Independent filmmaker Sandra Schulberg held the Utah premiere of “Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today,” a film her father helped produce and she helped restore, at Dixie State University last week.
Schulberg, who spoke at last week’s Dixie Forum, stated her hope for those who view the film was greater political awareness and involvement, especially to encourage the United States to join the International Criminal Court, which prosecutes individuals for crimes against humanity, and ultimately for world peace.
“[I hope to] find a way to end all armed conflicts,” Schulberg said. “I’d like to think we could all agree on that.”
“Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today” was produced soon after World War II by Schulberg’s father Stuart. The film shows the trials of those involved with atrocities during the war, especially the genocide of millions of Jews in Europe. Although created to help people understand the importance and the process of holding war criminals accountable to the rule of law, the film was never shown in the United States because some felt it would weaken their alliance with Western Germany.
Over 65 years later, a team of film professionals including Schulberg have restored the film to its original quality. According to the film’s website, nurembergfilm.org, “Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today” is being screened across the world and is also available at DSU’s library.
Associate English professor Stephen Armstrong helped make Schulberg’s visit possible. Armstrong had been studying depictions of the Holocaust in film for several years when he learned of the Schulberg film.
“[I] thought that bringing her out here to screen her documentary would fit into one of DSU objectives, which is to sponsor independent documentary production,” Armstrong said.
In addition to filmography, Armstrong said that Schulberg’s message was an important one.
“Having underrepresented stories of injustice, violence, but also justice and social progress … told at a regional small university are incredibly important,” Armstrong said. “It’s the fulfillment of the university’s objectives in the highest sense.”
Armstrong said students specifically benefit from visitors like Schulberg.
“When [students] hear the stories of the Holocaust, their exposure to them broadens understanding and increases empathy,” he said.
Schulberg encouraged students to learn about the field of international law, which owes much of its foundation to the Nuremberg trials.
“This is a field where you really get to really act on your ideals, and there are very few jobs in the world where you can combine paid employment with idealism,” Schulberg said.
Schulberg said the field could be approached from many backgrounds, such as sociology or economics.
“It’s not inaccessible,” said Schulberg. “They want intelligent, passionate young people to come into the field. You’re needed [and] you can make a difference.”
Keiran Presland, a junior English major from Brighton, England, noticed Schulberg’s passion.
“She made it clear that we have a long way to go in terms of peace and that it is up to our generation to continue the work,” Presland said.
Missy Jessop, a senior English major from Salt Lake City, said watching “Nuremberg” brought a lot of emotions.
“After watching ‘Nuremberg’ I couldn’t help but feel sad and a little hopeless,” Jessop said. “It’s awful that we live in a world where people deliberately hurt each other. It has made me feel like it’s important for me to seek out the good in humanity.”