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World War II

Responsible: Prof. Dr. Eckart Conze, Prof. Dr. Christoph Safferling, Dr. Wolfgang Form

Research Fellows: Daniel Bonnard, Florian Danecke, Axel Fischer, Christian Pöpken, Susanne Raidt, and Philipp Graebke


The following section gives an insight into parts of current as well as completed research projects on war crime trials following World War II. Furthermore you can find abstracts of the documentary work, e.g. smaller databases. These contain indictments and summaries of “Reviews and Recommendations” from different military court proceedings of the Allied in Europe and the Far East.


Working Field and Research Projects in the Context of the Trial of the Major War Criminals in Nuremberg


The term Nuremberg is associated with the beginning of the enforcements of international criminal law. The first international criminal trial against the major Nazi war criminals took place after the end of World War II and was conducted by the British Lord Justice Geoffrey Lawrence. It was carried out in Nuremberg and is known as the „Nuremberg Trial“. The interest of the ICWC lies especially in this first international criminal trial. The intention is doing modern research on historical war crimes trials.

 Current dissertation projects:


Further research sections in the context of the Nuremberg Trials:


Documentation Project: A Century of Pioneering Case-Law. A Digital Database of Belgian Precedents of International Justice, 1914-2014 

Funding: Belgian Science Policy – Belspo (Brain projects) – 2015-2018.
Network: Université Libre De Bruxelles, Centre de recherche Mondes modernes et contemporains, Pieter Lagrou (coordinator), Ornella Rovetta; Archives Générales du Royaume, Sébastien Dubois; Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, Jan Wouters; Phillips-Universität Marburg, International Research and Documentation Centre War Crimes Trials (ICWC), Wolfgang Form.

The central aim of this project is to identify, describe and digitize judicial records produced by Belgian jurisdictions in the context of post-conflict processes from 1914 to 2014. It proposes to develop a digital research tool for Belgian judicial records related to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. This rich archival heritage locatedat the Belgian National Archives. The project focuses on three particular chronological moments: the attempts to judge German war criminals in the 1920s and 1940s following the First and the Second World War and the occupation of Belgium; and the experiences with universal jurisdiction and international judicial cooperation through the 1990s. Created by diverse judicial bodies (criminal, assizes or military courts), these records are intrinsically international. Firstly by their contents and goals, namely by aiming to judge international crimes in the aftermath of war and genocide and to contribute to international law. Secondly, by the specific international context that forms the background to the development of these judicial processes.

This archival heritage urgently needs be made available to scholars working on mass crimes and practitioners of international justice. Indeed, much of this material is unknown to researchers, difficult to access and very much under-used. The aim of the project is to produce a sustainable and multidisciplinary research tool. This is why it seeks to integrate these records into a dynamic, interconnected and international archival environment, therefore valorizing these collections beyond Belgian boundaries through web-based consultation.The research tools designed for to operate in the framework of the Legal Tools Project of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, a standard-setting portal integrating judicial records of all the leading international jurisdictions and increasingly national case law in the field of international crimes. The web-based tool will allow the description and the disclosure of these judicial archives, in particular through digitization and extended research possibilities.

The project relies on a high degree of interconnection between the partners, but also between the different stages of the project. Indeed, while two types of tasks can be identified –valorizing primary sources and developing transversal research –, these two angles are closely interlinked.

Further information can be found here.

Research projects in the Context of German, French and British Criminal Proceedings





In this section you will find a selection of our documentary activities in smaller databases. These include information about the names of defendants, the degree of penalties, the location of trials as well as indictments and summaries of “Reviews and Recommendations” from different military court proceedings of the Allied in Europe and the Far East. 

Further excerpts from procedures in Italy, Norway and Belgium are currently being analysed and prepared.

Zuletzt aktualisiert: 02.03.2016 · Hoermann Sascha, Fb. 01

Philipps-Universität Marburg

ICWC, Universitätsstraße 7, 35032 Marburg
Tel. +49 6421 28-26895, Fax +49 6421 28-26894, E-Mail: form@staff.uni-marburg.de

URL dieser Seite: https://www.uni-marburg.de/icwc/forschung/2weltkrieg/second-world-war

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