»›What was deemed fully legal at the time ...‹ – Soldiers and civilians tried before the courts of the military«

Picture: The travelling exhibition at the St. Johannes-Evangelist-Kirche in Berlin

Proceeding from an initiative launched by its executive committee and in accordance with its mission to also keep alive the memory of the non-Jewish victims of National Socialism, the Foundation, in cooperation with the Foundation Memorial Sites in Saxony, the Memorial of the German Resistance and the National Association of Victims of Nazi Military Justice, created a travelling exhibition on Nazi military justice. The exhibition deals with injustice and arbitrary procedures in National Socialist military justice. It is designed to serve to better anchor in society the process of legal rehabilitation of its victims, which did not become a reality in law until 2002. It is financed by the Government Commissioner for Cultural Affairs and Media.

The presentation focuses on case stories involving individuals who were not only sentenced as deserters but also those found guilty of »demoralizing the defense forces« (so-called Wehrkraftzersetzer) or of »exercising a destructive influence on the folk community« (so-called Volksschädlinge). It will also include biographies of members of the resistance in Nazi-occupied Europe. A total of at least 22,000 persons were executed in connection with such »offenses«, and countless others died in camps or on penal gangs. The case stories will be embedded in comprehensive surveys on the history of German military justice between 1871 and 1939. The exhibition also looks at the exclusion of surviving victims of German military justice in the two Germanies after WW II, and their long neglect by the authorities.

After the initial presentation at the St. Johannes-Evangelist-Kirche in Berlin, the exhibition has so far been on display in 42 cities across Germany and Austria.

For further information on the project, please contact Dr. Ulrich Baumann, curator of the exhibition and research associate of the Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

For information about the rental conditions of the travelling exhibition, please see the attached pdf file (in German only).

Exhibition Catalogue


The catalogue offers visitors of the travelling exhibition more detailed information on the history of military justice under National Socialism. Initially the system of Nazi military justice and the central core of its injustice are described. Selected case studies thematise the focus of the exhibition, intended to memorialise the victims of military courts and their justice. A contribution on the practice of judgment and biographies of the judges show just how willingly even military judges not closely allied with the regime absorbed National Socialist thinking and the ideology of the folk community into their judicial practice. The biographies of individual judges and the section on the exclusion and failure to deal with victims of military justice in the two post-war Germanies make abundantly clear the continuity in discrimination down into the most recent period. The victims were not legally rehabilitated until 2002.

Stiftung Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas (Publisher)
»What was deemed fully legal at the time ... – Soldiers and civilians tried before the courts of the German military«
Berlin, 2017

ISBN 978-3-942240-26-0
Price: € 15
available: at the Memorial's museum shop and under