Nuremberg first rose to prominence as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire, as the Imperial Diet and courts met at Nuremberg Castle to administer the bureaucracy of the empire. Later, the Nazi Party capitalized on the city's importance by holding extensive rallies there, and the city became an important production and military center during World War II. It also served as the site for the Nuremberg Trials, wherein many German officials stood trial for crimes against humanity.
Nuremberg was an important trading city in the Middle Ages due to its position at an intersection of several trading routes. While this brought riches and cultural diversity to the city, it also brought the Black Death to Nuremberg seven times between 1405 and 1534.
Filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl filmed a 1934 Nazi rally in Nuremberg, and the footage eventually became the propaganda film titled "Triumph of the Will." In 1935, Hitler ordered the Nuremberg Reichstag to issue laws stripping the citizenship of all Jewish and non-Aryan Germans, the first step toward the horrors of the Holocaust.
After World War II, a tribunal of judges and prosecutors from across the Allied countries put 24 German officials on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The court declined to charge two of the defendants and acquitted three more. Of the 19 remaining, 12 received the death penalty, while the remaining seven received prison terms for their crimes.