Discover our vast inventory
The brief description of the sources available in the Centre concerning the worldwide prosecution of war crimes is constantly changing. New documents are added almost weekly. Therefore, please note the respective update. Currently you can read the status from December 2019.
The collection of materials at the International Research and Documentation Centre is unique. You can view the documents in our user room, where both microfilm readers and computer terminals are available. The ICWC has a total data volume of about 14 TB on the relevant topics.
For a number of historical sources it is absolutely necessary that they be viewed and secured in the near future, as their state of preservation is sometimes very poor. Due to the poor paper quality and other circumstances, it is now time to make them permanently accessible. Our staff are currently working very closely with the following archives and documentation centres:
- Archiv der Stiftung niedersächsische Gedenkstätten, Celle
- Archiv des Internationalen Komitees vom Roten Kreuz, Genf
- Archives du Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres (Paris- Courneuve)
- Archiv Nationales, Paris
- Depot Central D'Archives de la Justice Militaire Le Blanc
- Bundesarchive Koblenz und Ludwigsburg
- Landeshauptarchiv Koblenz
- Landesarchiv Speyer
- Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Wiesbaden
- Nationaal Archif, Den Haag
- National Archives of Australia, Canberra
- Niedersächsisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Hannover
- Niedersächsisches Staatsarchiv Oldenburg
- Niedersächsisches Staatsarchiv Wolfenbüttel
- Freie Universität Brüssel
- Belgisches Staatsarchiv Brüssel
- Boston College und Havard University, USA
- Riksarkivet, Oslo
- The National Archives, London, UK
- Nederlands Instituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie, Amsterdam
- Australian War Memorial, Canberra
- Gedenkstätte KZ Osthofen
- The National Archives of Norway, Olso (Riksarkivet)
- The National Archives, Washington, USA
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
and other archives worldwide.
Since the founding of the Centre, the approximately 400 film rolls with a total of around 350,000 pages of the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt am Main have been joined by around 100,000 pages on microfilm and, to a lesser extent, other microforms (microfiche). These cover British and US war crimes trials in Europe and the Pacific as well as an Italian procedural complex.
In addition to microforms, digital sources are also archived in the Research and Documentation Centre. Since 2005, all Australian war crimes proceedings (296 cases) and files of a general and special nature (Generalia) have been available (800 file units with more than 100,000 sheets). In close cooperation with the British National Archive (formerly Public Record Office), digitisation of proceedings not available on film began in December 2004. In the meantime, more than 150,000 file sheets have been digitised. All proceedings in Europe (594 relevant file units for proceedings against Germans) as well as the majority of proceedings in the Far East are now available at ICWC Marburg.
All proceedings of US Military Commissions in the Asia-Pacific region (399) have already been documented. Philippine trials (163) against Japanese and Koreans in the period 1945 - 1949 were added in 2017. Similarly, about 45% of the war crimes trials conducted in China up to 1948 have so far been evaluated (346). Also, presumably the only Soviet trial in East Asia (Khabarovsk) is present in the ICWC.
A five-year period for recording proceedings in France (including 1811 documented individual decisions) has recently been completed. The same applies to French proceedings in Germany and in the former colonial area "French Indochina" (today the territory of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam). A new documentation focus is currently on the proceedings for crimes against humanity in the British and French occupation zones. Likewise, the documentation of war crimes trials against Germans and Austrians in Poland has recently begun.
Overviews of Dutch trials in the Netherlands and the former "Netherlands East Indies" (today Indonesia) have also been evaluated. In a joint project with the Free University of Brussels, the ICWC was also able to compile a complete set of war crimes trials after the First and Second World Wars.
Further sources on individual countries are also available, including Belgium, China (incl. Hong Kong), Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Switzerland and the United Nations. The Research and Documentation Centre thus possesses considerably around ten million sheets of historical source material. The trial database of the ICWC comprises almost 9,500 trial cases with 25,000 defendants. In addition, there is a considerable number of digitised contemporary books and essays. They can be accessed by users via terminals in the rooms of the centre.
If you have any questions, please contact us directly by e-mail or telephone. We will be happy to arrange a personal appointment with you so that you can take a look at our inventory.