On the other hand, it may be useful to indicate what this collection is. The publication is offered in accordance with the conviction which has constantly animated the American prosecution, that only a part of its duty would have been done if it succeeded in persuading the judges of the International Military Tribunal. Its full task will be accomplished only if the world is also convinced of the justness of the cause. There were always some people who, perhaps under the spell of the exposure of the "atrocity propaganda" used in the First World War, felt that the deceptions and the outrages laid to the Nazis were quite possibly untrue and in any event exaggerated. The mission of convincing these skeptics is one that has not been and cannot be discharged by newspaper reports of the Nurnberg proceedings, which by their nature are incomplete and evanescent. But an inspection of the Nazis' own official records should suffice to banish all honest doubts, and to make it undeniably clear that those things really happened because the Nazis planned it that way. It is the hope of the American prosecution that these volumes may in some measure expose, for the warning of future generations as well as a reminder to the present, the anatomy of National Socialism in all its ugly nakedness. Many of these documents disclose the repressive governmental machinery and intricate Party bureaucracy by which the Nazis stifled initiative and opposition. They reveal also the image of horror which a gang of brigands created in the name of the German state, in order to seize and maintain power for themselves at the expense of the liberties of their own people and the lives of their neighbors. Legal proof has perhaps seldom been so overwhelming, certainly never so self-admitted, as is this proof of the deeds with which the Nazi leadership befouled the earth.
Yet, although these documents naturally are concerned primarily with the guilt of the leaders of the German Reich, they also contain a wealth of information, much of it hitherto unavailable elsewhere, on many other matters of importance. Their pages illuminate many dark corners of recent history. Hence, this collection has an additional purpose. It is offered as a source book, of interest to historians, political scientists, students, universities, libraries, government agencies, private research groups, newspaper editors, and others, so that they may see, from the official papers of the Nazi government and from the words of its own leaders, the things that went on in Germany in the days of that blasphemous regime. These papers, although they include a few legal matters, are not addressed nor are they expected to appeal primarily to lawyers. The satisfaction of these professional interests must perforce be postponed until publication of the official record of the trial.