Get Your Free Audiobook

The Nuremberg Trial

Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
Length: 25 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)
Non-member price: $58.52
After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Editorial Reviews

Courtroom dramas have always consumed the public's attention. There is a certain high-stakes drama that takes place in the halls of justice. Ann and John Tusa have collaborated to capture those emotions in their historical study of The Nuremberg Trial. The Nuremberg Trial isn't some bland textbook; the Tusas' personable narration delivers to listeners the countless personal stories at the heart of one of history's most infamous court battles. A deft performance by Ralph Cosham only serves to accentuate the care Ann and John Tusa have taken in relaying the facts of Nuremberg with humanity and insight.

Publisher's Summary

Here is a gripping account of the major postwar trial of the Nazi hierarchy in World War II. The Nuremberg Trial brilliantly recreates the trial proceedings and offers a reasoned, often profound examination of the processes that created international law. From the whimpering of Kaltenbrunner and Ribbentrop on the stand to the icy coolness of Goering, each participant is vividly drawn.

©2010 Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Fascinating… The Tusas’ book is one of the best accounts I have read.” ( The New York Times)

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    21
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    18
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    17
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ronnie
  • 25-08-2017

Detailed and rewarding listen for history buffs

When I look for books on Audible, I check the reviews first, especially the negative ones. Usually those will highlight things which are immediate deal breakers. So let me start with the negatives first:
------
CONS

1) There's a level of background knowledge needed for this book.

The authors provide a sufficient summary of World War II, which of course sets the stage for the Nuremberg Trials. However, I feel that some questions may go unanswered if someone doesn't understand why the Soviet Union was hellbent on summary execution of the defendants, for example. The book stands well on its own, and the content is digestible, but I would be hesitant to recommend it to someone who isn't a fan of history.

2) Sometimes the book will get boring.

Although the Nuremberg Trials were just over 70 years ago, the subject matter is very politically sensitive. This, along with the fact that history is not always a drama or thriller, means that sometimes the book will resemble a college lecture. Some parts of political history have to be understood in full context, even if the context is rather dry. While the Nuremberg Trials had a lot of exciting drama, outbursts, and even humor, it was still a judicial case, which can at times be mind numbing. Narrator Ralph Cosham's performance does little to help this. While I feel he could have injected emotion and higher energy into the writing, that request becomes rather tricky when the subject matter includes one of the worst inhumane atrocities in the 20th century.
----
I don't see these two cons as deal breakers. I'd imagine anyone precisely looking for audiobooks on the Nuremberg Trials knows that a) even the most exciting historical events have highs and lows, and b) contextual understanding is paramount. For example, it would be impossible to understand China during the Mao Era if you didn't have sufficient understanding of western imperialism during the 1800s.

Anyway, onto the good stuff!!
----
PROS


1) Dripping with detail and facts.

The Nuremberg Trials lasted an incredibly long time, and they were unprecedented in their scope, goals, and size. This book answered every last question I had on the subject, without becoming repetitious. Furthermore, it effectively introduced seemingly irrelevant information, and masterfully explained how it all fits into the bigger picture. When it came to describing the defendants, it was meticulously detailed. There's more than enough information on Hermann Göring's intelligence, cunning, wit, and sadism, or Rudolph Hess' ability to act mentally incompetent while having actual bouts of mental incompetence. The profiles of the defendants are some of the most interesting parts of the book.


2) The scope of this book is deceptive. On top of documenting the days of the trial, it discusses:

a) Should there even be a trial? Which countries wanted a speedy trial, a thorough trial, or just a show trial with a firing squad waiting outside?

b) How does one structure a trial which makes the defendants feel like they can represent themselves fairly, and negotiate more favorable terms of punishment?

c) How can the trial be ran without the defendants using it as a platform to criticize the allies for actions such as the Dresden or Tokyo firebombing, or nuclear weapons use in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

d) How close was the trial to collapsing due to political infighting between France, U.S, U.K, USSR, and others?

e) How did the defendants react to the trial, their first night in prison, their sentence to death, or footage of war crimes in the court room?

f) How did lack of standing infrastructure, vehicles, materials, and resources hamper the setup and planning of the trial?

g) What was the public opinion of the trial in various countries such as Germany, France, the Soviet Union, or the UK?

All these questions, and any more, are covered wonderfully in the book. There's so much more to the subject that makes the Nuremberg Trails not just a court case, but a landmark historical event that has an effect on international law today.
----
I'm tired of writing. The book is a wild ride. Get it.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anniebligh
  • 13-08-2013

A really interesting listen


Ralph Cosham did a good job reading and did not intrude on the content

I found I needed to go back and read or listen again to other books to learn 'who is who'. And then do a Wikipedia search on the Trial and the Defendents.
(Shirer's Berlin Diary and Rise and Fall did convey the gut wrenching reactions of the time.)

