NMT Case 2

U.S.A. v. Erhard Milch


Erhard Milch, a Field Marshal in the German Air Force, was chiefly responsible for the production of aircraft during the war (e.g., the Jaegerstab program) and was also, as a member of the Central Planning Board under Albert Speer, one of the managers of the German war economy.

Milch was tried by Tribunal 2 at Nuremberg, from 13 Nov 1946 (indictment filed) to 17 Apr 1947 (sentence). The indictment had three counts: 1. (War crimes) Mistreatment of civilians of occupied territories and prisoners of war as slave laborers; 2. (War crimes) Medical experiments (high altitude and freezing) on concentration camp inmates; 3. (Crimes against humanity) Slave labor and medical experiments on German nationals and citizens of other countries. Milch was accused of direct participation in the conscription and mistreatment of slave laborers, and of administrative responsibility for the medical experiments conducted for the air force.

The prosecution presented 161 written exhibits and 3 witnesses. The defense presented 51 written exhibits, 30 witnesses, and testimony by Milch himself. The tribunal called one witness.

Milch was acquitted of the charges concerning medical experiments and found guilty of the charges concerning slave labor. He was sentenced to life imprisonment; in 1951 the sentence was commuted to a term of 15 years.


Three Counts:

  1. War crimes: Mistreatment of civilians of occupied territories and prisoners of war used as slave laborers
  2. War crimes: Medical experiments (high altitude and freezing) on concentration camp inmates
  3. Crimes against humanity: Slave labor and medical experiments on German nationals and citizens of other countries

Persons Involved

Tribunal 2

Robert M. Toms, presiding
Fitzroy D. Phillips
Michael A. Musmanno
John J. Speight, alternate

Prosecution Counsel

Telford Taylor, Chief of Counsel
Clark Denney, Chief Trial Counsel
James S. Conway
Dorothy M. Hunt
Henry T. King, Jr.
Raymond J. McMahon, Jr.
Maurice C. Myers

Defense Counsel

Dr. Friedrich Bergold
Dr. Werner Milch

Detailed Chronology

DateProceeingsTranscript Pages
13 Nov 1946Indictment filed
14 Nov 1946Indictment served
20 Dec 1946Arraignment; indictment read 1-8
2 Jan 1947Prosecution opening statement & evidence 9-494
3 Jan 1947slave labor-general 25-295
13 Jan 1947slave labor-Jaegerstab 295-360
14 Jan 1947medical experiments 369-487
27 Jan 1947Defense opening statement & evidence 494-2376
5 Feb 1947Paul Koerner (D) 652-710
6-7 Feb 1947Fritz Schmelter (D) 717-759
7, 11 Feb 1947Erich Hippke (D) 759-870
11 Feb 1947Karl E. Richter (D) 871-900
12 Feb 1947Helmut Foerster (D) 915-938
12 Feb 1947Walter Neff (D) 939-943
12 Feb 1947Walter Hertel (D) 944-979
13 Feb 1947Artur Eschenauer (D) 980-996
14 Feb 1947Hans W. Romberg (D) 1021A-1050
14 Feb 1947Wolfram Sievers (D) 1050-1057
14 Feb 1947Hermann Becker-Freyseng (D) 1061-1066
14 Feb 1947Georg A. Weltz (D) 1066-1072
14 Feb 1947Leo Alexander (D) 1074-1092
14, 17 Feb 1947Siegfried Ruff (D) 1092-1122
17, 19 Feb 1947Albert Speer (D) 1136-1186, 1445-1457
17 Feb 1947Max Koenig (D) 1189-1204
18 Feb 1947Max Pendele (D) 1205-1227
18 Feb 1947Karl Wolff (D) 1228-1268
19 Feb 1947Constantin von Neurath (D) 1440-1443
20 Feb 1947Berndt von Brauchitsch (D) 1271-1289
20 Feb 1947Helmut Felmy (D) 1290-1296
20 Feb 1947Walter Warlimont (D) 1296-1299
24 Feb 1947Otto Schniewind (D) 1307-1329
24 Feb 1947Rudolf Brandt (D) 1330-1354
24 Feb 1947Gerhard Engel (D) 1355-1361
24 Feb 1947Xaver Dorsch (D) 1361-1379
3 Mar 1947Manfred Roeder (D) 1381-1403
3 Mar 1947Walter Lichtenstein (T) 1428-1432
4 Mar 1947Erich Raeder (D) 1434-1439
5-6 Mar 1947Roland Ferrier (P) 1481-1548
6, 10-11 Mar 1947Paul Le Friec (P) 1550-1584
20-21 Mar 1947Wolfgang Vorwald (D) 1586-1696, 2287-2340
11-20 Mar 1947Erhard Milch (D) 1696-2276
20 Mar 1947Hermann Reinecke (D) 2277-2287
21 Mar 1947Joseph Krysiak (P) 2362-2376
25 Mar 1947Defense and prosecution defense closing statements 2377-2490
16 Apr 1947Judgment 2491
17 Apr 1947Sentence 2527
17 June 1947Affirmation of sentence by US Military Governor
20 Oct 1947US Supreme Court denies writ of habeas corpus

Evidence File Document Groups Used in the Trial

F[675, 824]
NINuremberg Industrialist
NONuremberg Organizations
NOKWNuremberg Armed Forces High Command