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The Eichmann Trial Collection: A Sub-Group of The Honorable Michael A. Musmanno Collection

Identifier: MSS 004

Scope and Contents

This collection is a part of a greater collection entitled The Honorable Michael A. Musmanno Papers. This collection deals with the Eichmann Trial in 1961. The Eichmann Trial Collection consists of10 boxes, about 5 cubic feet of material. The records date from 1959-1988 with the bulk dates ranging from 1960-1963. The collection contains documentation from the Trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem, Israel. Musmanno was a key witness in the trial against Eichmann, and had much to say about the trial afterwards. The collection contains many of his personal writings, as well others commentary on the trial. This collection holds documents regarding Musmanno’s work The Eichmann Kommandos. The collection is broken up into five series, starting with Legal Documents, followed by Peripheral Trial Documentation. Series 3 focuses on the writings about Eichmann and the trial, while the last two series are broken up into Correspondence and Clippings respectively. There are no further restrictions on this collection.


  • Majority of material found in 1959-1988 ( 1960-63)

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.


5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Series 1: Legal Documents This series contains the transcripts from the Eichmann Trial in 1961. There are a few evidence books that make up a portion of the trial. Musmanno was a witness during the trial and provided documentation that was used during the Nuremberg Trials. His testimony against Eichmann included information received from former Nazi Einsatzgruppen associates. This series takes up about 1.5 cubic feet, and is contained within two boxes. This series is listed in chronological order following the Eichmann Trial. The dates in this series ranges from April to August 1961. This series is useful for researchers looking to understand the Eichmann Trial, and how the man was persecuted for his war crimes.


Series 2: Peripheral Trial Information This series contains some of the information that was used as evidence against Eichmann in the Trial. Much of the information was taken from the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. This collection also contains some speeches and interviews with Musmanno and his immediate opinion on the Eichmann Trial. There is a small section of other commentary regarding the Eichmann Trial. The series is small and is housed in box three. The dates range from 1961-1962.


Series 3: Writings This series is the largest in the collection and contains documents for Musmanno’s book The Eichmann Commandos, additional personal writings, and some commentary about Eichmann and the trials. The series itself is broken up into three subseries, the first being Eichmann Kommandos. Musmanno’s book focuses on Eichmann and his role in the Einsatzgruppen. Parts of it were written after the Nuremberg Trials under another title The Biggest Murder Trial in History. This series includes partial drafts and research as well as some commentary for the book. More importantly, it contains the publishing agreement for the book. This subseries is split between two boxes taking up about 0.5 cubic foot of space. The next subseries Personal Writings contains the documents and articles that Musmanno wrote regarding the Eichmann Trial. The dates range from 1961-1963. There is a surplus of the short work “The Death Sentence in the Case of Adolf Eichmann,” and additional copies of it were placed in box ten. The last subseries Trial Commentary, contains additional thoughts on Adolf Eichmann and the Eichmann Trials. Musmmano, had a good deal to say about Hannah Arendt’s work on Eichmann as there are two folders complied that are devoted to his, and others commentary on her work. The dates of this subseries range from 1959-1988. The entire series itself takes up about 2 cubic feet of space and is located in 5 different boxes. This series is useful for researchers because it provides initial reactions from people regarding the Eichmann Trial, which is especially important as the Nuremberg Trials were completed years prior.


Series 4: Correspondence This series is devoted to the correspondence that Musmanno had with many different people regarding the Eichmann Trial. The series itself is organized chronologically, by year and in some cases by month. Musmanno received and sent many letters about the Trial and about Eichmann. Furthermore, he received a handful of letters from a school in Brooklyn, that are contained within the series. This series takes up about 0.5 cubic feet of space and is split between two half boxes. The dates of the series ranges from 1960-1968. This series is useful as it helps researchers better understand what Musmanno’s motives were for attending the Trial and how he felt about Eichmann.


Series 5: Clippings This is the last series in the collection and is made up of clippings regarding the Eichmann Trial. The clippings were collected from a number of different newspapers across the nation. This series also contains some pamphlets about the Trial, articles that Musmanno wrote about the Trial as well as foreign language press about it. It is located in two half boxes and makes up about 0.5 cubic feet of space. The dates of this collection range 1961-1968. The series is arranged chronologically by year and month when necessary. This series is useful for researchers looking to understand what other newspaper publications were writing about the Eichmann Trials. It is recommended that one be gentle with the clippings as many are old and fragile.


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 participation as a witness in the Adolf Adolf Eichmann trial in Jerusalem. Adolf Eichmann was the Nazi SS official in charge of the deportation of Jews during the Holocaust. Eichmann further implemented the crimes against humanity during the Holocaust, and tactics for the Einsatzgruppen to follow. Eichmann escaped from Germany after World War II and was later found in Argentina. In 1961 he was put on trial in Jerusalem. This collection holds some trial transcripts, especially the ones dealing with Musmanno. The collection also contains some records from the Nuremberg War Trials as additional documentation and evidence against Eichmann. The Eichmann trial led to many discussions commentary, personal writings from Musmanno including articles and his book entitled The Eichmann Kommandos, in which Musmanno writes about the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, and Eichmann’s influence over the members of the Einsatzgruppen. The original working title of this book was The Biggest Murder Trial in History, and parts of it were taken from Musmanno’s previous work. Additional commentary on the trial and Eichmann was found in articles throughout different publications, as well as correspondence and newspaper clippings. The largest portion of the collection includes writings that were generated as a result of the final judgement from the Eichmann Trial. Many people were compelled to discuss the outcome of the trial, and Musmanno devoted a large portion to directly commenting on Hannah Ardent’s work Eichmann in Jerusalem.

The Eichmann Trial Collection: A Sub-Group of The Honorable Michael A. Musmanno Papers
Duquesne University Archives and Special Collection
Gina DelGreco
July 2016
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Edition statement
Reprocessed and updated by Gina DelGreco, July 2016 Processed by Katherine Barbera 2013

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository