Press Kit

 

PRESS KIT

Click HERE to download Press Release announcing UK Premiere.

Click HERE to download Press Release announcing U.S. Theatrical Run at Film Forum starting Sept 29, 2010, & ticket information.

Click HERE to download U.S. Theatrical Press Kit, including filmmakers' bios. Complete text of Press Kit can also be read below.

Click HERE to download all Press Stills

SPANISH PRESS KIT — KIT DE PRENSA EN ESPAÑOL — EL JUICIO EN NUREMBERG [La Restauración de Schulberg y Waletzky]
To download click HERE.

 

NUREMBERG: ITS LESSON FOR TODAY
[The Schulberg/Waletzky Restoration]

ENGLISH SYNOPSIS

One of the greatest courtroom dramas in history, Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today shows how the international prosecutors built their case against the top Nazi war criminals using the Nazis’ own films and records. The trial established the “Nuremberg principles,” laying the foundation for all subsequent trials for crimes against the peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

This is the official U.S. government’s film about the trial, made for the War Department & U.S. Military Government by Stuart Schulberg, a veteran of John Ford’s OSS War Crimes film team.  Though it was distributed in Germany in 1948 and1949 as part of the U.S. denazification campaign, its release to American theaters and other countries was canceled due to political concerns.

Over the years, the original picture negative and sound elements were lost or destroyed. Filmmakers Sandra Schulberg and Josh Waletzky created a new 35mm negative (made from the German Bundesarchiv’s best “lavender print”) and re-constructed the soundtrack using original sound from the trial. The Schulberg/Waletzky restoration allows audiences to hear Justice Robert H. Jackson's famous opening and closing statements to the Tribunal, and the testimony from the German defendants and their defense attorneys — all in their own voices — as well as bits of the English, Russian and French prosecutors.  Now, more than 60 years later, the newly-restored film can be seen around the world for the first time. The film ends with Justice Jackson’s stirring words:  “Let Nuremberg stand as a warning to all who plan and wage aggressive war.”

On the occasion of its 60th Anniversary, the Berlin International Film Festival has designated the screening of this historic restoration a Berlinale Special.
For more information: www.nurembergfilm.org

SPANISH SYNOPSIS

EL JUICIO EN NUREMBERG [La Restauración de Schulberg y Waletzky]*
Escrita y realizada por Stuart Schulberg en 1948

El primer juicio de Nuremberg (de noviembre 1945 hasta octubre 1946) es el juicio lo más importante y más dramatico de la civilización. Y se puede decir que el documental Nuremberg, enterrado y olvidado durante seis décadas y restaurado por fin, es uno de los documentos mas importantes nunca antes visto. Nuremberg cuenta como los fiscales internacionales construyeron su caso contra los criminales de guerra nazis, presentando como pruebas sus proprias películas y sus proprios registros. El juicio estableció los "principios de Nuremberg" -- la base para todos los juicios posteriores por crímenes contra la paz, crímenes de guerra y crímenes contra la humanidad. Este documental oficial del gobierno norteamericano fue ampliamente exhibido en Alemania como parte de la campaña de "desnazificación" en 1948 y 1949, pero los funcionarios del gobierno decidieron no permitir la exhibicion de Nuremberg en los cines estadounidenses por motivos politicos, ni en ningún otro país. Con los años, el negativo original y los elementos de sonido se perdieron o fueron destruidos. La restauración de Sandra Schulberg & Josh Waletzky usa el audio original del juicio, lo que le permite escuchar los acusados y las voces de los fiscales por primera vez. La película termina con las palabras del fiscal Robert H. Jackson: "Que Nuremberg sirva de advertencia a todos los que planean y lanzan una guerra agresiva." Estas palabras trascienden las décadas desde entonces y hacen de Nuremberg una pelicula sorprendentemente contemporánea.

Duración: 78 minutos

*Titulo original ingles: NUREMBERG: ITS LESSON FOR TODAY
*Titulo original aleman: NUERNBERG UND SEINE LEHRE

RUNNING TIME & TECHNICAL SPECS

80 minutes, B&W, 35mm, Mono, Aspect Ratio 1:33
English & German (some French & Russian) with English Subtitles.

