Published: January 27, 2004
– On the first day of the Nuremberg Trials in November 1945, 21 major Nazi officials took their seats in the rear of the draped and dark-paneled room of the Palace of Justice to face their indictments.
The moment marked the first time that an International Military Tribunal (IMT) would call for an individual accounting of and punishment for conspiratorial and criminal actions committed against the Jews and others before and during a war. In Nuremberg to record the scene, and so many others during the subsequent months, was 26-year-old Army photographer Raymond D’Addario of Holyoke, Mass.
Now a selection of his images can be seen at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum from February 3 until March 28 in “Witnessing the Nuremberg Trials: Photographs by Raymond D’Addario.” D’Ad-dario, who still lives in Holyoke where he continued to work as a photographer, and guest curator Liz Sommer, assistant curator of art at the Springfield Library and Museum Association, will be at the museum for a gallery talk on February 19 at 4 pm. A reception will follow.
It was D’Addario’s job, as chief of a handful of Army photographers receiving the assignment to Nuremberg, to prepare news coverage for the war crimes trials. He observed on a daily basis – from November 1945 until October 1946 – the two rows of defendants, including Hermann Goering, Rudolf Hess and Joachim von Ribbentrop, making them forever part of the historic record. His stirring images, which have been distributed worldwide in magazines, books and newspapers, also capture the judges and prosecutors from the four victorious nations, the defense, and a variety of witnesses as well as the almost total devastation of Nuremberg itself by the Allied Forces before the end of the war. Despite the IMT’s restrictions against the use of flash bulbs in the courtroom, D’Addario’s imagery, mostly in black and white, is outstanding.
“They are amazing, moving, fascinating photographs of a trial that continues to generate discussion more than 50 years later,” said museum director Marianne Doezema. “The detailed evidence presented at Nuremberg without doubt forever recorded the ghastly atrocities committed against humanity in Europe. Certainly, the Nazi leaders were punished. But the trials did not end wars of heinous aggression, and sadly have not put an end to genocide, as evidenced most recently with atrocities perpetrated by leaders in the Balkans and Iraq. Mr D’Addario’s images offer a sober reminder of lessons our world must never forget.”
The Mount Holyoke College Art Museum is open Tuesday through Friday, 11 am to 5 pm and weekends, 1 to 5 pm, and is fully accessible. Admission is free. For information, visit www.mtholyoke.edu/go/ artmuseum/ or call 413-538-2245.
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