Center Celebrates Jackson’s Opening Statement At Nuremberg

Robert H. Jackson speaks during the opening statement at the Nuremburg Trial.

The Robert H. Jackson Center is commemorating the 75th anniversary of Robert H. Jackson’s Opening Statement as U.S. Chief of Counsel at Nuremberg in the most 2020 way possible: as a virtual reading.

Benjamin Ferencz, who turned 100 this year and is the oldest living Nuremberg podium prosecutor, reads the first paragraph Jackson’s opening statement, which was described as a “forensic masterpiece” by The New Yorker. Ferencz is joined by David Crane, Richard Goldstone, Luis Moreno Ocampo, and Robert Petit — the founding prosecutors of the modern-era humanitarian law tribunals, Navanethem (Navi) Pillay, who served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2008-2014, Hans Corell, former UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, Kurt Graham, director of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, and Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division, United States Department of Justice, a position Jackson held early in his federal career.

See OPENING, Page A3

From Page A1

The list of participants also includes Jackson family members, current and former Jackson Center Board members, staff, interns, and teacher fellows, local students and other friends of the Center, each reading their own portion of the statement. The Opening Statement was more than three hours long at the Nuremberg Trial.

“We wanted to celebrate the anniversary of the Opening Statement in a unique and comprehensive way,” said Jackson Center President Kristan McMahon. “We’re excited to premiere this video on the 75th anniversary of the reading of the Statement and to include so many people who have been impacted by and contributed to the Center’s work.”

Jackson delivered his opening statement at Nuremberg on Nov. 21, 1945. The Center’s recording will premiere on the Center’s YouTube channel (youtube.com/roberthjacksoncenter) and on the website (roberthjackson.org) on Saturday.

Special thanks to Ed Tomassini, a volunteer at the Jackson Center, for his editing and recording expertise, which was essential to this project.

The Robert H. Jackson Center is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that envisions a global society where the universal principles of equality, fairness and justice prevail. The Center invites and engages students of all ages, scholars, educators, national officials and international dignitaries to analyze contemporary issues of peace and justice through the lens of Justice Jackson’s body of work.

To mark this historic anniversary, a book published by The Post-Journal, is being distributed to schools in the region.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)


Starting at $4.75/week.

Subscribe Today