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Leon Goldensohn papers

Document | Accession Number: 2012.430.1

The Leon Goldensohn papers consist largely of original, typescript notes of 137 interviews conducted by Dr. Goldensohn with Nazi defendants and witnesses during the trials of the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, from January to July, 1946. Goldensohn served in the United States Army as a prison psychiatrist during this period, and conducted these interviews with the aid of a translator. In addition to interview typescripts, this collection contains resumes drafted by some of the defendants, correspondence, notebooks, photographs, texts of speeches delivered by Goldensohn, as well as notes, published reviews, and other documentation related to the publication of a selection of these interviews in 2004.

While containing some biographical information about Goldensohn, the bulk of the collection consist of typed transcripts of interviews that he typically conducted with defendants and witnesses in their prison cells in Nuremberg. Goldensohn usually jotted down detailed notes in small notebooks during the interview—assisted during the interviews by an American translator, Howard Triest—and then typed up more extensive transcripts based on these notes shortly after the interview. Although a few notebooks are extant and included in this collection, the core of this collection consists of the typed transcripts. In some cases, defendants or witnesses interviewed by Goldensohn also supplied brief, handwritten biographical statements or resumés prior to their interviews, and these are usually filed with the transcripts or in a file adjacent to them. In addition, a few defendants’ files contain correspondence with their family members (such as Wilhelm Keitel, Julius Streicher, Oswald Pohl, or Karl Wolff ) , memoranda by Goldensohn about their medical and psychological conditions (such as Rudolf Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and Karl Wolff), or other documents written by prisoners describing actions or events they had participated in (such as Otto von Skorzeny’s essay “Italien-Einsatz im Jahr 1943,” describing his role in the liberation of Mussolini from captivity in Italy and his evacuation to Austria in 1943).

After the transcripts and papers were gathered together in the 1990s from various family members by Dr. Eli Goldensohn, the brother of Leon Goldensohn, work was begun to eventually produce a publication based on these transcripts. The resulting work, edited by historian Robert Gellately, was published as The Nuremberg Interviews, conducted by Leon Goldensohn, edited and with an introduction by Robert Gellately (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004). This collection contains transcripts that were published in that book, as well as ones that were not.

inclusive:  1946-2012
bulk:  1946
4 boxes
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Eli S. Goldensohn
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 17:49:53
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