Palace of Justice (Nuremberg)

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The Palace of Justice 2012
Aerial photo from 2009

The Palace of Justice is a building in Nuremberg at Fürther Straße 110 in the Bärenschanze district . It is the seat of the Higher Regional Court of Nuremberg , the Landgericht Nürnberg-Fürth , the district court of Nuremberg and the prosecutor Nuremberg-Fürth . The Nuremberg Palace of Justice is the largest judicial building in Bavaria.



The building was built between 1909 and 1916 according to plans by the architect and high-ranking Bavarian construction officer Hugo von Höfl and the architect and construction officer Günther Blumentritt in the style of the neo-Renaissance Franconian style. The construction costs amounted to 7,137,923 marks . The building consists of three building parts with a main building with three inner or atria as well as a west and east building, which can be reached via connecting bridges on the first floor. The main facade, which extends along Fürther Straße , is decorated with cartouches of the coat of arms and figural architectural sculptures . On a frieze between the windows on the third floor there are 13 stone sculptures in arched niches that represent "outstanding men in the field of jurisprudence and the administration of justice". They were made from French limestone by various sculptors from Munich and Nuremberg and are around 2.40 meters tall. From left to right they show Rudolf Sigmund von Holzschuher , Johann Adam von Seuffert , Carl Gottlieb Svarez , Hugo Donellus , Valentin Kötzler , Eike von Repgow , Justinian I. , Gratian , Johann Freiherr zu Schwarzenberg , Christoph Scheurl , Wiguläus von Kreittmayr , Nikolaus Thaddäus von Gönner , Paul Johann Anselm von Feuerbach and Süleyman I. The central entrance is via an arcade with round columns with decorated capitals. On the main building there was a 57 meter high clock tower with a golden Justitia on top, which was destroyed in February 1945.

The Palace of Justice, which was designed less splendidly than the judicial facilities built earlier, impressed with its monumental size (usable area of ​​around 65,000 m²) and modern furnishings. In addition to false ceilings made of reinforced concrete, there were numerous passenger elevators and six special elevators exclusively intended for transporting prisoners. The building was intended to replace the judicial buildings in Augustinerstraße and Weintraubengasse, which had already reached their capacity limits after a few decades, and offered enough space for all Nuremberg courts and public prosecutors. Fürth was still an independent regional court seat until 1932 .

First World War

Shortly after the beginning of the First World War, a military hospital was set up in September 1914 in the already completed western building. King Ludwig III. von Bayern inaugurated the building on September 11, 1916 in the representative Königssaal on the third floor. In addition to wall paneling and a large glass dome, portraits of Wittelsbach rulers adorned the room: Maximilian I , Ludwig I , Maximilian II , Ludwig II , Otto I , Prince Regent Luitpold and Ludwig III. With the exception of the glass dome, which was destroyed by air raids in World War II, this condition has now been restored. In addition to the actual judicial authorities, the building also housed a branch of the Bavarian War Usury Office , the army construction management and demobilization after the end of the war . The hospital was converted into a private hospital on October 1, 1919, the liquidation of which dragged on until 1922. After that, the complex was only occupied by judicial authorities for the first time.

Second World War

During the Second World War, Wehrmacht departments and municipal and state institutions moved into the building. A total of 16 extrajudicial offices, including the command of an air force unit, the district defense officer of the Reich Minister for Armaments and Ammunition , the commander of the Nuremberg Armaments Command , the commander of the Nuremberg Military District Command, the Nuremberg-Fürth trade supervisory office, the Nuremberg-Fürth Reichsbank headquarters, Nuremberg-Fürth Police Department , the criminal police, the secret state police (Gestapo) and the Reichspostdirektion as well as the district administrator and the Victoria works were housed there over time. An air raid on November 27, 1944 caused massive glass damage. Another air raid on February 21, 1945 left three dead and seven injured after five direct bombs hit the main building.

post war period

After the end of the Second World War, the US Army moved into the Palace of Justice in July 1945 . The remaining facilities had to vacate the building within a few days. From November 20, 1945 to October 1, 1946, the first Nuremberg trials against 24 defendants took place in the jury chamber (session room 600) in the east building . The Palace of Justice is directly connected to the Nuremberg penal institution . The remaining parts of the historic Nuremberg cell prison , in which the defendants and numerous high-ranking witnesses were imprisoned during the Nuremberg trials, are located on their premises . The courthouse and remand prison east of the cell prison are connected by an underground passage. In the summer of 1945, the US Army built an above-ground wooden connecting corridor between the cell prison and the Palace of Justice, but it has no longer been preserved. The total of 12 follow-up trials against high-ranking representatives of the Nazi regime lasted until 1949.

