Lesson Plan

Title  Courtroom Reenactment: Evidence of Genocide at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial
Subject  U.S. History, European History, World History, Contemporary Issues, Government
Grade(s)  9-12
Standards  CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.1CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.6CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.1CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.9
Number of periods  approximately two, 45-minute periods
Author credits
Keywords  Nuremberg tribunal, crimes against humanity, genocide, United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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Essential questions  What evidence was revealed at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial that heightened attention to human rights and helped lead to the creation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights?
Synopsis  Students participate in a reenactment of testimony from the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial.
Standard Alignment(s) used  Common Core English Language Arts Standards (Literacy in History/Social Studies)
Recommended Teacher Background  Teachers can peruse the Robert H. Jackson website, “Influence of the Nuremberg trial on International Criminal Law,” specifically, section 5, as well as the History Channel’s “Nuremberg Trials” website. For more in-depth background and analysis, Secretary of War Henry Stimson discussed the controversy over the trial in an essay, “The Nuremberg Trial: Landmark in Law,” for the January 1947 issue of Foreign Affairs. See also, Hans Leonhardt, “The Nuremberg Trial: A Legal Analysis,” for the October 1949 issue of The Review of Politics.
Connection to other disciplines  English Language Arts
Number of class periods  approximately two, 45-minute periods


Objectives Standards adressed
 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.  CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.1
 Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.

Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.





Primary Sources

  •  Edited transcript of testimony of William F. Walsh and Maria Claude Vaillant-Couturier taken from The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial, 1945-46: A Documentary History, by Michael R. Marrus.

Secondary Sources

Related resources




  1. Lead-In/Hook: When there is overwhelming evidence against a person, why do we put him or her on trial anyway? (Establish link between a trial and the concept of democracy and civil rights.) What do we learn from a trial? How does our justice system benefit from trials? Is it fair to put someone on trial for a crime that hasn’t been defined yet? Possible discussion could lead toward the idea that besides the purpose of establishing innocence or guilt beyond doubt and considering sentencing options, trials:
    • Allow resolution or closure for victims
    • Allow the public to learn details and weigh moral and ethical dilemmas
    • Allow perpetrators to express or not express remorse
    • Establish grounds for new laws covering unique circumstances born out in the trial.

Near the conclusion of World War II, the Allied leaders considered whether or not to execute political leaders and soldiers of the Axis Powers. Ultimately, they decided against “summary executions” and decided in favor of a brand new concept – the International Criminal Court. The Allies agreed to put on trial captured military and political leaders in the countries where their crimes were committed. In 1945-46 leaders of Nazi Germany were put on trial in Nuremberg, Germany, for breaking established war crimes laws (such as the Geneva Convention) and for a new category of crime – “crimes against humanity,” which included murder, enslavement, and deportation of civilians, crimes on racial and religious grounds, and a newly created term for mass murder of racial or national groups – genocide. The Allied countries, most notably the U.S., Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union, agreed upon procedures for the trial.

The Nuremberg trial heavily influenced discussions of human rights. Information brought to international attention was directly responsible for the creation of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

  1. Pre-assessment and activation of prior knowledge – Teach/reteach/pre-assess elements of the Holocaust, including:
    • The creation of ghettos, most notably in major cities such as Warsaw and Krakow in German occupied Poland.
    • The creation of concentration-death camps, most notably Auschwitz-Birkenau in southern Poland.
    • The role of the French resistance during World War II. (This connects to one of the eyewitnesses in the lesson.)
    • The purpose of the ghettos and concentration-death campsThe Warsaw ghetto was created to round up and imprison about 400,000 Jews within a 1.3-square-mile designated area of the city surrounded by 10-foot walls that separated the ghetto from the rest of the city. More than 300,000 of the inhabitants were eventually deported to the Treblinka killing center. Another 35,000 Jews were killed within the ghetto. In April 1943, expecting to be deported, Jews in the ghetto resisted their German captors with improvised and smuggled weapons. (source: Holocaust Encyclopedia)

2. Step by Step:

  1. After discussing the purpose of the Warsaw ghetto, present the Nuremberg testimony of William F. Walsh as a piece of evidence of genocide against the Jews of Poland. The information can be presented either as written documents to read, or in a courtroom reenactment, which will be detailed here:
    • The Walsh testimony (edited in Appendix 1) requires two speakers, “The President” (Sir Geoffrey Lawrence, a judge and the president of the International Military Tribunal, which put the Nazi defendants on trial) and “Major Walsh” (William Walsh, one of the American prosecutors presenting evidence.)
    • Students can assume the roles of international journalists who were present in the courtroom and communicating to the world what they heard. While listening to the testimony, students can consider the following questions:
      1. Who exactly were the perpetrators of the destruction of the ghetto? Which people should be held responsible for the event?
      2. Should the actions of the Germans in the Warsaw ghetto be considered crimes against humanity? Why or why not? What specific actions?

