From Law to History

Nazi Trial Files as Sources of Contemporary History


2009, ill., paperback

ISBN 978-3-525-35500-8

Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht


out of print

E-Book at the V&R E-LibraryDOI:10.13109/9783666355004

Open Access (free of charge):  urn:nbn:de:bvb:12-bsb00065942-4


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The judicial treatment of Nazi crimes was a core element of the German struggle to adequately cope with its Nazi past. Trial files, produced during the criminal prosecution of Nazi perpetrators are long since used by historians as indispensable sources for their research on Nazi crimes, especially on war crimes,on the Third Reichs's racial policy and on the holocaust.


Experienced scholars explain the judicial backgrounds of the prosecution of Nazi criminals. Based on their own research, they make more general methodological observations and discuss the source critique for these particular materials. They reflect on challenges, opportunities and limits of using files from legal procedures for the historiography of both the Nazi period and its aftermath. This includes suggestions for further research and practical advice.


Regina Paelletz in: Einsicht. Bulletin des Fritz-Bauer-Instituts 2/2009, 61; Claudia Steur in: HistLit 2009-3-012/H-Soz-u-Kult 03.07.2009; Markus Roth in: WLA, 26.9.2009; Kurt Schilde in: NPL 55 (2010), 2, 307-308; Martin Moll in: ZRG GA 127 (2010), 1, 914-916; Werner Schubert in: ZRG GA 127 (2010), 1, 917; Manfred Messerschmidt in: Militärgeschichtliche Zeitschrift 69 (2010), 1, 194-196; Kim Christian Priemel in: Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft 59 (2011), 2, 183-185; Martin Schlemmer in: Der Archivar 65 (2012), 2, 199-202.