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Phillips Nuremberg Trials Collection: The Trials

Materials donated to the law school by General Eugene Phillips.

Women at Nuremberg

Cecelia Goetz Spiegel (1917 - 2004)  

Professor Diane Marie Amann, Emily and Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law, publishes extensively on international law and law of war issues.

  Cecelia Goetz appearing for the prosecution in the Krupp trial

Barbara Buttery Pinion Bitter (1918 - 2013)

During the war, Bitter worked at Bletchley Park as a research analyst. She spoke fluent German and was busy studying German fighter codes, tactics, and locations. After the war Telford Taylor recruited her to go to Nuremberg as a document analyst. The bulk of her job was the translation of German documents that became part of the massive document books entered into evidence.

Bitter sat in on some of the trial proceedings and attended an interrogation of Albert Speer.

General Telford Taylor, Chief of Counsel for War Crimes, is at the podium

 

  • Guy Walters, The Nuremberg typist and the translator, London Times, May 5, 2012, online
  • Remembrance

 

 

Trial Preparation

American Organization for Prosecution of German War Criminals

  • William F. Fratcher
  • 13 Mo. Law Rev. 45 (1948)

Aspects of the Nuremberg Trial
Robert Grier Stephens, Jr.

Stephens was a graduate of Georgia Law (LL.B, '41). He served on the prosecution staff for the first trial of the major war criminals in Nuremberg. After his military service he taught at UGA in the law school and the Department of Political Science and served as Athens city attorney. He was elected to the Georgia state legislature (1951-1959) and then represented Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives (1960-1976).

The Robert Grier Stephens, Jr. Papers (1961-1976) are held by the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries.

Abbreviations and Designations

OKW - Oberkommando der Wehrmacht; part of the command structure of the Wehrmacht with nominal oversight

NSDAP - National Socialist German Workers' Party; referred to as the Nazi Party

NSFK - National Socialist Flyers Corps

NSKK - National Socialist Motor Corps

RKFDV - Reich Commission for German Resettlement and Population Policy

RuSHA - SS Race and Settlement Main Office

SA -  abbreviation for Sturmabteilung, meaning storm detachment or assault division; the original paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party and the first group to develop pseudo-military titles for its members.

SS - abbreviation for Schutzstaffel, meaning protection squadron or defense corps; a major paramilitary organization under the Nazi Party

  • Gestapo - official secret police of Nazi Germany and German-occupied Europe; a branch of the SS
  • SD - abbreviation for Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers-SS; the intelligence agency of the SS; the first Nazi Party intelligence organization to be established
  • Waffen-SS - was created as the armed wing of the SS
  • WVHA - abbreviation for Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt;  responsible for managing the finances, supply systems and business projects

Stabsarzt -  medical officer

Wehrmacht  - the unified armed forces of Germany from 1935 to 1945, consisting of the Heer (army), the Kriegsmarine (navy) and the Luftwaffe (air force).

Paramilitary titles used by Nazi organizations like the SA, SD, and SS. The ranks were not always directly equivalent to traditional military ranks. Particularly during the period of 1932-1945 new ranks were created to expand the officer corps.

  • Obergruppenführer - Lieutenant General
  • Generalleutnant - Lieutenant General
  • Gruppenführer - Major General
  • Brigadeführer - Brigadier General
  • Oberführer - Senior Colonel
  • Standartenführer - Colonel
  • Obersturmbannführer - Lieutenant Colonel
  • Sturmbannführer - Major
  • Hauptsturmführer - Captain
  • Obersturmführer - First Lieutenant
  • Untersturmführer - Second Lieutenant

Nazi Party political  titles

Abschnittsleiter

  • Abschnittsleiter - replaced Ortsgruppenleiter; middle level administrative rank on the Kries (County), Gau (Region), and Reich (National) Party Levels.
  • Ortsgruppenleiter - chief Nazi Party official in a municipal area

The Thirteen Nuremberg Trials

When the Nuremberg* trials are mentioned most people are aware of the first trial. The one which included Herman Goerring. This trial of German war criminals was held by the International Military Tribunal (IMT). The IMT proceeding, between November 14, 1945 and October 1, 1946, was held under the aegis of an international court with judges and prosecutors from the United States, Great Britain, the Provisional Government of France, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The proceedings were conducted in four languages with simultaneous voice translations and documents translated into four languages. The IMT prosecuted those major war criminals who were the leaders of the Nazi regime.