The questions could be posted during the testimony, along with the definition of “crimes against humanity” established by the International Criminal Court.

2. After the reenactment, students can collaborate in small or large groups to come to a consensus on the above questions.

3. Present the testimony of Maria Claude Vaillant-Couturier as a piece of evidence of genocide against the Jews. According to Michael Marus, her details of the events at Auschwitz were “unfamiliar to the immediate postwar audience” and “the courtroom hushed at Vaillant-Couturier’s testimony. For some, it was simply too much. The New York Herald Tribune reported that on hearing about the atrocities, some of the defendants removed their headphones” (used to hear the translations).

  1. The testimony (edited in Appendix 2) requires two speakers, “Mme. Vaillant-Couturier,” (Madame Maria Claude Vaillant-Couturier, a high-profile French woman, journalist, decorated veteran of the French resistance, and a deputy in the French Constituent Assembly) and “M. Dubost,” (Monsieur Charles Dubost, French deputy prosecutor at Nuremberg)
  2. While listening, students can consider the following questions:
    1. What specific actions qualify as genocide and crimes against humanity?
  3. After the reenactments have been performed, a class discussion could be created around some or all of the following questions:
    1. Was the Nuremberg trial necessary? Why? What value did the testimony of Walsh and Vaillant-Couturier have toward understanding crimes against humanity and genocide? What impact do you think courtroom testimony had on the international audience, many of whom were learning details of the Holocaust for the first time?
    2. What were the strengths and weaknesses of the two sources – a book written by a Nazi commander and recited at Nuremberg compared to eyewitness testimony from a Jewish prisoner at Auschwitz on the witness stand at Nuremberg?
  • What is the importance of hearing about the attitude of the German commanders in praising the activities of the soldiers liquidating the Warsaw ghetto? How is it possible for a culture to exist where murderers receive high praise for their “pluck” and “courage”? Who could or should be held accountable for creating these attitudes? Can spreading of heinous attitudes through education and propaganda be considered a violation of human rights?
  1. As part of a class activity or a homework assignment, assign students to read the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and consider one or more of the following questions:
    1. What specific passages of the U.N. declaration could have resulted from the Nuremberg testimony of Walsh and Vaillant-Couturier?
    2. What are some problems with enforcing the declaration? For example, what if crimes against humanity are perpetrated by the “winning” side? For example, both the Soviet Union and the U.S. engaged in behaviors during World War II that could qualify as crimes against humanity; neither were held accountable after the war. It’s relatively easy for the winning side to capture/arrest perpetrators on the losing side and bring them to justice in International Criminal Court. What happens if perpetrators on the winning side simply choose to ignore a warrant by the ICC? (The U.S., for example, does not recognize the authority of the ICC; furthermore, practices of “extreme rendition” and waterboarding used by the U.S. in recent times could be considered violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 5, regarding torture.)

One Step Farther: How do we address issues such as:

  • “Collective guilt”?– Although many people believed the Holocaust revealed a savage element in the German character, and that all Germans were complicit in the extermination, the Nuremberg court only tried specific people for specific crimes and thus rejected the idea of collective guilt.
  • The “I-was-just-following-orders” defense? The Nuremberg court rejected the notion that following orders is a defense against crimes against humanity. Do you believe the court was correct in rejecting this defense? (For example, can someone be found innocent of committing a war crime if the person would have been put to death if he or she had not committed the crime? Under such circumstances, should a person be found guilty but have a lesser sentence?)
  • Guilt by non-action? Is someone guilty of a war crime if they witness an act of cruelty or murder and do nothing to stop it?

3. Closure:

    The establishment of the International Criminal Court, the definition of crimes against humanity, and the creation of the U.N. declaration helped societies redefine acceptable and unacceptable behavior from the end of World War II up to the present; however, problems persisted. Even though world governments pledged to never allow another Holocaust, they have mostly been unable to encroach on sovereign nations to stop crimes against humanity. What needs to be done?



  • Advanced: Students can analyze the controversy over the war crimes trial, specifically the enforcement of ex post facto laws using the analyses by Stimson and Leonhardt in the “Recommended Teacher Background” section.
  • Struggling: Written transcripts can be provided to students prior to the reenactment. Relevant vocabulary can be discussed beforehand. Students can also review text and photographs from the Warsaw ghetto uprising for more in-depth understanding. The following sources may be useful:



  • Possible extended response questions on a traditional unit test might include any of the questions considered during the lesson, such as: Describe the value of each of the two sources represented in the trial. What advantage does a published book such as “The Warsaw Ghetto Is No More” have over the oral testimony of an eyewitness to the extermination practices in Auschwitz? To what advantage is the eyewitness testimony?
  • A project or research-based assessment might include comparing, contrasting, and analyzing two more modern violations of crimes against humanity – for example, international response to the crisis in the Balkans in the 1990s compared to response to the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Appendix 1:

Edited Transcript for courtroom reenactment of “On the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising,” from pp. 194-6 of The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial 1945-46: A Documentary History, by Michael R. Marus. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 1997.

Major Walsh: I would now like to discuss annihilation within the ghettos. Justice Jackson in his opening address to the Tribunal made reference to Document 1061-PS, “The Warsaw Ghetto Is No More,” marked Exhibit USA-275.

This finest example of ornate German craftsmanship, leather bound, profusely illustrated, typed on heavy bond paper, is the almost unbelievable recital of a proud accomplishment by Major General of the Police Jurgen Stroop, who signed the report with a bold hand. General Stroop in this report first pays tribute to the bravery and heroism of the German forces who participated in the ruthless and merciless action against a helpless, defenseless group of Jews, numbering, to be exact 56,065, including, of course, the infants and the women. In this document he proceeds to relate the day-by-day account of the ultimate accomplishment of his mission – to destroy and to obliterate the Warsaw ghetto. According to this report, the ghetto, which was established in Warsaw in November 1940, was inhabited by about 400,000 Jews; and prior to the action for the destruction of this ghetto, some 316,000 had already been deported.

The President: You are going to read the passages that you think necessary?

Major Walsh: Yes. From page 6 of the translation… I would like to read the boastful but nonetheless vivid account of some of this ruthless action within the Warsaw ghetto:

(Begins reading from book) “The resistance put up by the Jews and bandits could be broken only by the relentless and energetic use of our shock-troops by day and night. On 23 April 1943 the Reichsfuhrer SS issued his order to complete the combing out of the Warsaw ghetto with the greatest severity and relentless tenacity. I therefore decided to destroy the entire Jewish residential area by setting every block on fire, including the blocks of residential buildings near the armaments works. One building after the other was systematically evacuated and subsequently destroyed by fire. The Jews then emerged from their hiding places and dugouts in almost every case. Not infrequently the Jews stayed in the burning buildings until, because of the heat and the fear of being burned alive, they preferred to jump down from the upper stories after having thrown mattresses and other upholstered articles into the street from the burning buildings. With their bones broken they still tried to crawl across the street into blocks of buildings which had not yet been set on fire or were only partially in flames. Often the Jews changed their hiding places during the night by moving into the ruins of burnt out buildings, taking refuge there until they were found by our patrols. Their stay in the sewers also ceased to be pleasant after the first week. Frequently from the street we could hear loud voices coming through the sewer shafts. Then the men of the Waffen-SS, the Police, or the Wehrmacht Engineers courageously climbed down the shafts to bring out the Jews and not infrequently they then stumbled over Jews already dead, or were shot at. One day we opened 183 sewer entrance holes and at a fixed time lowered smoke candles into them, with the result that the bandits fled from what they believed to be gas into the center of the former ghetto, where they could then be pulled out of the sewer holes there. A great number of Jews who could not be counted were exterminated by blowing up sewers and dugouts.

The longer the resistance lasted, the tougher the men of the Waffen-SS Police, and Wehrmacht became. They fulfilled their duty indefatigably in faithful comradeship and stood together as models and examples of soldiers. Their duty hours often lasted from early morning until late at night. At night search patrols, with rags would around their feet, remained at the heels of the Jews and gave them no respite. Not infrequently they caught and killed Jews who used the night hours for supplementing their stores from abandoned dugouts and for contacting neighboring groups or exchanging news with them.

Considering that the greater part of the men of the Waffen-SS had only been trained for 3 to 4 weeks before being assigned to this action, high credit should be given to the pluck, courage, and devotion to duty which they showed. It must be stated that the Wehrmacht Engineers, too, executed the blowing up of dugouts, sewers, and concrete buildings with indefatigability and great devotion to duty. Officers and men of the Police, a large part of whom had already been at the front, again excelled by their dashing spirit. Only through the continuous and untiring work of all involved did we succeed in catching a total of 56,065 Jews whose extermination can be proved.”

The President: Major Walsh, in the section that you are just upon now, ought you not to read the opening paragraphs of this document, which set out the amount of the losses of the German troops?