Most interesting were the motivations of Judges and Lawyers involved compared to the Governments and politicians.

And to my thinking, a person only needs a genuine interest in the Second World War to find this book valuable.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Brock Williams
  • 02-07-2014

Good because its so detailed

What other book might you compare The Nuremberg Trial to and why?

I listened to this book immediately after my 2nd trip through William L. Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. It was a very good complement, picking up the story of the Nazis that survived the war. But make no mistake, while Shirer's book is a reasonably thorough history of German politics from 1920-1945 at roughly 57 hours, this book is packed with a huge amount of detail, clocking in at almost 26 hours and covering the events of barely a year.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • The Kindler
  • 24-05-2016

Try reading at 1.25 speed.

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this read of the trials of the century. It was a little slow at points for those who aren't too familiar with lawyer jargon but the sections dealing with the courtroom and the prosecuted was by far the best parts and kept the book flowing fairly well.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 27-06-2014

Great Work

Ann Tusa and John Tusa have created a great piece of work on this subject. If you are a student of this period of history, you need to listen to this book. If you are a student of international law, then listen to this book. If you want to understand this period of history, then listen to this book. Ralph Cosham haunting voice really does justice to this book. This book covers the period, subject and opinions very well. It leaves for dead the movies and documentaries produced on the Nuremberg Trial.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Timothy A. Rodenbeck
  • 19-03-2019

Can’t understand the reader

I’m older and somewhat hard of hearing. I use Apple AirPod Bluetooth headphones which make books easy for me to listen to. I can’t understand the reader. It sounds like he has a mouth full of cotton. He doesn’t pronounce the consonants and it is all muddled together. Frustrated, I finally gave up listening to this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Danielle M Brown
  • 19-05-2016

Nuremberg

I loved this book. I aways wanted to know about the trial s and the audio book told me everything .

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jeremy
  • 24-10-2013

important read, but the narration is painful

What made the experience of listening to The Nuremberg Trial the most enjoyable?

-attention to detail
-well paced and well written material

What didn’t you like about Ralph Cosham’s performance?

He lisps and sputters his way through his reading...

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-02-2019

Major Disappointment

Having just toured Nuremberg, I was excited to hear this account. With as much documentation the Tulas had at their disposal why did the write events like a laundry list? Instead of writing the dialogue they described in general terms what was said. It would have been much more dynamic. The narrator sounded like he was calling a golf match. The whole thing was awful. I skipped a lot hoping it would get better. Nope. Never did.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Natasha
  • 13-02-2018

Outstanding

I expected this to be a laborious summary of the proof and arguments offered at trial. Instead, it offers a tremendous amount of insight regarding the issues, practical and legal, as well as behind the scenes. The performance is typically aristocratic English with only one criticism. Every proper name beginning with a consonant followed by a short vowel and found at the beginning of a sentence was subconsciously preceded by an audible “huh”. (Ex. huh-Jackson, huh-Maxwell-Fyfe, etc.)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tim Conway
  • 18-04-2014

Brings horrible history alive

This book is very good. Ann and John Tusa are to be congratulated. I went to Germany at the age of 4 in 1946 for 2 years and can just remember what it was like for a young boy going to an Army school. The Tusa book reminded me of the prevailing atmosphere. My parents often talked of their times there, what it was like mixing with the Americans and other allies, comparing the NAAFI with the PX, etc. Although fraternisation was forbidden we had a German gardener with a son my age and I was soon speaking better German than my parents. In my early teens we returned for a visit with an Army family living in what had been a Nazi officers' barracks, very spacious and elegantly laid-out, and the houses were well-equipped. However, at one end of the barracks was a large underground bunker that had hooks in the ceiling and what looked like ancient blood on the floor. Nearby was Bergen-Belsen with its huge common graves.

The Tusas cover the trial and its build-up in great detail. The various characters (prosecution, defence, accused, witnesses, judiciary) are all brought to life, and the descriptions of the crimes are vivid without being bloodthirsty. The difficulties faced by and the tensions between the four allied powers are almost as interesting as their treatment of the accused, some of whom had incredible lines of defence. Although the end of the trial is known to all, this was still a gripping read. Or maybe it's just that I like lots of detail.

I have one criticism, and that is with Ralph Cosham's delivery: he swallows the last letter or syllable, sometimes the last word, of many sentences. Plurals become bafflingly singular because the 's' cannot be heard. I admit I do nearly all my listening in my car and it may be that Mr Cosham's volume-drop is not so bothersome in a silent ambience. In any case, this is really a minor quibble because Mr Cosham has a mellifluous voice and his delivery is otherwise excellent with an appropriate mid-Atlantic accent.

