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Nuremberg War Crime Trials Collection: A Sub-group of the Honorable Michael A. Musmanno Papers

 Record Group
Identifier: MSS 002
This collection is a part of a greater collection entitled The Honorable Michael A. Musmanno Papers. This collection deals primarily with the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials directly after World War II. Musmanno was a judge for a number of cases during that time period, his biggest involvement culminating in the Einsatzgruppen Case (Case 9). The Nuremberg War Crimes Trials consists of 24 boxes, about 17 cubic feet of material, as well as bound volumes that are not located in boxes, making up another 11 cubic feet. The records date from 1945-1988 with the bulk dates ranging from 1945-1950. The collection contains documentation from each trial and individual cases, with more focus on the ones he was directly involved in, personal writings, commentary, newspapers, and correspondence to and from Michael A. Musmanno, as well as drafts of his work entitled The Biggest Murder Trial in History. The collection is broken up into series, starting with the bound volumes on the shelves the International Military Tribunal: Trial of Major War Criminals-Nuremberg, Trials of War Criminals-Nuremberg War Crimes Trials and Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression. Those first three series are then followed by the series entitled Trial Documentation which contains 14 subseries, each devoted to a specific case with the last assigned to additional documentation. Series 5 focuses on the writings about Nuremberg, while the last two series are broken up into Correspondence and Clippings respectively. There are no further restrictions on this collection.

Dates

  • 1945 - 1988
  • Majority of material found within 1945 - 1950

Extent

28 Cubic Feet

Biographical / Historical

Michael A. Musmanno was born April 7, 1897, in Stowe Township, Allegheny County, PA. In 1923, he was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar and worked several years as an attorney. He served 4 years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and, in 1932; he began his lifelong career as a jurist. In 1951, he became a Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. During the World War II, Captain Musmanno served as naval aide to General Mark Clark, Fifth Army, during the Italian invasion. Musmanno led the U.S. investigation to determine if Adolf Hitler died at the end of the war. He served as a presiding judge at the Nuremberg War Crime trials and retired from active duty as a rear admiral. During his postwar career he was elected as a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Judge, a position he held until his death. In 1964 Musmanno ran an unsuccessful campaign for United States Senate. Aside from his political career he was a prolific writer, publishing 16 books, including Ten Days To Die, Black Fury, Across the Street From the Courthouse, The Story of Italians in America, and Columbus Was First as well as a number of short stories and articles. Judge Musmanno passed away at the age of 71 on Columbus Day, October 12, 1968.

Series 1: International Military Tribunal: Trial of Major War Criminals-Nuremberg

