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Dr. Hans Flaechsner Collection

Manuscript Collection No.125

Overview | Biography | Scope and Content | Container List


1.0 cubic foot in one box. 1937-1947.

Provenance: The Ohio University Libraries Department of Archives and Special Collections purchased the collection from the Jenkins Company of Austin, Texas, in April 1972. Richard K. Sarlo created the preliminary inventory in Spring 1990, and Corinna Roessler arranged and described the collection more completely in Summer 1998.

Property Rights: The Ohio University Libraries claims the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: The Ohio University Library claims the copyrights and/or literary rights as may apply to this collection. Consideration of all other copyrights and any possible literary rights is the responsibility of the researcher and publisher.

Access: The collection is open to the public under the rules and regulations of the Ohio University Libraries.

Photoduplication: The Libraries will entertain requests to photocopy reasonable amounts of material from the collection for the convenience of individual researchers.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite collection name and number, and the Ohio University Libraries in all footnotes and bibliographic references.

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Dr. Hans Flaechsner was a well respected and celebrated trial lawyer from Berlin. In June of 1945, Dr. Flaechsner agreed to coordinate the defense of the Nazi Minister for Armaments and Production, Albert Speer, for the International Military Tribunal at the War Crimes Trial at Nuremberg. For Dr. Flaechsner, this would be the most important case of his career.

Albert Speer was born March 19, 1905, to a middle-class family in Mannheim, Germany. As a young man, Speer studied architecture at the Institute of Technology at Karlsruhe, and at the Institute of Technology at Berlin. Speer first came to the attention of Hitler by making the technical arrangements for a Berlin party rally in May 1933. By the outbreak of World War II, Speer was the official court architect and one of Hitler's favorites.
In February of 1942 the Nazi Minister of Armaments, Dr. Fritz Todt, was killed in an air crash. Hitler appointed Speer as Todt's replacement. Speer proved to be an able administrator who was responsible for raising wartime production to remarkable levels. It was his performance at this post which guaranteed his appearance at the Nuremberg trials where he was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for the use of slave labor to fill his production quotas. Speer was released from Spandau in 1966 and he died in 1981 at the age of 75.

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The Flaechsner Collection on the defense of Speer at Nuremberg consists primarily of copied documents from the Office of Armaments and Production which Albert Speer headed, and exists almost entirely as excerpts from more extensive documentation. When possible, some indication of the contents of each item is presented in English.

This collection presents the documents which Dr. Flaechsner used in the preparation of Speer's defense at Nuremberg. The arrangement of the collection is indicative of the strategies used by Flaechsner to disassociate his client from the political workings of the Third Reich.
Folders #1-5 contain materials which pertain to the Nuremberg Trials in general, to the status of the International Military Tribunal, its legality and the scope of its jurisdiction, and directly to Flaechsner's defense strategy.
Folders #6-11 contain documents which refer directly to Albert Speer. This part includes his speeches, a health report as well as attitudes towards certain issues. Folder #9 explains the relations among the Nazi leaders. Folder #10 deals with Speer's testimony which began on June 20, 1946. Of key importance to Speer's defense, Flaechsner intended to discuss Speer's plan to assassinate Hitler with poison gas during the Winter of 1945. Speer, however, stated on the witness stand that he would discuss the plan out of necessity, but would not cite this information as part of his defense.
Folders #12-32 contain excerpts of testimonies of witnesses. During the course of the trial, Flaechsner presented testimony for Speer's defense from witnesses. Folders #12-32 were given titles for the name of each individual witness. Each folder contains a mixture of testimonials and other related items. The testimonials appear in alphabetical order by name. In addition to this the documents in last two folders are in chronological order.
Folders #33-43 contain documents which pertain to the economical organization of the war, the war production and armament. These are mainly copies of documents taken from the offices of various ministries. Some items consist of excerpts of sittings of the Central Planning Committee which discuss the use of forced labor in production plans. From the outset of the trial, Speer insisted on following a plan of "collective responsibility," despite the protests of Dr. Flaechsner. Some of these excerpts certainly proved damaging to Speer's defense.
Folder #44 contains documents referring to the Soviet Union.

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    Part I: Documents referring to laws, the Nuremberg Trials and Flaechsner's defense strategy.

