War Office: Judge Advocate General's Office, British Army of the Rhine War Crimes Group (North West Europe) and predecessors: Registered Files (BAOR and other series)

Details of WO 309
Reference:WO 309
Title:
War Office: Judge Advocate General's Office, British Army of the Rhine War Crimes Group (North West Europe) and predecessors: Registered Files (BAOR and other series)
Description:

This series contains the records of the War Crimes Section of the Judge Advocate General's Branch of Headquarters 21st Army Group, set up in 1945 to investigate alleged war crimes in North West Europe.

Following its creation, the War Crimes Group (North West Europe), British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) assumed responsibility for unfinished cases originated in other units and hence the series contains some case files dealing with suspected war crimes outside North West Europe (e.g. Russia and Italy).

The series also contains policy and administrative files dealing with civilian internment, detention reports, and CROWCASS lists.

Also contained in this series are records of subordinate headquarters concerned mainly with the convening of courts for the trial of war criminals, attendance of witnesses and general arrangements for trials. Occasionally there may be gaps in the sequence of original file references. These gaps may represent files which have not survived, but others may be filled by pieces elsewhere in the series.

Records in this series may contain photographs which could cause distress.

Date: 1943-1986
Related Material: For a partial index see WO 353/24
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Former reference in its original department BAOR and other file series
Legal status: Public Record
Language: English
Creator: Lord Chancellor's Office, Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Forces, 1948-1972
War Office, Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Forces, 1935-1948
Physical description: 2247 files and volumes
Access conditions: Open unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition: Ministry of Defence , from 1989
Accruals: Series is accruing
Administrative / biographical background:

After the Second World War, the investigation of war crimes in Europe was initially the responsibility of Judge Advocate General's Investigation Units or Branches attached to Allied HQs. Three war crimes groups were established to undertake detailed investigation in the field of alleged war crimes in North West Europe and were later merged into one unit known as the War Crimes Investigation Unit.

In January 1947 the various units and headquarters branches responsible for investigation and processing war crimes trials were amalgamated into one unit, designated the War Crimes Group (North West Europe), British Army of the Rhine (BAOR). Following this amalgamation unfinished cases were handed over to BAOR for completion. A War Crimes Liaison Office was also set up in Berlin and Baden-Baden.

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