Berlin – Kammergericht

After the failed assassination attempt on Hitler, July 20, 1944, a wave of arrests against real and suspected conspirators followed. Those accused of conspiracy (high treason) were brought before the Nazi People’s Court in the great hall of Berlin’s Kammergericht. Hitler wanted the trial to be filmed and it became a show trial where the President of the People’s Court and also chief prosecutor Roland Frielser shouted and humiliated the defendants. The first trial was held on August 7, 1944, when eight conspirators were accused of high treason. The defendants were ill-dressed, not allowed to speak in any lenght and were constantly interrupted by Freisler, nor were they allowed to consult with their lawyers. All were sentenced to death and hanged in prison. Four more trials were held in August against sixteen other conspirators. All were sentenced to death.

Current status: Preserved with monument (2010).

Address: Elssholzstrasse 30, 10781 Berlin.

Get there: Metro to Kleistpark Station.

My comment:

The film from the trials was never shown in cinemas because the sound quality of Freisler’s screaming at the accusers was too poor. Freisler wanted to heckle the defendants and make them appear as insignificant traitors without any support from the common man. Even the Nazis themselves realized that the content could be counterproductive. The trials in the Kammergericht were not the only ones being held against the conspirators, but trials were also held elsewhere. The courtroom has not changed significantly since the trials, with the exception of all swastika flags which had been hung up during the trial.

Follow up in books: Graml, Hermann (and Others): The German Resistance to Hitler (1970).