A ‘Shot’ of Canada at the Nuremberg Trials

Dear readers,

I recently had the unforgettable opportunity of visiting the premises of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunals, where senior officials of the Nazi regime – including Herman Goering, Rudolph Hess and Albert Speer, amongst others – were tried following the conclusion of WWII. Following my visit and a tour of the court, a wonderfully thoughtful curator, Henrike Zentgraf, was kind enough to send me two photographs of former Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King visiting the court and attending the trials. As an avid researcher of Canadian political history and international criminal justice, I was admittedly surprised to learn that King had even visited Nuremberg following the war. But it is possible that, as with so many other countries, Nuremberg marked the beginning of Canada’s support for post-conflict accountability and justice.

As many readers will know (I hope it’s not hard to tell!), I have a keen interest in photography. It is thus a great pleasure for me to share these two rare and stunning photographs of King attending the tribunals. The first depicts King sitting on the visitor’s balcony in the Nuremberg tribunal courtroom. The second photo is of King with two American judges John J. Parker and Francis Biddle.

(Photo: Museen der Stadt Nürnberg)

(Photo: Museen der Stadt Nürnberg)


About Mark Kersten

Mark Kersten is a consultant at the Wayamo Foundation, a Senior Researcher at the Munk School of Global Affairs, and a law student at McGill University Law School. He is also author of the book, 'Justice in Conflict - The Effects of the International Criminal Court's Interventions on Ending Wars and Building Peace' (Oxford University Press, 2016).
This entry was posted in Canada, International Law, Justice, Nuremberg, Nuremberg Trials and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A ‘Shot’ of Canada at the Nuremberg Trials

  1. Tourism Oxford says:

    This is fascinating. As a Canadian, I thank you for sharing.

  2. Michael Pope says:

    Thanks for this. In the first photograph, the man to Mackenzie King’s right was my grandfather, Lt Gen. Maurice Arthur Pope (1889-1978), then Head of the Canadian Military Mission to Berlin.

    • Mark Kersten says:

      Dear Michael,

      That’s incredible. I’m so glad you reached out to share that information and it makes me even more happy to be able to share these photos.

      All the very best,


  3. John Q. Barrett says:

    Actually the man to Mackenzie King’s right in this photograph, which is lunch at the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg on August 22, 1946, was France’s alternate judge on the International Military Tribunal, Robert Falco. He, including his bald spot, is recognizable by comparing this to many other photos of the IMT. And King dictated this as part of his diary entry of that date: “….I had lunch with the Judges as [U.S.] Judge [Francis] Biddle’s guest. I was given Biddle’s seat at the end of the table. [U.S. alternate] Judge Parker was to my left and one of the French Judges [was] to my right.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s