Judgment at Nuremberg - Movie Quotes - Rotten Tomatoes

Judgment at Nuremberg Quotes

  • Gen. Merrin: To Lawson: Look, I'm not your commanding officer. I can't influence your decision, and I don't want to. But I want to give this to you, and I want to give it to you straight. We need the help of the German people. And you don't get the help of the German people...by sentencing their leaders to stiff prison sentences. The thing to do is survive, isn't it? Survive as best we can, but survive.

  • Hans Rolfe: Why did we succeed, Your Honor? What about the rest of the world? Did it not know the intentions of the Third Reich? Did it not hear the words of Hitler's broadcasts all over the world? Did it not read his intentions in Mein Kampf...published in every corner of the world? Where is the responsibility of the Soviet Union...who signed in the pact with Hitler...enabled him to make war? Are we now to find Russia guilty? Where is the responsibility of the Vatican...who signed in the concordat with Hitler...giving him his first tremendous prestige? Are we now to find the Vatican guilty? Where is the responsibility of the world leader Winston Churchill...who said in an open letter to the London Times in : "Were England to suffer a national disaster, I should pray to God...to send a man of the strength of mind and will of an Adolf Hitler." Are we now to find Winston Churchill guilty? Where is the responsibility of those American industrialists...who helped Hitler to rebuild his armaments, and profited by that rebuilding? Are we now to find the American industrialists guilty? No, Your Honor. Germany alone is not guilty. The whole world is as responsible for Hitler as Germany.
    Hans Rolfe: Why did we succeed, Your Honor? What about the rest of the world? Did it not know the intentions of the Third Reich? Did it not hear the words of Hitler's broadcasts all over the world? Did it not read his intentions in Mein Kampf...published in every corner of the world? Where is the responsibility of the Soviet Union...who signed in the pact with Hitler...enabled him to make war? Are we now to find Russia guilty? Where is the responsibility of the Vatican...who signed in the concordat with Hitler...giving him his first tremendous prestige? Are we now to find the Vatican guilty? Where is the responsibility of the world leader Winston Churchill...who said in an open letter to the London Times in : 'Were England to suffer a national disaster, I should pray to God...to send a man of the strength of mind and will of an Adolf Hitler.' Are we now to find Winston Churchill guilty? Where is the responsibility of those American industrialists...who helped Hitler to rebuild his armaments, and profited by that rebuilding? Are we now to find the American industrialists guilty? No, Your Honor. Germany alone is not guilty. The whole world is as responsible for Hitler as Germany.

  • Col. Tad Lawson: "The hare was shot by the hunter in the field." It's really quite simple.
    Col. Tad Lawson: 'The hare was shot by the hunter in the field.' It's really quite simple.
    Capt. Harrison Byers: Colonel, I think we ought to be going.
    Judge Dan Haywood: Yes, we really shouldn't be discussing this.
    Col. Tad Lawson: No, Judge. We're fair Americans, and true-blue. We mustn't do anything that's out of order.

  • Mme. Bertholt: I wish you understood German. The words are very beautiful. Very sad. Much sadder than the English words.

  • Col. Tad Lawson: We beat the greatest war machine since Alexander the Great.

  • Mme. Bertholt: My husband was a military man all his life. He was entitled to a soldier's death. He asked for that. I tried to get that for him, just that, that he would die with some honor. I went from official to official. I begged for that. That he be permitted the dignity of a firing squad. You know what happened? He was hanged with the others... and after that, I knew what it was to hate. I never left the house, I never left the room. I drank. I hated with every fiber of my being. I hated every American I had ever known.

  • Mme. Bertholt: You see, I have a mission with the Americans, as Mr. Perkins can tell you.
    Judge Dan Haywood: What is that?
    Mme. Bertholt: To convince you that we're not all monsters.

  • Mme. Bertholt: We must forget if we want to go on living.

