their opinion.  The lesson concludes with a journal entry that asks students, "In your opinion, was justice served at this initial Nuremberg Trial?"


Additional Materials:


Core Lesson Concept:  This single day lesson begins with a student discussion surrounding the limitations of the first Nuremberg Trial.  It then asks students to read short pieces surrounding 11 additional trials and to complete an accompanying graphic organizer.  You can differentiate this lesson by assigning the shorter readings to lower-level student groups and the longer readings to more advanced students.  At the conclusion of their research, students do a brief presentation to the class "teaching" other students about their assigned trial. The lesson concludes with a student discussion regarding the "success" of these subsequent trials and the state of Nazi war criminals today.