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Christopher R. Browning papers

Document | Accession Number: 2014.422.1

The Christopher R. Browning papers consist of Browning’s expert reports, correspondence, court records, photocopies of historical evidentiary materials, indexes, preparatory and background materials for trial, printed materials, and witness testimony gathered or created during preparations for court proceedings against alleged war criminals Radislav Grujicic and Serge Kisluk in Canada, Andre Sawoniuk and Semion Serafinowicz in England, and Heinrich Wagner in Australia. All five cases relied on evidence from eyewitness accounts. Browning’s role in the proceedings was not to provide evidence about guilt or innocence, but to provide historical background information to help the courts assess the testimony of witnesses. His report outlines the occupation governing structure in Soviet territory and the role of local auxiliary police and the implementation of the Final Solution there. This collection also includes introductory, background, and supporting materials regarding the unsuccessful prosecution of Ivan Timofeyevich Polyukhovich in Australia.
Series 1-6: Radislav Grujicic
Radislav Grujicic (b. approximately 1912) was born in Yugoslavia but relocated to Canada after the war. He was arrested and brought to trial in the early 1990s under the recommendations of the 1986 Report of the Duschenes Commission. During World War II he had served as a senior member of the Belgrade Special Police, and he was charged with 10 counts of murder, with conspiracy to murder, and with conspiracy to kidnap stemming from his interrogation and torture of prisoners on behalf of the Belgrade Sicherheitspolizei-SD. His trial was stayed because of his poor health. This series includes Browning’s expert report, correspondence, documents, indexes, preparatory materials, and witness testimony related to the prosecution of the case. The version of Browning’s report included in this series contains only two sections: “Adolf Hitler and Nazi AntiCommunism” and “The German Attack on Yugoslavia.” Correspondence with the Canadian Justice Department includes information about how the case would be prosecuted and agreements, contracts, and bills for Browning’s services. Preparatory materials includes reports and notes describing Serbia during World War II and highlighting points made by witnesses along with lists of the evidence meant to be introduced by expert witnesses in the case. Witness statements include interviews or interrogations of Grujicic’s victims and former colleagues conducted during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s as well as a separate set of interviews conducted with victims between 1988 and 1990. The bulk of this series consists of packages of photocopies of original historical records submitted to Browning for his review. The packages are arranged by subject or by shipment date, and many include lists, indexes, or photocopy request forms that facilitate access to each set. Subjects include Grujicic’s collaboration with German police and military authorities, the Banjica concentration camp, the Serbian Special Police, and the German occupation authority. A number of progress reports and so-called “war diaries” documenting the daily activities of various military commanders and units are also included. The documents are dated 1940 to 1964 and come from the Military Archives of the Federal German Archives in Freiburg, National Archives and Records Administration, Belgrade Historical Archives, Federal German Archives in Koblenz, and Politisches Archiv des Auswärtigen Amts. Documents include reports, maps, postwar witness statements and interrogations, clippings, rosters, war diaries and progress reports of various units, and correspondence and memoranda from various offices within Nazi and Serbian hierarchies, especially the Serbian Special Police and the Befehlshaber der Sipo und des SD. Three lists of documents in the Indexes subseries might supplement access to these sets of documents.
