A 1945 Transcript Of Nuremberg Trials Donated To US Holocaust Museum

UCSB Library Special Collections Bernath Mss 240: Bill Muster Collection.

“Palace of Justice Nuremberg, Germany. 19 November 1945

Good evening. This is Corporal Sy Bernhard talking from AFN’s special booth in the courtroom at Nuremberg, the same courtroom where tomorrow one of the final chapters in the history of the Second World War will begin as twenty-two members of the Nazi Party will be charged…” — Excerpt from Nuremberg Trial Transcript

Burson started his series of reports on the courtroom scene when he was only 24. Although his audience primarily involved just the not so big communities of soldiers remained in Europe, he joined 200 other journalists and news reporters who were also covering the first trial. Some of the best reporters in the world were there. According to an interview with The Associated Press, Burson was lucky enough to meet a couple of them. One was Walter Cronkite from United Press International and the second – Howard K. Smith from CBS.

Following the end of the war, the American military radio network was supposed to be one the most reliable radio news channels in Germany; that was the reason for which Burson was asked to transmit the news for the English-speaking people in Germany, the FoxNews.com reports. Although the recordings of the trials have been lost, Harold Burson, who is now 92 years old, traveled from New York to Washington to donate his 40 scripts to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, after 68 years since the first trial.

Prosecution specialists,judges and defense attorneys had all been assigned by Great Britain, France, Soviet Union and the United States to. According to the earlier museum records, of the 22 Nazi leaders charged during the Nuremberg Trials, 3 of them were freed, 12 were sentenced to death, 3 were sentenced to life imprisonment and 4 of the political, military and economic leaders were imprisoned for 10 to 20 years.

This is officially the museum’s first transcript of coverage of the Nuremberg Trials. A recording of the transcript has been produced by Audible with actors reading the scripts. Scott Miller, the museum’s director, talked about the transcript and Burson’s experiences, insisting that “this is an incredible eyewitness primary source of history; he was witnessing the testimony of Nazi criminals, the captured German photos, the captured German film footage, the captured German documents that were shown at Nuremberg, shown to the world for the first time. He witnessed them become the evidence of the Holocaust.”

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE