A flurry in the Courtroom [70 Years After Nuremberg]

Nuremberg Palace

March 13

Another day — Göring day, if you please.  He took the stand at 2:30 p.m. It came very suddenly.  We had finished our cross-examination for the witness Kesselring just after the noon recess when Dr. Stammer, counsel for Göring, suddenly called him to the stand.  There was a flurry in the courtroom.  Press men rushed to get the word on the wires.  People came into the courtroom in a hurry and in two minutes it was packed to the doorsGöring was very calm as he began his testimony.  The defendants all leaned forward in the dock — the rascal — a real buccaneer. [p. 262, 3/13/1946]

Göring in the dock

Göring in the dock

“He began with the story of his life and went into his first association with Hitler and recounted the days and years up to 1933 — then we recessed for the day.” [p. 262, 3/13/1946]    Thomas Dodd’s letters clearly convey the excitement and tension as the Trials at Nuremberg truly begin to illustrate the actions of the defendants in their own words.  The following day,

This was the second Göring day as he was on the stand all day and he has made a most unusual witness, and I think quite a frank one.  He admitted responsibility for many of the offenses and he is not cringing or crawling.  He will go down fighting — somehow he makes me think of a captured lion. Of course I am not forgetting his part in all of this business and much less am I unmindful of the facts that all of these top flight Nazis are spellbinders and fakers — that is how they did it — or part of how they did it anyway. [p. 263, 3/14/1946]

By the 18th, Dodd was commenting on how they continue to attempt to move things along despite the obstacles that kept cropping up.  But at all costs, “we must give these defendants a fair hearing — a most fair hearing — otherwise this whole effort is a farce.” [p. 264, 3/18/1946]

–Owen Doremus and Betsy Pittman

[Owen Doremus, a junior at Edwin O. Smith High School, is supporting this blog series with research and writing as part of an independent study.]

The majority of the letters from Tom Dodd to his wife Grace have been published and can be found in Letters from Nuremberg, My father’s narrative of a quest for justice. Senator Christopher J. Dodd with Lary Bloom. New York: Crown Publishing, 2007.

Images available in Thomas J. Dodd Papers.

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