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Interrogation of Hitler Associates Collection: A Sub-Group of the Honorable Michael A. Musmanno Collection

 Record Group
Identifier: MSS 001
This collection is a part of a greater collection entitled The Honorable Michael A. Musmanno Papers. This collection deals primarily with the efforts of Judge Musmanno to determine the truth surrounding the suicide of Adolf Hitler. The Interrogation of Hitler Associates Collection consists of 12 boxes, about 7 cubic feet of material, and one larger box containing oversized material. The records date from 1932-1987 with the bulk dates ranging from 1945-1960. The collection contains interviews, personal writings, screenplays, newspapers, and correspondence from Michael A. Musmanno, as well as commentary, of his work Ten Days to Die, including book reviews, royalty agreements and written contracts for the movie. The collection is broken up into series dealing with the Interrogation of Hitler Associates, a series devoted to Ten Days to Die with one subseries for the book and another subseries for the movies, the next series deals with documents about Adolf Hitler’s death, entitled Hitler Documents. The following series including Musmanno’s writings on Hitler, Writings on Hitler, Correspondence, and Clippings. Finally there are some photocopies and newspapers that were placed elsewhere with oversized material. There are no further restrictions on this collection.

Dates

  • 1939 - 1985
  • Majority of material found within 1945 - 1959

Extent

7 Cubic Feet : 7 cubic feet, with additional oversized materials located in another box

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 twelve 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: Interrogations of Hitler Associates

Series 1: Interrogations of Hitler Associates This series deals specifically with the interviews and interrogations that Judge Michael A. Musmanno conducted on Adolf Hitler’s Associates. The series ranges in time from 1945-1948. This series takes up 3.5 cubic feet, the first four boxes house the interviews and interrogations of Hitler Associates. Box 5 of the series holds additional interviews and supporting materials from Musmanno’s interrogations of Hitler Associates. The last box in the series box 6 holds more supporting material and an additional essay about the Last Days of Adolf Hitler. There are interrogations throughout that particular essay. These interviews were conducted by Musmanno to understand the true nature of Adolf Hitler’s suicide and death. The interviews attempt to understand the final days of Adolf Hitler. Many of these interviews would later be used for his book Ten Days to Die. The series is primarily interviews that have been typed up and translated. In some cases the original German copy has been left with its English translation. There are a few handwritten notes in this series as well. This series is arranged in alphabetical order by last name, as that is how it was originally processed. This is the most extensive series of Collection 1 as much of the rest of the collection is based on this early work to better understand the last days of Adolf Hitler. This is a useful series for anyone doing research on the last days of Adolf Hitler.
Series 2: Ten Days to Die Series 2: Ten Days to Die This series is a compilation of materials relating to Musmanno’s book Ten Days to Die. This series is broken up into two subseries, the first on devoted the book and the second to the movie of the same name. This series ranges in date from 1948-1985 with the bulk dates ranging from 1949-1956. It makes takes up about 2 cubic feet of space. The first three boxes make up the early manuscripts of the book Ten Days to Die, as well as commentary and supporting materials Musmanno used to write the work. The last box makes up movie subseries of this grouping. It contains many copies of the screen plays, and correspondence about the making of the movie in Austria. The Austrian version has the same or similar plot, it was filmed under another title with different actors. The series contains a great deal of correspondence about the book and the movie. There are also great maps and diagrams that Musmanno used to complete his work. Included in the series as well are specific newspaper clippings dealing directly with the move or the book, or its promotion in countries outside of the United States. This is a great resources for anyone looking to see the early sketches of Musmanno’s Ten Days To Die and his creation of the screenplays for the movies. As well as how the rest of the country responded to the completion of the novel.
Series 3: Hitler Documents Series 3: Hitler Documents This third series of Hitler Documents, contains papers about the death of Adolf Hitler and other associates. It hold information about Hitler’s final will and other items that fit better in this kind of series. The series sits made up of six folders and is housed entirely in Box 11, which holds two other series as well. The date range for this series is 1939-1956. There are newspaper clippings included in this series as well.
Series 4: Musmanno Writings on Hitler Series 4: Musmanno Writings on Hitler This series contains the documents that Judge Musmanno wrote after his return from Germany and deal primarily with Adolf Hitler and Associates. Furthermore, Musmanno discusses his own personal feelings towards Hitler and in some cases the atrocities that he witnessed as a result of his work on the topic. Many of the documents are copies of originals, although in most cases the original magazine is included. These documents do not have anything specifically to do with Ten Days to Die and thusly are categorized differently. The dates of this small series ranges from 1945-1968. Made up of 10 folders housed in Box 11. This series is a great resource for any research looking to better understand how Judge Musmanno felt about Hitler or how he responded to other people’s views about Hitler’s Death.
Series 5: Writings on Hitler and Nazis Series 5: Writings on Hitler and Nazis This fifth series contains additional documents regarding Hitler and his Associates. The items here are written by other outside sources. This series is located in both box 11 and 12. The dates of the series range 1944-1983. The series contains articles and many copies of those same articles. There are a few in which the original copy had to be placed with the oversized collection, it is noted on the folder and in the finding aid.
Series 6: Correspondence with Hitler Associates Series 6: Correspondence with Hitler Associates This sixth series entitled Correspondence with Hitler Associates is devoted to the correspondence that Judge Musmanno kept with many of the people he met completing his work on the death of Adolf Hitler. This collection is housed entirely in box 12. The dates of the series ranges from 1943-1961 with the bulk of the dates range from 1947-1955. Musmanno maintained relations with some of the people he met while working to interview Hitler’s Associates. In some cases the people he contacted regularly, worked directly with Adolf Hitler. The series is comprised of mostly correspondence and is arranged in alphabetical order, similar to the first series. A few items of correspondence came with an attached photo that was left together. A large portion of the correspondence comes from Traudl Junge, a secretary for Hitler, and Hanna Reitsch a pilot for the German Airforce. As well as Willy Droemer, who was instrumental in helping Musmanno complete his book Ten Days to Die. The last few folders in the series contain additional correspondence from many other people, but did not warrant their own folder. This series is useful for researchers as it helps one to better understand Musmanno’s purpose in his correspondence as well as who regularly conversed with him.
Series 7: Clippings Series 7: Clippings The last series in the collection contains the clippings that Judge Musmanno collected regarding Hitler and other Nazis as well as the Second World War. The folders are housed in box 12. The dates of this series ranges from 1945-1969. The clippings have been separated by year, although single years with very large collections have been placed in their own folder. For example, 1948, has a large amount of clipping and is therefore housed in its own folder directly behind the folder containing clippings from 1945-1949. Of course the majority of the series is made up of newspaper clippings although there are some articles attached. There are many copies of the same article and the attempt was made to keep as many of these together as possible. This series is useful for historians looking to understand what papers around the country wrote about Hitler and his death, or his actions as well as reinterpretations of the Third Reich years later. It is recommended that one be gentle with the clippings as many are old and fragile.

Introduction

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 of Judge Musmanno and his interviews with Hitler Associates following World War II. Included are the interviews, personal writings about Hitler, subsequent correspondence with associates and newspaper clipping dealing with the rise, life and death of Hitler, as well as writings from outside sources about the topic. His manuscripts for the book Ten Days to Die and later the movie about the book and the last days of Hitler are included in the collection. The largest parts of the collection includes the interrogations of the associates, as there were many copies made of his talks, and the book Ten Days To Die is the compilation of his work with those interviews. The correspondence between Musmanno and Hitler’s associates and the Ten Days to Die series make up another large part of the collection. A small number of oversized materials made up of newspaper clipping and photocopies of clippings were removed and placed in an oversized box and are listed under another collection entitled Oversized Materials.

Processing Information

Processing Information: Reprocessed and updated by Gina DelGreco, April-May 2016 Processed by Anne Stulken in June 1998, updated by Paul Demilio October 1998
Title
Interrogation of Hitler Associates Collection
Subtitle
Duquesne University Archives and Special Collections
Status
completed
Author
Gina DelGreco
Date
April-May 2016
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English
Edition statement
Processing Information: Reprocessed and updated by Gina DelGreco, April-May 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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