On the 75th anniversary of the Nuremberg trial of the major war criminals of World War II, Stanford University digitized the historical files of this trial and made them publicly available online. From November 20, 1945 to October 1, 1946, leading representatives of the National Socialist regime had to answer before an international military tribunal. The 24 main defendants included Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Wilhelm Keitel and Karl Dönitz.
The material comes from the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington digitized the documents. Stanford University has made the files searchable using text recognition and divided them into types of documents such as charges, closing arguments, pardon or witness lists.
Over 5000 files are online
It took around 20 years to digitize 5,215 files. A total of about 270,000 individual pages are collected, which occupy 50 terabytes. About two thirds of the files are in German. The archive also contains restored audio recordings from Nuremberg that are 75 years old.
The collection is under the name “Taube Archive of the International Military Tribunal (IMT) at Nuremberg (1945-1946)“Visible. Files such as the closing argument by Wilhelm Keitel, Field Marshal General of the High Command of the Wehrmacht, can be viewed there without registration and searched in full text.
David Cohen, professor and director of the Chair of Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford, told the Tagesschau that he believes the documents should not be kept in an archive to reach a global audience. “
Further publications planned
In addition to the trial files, the research group plans to add another 1,000 hours of audio and six hours of film material. They contain recordings of the legal proceedings against the 24 main defendants. These recordings should follow in mid-2022.
For the first time in history, the entire government of a country was charged and had to answer based on its own documentation. Between 1945 and 1949 there were other trials before the International Military Court, twelve so-called Nuremberg follow-up trials, including against doctors, the Flick Group, IG Farben, generals from Southeast Europe and the Wehrmacht High Command. The files of the follow-up processes are not yet included in the archive, but are to be digitized in cooperation with the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and also put online.