The Office of Strategic Services, most often referred to by its acronym OSS, was the forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The OSS was a United States intelligence agency created during World War II. President Franklin Roosevelt ordered William J. Donovan, the head of the Office of the Coordinator of Information (COI), to draft a plan for an intelligence service based on the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and Special Operations Executive (SOE). The stated purpose of the OSS was to coordinate espionage activities behind enemy lines for the branches of the United States Armed Forces. Its principle activities took place in Asia and in areas occupied by the Axis powers during World War II. The Office of the Director of Strategic Services was terminated on October 1, 1945. In 1947, the former agency's essential functions were reconstituted in the newly established Central Intelligence Agency, which assumed responsibility for the OSS records held by the Department of the Army.
The Research and Analysis Branch of the OSS was responsible for the accumulation, evaluation, and analysis of political, psychological, sociological, economic, topographic, and military information required for operations or requested by the JCS, the Armed Forces, and other authorized government agencies, and for the preparation of studies, maps, charts, and illustrations relating to such material.
Produced by the OSS's Research and Analysis Branch, most of these reports were created for the use of various allied war crimes investigation and prosecution staff members. These OSS research & analysis reports cover many topics related to the Germany's historical, cultural, and socio-economic background, as well as the conduct of Germany during World War II. The scope and content of the reports include, but not limited to, Germany's economic preparations to wage aggressive war, German criminal procedure, German real property law, and German inheritance law, Nazi paramilitary and military organizations, concentration camps, and the Nazi's intended annihilation of European Jewry.
Reports of interest include:
1944-10-03 R&A No. 1844 Concentration Camps in Germany
A description of concentration camps located within the 1937 boundaries of Germany: their administration and discipline; classification of prisoners, official and unofficial; the routine of camp life; activities and attitudes of inmates.
1944-10-19 R&A No. 2027 The Jews in Hungary
This report covers the social, political and economic position of the Jews in Hungary prior to the Nazi occupation; the economic discrimination against and expropriation of the Jews under the pro-Nazi government:, the subsequent establishment of ghettos and concentration camps followed by mass deportations; the question of Hungarian responsibility and public reaction; Allied and neutral attempts at intervention and rescue. It deals with events through the period ending in September 1944.
1944-12-22 R&A No. 2500.18 German Military Government over Europe: Military and Police Tribunals in Occupied Europe
This report describes the system of courts, for the most part military, police, and other special courts, set up by the Germans in the various parts of occupied Europe; it also analyzes the decrees and other regulations dealing with the prosecution of acts directed against military security or otherwise of political character.
1945-04-30 R&A No. 1988.1 Soviet Intentions to Punish War Criminals
A statement and analysis of the attitude of the USSR toward war crimes, criminal responsibility, and questions of law and jurisdiction; a review of present Soviet procedure toward war criminals. A list of persons accused by the Soviet Extraordinary State Commission is attached.
1945-05-02 R&A No. 3113 Principal Nazi Organizations Involved in War Crimes
The purpose of this project is to establish the jurisdictional responsibility of such organizations and institutions as the Nazi Party, the Reich Government, and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) for the commission of specific crimes. The group approach (as opposed to the consideration of isolated persons) is based on the assumption that the indictment of these organizations or their agencies may expedite the prosecution of war criminals and help to prove that Nazi war crimes are not purely individual acts committed in violation of existing laws, but are the manifestations of an overall plan which relied, integrally or implicitly, on specific organizations as instruments essential or incidental to the execution of its purpose.
1945-06-15 R&A No. 3113.1 Principal Nazi Organizations Involved in War Crimes: Criminal Responsibilities in Connection with the Purge of 1934
Aspects of the purge are covered in sections titled:
The Nature of the Purge
Events of the Purge
Official justification for the Purge
Responsibility in connection with the deaths of party members
The assignment of specific responsibility in connection with the purge
1945-06-25 R&A No. 3152 Hermann Goering as a War Criminal
In this study it is intended to list the major types of crimes for which Hermann Gearing can be indicted, sub-divided into more specific types. Thus, the major type of "domestic crimes" is sub-divided into the more specific types: crimes committed through the Gestapo, crimes connected with the purge of June 1934, and participation in anti-Jewish persecution. In each case an attempt was made to outline a) specific acts constituting the type of crime in question, and the evidence available or still needed for proving such acts; b) the basis for Goering's responsibility for the commission of such acts, including positions held relating to crimes involved, decrees, order's, and other documents bearing on his jurisdictional responsibility, and statements by Goering and others showing his responsibility; c) the law applicable to the type of crimes in question; d) the weaknesses, if any, in evidence of responsibility or specific crimes.
