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Yad Vashem to Receive Court Records of US Trials Against Suspected War Criminals

15 December 2008

Yad Vashem will receive from the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) at the US Department of Justice scores of court decisions - thousands of pages of material - relating to the Office’s cases against suspected Nazi war criminals. The Office has been investigating and prosecuting cases against Nazi offenders since 1979. The material represents over 30 years worth of texts, including many that are unpublished, relating to OSI’s Nazi cases.

In the future, Yad Vashem also anticipates receiving thousands of pages of trial transcripts. This collection represents the one of the largest sources of material in English relating to the trials of Nazis, (excepting those that were done immediately after World War II.)

Over the years, Yad Vashem’s historians and archivists have assisted OSI in its work, and the millions of pages of documentation at Yad Vashem’s Archives - including testimonies and documentation - have been available to, and explored by, OSI researchers. For example, researchers visited the Archives in advance of the hearings on John Demjanjuk’s deportation from the United States. They made use of material that was copied by Yad Vashem in Ukrainian Archives, which contained information about Ukrainians who staffed the death camps.

The material will be presented in a multi-volume set of books, only three sets of which will be published, and will be available to researchers and the public at Yad Vashem’s Reading Room. The two other sets will be at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, and at OSI in the US Department of Justice. The material will be set by the West Publishing Company (a subsidiary of Thomson Reuters).

Contact: Estee Yaari / Foreign Media Liaison / Yad Vashem