Series 1: International Military Tribunal: Trial of the Major War Criminals-Nuremberg This series contains the documents from the Nuremberg Trials on the Major War Criminals. The series is an extensive collection of the trials from the first Tribunal, including the testimonies prominent Hitler Associates. It separates the volumes by proceedings starting in November 1945, and running until October 1946. This first half of the series are the transcript copies of the proceedings. The second half of the series is devoted to the evidence presented in the trials. Musmanno had some duplicates of some volumes which has been noted in the finding aid. Series 1 is made up of freestanding bound volumes, meaning they are not in boxes. It takes up about 5 cubic feet. All of the hardback coverings are blue. This series is useful for researchers looking into the Nuremberg Trials and wish to know about the proceedings for this particular Trial grouping.
Series 2: Trials of War Criminals-Nuremberg War Crimes Trials Series 2: Trials of War Criminals-Nuremberg War Crimes Trials This series contains the bound documents from the second Tribunal in the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. The volumes are transcripts and information from each case with this Tribunal. Musmanno was involved in the cases at this level, his most prominent being case 9 the Einsatzgruppen case. Each volume is separated according to case and is noted along the spine. In some instances the case trials are not in order according to case number as seen in the list on the spine. The last volume in the series includes information on how to file documents and procedures for the trials. This particular series dates from December 1946 to October 1948. All of the hardback coverings are green and are freestanding. Series two takes up about 5 cubic feet of space on the shelves. This series is useful for researchers to get a comprehensive look at the second tribunal as a whole, or more information on the individual cases in the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.
Series 3: Series 3: Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Series 3: Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Series three holds the bound documents dealing with the Nazi’s as a collective group and the means they took to achieve their war of aggression against the Jewish people in Germany and the against their enemies. It contains the documents used as evidence in the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. This series was collected by both the American and British staffs at the Tribunals. There are no particular dates for this series at the information collected in these volumes were used throughout the trials. The series itself are bound in red hardback coverings and are free standing on the shelves. The series takes up 1cubic feet of space. This series is useful in that it provides researchers with information about the Nazis and their rise to power as well as their crimes for which they were persecuted during the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.
Series 4: Trial Documentation Series 4: Trial Documentation This series makes up the largest in the collection. Series four contains the documents that Musmanno collected throughout his time during the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. Many of the documents are transcripts from the trials, as well as document books containing information of the evidence used throughout the trials. This series is broken up into 14 different subseries, each one devoted to a separate case. Subseries 1 focuses solely on the Military Tribunal I of the Major War Criminals US et al vs Goering et al, this subseries contains trial transcripts including the indictments, opening and closing statements and document books. This subseries is made up of two cubic feet. The next subseries 2 starts the documentation for the second tribunal, and makes up the documentation for the first case in the second tribunal, US vs Brandt et al. There are not many folders in this subseries and only makes up a portion of one box. Subseries three focuses on Case 2 of Trial 2 US vs Erhard Milch, including the indictments against Milch and his associates as well as opening and closing statements and the document books for the case. This particular series is spread between two boxes and makes up about one cubic feet of space. Subseries four concentrates on Case 3 US vs Alstoetter et al. It holds a copy of the transcripts from this case, with some supplemental documentation. The subseries itself does not have many folders, although it is split between two boxes. Subseries five contains the documents from case 4 US vs Pohl et al, this is one of the larger more extensive subseries in the collection. This particular case deals with the members of the Nazi party that were tasked with running the concentration and extermination camps. There are many documents dealing with the trial directly including the transcripts of the trials along with closing statements. The document books used as evidence make up a large portion of this subseries, as each defendant had his own. There are documents that detail certain aspects of the concentration camps including information on experimentation if Jewish prisoners. Researchers should be aware of some of the graphic nature in these documents. The information located in box 9 contains one folder that holds some photocopied photos taken within the camps. It takes up about 4 cubic feet of space and is located in 5 boxes. Subseries six follows from case 5 US vs Flick et al. This series is made up of a few folders and makes up a portion of one half box. There is one particular folder in this series that holds one particularly fragile document. It is a single sheet that has suffered damage as parts of the page have been torn off. All of the pieces remain in the folder though. Subseries seven has information from case 6 US vs Krauch et al, there are only four folders in this series and they make up a portion of a half box. Subseries eight, case 7 US vs List et al is made up of only a few folders and is split between two different half boxes. Subseries nine case 8 US vs Greifelt et al is another small subseries that makes up only a few folders and a small portion of a half box. Subseries 10 case 9 US vs Ohlendorf et al is also known as the Einssatzgruppen case. This particular subseries is extensive. Musmanno was directly involved in this case, as he was the presiding judge. The Einsatzgruppen were members of the SS within the Nazi regime and were tasked with killing Jewish people as well as other people within Germany. The Einsatzgruppen moved throughout Germany during the Nazi regime. They were charged with mass murder. The documents in this series contain the transcripts from the trials and the document books that were used. Much of it focuses on Ohlendorf and his role in the scheme. While there are not many folders devoted to this trial, more information is located in the bound volumes within the boxes of this subseries. Musmanno had his documents bound in a number of hardback coverings. There appears to be a couple missing volumes and a few have duplicate copies. This series also has one folder of correspondence that deals directly with this trial as well as some statements made about the trial. This subseries is spread between 5 boxes about 3.5 cubic feet of space. Subseries 11 case 10 US vs Alfried Krupp et al is a small subseries consisting of only two folders. Subseries 12 case 11 US vs Ernst von Weizsaeker et al is a small case within series four as Musmanno only saved documents to fill 6 folders. This particular case has some supporting material the defendants in this case were put on trial for their role within Nazi ministries. Subseries 13 case 12 US vs Wihelm von Leeb is another small series of only two folders including the indictment and opening statements. Subseries 14 is made up of all the additional documentation from the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials tribunal 2. There is a number of documentation that dealt with a number of previous cases and were better placed within their own subseries, including additional interrogations of defendants, and information on how to file certain procedures. Furthermore this subseries contains some of the rulings that were made after all of the trials had been completed. There is information about the Nazi’s rise to power in Germany and other pertinent documentation used in the trials. The last couple of folders contain documents that could only fit within this subseries including some correspondence shared with Musmanno about the Nuremberg Trials. This subseries is helpful for researchers trying to get a better idea of Nazi ideology and power as well as information on the final rulings by the head judges in the trials. The series goes in chronological order as that is how the court cases unfolded. The dates in this series range from 1945-1948 and is spread between 16 boxes taking up about 13.5 cubic feet of space. Please be aware that some documents in this series are fragile. This series is great for researchers looking to better understand the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials as there are notes written along the margins as well as some correspondence directly regarding the trials. In additional to the bound works the Musmanno saved.
Series 5: Writings Series 5: Writings This fifth series contains additional documents regarding the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. This series was broken into three subseries. The first on devoted to Musmanno’s writings about Nuremberg. This subseries contains both articles and clippings that he wrote and some commentary relating directly to the trials. While there are few dates listed, much of his writings appeared after the trials were over. Subseries two focuses on his work The Biggest Murder Trial in History. Musmanno wanted to write about his time in Nuremberg and his thoughts during the trials. It focuses more on the time he spent as judge for the Einsatzgruppen case. This work was never published, and was used in part later his book Eichmann Kommandos. The last subseries are articles and clippings written by other outside sources. The dates of the series range 1945-1988, although the bulk dates range from 1947-49. There are many articles in this subseries written by Telford Taylor the chief prosecutor for the United States. The series is useful for researchers because there are some important articles written by both Musmanno and other outside sources that detail different sentiments about the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.
Series 6: Correspondence Series 6: Correspondence This series is devoted to the correspondence that Musmanno had with many different people regarding the Nuremberg War Trials. It was clear that he still regularly conversed with Kitty Billig one of Hitler’s secretaries. The first few folders in the series contain additional correspondence from many other people, but did not warrant their own folder. This series takes up about 1 cubic foot of space and is split between two half boxes. The dates of the series range from 1945-1968, the bulk of the dates ranging from 1948 to 1951. The section of the collection was arranged alphabetically as that was how the first processor decided to arrange the series. This series is useful for researchers as it helps one to better understand Musmanno’s purpose and feelings toward what he believed in his correspondence as well as who regularly conversed with him.
Series 7: Clippings Series 7: Clippings This last series holds the clippings that Musmanno collected regarding the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. The series was split between two different half boxes. The series dates from 1945-1968. There is one folder that was devoted to the clipping that Musmanno wrote, and the additional copies that were collected. The series is arranged chronologically, and were then separated by year within the folder. This series is useful for researchers looking to understand what other newspaper publications were writing about the Nuremberg Trials. It is recommended that one be gentle with the clippings as many are old and fragile.

General

The personal papers and library of the former Pennsylvania State Supreme Court justice, congressman, and author Michael A. Musmanno are located in the University Archives at Duquesne University. Documents include papers from Musmanno’s time as a defense attorney in the Sacco & Vanzetti trial, judge in the Nuremburg Trials, witness in the case against Adolf Eichmann, and interviews with Hitler’s associates. The collection also covers papers related to campaigns to end the Sunday Blue Laws, illegalize the Communist Party and to disband the Coal and Iron Police. This particular collection is an extension of these holdings, containing the papers from Judge Musmanno and his work during the Nuremberg War Crime Trials following World War II. This collection holds trial transcripts and document book used throughout the trials, as well as writings from Musmanno, including articles and his work entitled The Biggest Murder Trial in History, in which Musmanno writes about the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. There is commentary about the trials from other authors, as well as correspondence and newspaper clippings regarding the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. The largest portion of the collection includes the trial documentation for each case within the Trial 2. There is a collection of bound transcripts from all of the Nuremberg Trials, and some have duplicate copies.

Processing Information

Processing Information: Reprocessed and updated by Gina DelGreco, May-July 2016 Processed by Anne Stulken in June 1998, updated by Paul Demilio October 1998
Title
The Honorable Michael A. Musmanno Papers Nuremberg War Crime Trials Collection
Subtitle
Duquesne University Archives and Special Collection
Status
completed
Author
Gina DelGreco
Date
May-July 2016
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English
Edition statement
Processing Information: Reprocessed and updated by Gina DelGreco, May-July 2016 Processed by Anne Stulken in June 1998, updated by Paul Demilio October 1998

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

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