1945-07-02 R&A No. 62.04 Supplement to R&A 3152 and R&A 3113.1
Supplement to R&A 3152, 'Hermann Goering as a War Criminal' and R&A 3113.1, 'Principal Nazi Organizations Involved in the Commission of War Crimes—Criminal Responsibilities in Connection with the Rohm Putsch"
This document provides additional information pertaining to the Roehm Purge, some of which has evidently been drawn from the writings of Dr. Gisevius, specifically The Frenzy of the Masses and The Thirtieth of June. The supplement also offers an account of the murder, apparently unintended of Willi Schmidt, music critic for the Muenchener Neuste Nachrichten, who seems to have been killed in a case of mistaken identity; the SS's true intended victim was probably SA leader Willi Schmidt.
1945-07-06 R&A No. 3114.4 The Nazi Master Plan Annex 4: The Persecution of Christian Churches
This study describes with illustrative factual evidence, Nazi purposes, policies and methods of persecuting the Christian Churches in Germany and occupied Europe.
1945-07-09 R&A No. 3114.1 Nazi Plans For Dominating Germany and Europe: The Attitude of the NSDAP Toward Political Terror
From the report's introduction: "Attitudes of the Nazis toward their own political terrorism have varied from outright denial or expressions of misgiving to flat admission and glorification of the crimes and those who perpetrated them. In the following case histories of Nazi crimes against the opposition, it will be shown, as far as possible, what happened not merely to the victims but to the assassins."
The two main sections contain the following chapters:
Section: Terror in 1919-1923: Chapters:
The Battle of Coburg
Kapp Putsch and Consul Organization
The Assassins of Rathenau
The Rossbach Corps
The Feme Murders and the Kuestrin Putsch
The Hitler Putsch of 1923
Section: Terror in 1930-1934 Chapters:
"Let the Heads Roll"
Terrorists and Policemen
The "Heroes of the Nation"
Austrian Terrorists and Members of the Reichstag
The Rise of the Terrorists
1945-07-10 R&A No. 3081 Nazi Changes in Criminal Procedure
This paper describes the system of German criminal procedure in existence before 1933 and the changes brought in under the Nazi regime.
1945-07-15 R&A No. 3108 The Treatment of Collaborationists in France
An analysis of how France has dealt with those Frenchmen who collaborated with the Germans. Both the laws dealing with the purge and its actual machinery and operation are discussed, with special attention to the merits and defects disclosed, the internal political problems raised by the purge are also described.
1945-07-18 R&A No. 3110 Leadership Principle and Criminal Responsibility
This paper shows the implications of the leadership principle on the responsibility of "leaders" in the Nazi structure of state, party, economy, and other organizations for the commission of war crimes. It pays special attention to statements made by Nazi leaders on the topic of the leadership principle and to writings of authoritative Nazi authors concerning the same subject, and it draws certain conclusions as to the broader responsibility which can be developed concerning these leaders' criminal responsibility.
1945-07-24 R&A No. 3114.6 Nazi Plans For Dominating Germany and Europe: Nazi Spoliation of Property in Occupied Europe
The term "spoliation of property" is used in the discussion to cover all illegal acts which affected the economic welfare of German occupied countries. Spoliation thus includes not only offenses against property rights of the individual (the chief danger against which the Hague Conventions tried to protect an occupied country, but also the economic exploitation of the country as a whole by illegal means or to an illegal extent.
1945-08-03 R&A No. 3114.8 Nazi Plans for Dominating Germany and Europe: Agencies Involved in the Commission of Crimes Against Foreign Labor
From the report's introduction: "By her military victories during the first years of the war, Nazi-Germany acquired mastery over millions of non-German workers in all parts of Europe. The crimes it committed against these millions, and against other millions of men, women, and children later recruited for the German war economy were not isolated incidents. They served to implement general criminal policies aiming at the ruthless exploitation of foreign populations, their political subjection, and in a large measure also their physical extermination.
1945-08-13 R&A No. 3114.2 Nazi Plans for Dominating Germany and Europe: Domestic Crimes
This report contains two parts. Part I discusses the criminal responsibility of the Nazis for their violations of Domestic German law. Part II concerns the violations themselves, the suppression of labor organizations and political parties, the muzzling of the press, and the illegal passage of enabling legislation.
From the report's introduction: "The principal problem which the Part I confronts and attempts to solve is the expected plea by the Nazi Defense that the acts of which the prisoners are accused were in fact authorized by the laws of the Third Reich. While it would be possible to demonstrate that the Nazi regime itself was not the legal successor to the Weimar Republic, the Nazis could fall back upon the claim that as a frankly revolutionary government its constitutionality rested on its long and uncontested exercise of power. This it is suggested can only be countered by insistence upon the traditional view that a government's constitutionality depends upon how representative it is of its people and how wide an allegiance it is able to evoke from its citizenry."
