Research and Remembrance: WWII Military Tribunals Online

This Veterans Day, we might reflect upon the progress made possible through the sacrifice of military servicemembers, and the tragedy, triumph, and trials of war. In legal history, the tribunals for war crimes following World War II have had a profound impact on our domestic and international jurisprudence and scholarship, and there are a growing number of online resources to help us research these important materials.

Transcripts and associated documents of the Nuremberg Trials (officially the International Military Tribunal for Germany) have been digitized, organized, and made available for free on the Web through several ongoing initiatives, including Yale’s Avalon Project, the Nuremberg Trials Project at Harvard Law, and the Donovan Nuremberg Trials Collection at the Cornell Law Library. The National Archives has also converted many of their microform documents on WWII crimes and trials to PDF.

Although no comparably extensive online compilation yet exists for the Tokyo Trials (International Military Tribunal for The Far East), some of the most important and interesting documents are available on iBiblio.org through the HyperWar Foundation (the Tribunal’s judgment) and the Harry S. Truman Library website (official correspondence and photos). For now, full transcripts of the Tokyo Trials are only available in print, here at Georgetown in the Wolff Library.

The Law Library also offers a good selection of relevant print and electronic resources; try an Encore keyword search to see our cataloged holdings on the Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials.

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