The Nuremberg Military Tribunals (NMT) began in October 1946 and continued through May of 1949. These trials focused on many of the actual perpetrators of the war crimes. These trials were held before U.S. military courts, not before the IMT, but took place in the same rooms at the Palace of Justice. The judges and prosecutors of these war criminals were exclusively American. All documents were available to both prosecutors and defense attorneys in English and German. Simultaneous translation of the entire procedure was available in both languages. Collectively the trials are known as the "Subsequent Nuremberg Trials", formally the "Trials of War Criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals" (NMT).

Brigadier General Telford Taylor was the Chief of Counsel for War Crimes. In essence he was the chief prosecutor for the NMT. A number of civilian and military attorneys acted as chief prosecutors in individual trials.

 

IMT Major War Criminals (USA, France, UK, and USSR
      v. Hermann Goering et al. 1945-46)
NMT 1 Medical Case (USA v. Karl Brandt et al. 1946-47)
NMT 2 Milch Case (USA v. Erhard Milch 1946-47)
NMT 3 Justice Case (USA v. Josef Altstoetter et al. 1947)
NMT 4 Pohl Case (USA v. Oswald Pohl et al. 1947)  
NMT 5 Flick Case (USA v. Friedrich Flick et al. 1947)
NMT 6 I. G. Farben Case (USA v. Carl Krauch et al. 1947-48)
NMT 7 Hostages Case (USA v. Wilhelm List et al. 1947-48)
NMT 8 RuSHA Case (USA v. Ulrich Greifelt et al. 1947-48)
NMT 9 Einsatzgruppen Case (USA v. Otto Ohlendorf et al. 1947-48)
NMT 10 Krupp Case (USA v. Alfred Krupp et al. 1947-48)
NMT 11 Ministries Case (USA v. Ernst von Weizsaecker et al. 1947-49)
NMT 12 High Command Case (USA v. Wilhelm von Leeb et al. 1947-48)

Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10

The 15-volume series, also known as “The Green Series,” focuses on the 12 trials of almost 200 defendants. This publication by the United States Government Printing Office is the official abridged record of the individual indictments and judgments, as well as the administrative materials that were common to all the trials.

  • Volume 15 "Procedure, Practice and Administration"

*Also spelled Nuernberg and Nurnberg.

Additional Trials

• Auschwitz Trial - Poland's Supreme National Tribunal  tried 40 former staff of the Auschwitz concentration camps. The trials, held in Kraków, began November 24, 1947 and ended on December 22, 1947. The town, Oświęcim in Polish, is located 30 miles west of Kraków.

Auschwitz was actually a series of camps: Auschwitz I (the original camp), Auschwitz II–Birkenau (combination concentration/extermination camp), Auschwitz III–Monowitz (labor camp to staff an IG Farben factory), and 45 satellite camps.

• Belsen Trial - A British military tribunal tried 45 former SS men, women, and kapos (prisoner functionaries) who had worked at various concentration camps, notably Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. The trial was held in Lüneburg, Lower Saxony, Germany beginning on September 17, 1945 and running through November 17, 1945. The village of Belsen is part of the town of Bergen in the state of Lower Saxony in northern Germany.

• Bełżec Trial* - Beginning January 18, 1965, the 1st Munich District Court tried eight former members of the SS who had worked at Bełżec extermination camp. The trial ended on January 21, seven of the defendants were acquitted. Bełżec is a village in eastern Poland that served as a railway hub.

• Buchenwald Trial** -  The trial took place from April 11 to August 14, 1947 in the internment camp of Dachau. In this trial, 31 people were indicted for war crimes related to the Buchenwald concentration camp and its satellite camps. Buchenwald means "beech forest" and the camp was constructed in a forest near Weimar, Germany.

• Chełmno Trials -  The first trial took place in 1945 at the District Court in Łódź, Poland. The defendants were members of the SS-Sonderkommando Kulmhof (Special Detechment Chelmno). Beginning in 1962 four additional trials took place, first in  Bonn, Germany and concluding in 1965 in Cologne. The town, also known as Kulm or Culm, is in northern Poland.

• Dachau Camp Trials** - Forty camp officials were tried, 36 of the defendants received death sentences on December 13, 1945. The condemed included the former commandant Martin Gottfried Weiss and the camp doctor Claus Schilling. Smaller groups of camp officials and guards were included in several subsequent trials by the U.S. court.

• Dora Trail** - Also known as the Dora-Nordhausen or Mittelbau-Dora trial. Another American military tribunal held at Dachau between August 7 and December 30, 1947. Nineteen men were accused of war crimes committed in the operation of the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp, its many subcamps, and the Mittelwerk armaments plant located near Nordhausen, Germany. The trial also addressed the question of liability of Mittelwerk V-2 rocket scientists.