CREDITS FOR ORIGINAL 1948 FILM

Written & Directed by Stuart Schulberg
Edited by Joseph Zigman
Produced by Stuart Schulberg & Pare Lorentz
Production Supervisor Eric Pommer, Office of Military Government/U.S.
Musical Score by Hans-Otto Borgmann

2009 FILM RESTORATION CREDITS (partial listing)

Restoration created by Sandra Schulberg & Josh Waletzky
Narrator Liev Schreiber
Senior Archival Researcher Elisabeth Hartjens
Score Reconstruction John Califra
Restoration Executive Producer Leon Constantiner  

Restoration Consultants:
Raye Farr, Leslie Waffen, Ronny Loewy, Karin Kuehn, Christian Delage

Collaborating Archives & Laboratories:
Nationaal Archief of the Netherlands, German Bundesarchiv, U.S. National Archives, Steven Spielberg Film & Video Archive of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Cinematography of the Holocaust (a project of the Fritz Bauer Institut & Deutsches Filminstitut), Colorlab Corporation, DuArt Film & Video

Restoration Production Companies:
Schulberg Productions & Metropolis Productions

THE UNTOLD STORY OF NUREMBERG: ITS LESSON FOR TODAY

The first Nuremberg trial (formally known as the International Military Tribunal) was convened November 20, 1945, in Nuremberg, Germany, to try the top Nazi leaders. The verdict was rendered October 1, 1946. The lead U.S. prosecutor, and the driving force behind the organization of the trial, was U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson. During preparation for the trial, Jackson made the bold and historic decision to use film and photo evidence to convict the Nazis. But these films had to be found.

The Search for Nazi Footage

A special OSS film team was formed for this purpose, under the command of Hollywood director John Ford. Brothers Budd and Stuart Schulberg, sons of the former Paramount studio chief B.P. Schulberg, were assigned to this special OSS search team that was dispatched to Europe.

Sabotage and Success

The search for incriminating film was conducted under enormous time pressure, and they encountered sabotage along the way. They found two caches of film still burning, and began to suspect leaks from their two German film editors.  But just in time for the start of the trial, they found vital evidence, which, in close collaboration with Jackson’s staff of lawyers, they edited into a 4-hour film for the courtroom called The Nazi Plan, which documented the party’s rise to power. Jackson also presented their 1-hour compilation, Nazi Concentration Camps, shot by U.S. and British liberators, which shocked the courtroom when it was shown on November 29, 1945.

In the course of this work, Budd Schulberg apprehended Leni Riefenstahl at her country home in Kitzbühl, Austria, as a material witness, and took her to the Nuremberg editing room to help the OSS team identify Nazi figures in her films and in other German film material they had captured.  Stuart Schulberg took possession of the photo archive of Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler’s personal photographer, and became the unit’s expert on still photo evidence.

Documenting the Trial

Justice Jackson had wanted a film made of the trial from the beginning. Its purpose was to be a dual one: 1) to show the German public that the Nazi leadership had been given a fair trial and had, essentially, “convicted themselves,” and 2) to create a film for posterity that would offer an enduring lesson for all mankind. It was planned that Ford’s OSS unit would take charge of the filming, but they were so busy getting ready for the trial that they had to decline.  At the last minute, responsibility was shifted to the Army Signal Corps.  Camera teams shot only 25 hours over the course of 10½ months.  This would prove a tremendous obstacle.

Creating the Film About the Trial

In the winter of 1946, writer/director Stuart Schulberg and editor Joseph Zigman, were commissioned by Pare Lorentz (chief of Film/Theatre/Music at U.S. War Department’s Civil Affairs Division) to create a documentary about the trial.
Schulberg and Zigman found themselves terribly constrained. Crucial coverage simply did not exist. On the other hand, a complete sound recording of the trial had been made, but it was not synchronized to the motion picture record.  Stuart Schulberg described the challenge:

“The greatest technical difficulty involved the use of original recorded testimony from the trial itself. It was important, if the film’s authenticity was to be convincing, that Goering and his colleagues speak their lame lines of defense in their own, well-known voices...It became necessary to secure the wax recordings of the proceedings stored in Nuremberg, to re-record the pertinent words on film and then to synchronize that sound recording with the lip movements of the respective defendants...Many weeks after the original request, the records arrived from Nuremberg. The discs were re-recorded on film in half of one day, and about a month later the meticulous job of ‘dubbing’ the original voices of the defendants was completed.” (Stuart Schulberg, Nürnberg, Information Bulletin, No. 164, June 28, 1949, Office of Military Government for Germany, Berlin.)

A Political Minefield

Just as the impetus for the trial had come from the Americans, so the Americans sought from the beginning to control production of the film about the trial. But, in the fall of 1946, disagreements about the script and filmmaking process arose, not only within the four-power Documentary Film Working Party (DFWP), but also between the U.S. Military Government in Berlin and the War Department in Washington. In the spring of 1947, Pare Lorentz finally won control of the film, and sent Schulberg and Zigman to Berlin.  But Lorentz resigned his position soon after, partly in protest against the “loyalty oaths” that the Truman Administration was asking government employees to sign under pressure from anti-Communist forces. His supervisor’s role was assumed by Eric Pommer (producer of The Blue Angel and many other famous movies).  Pommer, a refugee from Nazi Germany, had returned to serve as chief of the Motion Picture Branch of U.S. Military Government in Berlin.

“Reds Beat Yanks”

What was to have been a four-power film about the trial was now in the hands of the Americans.  This prompted the Soviets to make their own film about the trial.  Their version, Sud Narodov (Judgment of the People), was completed in 1947, and shown not only in Germany, but also in New York City.  Variety announced in June, “Internal US Army Snarl let Reds Beat Yanks on Nuremberg Film.”

The German Premiere

Stuart Schulberg and Joseph Zigman completed the 78-minute film in Berlin in early 1948. It was shown to German audiences for the first time in Stuttgart, in November, and then exhibited extensively around Germany over the next 18 months with audience polls showing a wide range of reactions. Because of the Soviet Blockade of Berlin, the premiere in that city was delayed until May 1949.

The U.S. Change of Heart

The mystery of why the U.S. government decided not to release Nuremberg is still to be solved.  In 1949, a dogged Washington Post reporter named John Norris tried to investigate why the War Department would neither release the film itself, nor sell it to Pare Lorentz so that he could distribute it, as he had requested.  No one would go on record. Norris presumed that wide release of a film indicting Germany for war crimes and crimes against humanity might impede political and public acceptance of the plan to rebuild Germany’s economy, a vital plank in the Marshall Plan’s approach to European recovery. To complicate matters, in the middle of 1948, the Soviets had blockaded Berlin. The new threat was Soviet expansionism. While attempting to ferret out the reasons for the government’s censorship of the film, Norris speculated“[some] have suggested that there are those in authority in the United States who feel that Americans are so simple that they can hate only one enemy at a time. Forget the Nazis, they advise, and concentrate on the Reds.”

But during the restoration process, new documents were found, including one that suggests U.S. officials were indeed trying to get major studio distribution, and were rebuffed. The studio’s response was categorical: no “entertainment-seeking audience” would tolerate the Nazi atrocities depicted in the film.  Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today has yet to be released theatrically in the United States.

