Cornell University Law Library

Donovan Nuremberg Trials Collection

Nuremberg trial transcripts and documents from the Collection of General William J. Donovan

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Volume 004
Subdivision Subdivision 8 / Hitler
Part Not applicable
Section 8.22
Title Volksgerichtshof / Verhandlung der Verrater vom 20. Juli 1944
Pages 6
Pages Supplemental None
Date 1944-08-07
Language German
Author "Bildberichter: Helmut Laux"
Witness Not applicable
Other Names Hase; Hagan; Witzleben; Hoppner
Other Dates 20 July 1944; 8 August 1944
Abstract This document consists of a series of 182 small (1" x 1 ") black-and-white photographs. The photographs are mounted in groups of varying numbers on six separate pages and identified by four elements: "Datum"; "Text"; "Film NR"; and "Bildberichter." Each page lists the Bildberichter, the photographer, as Helmut Laux; similarly, the Text of each photographic group reads "Volksgerichtshof / Verhandlung der Verrater vom 20. Juli 1944," People's Court / Trial of the Traitors of 20 July 1944, referring to the failed attempt to assassinate Hitler on July 20, 1944 and the German officers who were involved (and not killed in the aftermath). Datum provides a date, which five of the six pages note as "7.8. / 8.1944" and which the remaining page notes as "7.8.1944" - obviously referring to the trial dates of August 7-8, 1944. Film NR probably refers to film roll number, for these occur in sequence; thus, Film NR 1095 comprises 35 photographs; Film NR 1096, 37 photographs; NR 1098, 25 photographs; NR 1099, 20 photographs; NR 1100, 36 photographs; and NR 1101, 29 photographs. Film NR 1097 is not present; given that five of the six pages have become detached from the document book, and that the margins of the detached pages still fixed in the binding match the loose pages in number, it is evident that Film NR 1097 was not originally included in this section. Nor is it present elsewhere in Volume IV of The Donovan Papers. It is possible that Film NR 1097 was lost before the document book was compiled, that it ended up in another Volume or set of Nuremberg document books, or that it never existed. In any event, four of the pages that are present carry the word "frei," free, handwritten near the top of the page, either directly under or to the right of the photographer's name. To the left of "frei" someone has penciled a red circle, which codes a handful of the photographs that are similarly marked. The meaning of "frei" in relation to the photographs it individuates is not obvious. The photographs are in very good condition, although the paper on which they are mounted is quite brittle and breaks at a touch. The pages that have come loose are currently stored in a manila folder (with section 8.01) inside Volume IV. Following the photographs is a text, in German and also sectioned as 8.22, that provides an account of the assassination attempt of 20 July 1944, and a transcript of the proceedings of 7-8 August, 1944 (see following document).
Keywords Volksgerichtshof; People's Court; Assassination attempt; German resistance; Opposition to Hitler; Opposition group