Court Records

The international, foreign, and German court records found in the IfZ Archives, not unlike the governmental documents from the period before 1945, involve copies, mostly in paper form and in some exceptional cases in the form of microfilm.

The primary body of the category is made up by the documents of the Nuremberg Trials of major war criminals and the twelve subsequent US-run trials with minutes of sessions, evidence documents, prosecution and defense statements as well as verdicts. Document series are also available with about 40,000 documents in the form of copies or transcripts compiled by the prosecution on the basis of original German documents. Only a fraction of the documents from the Nuremberg Trials is contained in the archives database, with the largest part only accessible in the form of catalogue cards, which can be viewed on site at the IfZ Information Center. The commercial database “National Socialism, Holocaust, Resistance and Exile 1933-1945” also includes over 30,000 documents on the Nuremberg Trials, which can be accessed via the IfZ library as well as most university libraries.

Documents on other major foreign court proceedings, such as the Eichmann trial and a number of British, French, and Eastern European trials are also available as copies. The documents are alphabetized according to country name.

The German court documents are divided between documents from trials against opponents of the Nazi regime between 1933 and 1945, and the larger section of documents from trials at German courts after 1945 prosecuting Nazi crimes of violence (“NSG trials”). The documents of the latter were submitted to the institute on the basis of agreements with the justice administrations of the Federal Republic and of individual German states. The number and extent of the documents varies widely according to the trials in question. For major trials, the documents were taken on in their entirety and can contain, for example, eyewitness accounts and court minutes. For others, however, prosecution statements and verdicts are available as well as possible dismissal remarks. The documents are ordered alphabetically by court location or state attorney location (city names).

The IfZ Archives also hold copies of the Spruchkammer (denazification) files of a few major national, regional, and local representatives and Nazi Party officials. These are generally sorted by the names of the individuals, although in some cases they are bundled together according to the name and location of the proceedings.

For legal reasons, only a few court documents can be searched via the online database.


Search the archival database here

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