From 1960 to 1969 the building was gradually evacuated by the US armed forces. At the same time, the building was comprehensively repaired from 1961 to 1977 for 19 million DM for re-use by the judiciary. Over time, some departments have been outsourced. The Nuremberg Public Prosecutor's Office is in the immediate vicinity in Bärenschanzstrasse and a training center is in Muggenhofer Strasse. The Palace of Justice now houses the Nuremberg Higher Regional Court, the Nuremberg-Fürth Regional Court, the Nuremberg District Court and the Nuremberg-Fürth Public Prosecutor's Office. Some departments of the district court are located in their own building in Bottlehofstrasse. A new criminal justice center has been built on the west side of the building according to plans by the Leipzig office ZILA, which the criminal justice department should move into by autumn 2019 (as of autumn 2018) at the latest. Completion was originally planned for the end of 2017. Seven new conference rooms and a large new jury court room are to be built in the new building. This enables the permanent use of the east building as a museum including a visit to the meeting room 600, which has not been possible on negotiating days so far.

Courtroom 600

View of the trial room on September 30, 1946, the defendants on the left. 1st row v. l. Hermann Göring , Rudolf Heß , Joachim von Ribbentrop , Wilhelm Keitel , Ernst Kaltenbrunner , Alfred Rosenberg , Hans Frank , Wilhelm Frick , Julius Streicher , Walther Funk , Hjalmar Schacht . 2nd row: Erich Raeder , Baldur von Schirach , Fritz Sauckel
The jury courtroom 600 in 2012

Today hall 600 is the largest courtroom in Northern Bavaria . There are jury trials and large economic trials in the hall . The jury court room 600 became famous when the Nuremberg trial of the main war criminals and the subsequent trials took place in it after the end of the Second World War from 1945 to 1949 . For this purpose, the rear wall of the hall had been removed, a grandstand set up, additional doors installed and the hall equipped with numerous neon tubes so that films could be made.

The trials of libel during the Weimar Republic between Julius Streicher , publisher of the Nuremberg Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer , and the then Lord Mayor of Nuremberg Hermann Luppe were also significant . Luppe was an advocate of democracy and was regularly exposed to inflammatory slander in Streicher's paper, against which Luppe also defended himself legally. In 1925, Adolf Hitler was summoned as a witness to one of the trials and testified in room 600.

In 1961, the neo-renaissance hall was largely restored to its original state from 1916. The auditorium and the neon lighting were removed and the original rear wall retracted. The largely wood-paneled hall with a profiled coffered ceiling is in the style of the late Neo-Renaissance, which used the forms of the Renaissance in an increasingly abstract way. In place of the tube lighting installed in 1945, inconspicuously built-in ceiling washlights and crystal chandeliers are installed. The seating in the hall is modern. The two marble judge doors show symbols of justice (scales, tablets of the Ten Commandments ) and time ( hourglass with wings and star) in the bronze overhangs . This also marble main entrance of the hall addressed in the bronze Supraporten- cartridge the Fall of Adam and Eve at the tree of knowledge of good and evil as the mythological first commandment violation of man and his punishment by God in the biblical book of Genesis . The cartouche, crowned by fruits, is flanked by naked youths with scarves that personify Germanic law (left, sword ) and Roman law (right, fascis ). Below the cartridge is the severed and winged gorgoneion of Medusa with snake-tipped hair and a face contorted with pain. The head of Medusa is to be interpreted as a symbol of punishment in ancient Greek mythology. A modern bronze crucifix hangs above the judge's chair below the ceiling of the hall. Instead of the usual crown of thorns, Jesus is depicted on the cross with a royal crown.

After the historic Palace of Justice was supplemented with a modern conference room in 2017, the old justice building was placed under the control of the Bavarian Ministry of Finance under the direction of Markus Söder . He planned to firmly integrate the jury court room 600 into the Memorium of the Nuremberg Trials and to prepare the room as it looked at the time of the Nuremberg Trials from 1945.

The jury court room, the place of the main hearing, can be viewed since November 22, 2010 on non- trial days as part of a visit to the permanent exhibition Memorium Nuremberg Trials . During a trial, the courtroom can only be viewed from the museum through four windows. It is not allowed to take pictures of the hall.

The hall has been open to the public every day since 2020, as the hall used for negotiations has been relocated to the west of the newly built criminal justice center.

Individual evidence

  1. Andreas Quentin : For the introduction. In: Higher Regional Court of Nuremberg (ed.): Legal history carved in stone from two millennia. Nuremberg 2008.
  2. ^ Rainer Hambrecht: The rise of the NSDAP in Middle and Upper Franconia (1925-1933) . Nuremberg 1976.
  3. , accessed on July 23, 2018.
  4. By Olaf Przybilla: Hall of the Nuremberg Trials - Söder's new construction site “How much Disney do we need?” Süddeutsche Zeitung, December 20, 2014, accessed on December 29, 2014 .


Web links

Commons : Justizpalast (Nuremberg)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 49 ° 27 '17 "  N , 11 ° 2' 47"  E