UNCW’s Department of History will explore how the past influences the present when it hosts its Nuremberg Trials Symposium, April 6 and 7. Presented by the Charles and Hannah Block Fund, the event begins Wednesday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m. with a viewing and discussion of the film, “Nuremberg: A Courtroom Drama” in the Randall Library auditorium.
“We often talk about the importance of ‘learning from history.’ We hope over these two days to have the opportunity to do so, alongside some great thinkers. This is a rare opportunity to look very closely at a set of questions of fundamental importance,” noted Paul Townend, associate professor and chair of the UNCW Department of History. “This symposium brings to our campus some of the most articulate and thoughtful voices in the world on the Nuremberg trials, and, even more importantly, their legacy for how the global community continues to address, or not address, the issues with which they wrestled.”
The Charles and Hannah Block Fund offers a Distinguished Professorship in Jewish History through UNCW’s University Advancement endowments. Professorships allow UNCW to attract and retain the most distinguished scholars. These prestigious awards foster a powerful academic experience by providing salaries, supporting research and enabling professors to engage in endeavors that will propel discoveries in their fields.
Panel discussions will take place on Thursday, April 7, in the Long Leaf Pine Room in the Fisher Student Center and at Randall Library. Discussion topics include:
- “Process, Personalities and Principles” (Long Leaf Pine Room, 10-11:30 a.m.)
- “Aftermath and Legacy” (Long Leaf Pine Room, 1:30-3 p.m.)
- “Did It Matter?” (Randall Library, 3:30-5 p.m.)
Panelists include internationally renowned scholars and UNCW professors Jonathan Bush, David Crowe, Carole Fink, Peter Maguire, Devin Pendas, Michael Seidman and Jarrod Tanny, who will lead discussions and answer questions.
The Nuremberg trials are now regarded as a milestone and a significant step in the creation of international law. At the time, however, these charges of crimes against peace and crimes against humanity were controversial due to the legal justifications for the trials and the lack of precedent for an international trial of war.