Judgment at Nuremberg *a reflection by Morgan Frick*

The University of Florida's very own Curtis M. Phillips Center, an exquisite auditorium, perfect for hosting all sorts of performances.

The Spatial Experience

SEQUENCE OF EVENTS: 1) Excitement before entering the wonderful Phillips Center, 2) Heightened excitement- it's even bigger closer up! 3) FINALLY inside! Made it to the West Foyer....Can barely contain the excitement as I wait in line to pick up my ticket, 4) Inside the lobby, just waiting until showtime.

Upon Entering the auditorium, the first thing that struck me was the size of the room. Rows upon rows of seats sat underneath the cavernous ceiling, which almost reminded me of a sort of observatory (a connection that makes sense, given that the purpose of that auditorium is for people to watch and observe the performance). The stage sat on the far side of the room, with all the rows of seats angled downwards on an incline so that all focus led straight to the stage. My seat was relatively near the center of the room, but a little towards the left, giving me the perfect spot to sit and watch without any distractions on the periphery. When the lights dimmed and the audience quieted (excluding the two girls sitting behind me), the stage and the performance had my undivided attention. The hugeness of the room contributed to the experience, because in comparison, we as individuals seemed so small, and it was only natural for us to look up towards the large stage, lit with spotlights and activity of the actors. Placement plays a major role in the Good Life. One must be in a good place, both mentally and physically, to achieve the good life. Mentally, a person must be in a sound state of mind, free of trite distraction, and physically that person must place themselves where they need to be to pursue the Good Life.

THE social experience

(without written permission, I could not include the faces of these people, so I fixed the picture)

I attended this performance with a number of people, 2 close friends, one new friend, 3 kind people I met on the bus on the way there, and an abundance of strangers. To get ready for the performance, we all read the brief description on the Judgement at Nuremberg, to get some background on the performance we were about to watch, and we dressed in business-casual outfits as instructed. Attending with friends definitely enhanced my experience, because I not only got my own reaction to the performance, but I observed and got to reflect on how they reacted to the performance. Some reacted differently, a few were deeply moved, and others remained indifferent. Shared experiences are vital to the Good Life, because, although it is possible to enjoy something alone, it is even better to have someone else be apart of it. It is more fulfilling, in that you get your own input as well as their opinion, and humans are social creatures, so we generally like to do things together.

cultural and intellectual experience

Before attending the performance, I did have some knowledge on this subject. I have taken classes and learned much about the Holocaust, as well as the trials against those involved following the end of WWII. The central issue in the performance seems to be justice on the issue, especially in regards to the judges who served during the Holocaust, and whether or not they are liable to the awful things their jurisdiction led to during that time. Many good points were brought up throughout the performance, notably how, in those bleak times, these judges were basically forced to join the dark side and so as Hitler said, or resign (sometimes forced to resign), and perhaps be punished in an even worse way. The argument in favor of the judges' innocence is compelling, that for them to make jurisdiction on issues in accordance with the heinous laws was practically their only option. Some people might even sympathize with the judges (to an extent) but thinking that they had no other choice but to do it; however this performance opened my eyes to the fact that it is completely ludicrous to say there is only ever one option. Sure, they may have been punished if they followed their morals and did not abide to Germany's absurd, prejudiced laws at the time, but that is not an excuse for doing what they did. The one judge who was silent at first, but finally spoke up and admitted his guilt in the end fully understood this fact.

Post performance, absorbing the themes of the performance and appreciating it all.

An additional issue that is addressed in this performance was the battle between doing what is right and what is best for the country. The American judge decides to make a decision that will make Germany mad at America, but he does it for the greater good. He knows that if these criminals are let off the hook just because they did not directly kill anyone, then the issues and corruption will rage on and the line will never be drawn. The subject matter does not have any relation to specific things going on in my life, but in a general sense it does. Basically, in anyone's life, it is important to do the right, moral thing, even if that may upset other people. To achieve the proper Good Life, one must do what is right, and work towards the greater good.

emotional experience

Judgement at Nuremberg provides us an opportunity for catharsis, because it provides us a clear example of why it is important to do the right thing, even despite the possible repercussions, social, political, or otherwise, that may ensue. The katharsis in this comes from how watching this theme in the performance allows us to reflect on our own life and how we handle similar situations. In extreme issues, such as the Nuremberg trials, the right answer seems obvious, but in our everyday life, they seem more convoluted, and we are inclined to act more selfishly or cowardly and go with the wrong option. Through performances such as this, we can look into our decisions, and hopefully move on to lead more moral lives in pursuit of the Good Life.

Picture citation:

Judgment at Nuremberg. Digital image. Http://pdxretro.com/wp- content/uploads/2011/12/judgement-at-nuremberg-dvd.jpg. N.p., n.d. Web.

UF Phillips Center. Digital image. Https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:UF_Phillips_Center.JPG#file. N.p., n.d. Web.

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