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Phillips Nuremberg Trials Collection: Trial 2 - Milch Case

Materials donated to the law school by General Eugene Phillips.

Summary of Charges

Former Field Marshal of the Luftwaffe Erhard Milch was the sole defendant.

Counts: 1) Slave Labor; 2) War Crimes, and 3) Crimes Against Humanity.

The charges against Milch were summarized by Michael A. Musmanno (one of the tribunal judges) as follows:

  1. Erhard Milch is charged with having knowingly committed war crimes as principal and accessory in enterprises involving slave labor and having also willingly and knowingly participated in enterprises involving the use of prisoners of war in war operations contrary to international convention and the laws and customs of war.
  2. The defendant is accused of having knowingly and willfully participated in enterprises involving fatal medical experiments upon subjects without their consent.
  3. In the third count the defendant is charged with responsibility for slave labor and fatal medical experiments, in the same manner as indicated in the first two counts, except that here the alleged victims are declared to be German nationals and nationals of other countries.

Video of prosecutor Clark Denney reading the charges.

Trial Records

Style of the case: United States of America v. Erhard Milch, et al.

Indictment filed: 14 November 1946

Trial dates: 2 January 1947 - 26 March 1947

Defendants: Erhard Milch

NMT 2 Judges: Robert M. Toms (Michigan) (presiding judge), Fitzroy Donald Phillips (North Carolina), Michael A. Musmanno (Pennsylvania), and John J. Speight (Alabama) (alternate judge).

Chief Prosecutor: Clark Denney; Assistants: James S. Conway, Dorothy M. Hunt, Henry T. King, Jr., Raymond J. McMahon, Jr., and Maurice C. Myers.

Defense Counsel: Friedrich Bergold and Werner Milch (the brother of the defendant).

Judgment: 16 April 1947

Sentence: 17 April 1947


Milch pleaded "not guilty" on all charges on December 20, 1946. The trial lasted from January 2, 1947 until April 17, 1947. The tribunal found Milch guilty on counts 1 and 3, but acquitted him on count 2 of the indictment. On April 17, 1947, Milch was sentenced to life imprisonment at Rebdorf Prison, near Munich. The sentence was commuted by John McCloy, High Commissioner of Germany, to 15 years of imprisonment in 1951. Milch was paroled in June 1954.

Milch was called as a witness for the Goering defense. The video shows part of the cross examination by Justice Jackson.

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.

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