• Flossenbürg Trial** - The trial took place in Dachau from June 12, 1946 until January 22, 1947. An American military tribunal tried 46 former staff from Flossenbürg concentration camp for crimes of murder, torturing, and starving the inmates in their custody. Flossenbürg is a municipality in Bavaria.

• Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials - Also referred to as the "second Auschwitz trial," this was a series of trials running from December 20, 1963 to August 19, 1965, Twenty-two defendants were charged under German criminal law for their roles in the Holocaust as mid- to lower-level officials in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps. Eventually only 789 individuals of the approximately 6,500 surviving SS personnel who served at Auschwitz and its sub-camps were ever tried.

• Majdanek Trials - The series of trials are characterized as the longest Nazi war crimes trial in history, spanning over 30 years. The first judicial trial of Majdanek extermination camp officials took place from November 27, 1944, to December 2, 1944, in Lublin, Poland. The last one, held at the District Court of Düsseldorf began on November 26, 1975, and concluded on June 30, 1981. In total "the trial" was Germany's longest and most expensive trial, lasting 474 sessions. The camp was named Majdanek (little Majden) by the local residents because of its proximity to the Lublin suburb of Majdan Tatarski.

• Mauthausen-Gusen Camp Trials** - A set of trials of SS concentration camp personnel, heard by an American military court at Dachau. Between March 29 and May 13, 1946, and then from August 6 to August 21, 1947, a total of 69 former camp personnel were tried. Among them were some of the former guards at the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp system and August Eigruber, a former Gauleiter of Upper Austria.

Mauthausen-Gusen was actually a large group of concentration camps built around the villages of Mauthausen and Sankt Georgen an der Gusen in Upper Austria, roughly 12 miles east of the city of Linz. Eventually the complex had four main labor camps at Mauthausen and nearby Gusen, and nearly 100 other subcamps located throughout Austria and southern Germany, directed from a central office at Mauthausen. The subcamps of the Mauthausen complex included quarries, munitions factories, mines, arms factories and plants assembling Me 262 fighter aircraft. By January 1945, the camps contained roughly 85,000 inmates. Mauthausen-Gusen was the last of the Nazi concentration camps to be liberated in May 1945.

• Mühldorf Camp Trial** - Mühldorf was a satellite complex of Dachau. Five camp officials were sentenced to death by the court May 13, 1947 and seven to imprisonment. Mühldorf is the capital of the Mühldorf district in Bavaria.

• Ravensbrück Trials - The British held a series of seven trials in Hamburg, part of their occupation zone in Germany. The defendants were camp officials from the Ravensbrück concentration camp and the trial were held before a military tribunal. The defendants included concentration camp personnel of all levels: SS officers, camp doctors, male guards, female guards (Aufseherinnen), and a few kapos. There were 38 defendants in total; 21 of the defendants were women The trials ran between December 1946 and July 1948. Ravensbrück is a village in northern Germany, 56 miles north of Berlin.

• Sobibór Trial*  - A court in Hagen, Germany initiated proceedings on September 6, 1965 against twelve former members of the SS working in the camp, representing about a quarter of the SS men employed at Sobibór. They were accused of crimes against humanity. The verdicts were pronounced on December 20, 1966.

• Treblinka Trials* - The first official trial for war crimes committed at Treblinka was held in Düsseldorf beginning October 12, 1964. Eleven members of the SS camp personnel, or about a quarter of the total number of SS employed in the extermination of Jews brought aboard trains to Treblinka. The verdicts were pronounced on September 3, 1965. The second trial was held from 13 May to 22 December 1970, with one defendant, camp commandant Franz Stangl, who had been expelled three years earlier from Brazil. Before moving on to Treblinka, Stangl had been the first commandant of Sobibór. Treblinka is a village about 50 miles northeast of Warsaw, Poland.


* Camps established specifically for Operation Reinhard, which was the codename for the Nazi plan to murder most Polish Jews in the General Government district of occupied Poland.

** Dachau Trials - A series of trials held between November 1945 and August 1948. The defendants were caught in the United States zones in occupied Germany and Austria. Defendants also included those accused of committing war crimes against American citizens and military personnel. The trials, which were held within the walls of the former Dachau concentration camp, were conducted entirely by American military personnel. During almost three years, the American military tribunals tried 1,672 alleged war criminals in 489 separate proceedings. The city of Dachau is located in Upper Bavaria, about 12 miles from Munich.

              
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