02/10/06 — Professor will speak on Nuremberg Trials

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Professor will speak on Nuremberg Trials

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on February 10, 2006 1:49 PM

The second in a series of events sponsored by the Wayne County Reads program will be held at the County Courthouse Monday at 7 p.m.

The lecture will keep in tune with this year's book selection, Elie Wiesel's "Night," and will feature Dr. Gerhard Weinberg, who fled Germany with his family in 1938 and lost many extended family members in the Holocaust.

Weinberg, an accomplished author and historian well-known for his publications on World War II, will lecture on the Nuremberg trials.

The trials, conducted from 1945 to 1949, prosecuted Nazis involved in the Holocaust, particularly 24 of the most prominent leaders captured in Nazi Germany.

Weinberg, currently a professor emeritus for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of History, is also known for his editorial skills. In 1958, while working in the repository of captured German records in Alexandria, Va., he made an important discovery -- a manuscript that had been dictated by Adolf Hitler.

Weinberg edited and annotated the book, which was originally released in German in 1961. More than 30 years later, in 2003 it was re-released in English with an introduction from Weinberg, and titled "Hitler's Second Book, The Unpublished Sequel to Mein Kampf."

An excerpt from Weinberg's introduction reads,

"It is somewhat more aggressive than his later remarks, and it culminates in the assertion that a Nazi government of Germany would have as one of its major responsibilities the preparation of the country for war with the United States."

Weinberg's knowledge of World War II extends far beyond research and studies he conducted before writing "A World At Arms," "Visions of Victory :The Hopes of Eight World War II Leaders," and other books. At the age of 18, he entered the U.S. army and was stationed in Japan during its occupation by alliance forces in 1946.

Those interested in learning more about the Nuremberg trials before Monday's event are invited to attend a viewing of the 1961 docu-drama on them at 1 p.m. at Wayne County Public Library.

The film, which features Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Judy Garland and William Shatner, examines the trials and those who took part in them.

Copies of this year's Wayne County Reads book selection "Night," are also available at the library.