Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Defendants at Nuremberg, Palace of Justice Courtroom



Prepared by Carol B. Martin, March 2005

[ Truman Papers | Other Personal Papers | Oral Histories]

This material covers the historical background and issues surrounding the Nuremberg war crimes trials. It documents President Truman's support for trying Nazi war criminals, and his appointment of Justice Robert Jackson to serve as chief U.S. prosecutor at Nuremberg in 1945-1946. Included is information concerning the International Military Tribunal, which convicted the major Nazi leaders in 1946, as well as the "subsequent proceedings," the twelve cases tried by U.S. military tribunals at Nuremberg from 1946 to 1949, in which the defendants included concentration camp doctors, SS mass murderers, and German industrialists. There is also information concerning Telford Taylor, Katherine Fite Lincoln, John C. Young, Samuel Rosenman and others involved in Nuremberg related matters. Because of the volume of the Truman Library's holdings, not all of our collections with information on war crimes issues are listed here.


PRESIDENT'S SECRETARY'S FILES - Approximately 60 pages. Includes a copy of Executive Order #9547 of May 2, 1945, and correspondence from Robert Jackson and Samuel Rosenman to President Truman. This collection also contains related material on the War Crimes Commission of the United Nations.


    OFFICIAL FILE - Approximately 700 pages. Includes correspondence, letters, reports, telegrams, public opinion mail, and executive orders on war crimes. Also information on the Nuremberg trials including reports from both Francis Biddle and Robert Jackson.

    PRESIDENT'S PERSONAL FILE - Approximately 40 pages. Includes information on the war crimes commission, the war crimes trials and Robert H. Jackson.

    CONFIDENTIAL FILE - Approximately 200 pages. Includes information on the prosecution of Axis criminals and Robert H. Jackson's correspondence with President Truman and Robert Donovan.


    ROSE A.CONWAY FILES - Approximately 5 pages. Includes Department of State News Digests that summarize foreign relations issues including the Nuremberg trials and Jews in Palestine.

Justice Robert Jackson making an argument for the United States at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.
POST-PRESIDENTIAL PAPERS - Approximately 50 pages. Includes Post-Presidential correspondence between Telford Taylor and President Truman relating to Robert H. Jackson and Nuremberg.

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PAUL C. AIKEN PAPERS - Approximately 6 pages. Includes June 5,1945, information on genocide in the army records folder.

EBEN A. AYERS PAPERS - Approximately 17 pages. Includes copies of Executive Orders #9547 and #9679 (its amendment), both addressing the prosecution of war criminals and the role of the United States. Also information on the appointment and resignation of Robert H. Jackson as Chief Counsel at Nuremberg and a June 7, 1945 press release of the report to President Truman establishing the standards for the trials.

BERNARD BERNSTEIN PAPERS - Approximately 10,000 pages. Includes information on Bernstern's postwar career as an attorney involved in assisting Jewish organizations in their efforts in obtaining just retribution and compensation for Nazi atrocities and his interest in the Morgenthau Plan and future of German industry.

Katherine Fite Lincoln and Justice Robert H. Jackson at work.

ELEANOR BONTECOU PAPERS - Approximately 500 pages. Includes information on the background of the authority of law for the Nuremberg hearings and information on the Flick case.

JAMES CLAGETT PAPERS - Approximately 900 pages. The papers contains biographical information, correspondence, scrapbooks, speeches, and other items pertaining to Clagett's involvement in the prosecution of war crimes after World War II. He conducted interrogations, collected evidence, and helped prepare cases for prosecution at the trial of the major German war criminals at Nuremberg.

KATHERINE FITE LINCOLN PAPERS - Approximately 1500 pages. The papers relate primarily to her experiences while an assistant to Justice Robert H. Jackson in the preparation of evidence and arguments for use in the trials of Nazi leaders. The collection includes vividly descriptive letters that Fite wrote to her parents while on her historic assignment. Also included are several legal documents relating to the prosecution of Nazi leaders.

ALVIN J. ROCKWELL PAPERS - Approximately 5,000 pages. Contains official transcripts of court proceedings, case summaries, histories, and judgments for the twelve cases of the U.S. Military Tribunals. Also includes copies of pleas and applications for annulment or mitigation for 21 war criminals sentenced by the Allied Control Council for Germany. The clipping files also include articles on the Nuremberg trials.

SAMUEL ROSENMAN PAPERS - Approximately 400 pages. Rosenman's war crimes files include memos, telegrams, and correspondence concerning important pretrial decisions and cover the period October 1944-November 1945.

CHARLES G. ROSS PAPERS - Approximately 5 pages. Contains pamphlet on Nuremberg in the International Military Tribunal folder.

JOHN C. YOUNG PAPERS - Approximately 160,000 pages. Includes information on all twelve cases tried by the U.S. Military Tribunals of Nuremberg, but the most complete documentation is of case no. 12, the German high command case. Includes indictments, transcripts, defense motions, final judgments, document books, legal opinions, exhibits, briefs and proceedings.

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WILLIS C. ARMSTRONG. Assistant Chief, 1951-52, and Deputy Director, 1952-54, Division of Commercial Policy, Department of State.

BERNARD BERNSTEIN. Director, Finance Division and Division of Investigation of Controls and External Assets, U.S. Group Control Commission for Germany, 1944-45; Financial Adviser to General Dwight D. Eisenhower for Civil Affairs and Military Government, 1942-45.

ELEANOR BONTECOU. Attorney, Civil Rights Section, Department of Justice, 1938-1955.

BEN HILL BROWN. Assistant Legal Adviser, Department of State, 1946-49; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations, 1949-55.

TOM C. CLARK. Attorney General of the United States, 1945-49; Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1949-67.

WARNER W, GARDNER. Solicitor, Department of the Interior, 1942-46; Assistant Secretary of the Interior, 1946-47.

KEN HECHLER. Special Assistant to the President, 1949-53.

RAYMOND B. KEECH. Administrative Assistant to the President,1945-46.

The Court House - "Palace of Justice".

WILFRED J. McNEIL. Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, 1947-49; Assistant Secretary of Defense and Comptroller, Department of Defense, 1949-59.

JOHN MAKTOS. Assistant Legal Adviser for International Organization, 1947-51, and Assistant Legal Adviser for Near Eastern, South Asian and African Affairs, Department of State, 1951-52.

JAMES H. ROWE. Technical advisor, to International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, 1945-46.

CONRAD SNOW. Staff member in charge of clemency, Office of the Under Secretary of War, and member of the Clemency Board (Roberts Board), 1945-46; Assistant Legal Adviser for Political Affairs, Department of State, 1946-50; member, Advisory Board for War Criminals, High Commissioner for German, 1950; Chairman, Loyalty-Security Board, Department of State, 1947-52; Assistant Legal Adviser for Far Eastern Affairs, Department of State, 1950-56.

JOHN W. SNYDER. Secretary of the Treasury, 1946-53.

STEPHEN J. SPINGARN. Assistant general counsel, Department of the Treasury, 1946-49; member of the President's Temporary Commission on Employee Loyalty, 1946-47; Deputy Director of the Office of Contract Settlement, 1947-49; Special Assistant in the White House Office, 1949-50; Administrative Assistant to the President, 1950; member, Federal Trade Commission, 1950-53.

ROBERT K. WALSH. Reporter, Washington, (D.C.), Evening Star, 1946-1969.

Document room at the Nuremberg Trials.