This story began with the unearthing of love letters exchanged between David and Sylvia Maxwell Fyfe while he was prosecuting for the UK at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. Not only did they form an intimate portrait of their lives, but a history of significant times.
Hidden amongst them were speeches, papers and memorabilia, all waiting to share their secrets. Throughout the trials Maxwell Fyfe made important contributions and these are all recorded in transcripts. Most notable was his cross-examination of Goering (' widely considered the most significant cross-examination of modern times' - Faculty of Advocates, Edinburgh), and his closing statement aginst the Nazi organisations. But there are also reports from contemporary newspapers, and extracts from ‘The Wishing Doll’, a series of stories written at that time by David Maxwell Fyfe for his daughter Miranda.
Explore the letters month by month by clicking on the tile.
The Human's in the Telling is a story of historic events that has been over 20 years in the making.
When, in 1998, Tom first brought home the boxes of his grandfather's papers that had secretly lain in the vaults of Allen & Overy for over 30 years,
our daughter Lily was 2 years old, Robert not yet born, and we had no idea as he unpacked the collection of papers, letters and transcripts,
what a large part the contents were going to have in our future life together...
This book supports the commemorative performances of Dreams of Peace & Freedom to be given in the build-up to the anniversaries of the opening of The Nuremberg War Crimes Trials and the signing of the European Convention on Human Rights in November 2020.
It will also support the outreach programme to young people in human rights organisations in the 47 signatory states to the Convention, as we share our story of our human rights hero to encourage them to share theirs.
Offering more detail and context to the words in the song cycle, The Human's in the Telling, Letters, Transcripts Blogs and Tweets combines further extracts from the letters exchanged between David and Sylvia Maxwell Fyfe, government papers from the
National Archive, commentary and observation, to support commemorative performances of Dreams of Peace & Freedom.
In addition, it tells how we, members of his family, have told his story, focusing on Lily and Robert who have grown up with the project and are now its principals. In this scrapbook we informally assemble key documents that are signposts on David Maxwell Fyfe's journey from Nuremberg to Strasbourg alongside our journey researching them. It will bring these parallel stories alive as his letters & transcripts, and our blogs and tweets, are all organised as one calendar year, so that events from different years and stories can juxtapose, chime and jar.
During the time leading up to the 2020 anniversaries, the political climate has become increasingly turbulent, and we are aware that the issues raised by our family history are topical, and more controversial than we may have first thought. On social media we have reflected current events through the prism of our story, and a selection of these are also part of our book, and our story telling.
Against the background of the present political climate
Maxwell Fyfe's journey from Nuremberg to Strasbourg seems more important than ever.
Explore sample pages from the book below.