  1. Auffassung von Recht und Verantwortung in Deutschland 1933-1945; Die Bedeutung der Nuernberger Prozesse. (Understanding of laws and responsibilities in Germany 1933-1945; The meaning of the Nuremberg Trials.)
    7 items
  2. Dokumente mit Bezug zu den Nuernberger Prozessen; Gesetze: Bestrafung von Kriegsverbrechern; Status des Internationalen Militaergerichtshofes. (Documents relating to the Nuremberg Trials; Laws: Punishment of persons guilty of war crimes; Status of the International Military Tribunal.)
    11 items
  3. Begriffsklaerung 'Conspiracy' (Definition 'Conspiracy')
    2 items
  4. Frage der Deportation (The question of deportation)
    3 items
  5. Verschiedene Dokumente in Zusammenhang mit der Verteidigung von Speer (Various documents relating to the defense of Speer)
    15 items

    Part II: Documents relating directly to the trial of Albert Speer

  6. Reden von Speer 1942-1945 (Speeches of Speer 1942-1945)
    10 items
  7. Gesundheitszustand von Speer 1944 (Report about Speer's health 1944)
    1 item
  8. Speers Einstellung zum 'totalen Krieg' (Speer's attitude towards 'total war')
    1 item
  9. Die Beziehungen unter den Nazi-Fuehrern (The relations among the Nazi-leaders)
    6 items
  10. Vernehmung und Erklaerungen Speers 1945 (Interrogation and declaration of Speer 1945)
    4 items
  11. Dokumente in Zusammenhang mit Speers Prozess 1946 (Documents relating to Speer's trial 1946)
    3 items
  12. Part III: Testimonies of witnesses (in alphabetical order)

  13. Baumbach, Werner
    5 items
  14. Brandt, Karl
    2 items
  15. Fraenk, Gerhard
    1 item
  16. Guderlin, Heinz
    1 item
  17. Hupfauer, Theodor
    3 items
  18. Kehrl, Hans
    1 item
  19. Kempf, -
    1 item
  20. Malzacher, Hans
    3 items
  21. Messersmith, George S.
    1 item
  22. Milch, -
    4 items
  23. Poleck, Fritz
    2 items
  24. von Poser, Manfred
    4 items
  25. Rohland, Walter
    1 item
  26. Saur, -
    4 items
  27. Schacht, -
    1 item
  28. Schieber, Walter
    2 items
  29. Schmelter, -
    1 item
  30. Stahl, Dietrich
    1 item
  31. Timm, Max
    1 item
  32. Auszuege von Zeugenaussagen von Vernehmungen am 3., 11., 14., 16. Januar 1946 (Excerpts from testimonies from the hearings of January, 3, 11, 14, 16, 1946)
    6 items
  33. Auszuege von Zeugenaussagen von Vernehmungen am 21. Juni 1946 (Excerpts from testimonies from the hearings from June 21, 1946)
    13 items
  34. Part IV: Economical organization of the war: production and armaments

  35. Zeitlich geordnete Uebersicht der Organisation der deutschen Ingeneure und ihrer Aufgaben (Chronological survey of German engineers and their assignments)
    1 item
  36. Dokumente von Sitzungen der Zentralen Planung (Documents from meetings of Central Planning)
    10 items
  37. Dokumente ueber den Arbeitseinsatz (allgemein) (Documents referring to labor deployment (in general))
    25 items
  38. Arbeitseinsatz: Juedische Arbeiter (Labor deployment: Jewish workers)
    2 items
  39. Arbeitseinsatz: Franzoesische Arbeiter (Labor deployment: French workers)
    6 items
  40. Arbeitseinsatz: Frauenarbeit (Labor deployment: Female workers)
    3 items
  41. Arbeitseinsatz: Ernaehrung und Verpflegung (Labor deployment: nourishment and board)
    6 items
  42. Wirtschaft: Kriegsproduktion und Ruestung (Economy: war production and armament)
    19 items
  43. Schreiben Speers an Hitler ueber die Wirtschaftslage (Memos from Speer to Hitler about the economical situation)
    17 items
  44. Dokumente in Zusammenhang mit 'totaler Zerstoerung' (Documents referring to 'total destruction')
    21 items
  45. Hitlers Plaene zur Organisation der Ministerien (Hitlers plans concerning the organization of the ministries)
    2 items
  46. Part V: Documents referring to the Soviet-Union

  47. Einstellung zur UdSSR; Kriegsrecht (Approach to the Soviet Union; war laws)
    4 items

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