The Holocaust was, of course, one of the most devastating genocides of the 20th century. Not only did it involve tremendous loss of life, but it also demonstrated the extent to which human beings could sink in their persecution of one another. Judgment of Nuremberg, as one of the first films to depict actual footage of the concentration camps, definitely deserves its place as one of the best courtroom dramas. Tightly woven and superbly acted by the likes of Montgomery Clift, Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, and Judy Garland, it uses its trial scenes to shed light on the crimes which were committed by the Nazis and those who were far too willing to provide legal cover for their heinous actions. And, because it so deftly employs the emotion of cinematic storytelling, it systematically draws the audience into its moral message.
Indeed, the Nuremberg Trials were a vital part of the postwar efforts to see the Nazis and their accomplices brought to justice. The International Military Tribunal, the organization charged with overseeing the trials, drew its authority from the London Agreement, which was signed by the various victors of World War II in 1945. The trials were notable for, among other things, helping to establish the principle of individuals being subject to criminal prosecution for war crimes rather than just individuals.