Major Walsh: I will do so, Sir. On Page 1 of the translation, I quote. The title: “The Warsaw Ghetto is no more.”

(Begins reading) “For the Fuhrer and their country the following fell in the battle for the destruction of Jews and bandits in the former Jewish residential area of Warsaw.”

Fifteen names are thereafter listed.

(Continues reading) “Furthermore, the Polish Police Sergeant Julian Zielenski, born 13 November 1891, 8th Commissariat, fell on 19 April 1943 while fulfilling his duty. They gave their utmost, their life. We shall never forget them.”

Appendix 2:

Edited Transcript for courtroom reenactment of “Testimony on the Gassing at Auschwitz,” from pp. 155-7 of The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial 1945-46: A Documentary History, by Michael R. Marus. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 1997.

Mme. Vaillant-Couturier: We saw the unsealing of the cars and the soldiers letting men, women, and children out of them. We then witnessed heart-rending scenes; old couples forced to part from each other, mothers made to abandon their young daughters, since the latter were sent to the camp, whereas mothers and children were sent to the gas chambers. All these people were unaware of the fate awaiting them. They were merely upset at being separated, but they did not know that they were going to their death. To render their welcome more pleasant at this time – June – July 1944 – an orchestra composed of internees, all young and pretty girls dressed in little white blouses and navy blue skirts, played during the selection, at the arrival of the trains, gay tunes such as “the merry Widow,” the “Barcarolle” from “The Tales of Hoffman,” and so forth. They were then informed that this was a labor camp and since they were not brought into the camp they saw only the small platform surrounded by flowering plants. Naturally, they could not realize what was in store for them. Those selected for the gas chamber, that is, the old people, mothers, and children, were escorted to a red-brick building.

Dubost: These were not given an identification number?

Vaillant-Couturier: No.

Dubost: They were not tattooed?

Vaillant-Couturier: No. They were not even counted.

Dubost:  You were tattooed?

Vaillant-Couturier: Yes, look. [The witness showed her arm.] They were taken to a red brick building, which bore the letters “Baden,” that is to say “Baths.” There, to begin with, they were made to undress and given a towel before they went into the so-called shower room. Later on, at the time of the large convoys from Hungary, they had no more time left to play-act or to pretend; they were brutally undressed, and I know these details from a little Jewess from France.

Dubost:  In Paris?

Vaillant-Couturier: In Paris. She was called “Little Marie” and she was the only one, the sole survivor of a family of nine. Her mother and her seven brothers and sisters had been gassed on arrival. When I met her she was employed to undress the babies before they were taken into the gas chamber. Once the people were undressed they took them into a room which was somewhat like a shower room, and gas capsules were thrown through an opening in the ceiling. An SS man would watch the effect produced through a porthole. At the end of 5 or 7 minutes, when the gas had completed its work, he gave the signal to open the doors; and men with gas masks went into the room and removed the corpses. They told us that the internees must have suffered before dying, because they were closely clinging to one another and it was very difficult to separate them.

After that a special squad would come to pull out gold teeth and dentures; and again, when the bodies had been reduced to ashes, they would sift them in an attempt to recover the gold.

At Auschwitz there were eight crematories but, as from 1944, these proved insufficient. The SS had large pits dug by the internees, where they put branches, sprinkled with gasoline, which they set on fire. Then they threw the corpses into the pits. From our block we could see after about three-quarters of an hour or an hour after the arrival of a convoy, large flames coming from the crematory, and the sky was lighted up by the burning pits.

One night we were awakened by terrifying cries. And we discovered, on the following day from the men working, that on the preceding day, the gas supply having run out, they had thrown the children into the furnaces alive.

Dubost: Can you tell us about the selections that were made at the beginning of winter?

Vaillant-Couturier: During Christmas 1944 – no, 1943, Christmas 1943 – when we were in quarantine, we saw, since we lived opposite Block 25, women brought to Block 25 stripped naked. Uncovered trucks were then driven up and on them the naked women were piled, as many as the trucks could hold. Each time a truck started, the infamous Hessler ran after the truck and with his bludgeon repeatedly struck the naked women going to their death. They knew they were going to the gas chamber and tried to escape. They were massacred. They attempted to jump from the truck and we, from our own block, watched the trucks pass by and heard the grievous wailing of all those women who knew they were going to be gassed.

Appendix 3:

United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6. Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7. All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8. Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10. Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11. (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.

(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14. (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.

(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15. (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.

(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16. (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17. (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21. (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22. Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23. (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.

(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24. Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25. (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26. (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27. (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28. Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29. (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.

(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.

(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.