RIVERSIDE—Presiding Justice Manuel A. Ramirez today announced that the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Two, will host the fourth Justice John G. Gabbert Historic Oral Argument and Lecture Series on June 9, 2016. The commemoration of the Nuremberg Trials will feature lectures and presentations from legal, historical, and personal perspectives, along with historical and artistic displays.

The event remembers the Holocaust and its victims by reviewing the trials of 22 high-ranking Nazi defendants who were prosecuted for their roles in one of World War II’s most heinous atrocities. It will also feature the personal story of Holocaust survivor Renee Firestone, who was transported from Hungary to Auschwitz, Poland, and discussions on the restoration of stolen artworks to their rightful Jewish owners, as depicted in the movies Woman in Gold and The Monuments Men.

“At the heart of the proceedings was the conviction that justice, not revenge, must guide the Allies’ response to the horrific violations of human rights and dignity inherent in Nazi aggression as exemplified by the Holocaust,” commented Presiding Justice Ramirez. “Out of the Nuremberg process came the principles further developed in the permanent International Criminal Court at the Hague in the Netherlands, which has continued the mission of punishing those who criminally violate international norms of peace and humanity.”

Event Details

Where: Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Two
3389 Twelfth Street Riverside, CA 92501
When: 3:00 p.m., Thursday, June 9, 2016
Paula Garcia, Assistant Clerk/Administrator


Event Overview

  • Following introductory remarks by Presiding Justice Ramirez, Associate Justice Richard D. Fybel from this court’s sister division in Santa Ana will give an overview of the Nazi legal system. 
  • Ms. Liebe Geft, Director of the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, will introduce Renee Firestone, who will give a personal perspective of her experience as a survivor of the Holocaust. In 1944, she and her family were forced onto a crowded train for a three-day trip without food or water from Hungary to Auschwitz, Poland.
  • Professor John Q. Barrett, from the St. John’s University School of Law in New York City—internationally recognized as an authority on the Nuremberg trials and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson—will speak about the legal response to the Holocaust and Justice Jackson’s role. 
  • Christian Buckley, Esq., who has frequently assisted the court in the Gabbert Series, will discuss the prosecution’s opening statement and closing argument and the defendants’ response in the allocutions of various Nazi officers. 
  • Don Burris, Esq., will discuss the Holocaust’s destruction of Jewish culture and its subsequent restoration. Burris and his law partner, Ronal Schoenberg, conducted the litigation that reclaimed the “Woman in Gold” painting for its rightful owner, as portrayed in the recent movie named after the painting. Burris frequently lectures on the return of stolen art, for example, as depicted in another recent film, “The Monuments Men.”
  • The proceedings will close with Presiding Justice Ramirez’s final remarks.
  • Before and after the lectures and presentations, historical and artistic displays and informational videos will be presented at various locations in the courthouse.
  • After the courtroom lectures and presentations, a reception will be held in the library and courtyard. 
  • Tours of the courthouse will also be provided.

Additional Program Contributors and Supporters

The John G. Gabbert family; Liebe Geft, Director, Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles for video, artwork, and exhibits; Aaron Breithart, Senior Researcher, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Los Angeles; Donald S. Burris, Esq., Burris, Schoenberg & Walden LLP for various works of art and exhibits; Amy Cardullo, Director, Riverside Community College District Foundation and Alumni Affairs; and Chris Carlson, Chief of Staff, Chancellor’s Office, Riverside Community College District.