On Thursday, March 15 from 7 – 8 pm, Historian Mark Albertson, joins the Westport Historical Society to recreate November 20, 1945, 10 a.m. In the old fortress prison in Nuremberg, northern Germany, 23 defendants fill the prisoners’ dock in the central courtroom, some of them the elite of Nazi political gangsterdom. The ensuing trials would be an effort to dispense justice in lieu of vindictive retribution. If the world were to have any chance to heal, the Rule of Law would have to prevail. Citing violations of international law such as crimes against humanity, crimes against peace, and war crimes, the Nuremberg judges would create for posterity volumes of evidence, court proceedings, and judgments to serve as a model for post-war humankind as a way to build a better world.
In the end, Nuremberg produced not the judgment of God or the judgment of history, but humankind’s judgment of its own: an admission that organizations do not start wars or commit atrocities, but people do. And be it a head of state or a lowly military private, nobody should be above the law.
Mark Albertson is an historical research editor at Army Aviation magazine and the historian for the Army Aviation Association of America. A longtime member of the United States Naval Institute, he has authored several books, including USS Connecticut: Constitution State Battleship, They’ll Have to Follow You!: The Triumph of the Great White Fleet, and On History: A Treatise. Mark is currently at work on another book, Sky Soldiers: The Saga of Army Aviation.
Mark has published numerous articles on issues of history and current events and is an avid speaker on a variety of issues on history. In May 2005, he was presented with a General Assembly Citation by both houses of the Connecticut General Assembly for his efforts in commemorating the centennial of the battleship USS Connecticut. Mark teaches history at Norwalk Community College for the Extended Studies Program and the Lifetime Learners Institute. Learn more at www.markwriter.com.
Nuremberg Trials, Thursday, March 15, 7-8 pm Westport Historical Society 25 Avery Place, across from Town hall. To register, go to westporthistory.org or 203-222-1424. Suggested Admission $10 members, $15 nonmembers. Light refreshments will be served.