1945-08-13 R&A No. 3114.3 Part 1 Nazi Plans For Dominating Germany and Europe: The Criminal Conspiracy against the Jews
The report characterizes a preconceived plan to annihilate the Jewish People as, "a common plan or enterprise of the German Government, the Nazi Party, and the German military, industrial, and financial leaders to achieve world domination by war. The destruction of the Jewish people as a whole, although an end in itself, was at the same time linked to and closely tied up with this aim of world conquest.
From the report's introduction: "The multitude of crimes committed against the Jews of Nazi dominated Europe cannot be regarded as merely isolated instances of individual brutality. Rather they constitute one continuous and indivisible crime - a criminal conspiracy against the Jewish people. All the various anti-Jewish measures taken by the Germans, from petty discriminations to final mass murder, whether executed by the government, its agencies, party formations, the Army, private and semi-public associations, or even 'spontaneous' mobs, were links in the same chain."
1945-08-15 R&A No. 3114.7 Principal Nazi Organizations Involved in the Commission of War Crimes: Nazi Racial and Health Policy
A report written for staff members working on prosecuting war crimes. From the study's introduction: "It should be stressed that the Nazis so-called "progressive" measures, such as the marriage loans, must be judged as a component part of this over-all racial "plan." These measures were frequently not in themselves criminal. For example, the Law for the Promotion of Marriages (marriage loans); the Law for Tax Reduction for Large Families; and the Law concerning Grants of Child Subsidies for Large Families would seem, superficially, to be quite innocent. Viewed in relation to the wider plan, however, they reveal another aspect. The benefits they offered were only for those held by the Nazis to be racially preferred people; their denial to people of "inferior" racial stock was designed to help rid the country of unwanted elements. Similar in purpose were the measures enacted by the Nazis to insure that only those who met established racial standards could marry and have children. Perhaps the most striking example of the two-faced nature of this type of Nazi legislation was the series of laws providing for the sterilization of hereditary defectives and the castration of habitual criminals. Avowedly for medical purposes only, these measures, through the broad interpretations given them by the courts enabled the Nazis to embark upon a program of 'mercy killings' of political and racial undesirables."
1945-08-28 R&A No. 2500.15 German Military Government over Europe: Economic Controls in Occupied Europe
This study examines the direct and indirect methods used by the Germans in controlling, managing, and exploiting the economies of the countries occupied by them before and during the war. In examining the German economic techniques, an effort is made to determine the political objectives behind the various types of economic exploitation.
1945-08-28 R&A No. 3113.3 Principal Nazi Organizations Involved in War Crimes and Their Policy-Making Officials: Legislative Agencies Involved in War Crimes
The purpose of this paper is to indicate the channels of responsibility for war crimes, insofar as they were expressions of Nazi legislation, rather than to present the case for criminal responsibility in any specific instances. The paper includes, accordingly: A) A brief outline of the major legislative bodies and authorities, such as the Reich Cabinet and the Ministerial Defense Council, and their main functions and responsibilities; and B) A list of documents dealing with the structure and organization, as well as the functions, of the remaining (mainly executive) governmental agencies and authorities.
Some of the other reports in this collection include:
1944-10-03 R&A No. 2500.9 German Military Government Over Europe: The Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia
1943-10-20 R&A No. 1281 The Significance of Prussian Militarism for Nazi Imperialism: Potential Tensions in United Nations Psychological Warfare
1944-10-13 R&A No. 1934.2 The Pattern of Illegal Anti-Democratic Activity in Germany after the Last War: The Free Corps
1944-10-16 R&A No. 2500.14 German Military Government over Europe: Italy
1944-12-01 R&A No. 2500.1 German Military Government over Europe: Albania
1945-06-17 R&A No. 3093 Nazi Changes in the Law of Real Property
1945-07-06 R&A No. 3114.5 The Nazi Master Plan: Annex 5 The Illegal Annexation of Territory by Nazi Germany
1945-07-19 R&A No. 3092 Nazi Changes in the Field of Family and Inheritance Law
1945-07-24 R&A No. 3113.7 Principal Nazi Organizations Involved in the Commission of War Crimes: The Nazi Party Parts 1 & 2
1945-09-06 R&A No. 3115.7 Principal Nazi Organizations Involved in the Commission of War Crimes: The Nazi Party Part 3
1945-09-10(1) R&A No. 5113.7 Principal Nazi Organizations Involved In The Commission Of War Crimes: The Nazi Party Part 4
1945-09-10(2) R&A No. 3113.7 Principal Nazi Organizations Involved In The Commission Of War Crimes: The Nazi Party Part 5