Rolfe is an ingenious defense attorney who knows how to twist around any argument the prosecution presents and turn it to his advantage, by leveling the playing field, rationalizing away decisions, and chalking it all up to patriotism. He focuses on the future and how this court decision will impact the citizens of Germany. He says he wants to leave the German citizens a “shred of dignity.” He argues that they should look to the future, not behind them. Rolfe deeply understands the concepts behind the problems that faced Germany during the Nazi regime and factors them into his arguments. His opponents and even his client acknowledge his “brilliant use of logic.” Rolfe urges the judges to accept a clear, honest evaluation of the crimes, and states that the German people are on trial, rather than a panel of Nazi judges. He says it must take great courage to sit in judgment of such great men. Rolfe believes the prosecution is biased, and hangs much of his defense on ruthless cross-examinations, sometimes bringing people to tears while tearing them apart on the witness stand. He doesn’t enjoy doing this but finds it necessary to prove his case. Rolfe is deeply principled and empathetic toward the suffering of the Jews under the previous regime, but also devotedly proud of his country despite its faults. He has passion and conviction that he throws into his arguments.

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Rolfe states up front that he absolutely believes people who did wrong things should receive punishment, and that he also judges those who committed atrocities under Hitler, but he believes his client is not fully responsible for the actions he committed on the bench. He abides by the rule of law in all his arguments and doesn’t exploit any loopholes. Rolfe is apologetic for the wrong done to others, and empathizes with them, is notably moved when he observes the horrific scenes of the Holocaust, and even apologizes when he goes too far. He balances out his passion and pride with a sense of justice and fairness and a desire to see a “good man” forgiven for his wrongdoing.