This collection contains nearly 600 pages of depositions, photos, and German war records gathered by American soldiers and prosecutors as the Allies pushed through Germany in 1945. They include dozens of first-person eye-witness accounts by German soldiers and their commanders of Nazi war-crimes against Jews and other victims of the Third Reich. Originally donated to Kent State University in 2002, the original copies are now archived at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
In honor of the 100th Birthday Anniversary of her father, David M. Berke, Cathy Berke Abrams is donating a copy of these deposition papers to the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with the intention of making this material as widely available to scholars and researchers as possible. Toward this end, the gift of these papers by the Berke Family is accompanied by a fund to digitize the entire collection, which will then be posted for all researchers on the Institute's web-site.
In October 2012, (a specific date will soon be announced) Professor Lawrence Douglas of Amherst College, author of The Memory of Judgment (Yale University Press), will give a lecture on the value of these deposition papers for historical understanding of the Holocaust, followed by a reception honoring Cathy Berke Abrams and the Berke Family for the gift of these papers.