December 16, 2008
WASHINGTON, DC – United States Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey announced that the U.S. Department of Justice is donating copies of trial transcripts and decisions created in connection with the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) of the Justice Department to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. These records were created over the past three decades in connection with OSI’s litigation against United States citizens or residents who were alleged to have participated in acts of persecution in collaboration with the Nazis or their allies.
“While justice for a crime as heinous as the Holocaust can never be truly served, we must work to hold perpetrators of genocide accountable,” says Museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield. “They must know that the simple passage of time will not exculpate them of their crimes. This archive stands as a testament to our government’s continued determination not to let genocide go unpunished. We are pleased that the Museum was able to help in several of these cases and that it will be a repository for this important collection.”
With the exception of records created immediately after the war, this collection will constitute the largest body of English-language, primary source material relating to the prosecution of Nazi criminals publicly available anywhere in the world. The Museum has assisted OSI by granting access to key documentation that the Museum has microfilmed in archives in Germany, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union; by providing expert historian witness testimony in prosecutions initiated and tried by OSI; and in other ways.
The donation consists of well over 50,000 pages of transcripts of the more than 40 World War II-related denaturalization and removal cases that OSI litigated to trial as well as the transcripts of hearings in three contested extradition matters in which the OSI participated. The Justice Department is also donating copies of decisions, published and unpublished, that have been rendered in OSI’s denaturalization, removal and extradition cases. The decisions are bound in a multivolume set created for this purpose and donated by Thomson Reuters/West Publishing.
Following the transfer, a discussion reviewing some of the archives’ contents and key cases was held with Eli Rosenbaum, Director of the OSI; Sara J. Bloomfield; and Peter Black, formerly with the OSI and now Museum Senior Historian. He has served as an expert witness in OSI trials in his Museum capacity.
Since 1979, the Office of Special Investigations has been investigating and prosecuting cases against alleged perpetrators of World War II Nazi crimes of persecution who immigrated to the U.S. It is widely regarded as the most successful law enforcement unit of its kind in the world.
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders to promote human dignity, confront hatred, and prevent genocide. Federal support guarantees the Museum’s permanent place on the National Mall, and its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by the generosity of donors nationwide through legacy and annual giving. For more information, visit www.ushmm.org.