Breadcrumb

Katherine Fite Lincoln Papers

Dates: 1941-1976; Bulk Dates: 1945-1948

Detailed from the Department of State to the staff of the Office of the United States Chief of Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality, July through December 1945

The papers of Katherine Fite Lincoln (formerly Katherine Boardman Fite) relate primarily to her service as an assistant to Justice Robert H. Jackson in the above stated office. Fite's main responsibility was to assist in the preparation of evidence and arguments for use in the trials of Nazi leaders. The collection includes the characterful and vividly descriptive letters that Fite wrote to her parents while engaged in her historic assignment. Also included are several legal documents relating to the prosecution of Nazi leaders.

[Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List]

ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: About 1500 pages.
Access: Open, with the exception of a few pages restricted according to the provisions of Executive Order 12356 governing access to national security information.
Copyright: Katherine Fite Lincoln donated her copyright interest in her unpublished writings in this collection or any other collection in the possession of the United States Government to the people of the United States. In addition, documents prepared by United States Government employees in the course of their official duties are also in the public domain. Otherwise, copyright interest in the documents in this collection is presumed to belong to the creators of the documents or their heirs.
Processed by: Niel M. Johnson, Raymond H. Geselbracht, and Sharie Simon

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

ca. 1905

 

Born, Katherine Boardman Fite, Boston, Massachusetts

1926

 

A.B., Vassar College

1930

 

LL.B., Yale University Law School

1934-36

 

Attorney, General Claims Commission, United States and Mexico

1937-

 

Assistant to the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State

1945, July-

 

Assigned to the Office of the U.S. December Chief of Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality, Nuremberg, Germany

1957

 

Married Francis F. Lincoln

1962

 

Retired from service with the Department of State

1989, June 20

 

Died, probably in or near Boston, Massachusetts

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COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The papers of Katherine Fite Lincoln (formerly Katherine Boardman Fite) relate primarily to her service as an assistant to Justice Robert H. Jackson in the Office of the United States Chief of Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality from July through December, 1945. Fite's main responsibility was to assist in the preparation of evidence and arguments for use in the trials of Nazi leaders.

The collection includes the characterful and vividly descriptive letters that Fite wrote to her parents while engaged in her historic assignment. The letters are written primarily from London and Nuremberg. They give Fite's impressions of London and parts of Germany in the months immediately following the end of the war in Europe; they describe too both the intimate and social sides of her life as a member of the war crimes tribunal staff, and the work that she performed while with this staff.

The collection is divided into three series. The Correspondence File contains Fite's letters to her parents, described above, as well as several letters from her mother and from friends and acquaintances. The War Crimes Trials File includes memoranda, reports, lists of names and organizations, notes, minutes of a meeting, a legal brief and an indictment - all relating to the accumulation of evidence to be presented in the war crimes trials. A few documents captured at the Reichschancellery in Berlin are also included in this series.

The Clippings and Photographs File contains primarily publications and photographs concerning the war crimes trials.

Related files and collections in the Truman Library's holdings include the President's Secretary's File (General File, Subject File), the Confidential File, the Official File (OF 325 and 325A), and the papers of Eben Ayers, Eleanor Bontecou, Samuel Rosenman and John Young. The archives staff has added information, in brackets, to some of the folder titles listed in this finding aid.

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SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos.

 

Series

1

  CORRESPONDENCE FILE, 1945-47, 1948, 1962
Handwritten letters from Katherine Fite to her parents, written between July l4 and December 28, 1945; typed transcriptions of these letters; and a small volume of correspondence to Miss Fite from her mother, friends, and associates. Most of the letters describe Katherine Fite's reactions to postwar London, and Germany, and her work with the war crimes prosecution team in Nuremberg. Arranged in the two groups described above, and thereunder chronologically.

1-2

  WAR CRIMES TRIALS FILE, 1941, 1945-46
Memoranda, reports, lists, notes, minutes of a meeting, and legal documents relating to the accumulation of evidence to be presented in the war crimes trials. The series includes a typewritten carbon copy of the indictment filed against the defendants, as well as a compilation of charges against the defendants. It also includes Katherine Fite's travel papers and a few souvenirs, a membership list of the United Nations War Crimes Commission, a few documents retrieved from the Reichschancellery in Berlin, and minutes of a meeting of the four chief prosecutors on August 28, 1945. Arranged in alphabetical order by subject or document type.

2

  CLIPPINGS AND PHOTOGRAPHS FILE, 1945-46, 1975-76
Clippings and articles, almost all of them from 1945-46, dealing with Katherine Fite and with the war crimes trials at Nuremberg. The series also includes several picture postcards, a set of miniature photographs depicting scenes in prewar Germany and France, photographs of Robert H. Jackson and Murray Bernays, and photographs showing interior and exterior scenes of Nuremberg's Palace of Justice during the trial of the Nazi leaders in the fall of 1945. The photographs have been transferred to the audiovisual unit. Arranged alphabetically by type of document.
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FOLDER TITLE LIST

CORRESPONDENCE FILE, 1945-47, 1948, 1962

Box 1

  • Nuremberg Letters, 1945 [from Katherine Fite to her parents, written from London, Nuremberg, and Paris] [1 of 3, handwritten letters]
  • Nuremberg Letters, 1945 [from Katherine Fite to her parents, written from London, Nuremberg, and Paris] [2 of 3, typed copies, I]
  • Nuremberg Letters, 1945 [from Katherine Fite to her parents, written from London, Nuremberg, and Paris] [3 of 3, typed copies, II]
  • Letters to Katherine Fite, 1945-47, 1948, 1962 [from Mrs. Emerson Fite, Murray Bernays, Leonard Wheeler, et al.]

WAR CRIMES FILE, 1941, 1945-46

  • Travel Papers and Souvenirs, 1945-46
  • Leonard Wheeler Material, 1945 [membership list and telephone directory of the United Nations War Crimes Commission]
  • Letters and Lists Picked up by Katherine Fite at Reichschancellery, July, 1945
  • Miscellaneous Reports and Notes, 1945, 1947 [minutes of prosecutors' meeting, "The Nuremberg Judgement--a Summary," etc.]
  • Evidence--Major War Criminals [USSR evidence, names of major war criminals, listing of German decrees, etc.] [1 of 3]
  • Evidence--Major War Criminals [USSR evidence, names of major war criminals, listing of German decrees, etc.] [2 of 3]

Box 2

  • Evidence--Major War Criminals [USSR evidence, names of major war criminals, listing of German decrees, etc.] [3 of 3]
  • Trial Brief--Reich Cabinet [1 of 2]
  • Trial Brief--Reich Cabinet [2 of 2]

CLIPPINGS AND PHOTOGRAPHS FILE, 1945-46, 1975-76

  • News Clippings, 1945 and Prior to [Stars and Stripes, Die Neue Zeitung, The Times, etc.]
  • News Clippings, 1946, and Publications [relating to the war crimes trials]
  • Postcards--Nuremberg, Rothenburg, etc.
  • Photographs [cross-reference sheets; the original photographs have been transferred to the audiovisual unit]
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