Catalogue description John da Cunha Papers: Ravensbrück (also cited as Ravensbrueck and Ravensbruck) War Crimes Trials.

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Details of RW 2
Reference: RW 2
Title: John da Cunha Papers: Ravensbrück (also cited as Ravensbrueck and Ravensbruck) War Crimes Trials.
Description:

This series contains a collection of records made by John da Cunha while he was serving with the Judge Advocate General's Department in the closing months of the Second World War. He acted first as an investigator into war crimes committed at Ravensbrück, and then as a legal assistant at the trial of those accused of the war crimes. The collection includes photographs taken during the trial, copies of drawings showing conditions in Ravensbrück made by a prisoner in the camp, a copy of the investigation report, statements made by witnesses to war crimes, including a number not produced as evidence in the trial, and some contemporary correspondence.

Date: 1945-1949
Related material:

The official records of the trials are in WO 235

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 7 file(s)
Access conditions: Open unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

John Wilfred da Cunha, Justice, 1922-

Custodial history: These records relating to Justice da Cunha's wartime service investigating war crimes and his role in the trial of those accused of war crimes committeed at Ravensbrück were collected by Justice da Cunha at the time, and were held by him until they were gifted to The National Archives in 2005.
Selection and destruction information: All surviving records selected.
Administrative / biographical background:

The Hague Conventions were international treaties negotiated at the First and Second Peace Conferences at The Hague, Netherlands in 1899 and 1907, respectively, and were (along with the Geneva Conventions of 1925 and 1928) among the first formal statements of the laws of war and war crimes in the nascent body of secular international law. War crimes under international law were firmly established by the Nuremberg Principles, a document that was created as a result of the Nuremberg Trials of leading Nazis from 20 November 1945 to 1 October 1946 at the International Military Tribunal. These principles are based at the level of international law.

The Nuremberg Trials were the first of their type whereby the allied powers convened an International Military Tribunal specifically to try and sentence leading Nazis. Great Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union, and France were all given places on the Tribunal. Some 200 German constituting the main war crimes defendants were eventually tried at Nuremberg and 1600 others were tried under the traditional channels of military justice: courts-martial in other German towns. The Ravensbrück trials comprised part of the latter.

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