  • Judge Dan Haywood: Janning, to be sure, is a tragic figure. We believe he loathed the evil he did. But compassion for the present torture of his soul must not beget forgetfulness of the torture and death of millions by the government of which he was a part. Janning's record and his fate illuminate the most shattering truth that has emerged from this trial. If he and the other defendants were all depraved perverts â?? if the leaders of the Third Reich were sadistic monsters and maniacs â?? these events would have no more moral significance than an earthquake or other natural catastrophes. But this trial has shown that under the stress of a national crisis, men â?? even able and extraordinary men â?? can delude themselves into the commission of crimes and atrocities so vast and heinous as to stagger the imagination. No one who has sat through this trial can ever forget. The sterilization of men because of their political beliefs... The murder of children... How easily that can happen! There are those in our country today, too, who speak of the 'protection' of the country. Of 'survival'. The answer to that is: 'survival as what?' A country isn't a rock. And it isn't an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for, when standing for something is the most difficult! Before the people of the world â?? let it now be noted in our decision here that this is what we stand for: justice, truth... and the value of a single human being!
    Judge Dan Haywood: Janning, to be sure, is a tragic figure. We believe he loathed the evil he did. But compassion for the present torture of his soul must not beget forgetfulness of the torture and death of millions by the government of which he was a part. Janning's record and his fate illuminate the most shattering truth that has emerged from this trial. If he and the other defendants were all depraved perverts â?? if the leaders of the Third Reich were sadistic monsters and maniacs these events would have no more moral significance than an earthquake or other natural catastrophes. But this trial has shown that under the stress of a national crisis, men even able and extraordinary men can delude themselves into the commission of crimes and atrocities so vast and heinous as to stagger the imagination. No one who has sat through this trial can ever forget. The sterilization of men because of their political beliefs... The murder of children... How easily that can happen! There are those in our country today, too, who speak of the 'protection' of the country. Of 'survival'. The answer to that is: 'survival as what?' A country isn't a rock. And it isn't an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for, when standing for something is the most difficult! Before the people of the world â?? let it now be noted in our decision here that this is what we stand for: justice, truth... and the value of a single human being!
    Judge Dan Haywood: Janning, to be sure, is a tragic figure. We believe he loathed the evil he did. But compassion for the present torture of his soul must not beget forgetfulness of the torture and death of millions by the government of which he was a part. Janning's record and his fate illuminate the most shattering truth that has emerged from this trial. If he and the other defendants were all depraved perverts �¢?? if the leaders of the Third Reich were sadistic monsters and maniacs these events would have no more moral significance than an earthquake or other natural catastrophes. But this trial has shown that under the stress of a national crisis, men even able and extraordinary men can delude themselves into the commission of crimes and atrocities so vast and heinous as to stagger the imagination. No one who has sat through this trial can ever forget. The sterilization of men because of their political beliefs... The murder of children... How easily that can happen! There are those in our country today, too, who speak of the 'protection' of the country. Of 'survival'. The answer to that is: 'survival as what?' A country isn't a rock. And it isn't an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for, when standing for something is the most difficult! Before the people of the world let it now be noted in our decision here that this is what we stand for: justice, truth... and the value of a single human being!
    Judge Dan Haywood: Janning, to be sure, is a tragic figure. We believe he loathed the evil he did. But compassion for the present torture of his soul must not beget forgetfulness of the torture and death of millions by the government of which he was a part. Janning's record and his fate illuminate the most shattering truth that has emerged from this trial. If he and the other defendants were all depraved perverts if the leaders of the Third Reich were sadistic monsters and maniacs these events would have no more moral significance than an earthquake or other natural catastrophes. But this trial has shown that under the stress of a national crisis, men even able and extraordinary men can delude themselves into the commission of crimes and atrocities so vast and heinous as to stagger the imagination. No one who has sat through this trial can ever forget. The sterilization of men because of their political beliefs... The murder of children... How easily that can happen! There are those in our country today, too, who speak of the 'protection' of the country. Of 'survival'. The answer to that is: 'survival as what?' A country isn't a rock. And it isn't an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for, when standing for something is the most difficult! Before the people of the world let it now be noted in our decision here that this is what we stand for: justice, truth... and the value of a single human being!

  • Mme. Bertholt: Listen to me... there are things that happened on both sides. My husband was a military man, had been all his life. He was entitled to a soldier's death; he asked for that. I tried to get that for him, just that and he would die with some honor. I went from official to offical. I begged for that, I begged for that, that he should be permitted the dignity of a firing squad. You know what happened. He was hanged with the others, and after that, I knew what it was to hate. I never left the house. I never left the room. I drank. I hated with every fiber of my being, I hated every American I'd ever known. But one can't live with hate. I know that. We have to forget. We have to go on living.

