The trials of the military and political leaders of Nazi Germany before both the International Military Tribunal (IMT) and the United State Nuremberg Military Tribunals (NMT) – collectively known as the Nuremberg Trials – occurred on an unprecedented scale in an international spotlight. History has not – and likely will not – forget many of the primary individuals involved in the trial, men such as Robert Jackson, Telford Taylor and Francis Biddle among many others. However, there are many other stories that contribute to the whole picture of Nuremberg, though on a smaller scale that, while lesser known, nonetheless offer additional perspectives into the story of the Nuremberg Trials. The Harvard Law School Library has recently acquired a small collection that represents one individual’s unique and intimate relationship with the trials.
From September 1945 to January 1947 Ingeborg Kalnoky was the hostess of a guest house established by the Allies to quarter witnesses for the trials. The witnesses were mostly Germans who had played a part in the war or their family members, but they also included victims such as survivors of concentration camps. In her position as hostess Kalnoky had unique access to the individuals who stayed at the guest house. Evidence of this experience may be seen in the Ingeborg Kalnoky collection of Nuremberg Guest House papers, a small manuscript collection donated to the Library by Kalnoky’s daughter, Eleonora.
The collection includes letters to Kalnoky from witnesses, U.S. Army documents related to her employment, several photographs, photocopies of the original guest book and other ephemera. Most of the letters to Kalnoky are in German. The most prolific correspondent in this collection is Carl Severing, a German Social Democrat during the Weimar era who served as the Interior Minister of Prussia from 1920 – 1926 and again from 1930 – 1932.
The collection is currently being processed and should be available to researchers at the end of July. Please direct all questions to Ed Moloy, Curator of Modern Manuscripts and Archives.
— Post contributed by Ed Moloy