40 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer Lee Rogers
  • 07-04-2013

Old but Unbowed

I first read this book a number of years ago when I was doing some research into post-war retribution in occupied Europe. Unless you wante to wade through the numerous transcripts of the Nuremberg Trials, this book will do the job for you by highlighting the main issues, personalities and dramas of that unique judicial occasion. This is a well-researched and fascinating book which gives the listener an insignt into the confused power play of some seriously flawed criminal characters inhabiting what was, in effect, a lunatic asylum. It also reveals some interesting information on those who participated in the trials from the judges to the prosecutors and the defence lawyers who must have realised that they faced an impossible job. THis is long book but well worth it if you want the unfolding drama of a legal trial with no precedents.

27 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Martin S.
  • 28-01-2019

Well written, shocking narration

Positives: This book is well written, treading the fine line of actually teaching the reader something new but without becoming too detailed as to put off those without a fanatical interest in this period of history. It certainly highlights the legal challenges and precedents set at Nuremberg and offers a fair commentary on all the of the parties.

Negatives:. The narration is horrific. The narrator's voice is always a bit muffled, changes in pitch and volume are frequent where edits have been made. The last syllable of a sentence is often missing and most annoying is the "uh" and "ah" noises that are prefixed to so many names:

Uh-Goering
Ah-Jackson

Etc.

Some names like Seyss-Inquart are listed and unclear.

It really is amazing this narration passed anybody's quality control. It Almost ruined a really good read

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Malwina Tritt
  • 16-10-2018

A great book spoilt by the narration!

The narrator reads well but has an exhausting lisp and an annoyinh tendency to add "ah" at the beginning of most of the sentences. "ah-subject", "ah-trial", "ah-goering". At some stage I even had to check if it was Jackson or "ah-Jackson"... The book iyself is brilliantly written, never boring, to the point that I persisted with it and tried to filter out narrator's flaws.
Overall, great book and if you have a chance and are interested in the subject, get it in paper.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew W.
  • 06-08-2018

narration made this unlistenable for me

I was looking forward to this audiobook, give the joint authors' credentials. Sadly the dreadful technical quality and woeful delivery of the narrator forced me to give up after less than 20 minutes. Luckily there is a returns policy - so maybe give it a try and see if these are not so off-putting for you.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mendo Shutaro
  • 17-08-2013

Overly long, and overly dry

What did you like best about The Nuremberg Trial? What did you like least?

Obviously this covers a fascinating time in history, with some of the most notorious war criminals in history on trial. However the book is overly technical, and far too long. It also seems more interested on covering the conditions in which the inmates were kept, rather than the crimes they committed.

What could Ann Tusa and John Tusa have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

To be frank, the authors desperately needed an editor, or perhaps an editor with more power to tell them what to do. This is simply too long winded to be an entertaining listen.

How could the performance have been better?

The reader sounds pretty sleepy for the most part, which doesn't help the dull nature of much of the text.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

Normally I like a film to be as written, with zero changes. In this case though, the source is full of great material which the author ignored, and instead focussed on trivia.

Any additional comments?

There is surely a great book to be written about this period of history. This sadly, isn't it.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 15-04-2019

Thorough. more legalistic than defendants' story

I had expected this to be about the defendants and their stories and their testimonies. It covers that, but spends a lot more time on wider issues too. for some this will be less interesting. I thought it should be of great interest to barristers and judges, as if goes into considerable detail on the mandate and foundation of the war crimes tribunal, the back room discussions, the conditions of the staff, etc. some interesting insights into post-war Germany, and the wider setting of the nuremburg trial

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • terry nicholls
  • 11-11-2018

fascinating subject

fascinating subject spoiled by bad editing, and mono tone narrating, could onlt listen in short bursts

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J Gilmour
  • 04-03-2019

Detailed history

Fascinating listen although a long book to listen too. Narration was very good and the background explained in detail. This is a must listen too if you would like to know the horrors of the Nazi years and its effects and crimes in Europe as opposed to the "glorious" early German victories. There was so much I have not read about in this book regarding places such as Greece and the wars against Partisans in other parts of Europe. You will already know about the Nuremberg trials from the black and white films of WW2, this gives you a wide view to the background and is one of the most informative books on the Nazi's / German military I have read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kirstine
  • 15-07-2018

Impressive account of a ground-breaking trial

This is highly detailed account of how the Nuremberg trial was set-up through the co-operation of the four main allies at the end of the second world war. The crimes by the main defendants are alluded to but the main thrust of the book is how, despite the misgivings of some of the participants, international co-operation was achieved and to overcome the difficulties that the lawyers and judges had in creating a legal framework that meshed together the continental and the Anglo-Amercian legal systems of justice.

It is impressive what was achieved in a relatively short time to collate the mass of evidence and to present the cases with simultaneous translation using new technology. The generosity of the Americans in underwriting most of the costs made things run more smoothly than could have been thought possible in a country devastated by war.

The overall impression is of dignified proceedings in which the defendants were given a fair trial, but one is left with the distasteful evidence of how so many people could engage in barbaric behaviour.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful