Nuremberg at Latin: The 43rd Annual Nazi Mind Trial

Nuremberg at Latin: The 43rd Annual Nazi Mind Trial

Nina Burik, Staff Writer
Two weeks ago on Sunday marked Latin’s 43rd Nazi Mind trial, however the course and its judicial proceedings have certainly changed over the years. The most notable difference in recent years has been the class’s change in leadership. In the wake of Mr. Fript’s retirement, Mr. Cruz and Dr. June have taken over the legendary course. So how has this alteration, among many others, reshaped the renowned Nazi Mind trials?
In response to this question, sophomore Charlie Williams shared her thoughts. She described the ways in which Dr. June and Mr. Cruz have worked to decrease the academic strain that notoriously comes with the class. “June and Cruz have really worked well to make it a less stressful time period and to focus on mental health throughout the Nazi Mind process,” she said. Although the course remains immensely demanding, organizational changes have been implemented in an effort to reduce anxiety within the class.
“The teachers spaced it out really well; they gave us an entire sheet with all of the due dates on the first day when we were working with the trial,” Williams said. For this reason, students have found more time to consider the significance of Nazi Mind’s serious topics. With more time dedicated to understanding the content, Williams feels that, “Nazi Mind has taught me how to ask the right questions.” Despite how the class has changed compositionally, Williams vocalized an ever-present factor of Nazi Mind; “It taught me as student to stand up for what I believe in and not change what I believe in based on what other people around me are doing.”
Vivie Koo ‘22 furthered Williams’ claims. She said, “from talking to my mom and sister who both took the class, it seems that the classwork from the past two years of the course has been more manageable than in previous years.” She did confirm a change in workload leading up to the trial, yet Koo emphasized that the trial itself had not been redesigned over the years. She said “the trials, that make this class so special, have been kept the same.” 
Similarly to Williams, Koo felt that even with a more manageable workload, the true difficulty of the class, the emotional effect, persists. “Nazi Mind has changed the way I look at the world, and I don’t think I can ever unhear, unread, or unlearn what I have accomplished to understand in the past few months of my life.” Regardless of what scheduling refinements or stress reduction strategies are executed, the material’s seriousness and sensitivity is unavoidable.
Contrary to the words of Williams and Koo, Mr. Cruz feels as though Nazi Mind has notably changed in recent years. When asked to comment on this year’s trial, he said, “some of the cases were different from last year, but they were cases that this class has tried before.” Even though the trials themselves varied from those in the past year, they were not new cases to the curriculum. Besides this, Mr. Cruz said, “the biggest difference is that we tried to use less paper, so we switched the traditional document books for eBooks.” In previous trials, Nazi Mind has used large textbooks and printed documents. Yet in today’s day and age, Mr. Cruz and Dr. June felt it was time to modify this outdated aspect of the class. Mr. Cruz said that this shift “changed a few of the details of how the trial worked, mostly behind the scenes with the judges,” but it was well worth it. Having said that, in spite of the mediums through which students learn the course’s content (on paper or digitally), the material itself remains constant.
It is hard to believe that a class as old as Nazi Mind has only experienced a few slight modifications over its lifetime. While changes in leadership, reorganization of work, and the transition to eBooks have all occurred, at its core, Nazi Mind remains unchanged. The significance and importance of the class continues to resonate with students. In Koo’s words, “our generation can’t consider the Holocaust and the Nazi Regime history . . . antisemitism still lingers into the world today.” 
Perhaps, this is the beauty that comes with such a timeless course; it explores issues that are ever-relevant while its impact remains ever-present.