Students explore the rise of Nazi Party and Nuremberg Trials in study abroad program

Students explore the rise of Nazi Party and Nuremberg Trials in study abroad program

This January, criminology, law and society students from George Mason University joined a study abroad program to Munich, Nuremberg, and Vienna that looked at the crimes of the Nazi party and efforts at restitution and justice after World War II.

Beginning in Munich, they explored Adolf Hitler’s rise to power and visited Dachau Concentration Camp, which was the first of a large network of camps in Germany and the occupied countries for political prisoners and others perceived threatening to the regime. In Nuremberg, students received guided tours of Courtroom 600 where the trials took place and the Nazi Party Rally Grounds where Hitler hosted large propaganda rallies before the war. The Nuremberg trials initiated the development of international criminal law. In Vienna, the conversation moved to the confiscation and restitution of artwork. The group visited art museums tracking down art that had been stolen or the product of a forced sale, many of which were once owned by Jewish art collectors who fled abroad. Restitution efforts continue to the present day.

The study abroad program was organized by the Global Education Office and led by Dr. Andrew Novak, term assistant professor in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society. Professor Novak regularly teaches an undergraduate course exploring law and justice around the world. Photos of the trip are available on the class Instagram account.