Series 7-14: Serge Kisluk
Serge Kisluk (1922-2001) was born Sergei Kupriyanovich Kislyuk in Ukraine but relocated to Canada after the war. He was arrested in brought to trial in Canada in the late 1990s under the recommendations of the 1986 Report of the Duschenes Commission. He was found guilty of concealing his collaboration in the Holocaust at the time he applied for and received Canadian citizenship. He was accused of involvement in the death of a Jewish woman and of knowing about the mass executions of Jewish civilians in a Ukranian town near Makovichi, where he worked for the Germans as a railway guard as an auxiliary police officer in 1940 and 1941, and about other events in Sushibaba, Ozeryany, Chirnihiv, Kupychev, and Svynaryn. His guilty verdict cleared the way for the revocation of his citizenship and for his deportation. This series includes Browning’s reports, correspondence, court records, documents, an index, preparatory materials, a newspaper clipping, and witness testimony related to the prosecution of the case. Browning’s reports includes two drafts of the expert evidence he prepare for the case as well as a list of revisions. Correspondence includes communications received from the Canadian Department of Justice about the way the case would be prosecuted and forwarding copies of evidence. Court records include “Applicant’s Will Say Statements” describing the evidence witnesses would give in court, the transcript from Kisluk’s “Examination for Discovery,” and the court’s 1999 decision. Preparatory materials include maps, organizational charts, a list of questions prepared for Browning’s examination, and notes about Volyn SBU materials paralleling the Kisluk case. Witness statements include some taken in the early 1960s in preparation for a case against Erich Kassner about activities in the same region as well as some taken in the early 1990s in preparation for the Kisluk case, and each set of statements in arranged alphabetically. The bulk of this series consists of photocopies of three sets of original historical records. The first set is the prosecution’s “List of Proposed Documents,” which consists of four bound and indexed volumes. These documents come from the Federal German Archives in Koblenz and Berlin, Military Archives of the Federal German Archives in Freiburg, Centre for the Custody of Historical Documentary Collections in Moscow, State Archives of Zhitomir Oblast, Turiysk Raion Registry Office, State Archive of the Rovno Oblast, Central State Archive of the Higher Organs of Authority and Administration of Ukraine, Donetsk Oblast State Archives, State Archives of Volyns’ka Oblast, Vilnius State Archive, International Tracing Service, and International Refugee Organization. Documents are dated 1922-1955 and include correspondence from various offices within the Nazi and military hierarchies such as the Reichsführer SS, Ordnungspolizei, Wehrmacht High Command, Sicherheitspolizei, and Commander of the Ukrainian Ordnungsdienst in Lutsk. These volumes also includes Canadian immigration policy documents and Kisluk’s citizenship documents. The second set of photocopies consists of a report and compendium prepared in 1968 by the Zentrale Stelle der Landesjustizverwaltungen in Ludwigsburg in order to represent the structure and activity of the German civil administration in the former occupied eastern territories to inform prosecutors and courts about forms of participation in prosecutable Nazi crimes. The first volume traces the organization of the military occupation and civil administration, and the second volume contains copies of relevant historical documents similar to the ones described above along with numerous Nazi policies, procedures, and regulations. The third set of photocopied documents in this subseries consists of unindexed documents dated 1941-1943 similar to the ones described above and bearing identification numbers beginning with “A,” “E,” and “S.” Two lists of documents in the Indexes subseries might supplement access to these sets of documents.
Series 15: Ivan Timofeyevich Polyukhovich
Ivan Timofeyevich Polyukhovich (b. approximately 1918) was from Serniki (Pinsk oblast) Ukraine but relocated to Australia after the war. In the early 1990s he was arrested and brought to trial in Australia under the 1945 War Crimes Act for his alleged involvement in the massacre of about 850 people from the Jewish ghetto of Serniki in Nazi-occupied Ukraine between 1941 and 1943, but he was acquitted for lack of evidence. This series includes an introductory letter from the office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions in Australia, a summary of the case, an index, a set of photocopies of evidentiary historical documents, an exhibit list, and additional background papers. These materials appear to have been sent to Browning as reference materials in preparation for the other cases in this collection. The documents for this case come from the Federal German Archives and the Zentrale Stelle der Landesjustizverwaltung in Ludwigsburg. Documents include wartime orders, instructions, and reports from the Oberkriegsverwaltungsamt, Gebietskommissar Brest-Litowsk, Reichskommissar Ukraines, and Gebietskommissar Pinsk, as well as investigative materials from West German Courts in the 1960s.
Series 16-22: Anthony Sawoniuk
Anthony Sawoniuk (1921-2005) was born Andrei Andreovich Sawoniuk in Domachevo (now Damachava, Belarus). He volunteered for the local Nazi-supported Belorussian Auxiliary Police following the German invasion of the Soviet Union and participated in a search-and-kill operation rounding up Jews hiding after a massacre. He became a British citizen after the war. He was tried in London in 1999 under Britain’s 1991 War Crimes Act on two charges of murdering Jews, found guilty, given two life sentences, and died in prison. This series includes Browning’s reports, correspondence, court records, documents, indexes, preparatory materials, and printed materials related to the prosecution of the case. Browning’s reports include four 1997 drafts, one section revision, and court testimony by Browning at a February 1996 appearance. Correspondence documents communications with the Crown Prosecution Service in London, Professor Geoffrey Giles, and the War Crimes Unit of the Metropolitan Police service (primarily Martin Dean) about the way the case would be prosecuted, how evidence in the case would be handled, scheduling, and bills for Browning’s services. The court records subseries consists of the prosecution’s opening note to the jury. Preparatory materials include reports by Martin Dean, David Sibley, and Geoffrey J. Giles; a photocopy of Shmuel Spector’s 1990 book The Holocaust of Volhynian Jews, 1941-1944, and notes by Christopher Browning and Martin Dean. Printed materials consist of clippings about the trial and verdict. The bulk of this series consists of seven sets of photocopies of historical documents. The largest set consists of eight volumes of exhibits to be used at the trial. Another accompanied a historical report written during preparations for the trial. The rest are packages that were sent to Browning to help him prepare his own report. Most of these sets are accompanied by indexes. The documents for this case come from repositories including the Zentrale Stelle der Landesjustizverwaltung in Ludwigsburg, Central State Special Archives of the USSR in Moscow, Central State Archive of the Republic of Belarus in Minsk, Zhitomir State Regional Archive, National Archives and Records Administration, Federal German Archives in Koblenz, Berlin, and Hoppegarten, and the Military Archives of the Federal German Archives in Freiburg. Documents include maps, organizational charts, identification forms, laws and regulations, war diaries of various units, and correspondence, reports, and memoranda from various offices within the Nazi and military hierarchies such as the Reichsführer SS, Sicherheitspolizei and SD, Generalkommissar fur Wolhynien und Podolien, and officials in Brest-Litovsk including the Gendarmerie Gebietsführer, Gebietskommissar, Stadtkommissar, SS-führer und Polizeiführer. Three lists of documents and a list of exhibits in the Indexes subseries might supplement access to these sets of documents.
Series 23-29: Semion (Semyon/Szymon) Serafinowicz
Semion (Semyon/Szymon) Serafinowicz (approximately 1911-1997) was born in Belarus and relocated to England after World War II. In 1995, he was charged with Nazi war crimes under Britain’s 1991 War Crimes Act for mass murders of Jews in Mir and nearby towns while he served as commander of a local police department. He was successfully committed to stand trial in 1996 but was adjudged mentally incompetent to stand trial in 1997. This series includes Browning’s reports, computer files, correspondence, documents, indexes, preparatory materials, and printed materials related to the prosecution of the case. Browning’s reports include several drafts of the expert evidence he prepare for the case as well as his statement at committal. Correspondence includes communications received from the Crown Prosecution Service and the Metropolitan Police Service’s War Crimes Unit about the way the case would be prosecuted and about Browning’s testimony. Preparatory materials consist of a report by Martin Dean about archival work carried out in relation to the case. Printed materials consist of clippings about the case, scholarly articles related aspects of the Holocaust, and a copy of the 1989 Report of the War Crimes Inquiry recommending prosecution of war criminals who were British citizens or living in Britain or the United Kingdom. The computer files include another version of Browning’s report as well as additional historical reports about Mir for context, additional indexes to documents, and witness testimonies. The bulk of this series consists of two sets of photocopies of historical documents. The first set is comprised of a dozen packets of materials sent to Browning to prepare his report and testimony, and most of these packets are accompanied by indexes. The second is comprised of fifteen volumes of source material approximately arranged in chronological order from 1941- 1948 and numbered sequentially. This set might duplicate materials in the first set. Most of the documents are in German, but some are in Russian, Polish, and English, and many are accompanied by translations. The documents come from repositories including BundesarchivMilitararchiv, Archivum Akt Nowych, Special Archives in Moscow, Nuremburg docs, Centre de documentation juive contemporaine in Paris, Stadtarchiv Munich, Bundesarchiv Hoppegarten, Brest Archive, Central State Archive Minsk, National Archives and Records Administration, Zhitomir Archives, Bundesarchiv in Koblenz, Zehlendorf, and Freiburg, Military Archives Prague, Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt), Grodno archive, and the Office of Special Investigations (OSI). Documents include correspondence, reports, maps, clippings, war diaries, rosters, publications, memoranda, notes, orders, and guidelines from offices and units including the Chef der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD, Reichskommisar fur das Ostland, Kommandeur des Sich.