BIOS OF ORIGINAL FILMMAKERS

Stuart Schulberg: Writer-Producer-Director

During the war, Marine Corps Sgt. Stuart Schulberg served with the OSS Field Photographic Branch, headed by Hollywood director John Ford.  In the summer of 1945, he was sent to Europe to hunt for Nazi films that could be used at the Nuremberg trial. His older brother Budd Schulberg followed, and led what became a small team of editors and writers. During a frenzied 4-month period, the Schulberg brothers and their colleagues scoured the German-occupied territories for footage. The films and photos they found played a role in convicting the Nazis on trial. Subsequently, Stuart Schulberg wrote and directed Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today, the official documentary about the trial. After Nuremberg was completed in 1948, Stuart Schulberg produced denazification and re-education films aimed at German audiences in his role as chief of U.S. Military Government’s Documentary Film Unit in Berlin. At the end of 1949, he was recruited to head the Marshall Plan Motion Picture Section in Paris, and served as its chief from 1950 to 1952. From 1952 through 1956, Schulberg and his French partner, Gilbert de Goldschmidt, produced movies in Germany: No Way Back (Weg ohne Umkehr), Double Destiny (Das Zweite Leben),and Embassy Baby (Vom Himmel Gefallen). At the end of 1956, he moved his family to the U.S. in order to collaborate with his brother Budd on a movie for Warner Brothers, Wind Across the Everglades. Thereafter, Schulberg returned to his true passion, documentary films. In 1961, he was named co-producer of David Brinkley’s Journal, the first television news magazine, for which he won several of the major awards in broadcast journalism, including the Emmy Award. As a result of its success, he was named NBC’s Senior Documentary Producer, producing many of the network’s award-winning news specials of the 1960’s, with top journalists David Brinkley, John Chancellor, Ed Newman, Robin McNeil, Sander Vinocur, and others. In 1969, he was made producer of NBC’s Today program, a position he held for 7 years, and used to expand its news coverage. Schulberg collaborated several more times with his brother - on the TV dramatization and Broadway musical adaptation of Budd Schulberg’s novel What Makes Sammy Run?; and on From The Ashes: The Angry Voices of Watts, a television special featuring the work of African-American writers from the Watts Writers Workshop.  Stuart Schulberg died in 1979, aged 56, while producing his last major NBC special.

Pare Lorentz: Producer

Pare Lorentz is renowned as the man who wrote and directed the groundbreaking non-fiction films, The Plough That Broke the Plains, The River, and The Fight For Life. As these films were made under the aegis of the U.S. government, with the enthusiastic support of President Roosevelt, he is sometimes referred to as ‘FDR’s Filmmaker.’ Lorentz worked tirelessly not only to make the films, but also to distribute them. He faced opposition at first, especially from Hollywood theater owners who were skeptical about the appeal of documentary films to general audiences. The films proved extremely popular, however.  Lorentz entertained hopes of creating a permanent government film bureau to make many more documentary films; but, despite Roosevelt’s support, his initiative failed, due to both government and Hollywood discomfort with the idea of more government-funded filmmaking. During the war, Lorentz served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force, making navigational films and filming bombing missions.  After the war, he served as chief of the Film/Theatre/Music section of the War Department’s Civil Affairs Division. When plans were developed to make a film about the Nuremberg trial, Lorentz took charge. He faced tremendous opposition from General Lucius Clay’s Military Government staff, headquartered in Berlin, who argued that they should control the making of the film. Lorentz eventually managed to impose Stuart Schulberg, his choice of writer-director, and sent him to Berlin to carry out the job. Frustrated with Washington politics, Pare Lorentz resigned his post a short time later, in May 1947, a year before the film was completed. In 1949, when he realized the War Department had abandoned plans for the film’s U.S. release, he appealed to government officials for permission to purchase and release the film himself. His offer was refused, and he never made another film.  Pare Lorentz died in 1992, at age 87.

Joseph Zigman: Editor

Joseph Zigman, like Stuart Schulberg, was a veteran of John Ford's OSS Field Photographic Branch-War Crimes unit, and was one of the editors of The Nazi Plan  and Nazi Concentration Camps.  In 1947, Schulberg chose him to edit Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today, which they completed together in Berlin in 1948.  When Zigman returned to the U.S., he served as an editor on movies, including Wind Across the Everglades, and directed an episode of Flash Gordon produced by Eric Pommer, that was filmed in Germany. In the 60’s, he returned to news and public affairs, became a producer and director on numerous CBS documentaries and special reports, and worked for many years with Eric Sevareid, Chet Huntley, and on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite.  He died in 1996, at age 80.

