Dr. Maurice Williams is Associate Professor of History at the University of British Columbia Okanagan in Kelowna, Canada. He received his Ph.D. from Texas Christian University and has worked at the University of Maryland (European Division), Notre Dame University of Nelson (British Columbia), and Okanagan University College (Kelowna). Dr. Williams teaches courses on Central Europe and is engaged in research on National Socialism in southeastern Europe. He is the author of Gau, Volk, and Reich; Friedrich Rainer and the Paradox of Austrian National Socialism (English and German editions, Klagenfurt, 2005).2006 0-7734-5665-1
This study provides a different perspective on the important Nuremberg war crimes trial of 1945 and 1946. Friedrich Rainer, an Austrian Nazi, a lawyer, an influential Gauleiter
, and a well-placed Hitler lieutenant, was a witness for the defendant Arthur Seyss-Inquart. Rainer was imprisoned in the witnesses’ wing where he had a unique opportunity to observe the trial and its participants. Later, as a Yugoslav prisoner, he wrote about his nine-month incarceration. His story, both first-hand and historical, is more detached than the memoirs of the defendants and provides a different perspective from the prosecutors. Since he was not himself on trial, he maintained a certain detachment, yet he shared some of the extant emotion. Further, Rainer’s legal background allowed him to examine, compare, and analyze the process. He also endeavored to write with the historian’s eye, distinguishing between fact and rumor, presenting evidence, and drawing conclusions. Most important, he placed his account in a larger context than the immediate trial. Finally, this translation, plus the editor’s commentary, provides a glimpse into the world of a man who embodies much that was typical Nazi, a man who may be seen as an historian and apologist of National Socialism.