French Opening Statement

The French delegation began their case on the 36th day of the Trial.  Jan. 17, 1946 saw M. Francis de Menthon, the first of two chief prosecutors for France, deliver the French opening statement. The French Delegation had the principal responsibility for presenting the argument and proof concerning War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity committed by Nazi Germany in the countries of Western Europe. The Soviet Delegation had a similar responsibility for crimes committed in Eastern Europe. The translated segment of this post is excerpted from Court TVs ten hour series entitled “Nuremberg Trials,” which aired in 1995. The commentator is Fred Graham. The balance of the excerpt is in French and from the original film. Immediately following his opening statement, de Menthon was called to France to serve a Minister of Justice. He was replaced by Champetier de Ribes.

Produced by US Army Signal Corps 1945-1956, housed in National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Digitized and provided by The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive.