Michael A. Musmanno

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Michael A. Musmanno (second from right) at the Pohl Trial (1950)

Michael Angelo Musmanno (born April 7, 1897 in Stowe , Allegheny County , Pennsylvania , † October 12, 1968 in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania) was an American lawyer , naval officer, judge in Pennsylvania and in three subsequent trials of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial in Nuremberg.


Musmanno was born in an industrial district a few miles west of Pittsburgh . As a teenager he worked in coal mines and steel mills to finance his law studies.

When the US entered World War II, Musmanno was a judge in Allegheny County. Because of his office as a judge, he would have been exempt from military service. He still served voluntarily in the US Navy and received several awards. At the end of the war he was assigned to the American military tribunal in Nuremberg , where he participated in three of the follow-up trials to the Nuremberg Trials :

During his time in Germany he dealt intensively with the events in the Führerbunker that led to Hitler's death. To do this, he spoke to a large number of eyewitnesses. In addition, film recordings were made of interviews with twenty of these eyewitnesses, including Traudl Junge and Artur Axmann . He published the results of his research in 1950 in the book In 10 days comes the death (original title: Ten days to die). In 2013, the footage in the documentary Witnesses of Fall - The Lost Interviews from 1948 was used for the first time .

After working in Nuremberg, he returned to Pennsylvania, where he was elected judge of the state's Supreme Court in 1951 and took office in 1952. He practiced it until his death in 1968.

Musmanno's grave in Arlington National Cemetery

As an author, Musmanno has written several non-fiction books. His short story Jan Volkanik was the template for the script for the drama In blinder Wut by Michael Curtiz in 1936 .

Musmanno is buried in Arlington American National Cemetery .


  • Death comes in 10 days (original title: Ten days to die) , Droemersche Verlagsanstalt, Munich 1950.
  • The Eichmann Commands , Macrae Smith, Philadelphia, 1961.
  • An American replies to a defamation of the Italians , 1965.
  • Hitler's Last Witnesses , Herbig, Munich, 2004 (new edition of In 10 Days Comes Death ).


  • Michael Kloft : Witnesses of Doom - The Lost Interviews from 1948 . SAT 1, April 29, 2013

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Claudia Tieschky: "Witnesses of Downfall" on Sat.1: A cigarette with Hitler's hairdresser . In: sueddeutsche.de . ISSN  0174-4917 ( sueddeutsche.de [accessed on August 28, 2015]).
  2. Witnesses of the Downfall: The Lost Interviews from 1948 . In: Spiegel Online . April 22, 2013 ( spiegel.de [accessed on August 28, 2015]).
  3. By Bernd Oswald: Review "Hitler's Last Witnesses": Terribly authentic . In: sueddeutsche.de . ISSN  0174-4917 ( sueddeutsche.de [accessed on August 28, 2015]).