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The Judicial ImaginationWriting After Nuremberg$
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Lyndsey Stonebridge

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748642359

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748642359.001.0001

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‘An event that did not become an experience’: Rebecca West's Nuremberg

‘An event that did not become an experience’: Rebecca West's Nuremberg

(p.23) Chapter 1 ‘An event that did not become an experience’: Rebecca West's Nuremberg
The Judicial Imagination

Lyndsey Stonebridge

Edinburgh University Press

Rebecca West's writing on the Nuremberg trial is a record of an absence at the very centre of what was intended to be the most emphatic dramatisation of postwar justice. West wrote that Nuremberg ‘was an unshapely event, a defective composition, stamping no clear image on the mind of the people it had been designed to impress. Nuremberg was one of the events that do not become an experience’, and it took place in a time before ‘the era of the witness’. Its legal originality rested with two charges unique in legal history: crimes against the peace and crimes against humanity. Since Black Lamb, West had been convinced that the real political threat to the world was the inward turn of European imperialism. The lesson she took with her from Nuremberg was that the little figures were still running.

Keywords:   Rebecca West, Nuremberg, postwar justice, crimes, peace, humanity, Black Lamb, European imperialism

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