It is apparent that such a vast collection of documents on a variety of subjects would be useless to any one not thoroughly conversant with the field, without some sort of guide through the maze. That is the reason for the first two volumes, which consist of various explanatory materials included in order to facilitate understanding. The average reader who tries to cope with some of the more pompous of the Nazi titles-such as Beauftragter des Fuehrers fuer die ueberwachung des Gesamten Geistigen und Weltausschaulichers Schulung und Erziehung der NSDAP, or Delegate of the Fuehrer for the Total Supervision of Intellectual and Ideological Training and Education of the Party (Rosenberg)-is plainly in need of assistance. A Glossary of common German and Nazi titles, designations, and terms has therefore been compiled. For those who are unfamiliar with the difference between a Hauptmann and a Hauptsturmfuehrer, a table of military ranks, with their American equivalents, has been prepared. A brief biographical gazeteer of the more prominent Nazis, together with a listing of the major officials of the Government, Party, and Armed Forces, has also been included for reference purposes. In addition, an index of the Code-Words used by the Nazis to preserve the secrecy of the invasions they plotted has been compiled. Moreover, in order to make clear developments in the proceedings affecting the status of several of the defendants, certain motions of counsel and rulings of the Tribunal, together with factual accounts, are also presented. And finally the international treaties relating to land warfare and prisoners of war are printed in full (3737-PS; 3738-PS).
The principal content of Volumes I and II is composed of what might be called essays, summarizing and connecting up most of the documents relating to particular subjects in the order of their mention in Counts I and II of the Indictment. As an additional aid, at the end of each essay there appears a descriptive list of all documents referred to in the essay, so that the reader may quickly discover which of the published documents bear upon the subject in which he is interested. In many cases these lists include documents not discussed in the essays for the reason that they are cumulative in nature or were discovered subsequent to the preparation of the essays.
Some of these essays are adaptations of factual "trial briefs" prepared by the staff of OCC. Some of these "trial briefs" were handed to the Tribunal for its assistance, while others were used only for the guidance of trial counsel. Others of the essays have been adapted from the oral presentation and summary of counsel in court. Their difference in origin explains their difference in form. It must be borne in mind that each of these essays, which were originally prepared for the purpose of convincing the Tribunal of the legal guilt of the defendants, has been submitted to a process of editing and revision in order to serve a quite different purpose-to give the general reader a general and coherent conception of the subject matter.
These essays bear the marks of haste and are not offered as in any sense definitive or exhaustive. The task of translation from German into English was a formidable one, and in many instances translations of documents could be made available to the briefwriters only a few days before the briefs were scheduled to be presented in court. In other instances it was utterly impossible, with the constantly overburdened translating staff available, to translate in full all the material known to be of value if the prosecution was to be ready on the date set for trial. The diary of Hans Frank, for example (2233-PS) consisted of 42 volumes, of which only a few outstanding excerpts, chosen by German-reading analysts, were translated. Similarly, large portions of the 250 volumes of the Rosenberg correspondence remain still untranslated and unused. Books, decrees, and lengthy reports were not translated in full, and only salient excerpts were utilized. Approximately 1,500 documents in the possession of OCC have not yet been translated and more are being received daily. It is expected that they will be used for purposes of cross-examination and rebuttal, and may later be published.
It must also be remembered that these documents are, in the main, translations from the original German. The magnitude of the task, coupled with a sense of the hastening on of time, naturally resulted in imperfections. However, an attempt has been made to preserve the format of the original documents in the printed translations. Italics represent underlining in the original documents and editorial additions have been enclosed in brackets. The reader may notice occasional variations between the English wording of documents quoted in the essays, and the full text of the document itself. This divergence is explained by the fact that translations of the same documents were sometimes made by two different persons. Variations in the exact means of expression were of course to be expected in such an event, yet both translations are of equal authenticity. Certain passages of some documents may strike the reader as confused or incomplete, and occasionally this is the result of hasty work. More frequently, however the jumble of language accurately reflects the chaos of the original German, for the language of National Socialists was often merely a turgid and mystical aggregation of words signifying nothing, to which the German language easily lends itself. The accuracy of the translations is attested to in Maj. Coogan's affidavit (001-A-PS).
If the case had not been set down for trial until 1948, a complete and satisfactory preparation would have been possible. A perfect case could not have been made in less time. But the Allied governments and public opinion were understandably impatient of delay for whatever reason, and they had to be respected. The nature of the difficulties caused by the pressure for speed were stated in Justice Jackson's address opening the American case:
"In justice to the nations and the men associated in this prosecution, I must remind you of certain difficulties which may leave their mark on this case. Never before in legal history has an effort been made to bring within the scope of a single litigation the developments of a decade, covering a whole Continent, and involving a score of nations, countless individuals, and innumerable events. Despite the magnitude of the task, the world has demanded immediate action. This demand has had to be met, though perhaps at the cost of finished craftsmanship. In my country, established courts, following familiar procedures, applying well thumbed precedents, and dealing with the legal consequences of local and limited events, seldom commence a trial within a year of the event in litigation. Yet less than eight months ago today the courtroom in which you sit was an enemy fortress in the hands of German SS troops. Less than eight months ago nearly all our witnesses and documents were in enemy hands. The law had not been codified, no procedures had been established, no Tribunal was in existence, no usable courthouse stood here, none of the hundreds of tons of official German documents had been examined, no prosecuting staff had been assembled, nearly all the present defendants were at large, and the four prosecuting powers had not yet joined in common cause to try them. I should be the last to deny that the case may well suffer from incomplete researches and quite likely will not be the example of professional work which any of the prosecuting nations would normally wish to sponsor. It is, however, a completely adequate case to the judgment we shall ask you to render, and its full development we shall be obliged to leave to historians."