First thing you must understand about these men is that they are war criminals. Their rank means nothing. There is to be no exchanging of salutes or any other military courtesies.
~ Andrus, briefing his men.

Colonel Burton C. Andrus was a hero introduced in the 2000 television movie Nuremberg.

Col. Andrus was portrayed by Michael Ironside, who had also portrayed Jester in Top Gun.

After the Second World War Andrus was appointed to run the prison at Nuremberg, Germany that was set aside to hold high ranking Nazis that had been taken prisoner by the Allies.

Feeling that the men were all war criminals, he was determined that they would live under a strict regimen until their trials were concluded and they were sentenced appropriately. After prisoner Robert Ley committed suicide, Andrus approached the psychologist Gustave Gilbert for advice about how to keep anyone else from killing themselves. Even though Andrus did not care much for Gilbert or psychologists in general, he agreed to implement some of Gilbert's recommendations as long as Gilbert reported to Andrus about what the prisoners told him. Meanwhile Andrus implemented a number of anti-suicide measures, including having the men watched round the clock by the guards.

After Hermann Goering nearly had a heart attack after a scuffle with a guard, Andrus ordered that Lt. "Tex" Wheelis personally oversee Goering, and that Goering's health was to be his top priority. Andrus wanted Goering to be in the best of health when they hanged him. Andrus worked hard to minimize Goering's influence over the other prisoners, and isolated him at the request of Robert Jackson and Gilbert.

At the conclusion of the trial, Goering and several other Nazis were sentenced to death while most of the others were moved to permanent facilities, or were freed after being found not guilty. Andrus was furious when Goering committed suicide before Andrus could see him hanged, feeling that Goering had cheated justice by determining his own fate. He had to content himself with hanging the seven other Nazis who had been sentenced to death.


The real Col. Andrus did not witness the executions of the Nazis sentenced to death at the tribunals, feeling that he had spent too much time with them to watch them die. After Nuremberg Andrus was assigned to a state side post. He later served at a post in Brazil before retiring from the Army in April, 1952. After his military service Andrus worked as a college professor before his death in 1977.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+