Nuremberg, Germany (dpa) – Germany is to open an academy teaching war crimes law on Saturday in the wood-panelled courtroom in Nuremberg where leading Nazi officials were sentenced to hang 70 years ago.
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is to open the new school, which will offer courses to lawyers and journalists from war-wracked nations on how to prosecute politicians and military leaders for atrocities.
After World War II, the victorious allies put 24 top Nazis on trial in Nuremberg, which Adolf Hitler had planned to make the centre of his Reich. Ten were hung and two committed suicide.
The site, Courtroom 600 in the city’s Palace of Justice, was used after that for decades for regular trials. In a reassessment of its place in history, Germany then recognized it as a birthplace of international jurisdiction over war crimes.
The courtroom is no longer used for trials and has been turned into a memorial run by the city, with visits for tourists at weekends.
The International Nuremberg Principles Academy, to be housed in offices in the palace, will be a main user of the historic courtroom.
Its director, Bernd Borchardt, said Thursday there had been far more applications than places available for the academy’s first course, starting in August, when young lawyers from Colombia, Lebanon, Cambodia and Balkan states will study international criminal law.