THE NAZI PERSECUTION OF RELIGION AS A WAR CRIME: THE OSS’S RESPONSE WITHIN THE NUREMBERG TRIALS PROCESS
Claire Hulme and Dr. Michael Salter
 The track record of both intelligence agencies and the Christian Churches in the war crimes field has attracted controversy. For example, serious allegations have been made regarding help given to suspected Nazi war criminals in the immediate post-war years by both the US Counter Intelligence Corps
in the Klaus Barbie case, 1 and Vatican officials as well as other senior Church official’s who co-operated with Nazism 2 and the fascist Ustasha movement in Croatia. 3
There exists, however, a less well-documented record of the Office of Strategic Services’ (hereinafter ‘OSS’) support for the Nuremberg prosecutors, which contributed to the recognition that the Christian Churches were amongst the early victims of Nazi war criminality.
This article is not an attempt to provide a detailed commentary on the OSS report published in the current edition of this journal. Instead, we will analyse some vital background, institutional and interpersonal dimensions of the OSS’s contribution to this aspect of the Nuremberg war crimes trials, particularly the important role of Franz Neumann, which places the report in its wider institutional and political contexts.
The Donovan Collection at Nuremberg
 Once General Donovan agreed to act as Justice Jackson’s deputy in May 1945, that is, as a senior aide to the head of the US Office of Chief of Counsel responsible for America’s contribution to the Nuremberg trials, Jackson’s office also acquired the services of OSS’s experts on Nazi Germany from the Central European Section (hereinafter “CES”) of the Research and Analysis (hereinafter “R&A”) Branch.
For purposes of exposition, this Branch’s contribution can be divided into three broad, and far from clear-cut categories: the supply of broad strategic analysis, the provision of personnel to augment and supervise Jackson’s own prosecution staff and other miscellaneous generalised support falling outside the first and second categories. Amongst the Nuremberg files of General Donovan4
head of OSS, i.e., America’s first central intelligence agency, is a hand-written note attached to an OSS / R&A report on the persecution of the Churches, which states simply “hold for Neumann.” But who was “Neumann?” Why should the leadership of the OSS allocate this particular individual responsibility for investigating and analysing Nazi religious persecution as one facet of this regime’s overall “crimes against humanity”, or, perhaps, crimes against the self-expressions of divinity?
 The focus of this article is largely on Neumann’s contribution to the analysis of Nazi religious persecution. This is primarily because his overall analysis informs so much of the documentation produced by OSS and other Nuremberg prosecutors and research analysts. 5
However, the work of other members of the OSS prosecution team, such as Drexel Sprecher, James Donovan, Whitney Harris, Bernard Meltzer, Thomas Lambert, and Robert Stevens, must not be forgotten. 6
Church specific material within the Donovan collection
 Materials generally relevant to the Nazi’s persecution of the Christian Churches can be found scattered across the Donovan/Cornell collection, and fall under different genres of OSS and Nuremberg documentation. These genres include draft trial briefs prepared by OSS and other trial lawyers, and internal memoranda between different OSS sub-sections and Branches providing services for Jackson.
Other relevant material is located within OSS Research and Analysis Reports (hereinafter ‘R&A reports’) specifically commissioned by Jackson, other earlier R&A Reports addressing aspects of how the Nazi’s governed occupied Europe, and in the many hundred Staff Evidence Analysis summaries of individual items of documentary evidence. One of the most important documents, however, is published in the present edition of this journal – namely a 91-page R&A report entitled “Persecution of the Christian Churches”, 7 and cited as “approved by the prosecution review board. ”This report’s own summary
Current LLM research degree candidate at the University of Central Lancashire. LLB University of CentralLancashire.** Professor of Law, University of Central Lancashire. LLB Southampton University; Ph.D. University of Sheffield..2 accurately distils its main purpose: “This study describes, with illustrative factual evidence, Nazi purposes, policies and methods of persecution of the Christian Churches in Germany and occupied Europe.” This study is important not only as a justification for the strategy adopted in subsequent trial briefs, but also for its elucidation of “criminal organisational” elements of religious persecution within, for example, Goebels Ministry of Propaganda. Although the report highlights its own limitations as a document restricted to sources then available in Washington, it also identifies various witnesses from continental Europe, whose testimony should provide vitally necessary supplementary evidence of additional, and much-needed probative value. We shall see that one of Franz Neumann’s tasks was to remedy these admitted limitations.
 The main headings under which this report analyses such persecution are as follows:
1. The Nature of the Persecution.
2. The Problem of Establishing Criminal Responsibility.
3. The Basic National Socialist Attitude Towards Christian Churches.
4. Policies Adopted in the Persecution of Christian Churches.
5. Methods Used to Implement the Policy of Persecution.
6. Organisations Bearing Particular Responsibility …
7. List of Chief Witnesses in the Cases.
8. Appendix: Wartime Documents Relating to the Wurttembergische Landeskirche.
 In characterising the nature of the persecution, the authors maintain the anti-positivist thesis that the very act of law-making can itself be considered a war crime, par