Palace of Justice (Nuremberg)
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Nuremberg Palace of Justice (German Justizpalast) is a building complex in Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany. It was constructed from 1909 to 1916 and houses the appellate court Nuremberg (Oberlandesgericht), the regional court Nuremberg-Fürth (Landgericht), the local court Nuremberg (Amtsgericht) and the public prosecutor's office Nuremberg-Fürth (Staatsanwaltschaft).
The building was the location of the Nuremberg Trials that were held in 1945-1949 after World War II for the main Nazi Germany personalities presumed to be still alive. Colonel Burton C. Andrus was both the commandant of Nuremberg Prison (where the prisoners were kept) and Military Officer commanding the garrison protecting the Palace. Among the indicted who made their appearance were Hermann Göring (suicide by potassium cyanide), Rudolf Hess (life internment), Franz von Papen (Vice-Chancellor under Hitler, acquitted), Arthur Seyss-Inquart (Austrian Chancellor, Nazi Commissioner, hanged) and Joachim von Ribbentrop (Foreign Minister, hanged). Göring was not hanged as sentenced, but committed suicide by taking a cyanide pill smuggled into his cell. His suicide note stated that "being hanged is not appropriate for a man of [his] status".
The trials took place in courtroom number 600, situated in the eastern wing of the Palace of Justice. The courtroom is still used, especially for murder trials. At the end of the Nuremberg Trials the courtroom was refurbished, and is now smaller. A wall that had been removed during the trials in order to create more space was re-erected. In addition, the judges' bench was turned 90 degrees and is no longer situated in front of the window, but stands where the witness box was placed during the trials.
The Palace of Justice was chosen as the site of the trials because it was almost undamaged, offered a lot of space and included a large prison complex. The city had been the location of the Nazi party's Nuremberg rallies, so there was symbolic value in making it the place of the Nazi demise. In addition, the Americans opted for Nuremberg as it was situated within their zone of occupation.
From the year 2000 on, Courtroom 600 could be visited by tourists, during weekends. On December 2008, the courtroom was closed to the public due to construction works creating a permanent exhibition. The Memorial Nuremberg Trials hosted by the Nuremberg Municipal Museums was opened in November 2010.
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