Oral History

Drexel Sprecher describes war-damaged Nuremberg

Drexel Sprecher was educated at the University of Wisconsin, the London School of Economics, and at the Harvard School of Law before receiving a position at the US Government's Labor Board in 1938. He enlisted in the American military after the United States declared war on Germany, and was posted to London. After the war, Sprecher served as a prosecutor of Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg trials.


The downtown part of Nuremberg, the old city, had been bombed to a fare-thee-well. There were very few buildings standing. The wall of the old city was standing in most cases, but in some cases some of the turrets had been blown off from it, and some of... much of the wall was pockmarked by explosions, either from bombs or from shells. And there were, some cases you, even when I went back to Nuremberg 20, 25 years after the trial, you could see where these parts of the old city wall had been bricked up and fixed over because they had a different sheen than what the old wall had. The Grand Hotel, when we first came there, which became the center for most of the visitors in Nuremberg passing through. We were there for the first week of our stay in Nuremberg in August. And the front part of that building to the right of the entrance was still, a bomb had fallen and just blown it to smithereens. And by the time we got there they had scaffolding up and were beginning to repair it. And when we went up to our rooms on the fourth floor we had to walk on little planks holding onto guide rails as we crossed part of this chasm that had been created by this bomb.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum
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