Eric Pommer:  Production Supervisor

When Pare Lorentz resigned his position in mid-1947, Eric Pommer took over as production supervisor of Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today.  A refugee from Nazi Germany, Pommer had returned to Berlin to serve as chief of the Motion Picture Branch of U.S. Military Government. Born in Hildesheim in 1889, Pommer was one of Germany’s most famous producers beginning during the silent film era, and is considered one of the creators of the German Expressionist movement. He produced landmark films, such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler (1922), Die Nibelungen (1924), Mikaël (1924), Der Letzte Mann/The Last Laugh (1924), Variety (1925), Tartuffe(1926), Faust (1926), Metropolis (1927) and The Blue Angel (1930), among many others. He served as head of production at the most famous German films studio UFA (formerly Universum Film AG, now Studio Babelsberg) from 1924 to 1926.  Pommer’s postwar career in Germany yielded some notable movies, but he was not able to fully realize his ambitions, and returned to Los Angeles, where he died in1966, aged 77.

Hans-Otto Borgmann: Composer

The score for Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today was composed by Hans-Otto Borgmann. During the course of the restoration, Schulberg and Waletzky learned that Borgmann had composed the official anthem of the Hitler Youth. Bundesarchiv reseacher Babette Heusterberg located Borgmann’s OMGUS records.  When he first applied for a work permit after the war, he was denied, presumably as a Nazi collaborator.  But a year later, citing possible employment by Eric Pommer, he tried again, and this time his Persilschein – slang for a clean bill of health – was issued.  A review of Borgmann’s movie credits reveals that he and Pommer worked on many movies together at the UFA studio before the war.

BIOS OF RESTORATION TEAM

Sandra Schulberg: Restoration Producer & Co-Creator

Sandra Schulberg’s career spans more than 20 years as a producer and film financier. She spent seven years in Europe as a senior executive for American Playhouse/ Playhouse International Pictures, and played a role in the financing and marketing of more than two dozen Playhouse movies, including I Shot Andy Warhol, Angels & Insects, Amateur, Safe, and Julie Taymor’s first film, Fool’s Fire.  She spent three years managing film investment for Hollywood Partners, a private German media fund, serving as executive producer for the Oscar-nominated Quills, Undisputed, and Adrienne Shelly’s first movie I’ll Take You There. Under her own banner, she produced John Hanson’s Wildrose, and Jill Godmilow’s Waiting for the Moon (Sundance Grand Prize-winner); line produced Glen Pitre’s Belizaire the Cajun; co-produced Ann Hu’s Shadow Magic, and helped to raise finishing funds for Barbara Kopple’s Woodstock film, My Generation. A longtime advocate of “Off-Hollywood” films, she founded the IFP in 1979, now the largest organization of independent filmmakers in the U.S., and co-founded First Run Features in 1980.  In 2003, she became concerned with issues of film preservation, and led the effort to preserve and revive the films of the Marshall Plan.  Her retrospective, Selling Democracy: Films of the Marshall Plan, was showcased at the 2004 Berlin Film Festival and in a dozen U.S. cities since then.  It has toured six ERP countries with support from the U.S. Department of State. A multi-disc DVD collection is in the works, including interviews with Marshall Plan filmmakers. In 2009, with collaborator Josh Waletzky and archival partners in the U.S., Germany and Holland, she completed the restoration of Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today, the official U.S. government film about the first Nuremberg trial.  She is at work on a book about the making of The Nazi Plan and Nurembergcalled The Celluloid Noose. In 2010, she launched Archival Partners/IndieCollect, a campaign to create a comprehensive archive of American independent films.  Schulberg was born in Paris, and educated at Swarthmore College.  She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University's Graduate School, where she teaches Feature Film Financing and International Co-Production.  In 1994, she received a special Spirit Award for her contribution to American independent cinema.

Josh Waletzky: Restoration Co-Creator & Sound Designer

Josh Waletzky is a documentary film director, editor, and writer, currently directing Parting the Waters, a film about swimming and racial segregation in the U.S.  He began his career as the sound editor of the seminal documentary (and Oscar-winner) Harlan County, USA. His extensive body of work includes Academy Award-nominated Music for the Movies: Bernard Herrmann; Image Before My Eyes; Partisans of Vilna; and Sacred Stage: The Mariinksky Theater. Josh's work has garnered Academy Awards, Peabody and Emmy Awards, and an ACE-Eddy Award nomination for his editing. Josh is also a force in the world of klezmer music, with a Grammy Award nomination for Partisans of Vilna: The Songs of World War II Jewish Resistance and a CD of his original Yiddish song cycle, Crossing the Shadows.