World War II claimed over sixty million lives and represented catastrophe for Germany and all of Europe. Following capitulation on May 7, 1945, the victorious Allies began a monumental task of restoring law and order, feeding a starved and confused population, and eventually reconstructing their former enemy.
Under these conditions, the Allies searched for a location to hold the world’s first international war crimes trial and bring the Nazis to justice.
NUREMBERG WAS SIGNIFICANT AS THE SPIRITUAL CENTER OF THE NAZI PARTY – WHERE EVERY SEPTEMBER A WEEK- LONG CELEBRATION OF MEETINGS, PARADES, AND HUGE RALLIES WERE HELD.
LOGISTICS IMPACTED THE ALLIES DECISION IN SELECTING NUREMBERG FOR THE TRIAL. IT HAD A STANDING COURT COMPLEX WITH OVER 600 OFFICES AND AN ATTACHED JAIL – WHICH COULD BE REPAIRED IN A MATTER OF MONTHS.
ALL MATERIALS FOR REPAIR HAD TO BE SHIPPED IN.
FOR THE PALACE OF JUSTICE, 500 BAGS OF CEMENT, 250,000 BRICKS, 100,000 FEET OF BOARD LUMBER, AND 6 TONS OF PAINT WERE USED, ALONG WITH 145 MILES OF TELEPHONE LINE INSTALLED IN OVER 600 OFFICES.
MORE THAN 250 GERMAN POWs WERE REQUIRED TO HELP IN THE MASSIVE REPAIR EFFORTS. WOMEN WERE ALSO PUT TO WORK. A JOB ALLOWED GERMANS TO EAT AND PROVIDED ACCESS TO USED CIGARETTE BUTTS WHICH COULD BE TAKEN APART AND REROLLED, THEN USED FOR CURRENCY IN THE BLACK MARKET.