Lesson Plan

Justice and Accountability

Go over documents used during the Nuremberg Trials. (Some of the images contain graphic content.) Students will learn how the Nuremberg Trials came to be and the lasting impact these trials had on future cases of international injustice.

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Enduring Understanding

The Nuremberg Trials set the precedent that individual officials could be held responsible for “crimes against humanity” and for implementing policies that violate international law — regardless of their status as government officials.

Essential Question

  • 1How did the Nuremberg Trials change how we view international justice?


10 Min

Ask the class how they would define the terms “justice” and “accountability.” Write the words or phrases they come with on the board, then ask them the following questions:

  • What role does justice and accountability play in the healing process for victims of crimes?
  • What does it say to the people responsible for those crimes?
  • In what ways can courts of justice and accountability fail victims of crimes?


5 Min
Teacher's Note
Some images may contain graphic content. Look it over prior to sharing this lesson with your class to ensure it is appropriate.

Familiarize students with the resource, Justice and Accountability by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Show students that there are three sections of images and texts followed by a quote; Documenting the Crimes, The Trials, and Lasting Legacies.


30 Min

Divide the class into three groups and assign them one of the three categories: Documenting the Crimes, The Trials, and Lasting Legacies and one of the quotes. These groups can end up being quite large depending on class size. Allow groups to divide up the images to go over in subgroups, as long as they all get together to discuss.
Provide the following instructions while they get into their groups:

  1. Prepare a brief presentation in order to share your section with the class. Presentations can be done orally, preferably sharing the image being discussed with the rest of the class. Use the guidelines below to structure your presentation:
    1. Describe the images and tell their significance.
    2. Share what you thought of your group’s quote. What do you think it means? What relevance does it have in today’s society?

Wisconsin Academic Standards

This lessons meets the following Academic Standards required by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

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