-Gebiets Weissruthenien, Kampfgruppe von Gotteberg, Gendarmerie outpost of Mir, Commander of Gendarmerie Byelorussia, SS- und Polizeiführer Weissruthenien, Gebietskommissar Slonim, Zentral Stelle der Landesjustizverwaltungen, Reichsfuhrer SS und chef der Deutsche Polizei, Schupo, SS- und Polizeigebietsfuhrer in Baranowitzche, Gendarmerie Post Stolpce, Gebietskommissar Sluzk, Himmler, Kommandeur der Gendarmerie Zhitomir, Commander of Rear Area, FK 675, Sicherheits Division 454, KdO Zhitomir, BdO Ukraine, EM UdSSR, Field commanders, Commander in Belarus of the Wehrmachtbefehlshabers Ostland, Commander of the Sicherungsgebietes Belarus, der Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD, various military divisions, Wehrmachtbefehlshaber Ostland, Kommandant in Weissruthenien, Kommandostab Reichsfuhrer SS, Field Commanders, various infantry divisions, Reichskommissar fur das Ostland, and the Höherer SS-und Polizei-Führer. This series also includes records documenting postwar investigations into Serafinowicz’s war crimes, his identification papers, draft indictment, witness statements, defense objections to evidence, case conference notes, materials from related cases, secondary sources, and additional indexes. Eight lists of documents in the Indexes subseries might supplement access to these two sets of documents.
Series 30-36: Heinrich Wagner
Heinrich Wagner (1922-2000) was from Latvia but relocated to Australia after the war. He was allegedly involved in a Ukrainian death squad in the Kirovograd region while serving as a Volksdeutscher liaison officer during World War Two. He was arrested and brought to trial in Australia in the early 1990s under the 1945 War Crimes Act. The prosecution was successful at the magistrate’s hearing, but the trial was not pursued due to Wagner’s declining health. This series includes Browning’s reports, correspondence, court records, documents, an index, preparatory materials, and witness testimony related to the prosecution of the case. Browning’s reports include several drafts of the expert evidence he prepare for the case as well as commentary by the prosecution. Correspondence includes communications received from the Australian Attorney General’s Department and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution about the way the case would be prosecuted and about how the evidence in the case would be handled. Court records include the examination of expert witnesses Martin Dean and Jonathan Steinberg. Preparatory materials include court records related to Feodor Federenko (a Ukrainian accused of being a guard at Treblinka who argued he was a member of the Red Army who was captured by the Germans and forced to work at Treblinka), historical evidence related to Nikolay Ivanovich Berezowsky and Ivan Polyukovich prepared by Jonathan Steinberg and Raul Hilberg respectively, a statement by Martin Dean about the archival documents used as evidence, and organizational charts detailing the Ukrainian and SS hierarchies during World War II. Witness testimonies for the Wagner case were assembled together with introductory and background materials about the case including charges, maps and expert statements. The witness testimonies are individually tabbed and labeled. The bulk of this series consist of photocopies of historical documents assembled in binders and assigned identification codes by source. Sources include the Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv in Freiburg, Zentrale Stelle der Landesjustizverwaltung in Ludwigsburg, City of Koblenz Archives, Central State Special Archives of the USSR in Moscow, Military History Archive in Prague, Archive of the Republic of Latvia, Central State Archive of the October Revolution in Ukraine, Central State Archive of the Republic of Belarus in Minsk, Zhitomir State Regional Archive, Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, National Archives and Records Administration, Niedersachsisches Hauptstaatsarchive in Hannover, and Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt) in Berlin. Documents include maps, organizational charts, publications, rosters, war diaries of various units, and correspondence and memoranda from various offices within the Nazi and military hierarchies such as the Reichsführer SS, Reichsminister für die besetzten Ostgebiete, Reichskommisar fur die Ukraine, Sicherheitspolizei and SD, Ordnungs Polizei, Polizei Freiwillige Kommando “Schwarzes Meer,” Oberkommandor der Wehrmacht, Oberkommando der Herresgruppe Sud, and various Feldkommandantur. This subseries also includes some later materials from 1950s and 1960s court cases and material from the Zentrale Stelle der Landesjustizverwaltungen. An index to the assembled documents can be found in the Index subseries.

Date
inclusive:  1986-1999
Extent
32 boxes
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Christopher R. Browning
 
Record last modified: 2021-11-10 13:03:30
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn81871