  • Ernst Janning: My counsel would have you believe that we were not aware of the extermination of millions. That we were only aware of the extermination of the hundreds. Does that make us any the less guilty? Maybe we didn't know the details. But if we didn't know, it was because we did not want to know.
    Emil Hahn: Traitor! Traitor!
    Judge Dan Haywood: Order, order! Put that man back in his seat and keep him there!
    Ernst Janning: am going to tell the truth if the whole world conspires against it. I am going to tell them the truth about their Ministry of Justice. Werner Lampe â?? an old man who cries into his Bible now. An old man who profited from the property expropriation of every man he sent to a concentration camp. Friedrich Hofstetter â?? the butcher who knew how to take orders, who sent men before him to be sterilized like so many digits. Emil Hahn â?? the decayed, corrupt bigot, obsessed by the evil within himself. And Ernst Janning â?? worse than any of them, because he knew what they were, and he went along with them. Ernst Janning â?? who made his life...excrement... because he walked with them.
    Ernst Janning: I am going to tell the truth if the whole world conspires against it. I am going to tell them the truth about their Ministry of Justice. Werner Lampe an old man who cries into his Bible now. An old man who profited from the property expropriation of every man he sent to a concentration camp. Friedrich Hofstetter â?? the butcher who knew how to take orders, who sent men before him to be sterilized like so many digits. Emil Hahn the decayed, corrupt bigot, obsessed by the evil within himself. And Ernst Janning worse than any of them, because he knew what they were, and he went along with them. Ernst Janning who made his life...excrement... because he walked with them.

  • Werner Lammpe: You do not think it was like that, do you? [the other defendants are silent] There were executions, yes, but nothing like that. Nothing at all! [turns to another prisoner] Pöhl. Pöhl! You ran those concentration camps, you and Eichmann. They say we killed millions of people. [scoffs] Millions of people! How could it be possible? Tell them, how could it be possible?
    Werner Lammpe: You do not think it was like that, do you? [the other defendants are silent] There were executions, yes, but nothing like that. Nothing at all! [turns to another prisoner] You ran those concentration camps, you and Eichmann. They say we killed millions of people. [scoffs] Millions of people! How could it be possible? Tell them, how could it be possible?
    Pohl: [matter-of-fact] It's possible.
    Werner Lammpe: [aghast] How?
    Pohl: You mean, technically? It all depends on your facilities. Say you have two chambers to accommodate 2000 people apiece. Figure it out. It's possible to get rid of 10,000 in a half hour. You don't even need knives to do it. You can tell them they're going to take a shower, then instead of water, you turn on the gas. It's not the killing that's the problem, it's disposing of the bodies. That's the problem.

  • Col. Tad Lawson: One thing about Americans: we're not cut out to be occupiers. We're new at it and not very good at it.

  • Col. Tad Lawson: One thing about Americans: we're not cut out to be occupiers. We're new at it and not very good at it.

  • Ernst Janning: We have fallen on happy times, Herr Hahn. In old times it would have made your day if I'd deigned to say good morning to you. Now that we are here in this place together... you feel obliged to tell me what to do with my life... Listen to me, Herr Hahn, there have been terrible things that have happened to me in my life. But the worst thing that has ever happened... is to find myself in the company of men like you.

  • Ernst Janning: Judge Haywood... the reason I asked you to come: Those people, those millions of people... I never knew it would come to that. You must believe it, you must believe it!
    Judge Dan Haywood: Herr Janning, it "came to that" the first time you sentenced a man to death you knew to be innocent.
    Judge Dan Haywood: Herr Janning, it 'came to that' the first time you sentenced a man to death you knew to be innocent.

  • Hans Rolfe: I'll make you a wager...
    Judge Dan Haywood: I don't make wagers.
    Hans Rolfe: A gentleman's wager... in five years, the men you sentenced to life imprisonment will be free.
    Judge Dan Haywood: Herr Rolfe, I have admired your work in the court for many months. You are particularly brilliant in your use of logic. So, what you suggest may very well happen. It is logical, in view of the times in which we live. But to be logical is not to be right, and nothing on God's earth could ever make it right!

  • Capt. Harrison Byers: I trust you'll be comfortable in this room, sir.
    Judge Dan Haywood: Captain, I have no doubt that the entire state of Maine would be comfortable in this room!

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