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International War Crimes Tribunal Records TAM.098

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
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Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Collection processed by Alexandra Gottely, 2010

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 07, 2018
English

Descriptive Summary

Creator: International War Crimes Tribunal
Title: International War Crimes Tribunal Records
Dates [inclusive]: 1966-1975
Abstract: In 1967 Bertrand Russell, along with Jean Paul Sartre and Vladimir Dedijer, convened the First International War Crimes Tribunal, held in two public sessions, in Sweden and Denmark. The purpose of the Tribunal, which had no legal standing but which involved the participation of many noted cultural figures and human rights activists, was to expose and publicize war crimes committed during the Vietnam War. After Russell's death in 1970 a second Tribunal, concerned with repression in Latin America, was held in Rome and Brussels in 1974-75. The collection includes records of both tribunals: handouts and reports from various breakout sessions, materials relating to the organization of the tribunals, press releases and clippings.
Quantity: 1.5 Linear Feet (2 boxes)
Language: Materials are in English and French
Call Phrase: TAM.098

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Historical/Biographical Note

Two International War Crimes Tribunals were convened by the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, the first concerned with the Vietnam War and the second with repression in Latin America.

The first Tribunal was founded in 1966 by Bertrand Russell (1872-1970, an eminent British philosopher whose contributions to the understanding of the foundations of mathematics were crucial for twentith-century philosophy. Russell was awarded the Order of Merit in 1949 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950. He was also well known for his social and political activism, having been imprisoned in 1918 for anti-war activity and in 1961 for his anti-nuclear weapons protests. His appeal in 1966 to convene an International War Crimes Tribunal to expose and condemn American actions in Vietnam was not a surprise, but was widely viewed with skepticism by the public and the press all over the world. Ralph Schoenmann, Russell's secretary, was even accused of manipulating the 94-year-old philosopher.

Russell was not deterred and was able to enlist as members of the Tribunal people from many countries and many backgrounds. Notable are the two presidents, the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre and the Yugoslavian jurist Vladimir Dedijer, as well as British historian Isaac Deutscher; Italian Socialist deputy (PSIUP), lawyer and journalist, Lelio Basso; American writer James Baldwin; and Cuban lawyer Melba Hernandez. Around twenty persons were appointed as judges for the Tribunal. Dozens of others took part in the preliminary work, consisting of collecting evidence and testimony on the Vietnam War. Teams were sent to North and South Vietnam, and also to Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Japan and the United States, from the founding of the Tribunal on November 25, 1966 to the beginning of the second session on November 20, 1967. Two public sessions were held by the first Tribunal – also known as the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on American War Crimes in Vietnam. The first took place in Stockholm, Sweden, from May 2nd to May 10th 1967. The second took place in Roskilde (30 km from Copenhagen), Denmark, from November 20th to December 1st 1967.

Bertrand Russell died in 1970, but Lelio Basso was approached, in October 1971, by Brazilian exiles who were anxious for a new Tribunal to be held on the repression in their country. Basso agreed and some of the members of the first Tribunal enrolled to be part of the second. This time, Lelio Basso served as president, and Vladimir Dedijer, Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marque, Belgian professor of International Law François Rigaux, and French historian Albert Soboul served as vice-presidents. Sartre was made an honorary member. Preparations for the Tribunal lasted two years, 1972-1973. Originally planned to deal only with the repression in Brazil, after the coup d'etat in Chile it was expanded to analyze the situation in all of Latin America.

A constituent meeting took place in Brussels on November 6, 1973. Preliminary reports were given on Brazil and Chile, but also on Uruguay, Bolivia, Panama, Paraguay and Haiti. Two public sessions were held by the second Tribunal. The first took place in Rome, from March 30th to April 6th 1974, and the second in Brussels, from January 11th to January 18th 1975. The official name chosen by the constituents was "Russell Tribunal II on Repression in Brazil, in Chile and in Latin America."

At the end of each of the public sessions, the tribunal reached a "verdict" which addressed the questions stated at the beginning. The first Tribunal concluded not only that United States was committing war crimes in Vietnam, but also that the war was to be considered a genocide against the people of Vietnam. It also judged Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, the Philippines and Thailand to be accomplices of United States in the war. The second Tribunal stated that the Brazilian, Chilean, Uruguayan and Bolivian authorities were "guilty of serious, repeated and systematic violations of human rights," which violations constituted a crime against humanity.

The Russell Tribunal, severely criticized when it was founded, has, to some extent, become a model, an example for private citizens wanting to make use of evidence, logic and law on an international level, as a means of political protest and publicity. Indeed, the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal was founded in Bologna, on June 24, 1979, as a direct successor of the second Russell Tribunal. In the last decade, a Russell Tribunal on Iraq took place in 2004, and a Russell Tribunal on Palestine was established in 2009.

Sources: International War Crimes Tribunal, against the Crime of Silence: Proceedings of the Russell International War Crimes Tribunal, Stockholm, Copenhagen. New York: Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, 1968.

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Scope and Contents

Series I: First International War Crimes Tribunal, 1966-1972, consists mainly of the minutes of the two public sessions, and of the reports presented as preliminary documents to the Tribunal. It also includes few general files about the Vietnam War. Minutes of the first session are arranged chronologically. Minutes of the second session were published by the Tribunal itself, with reference numbers for each document. Those numbers can be found in the Table of Contents. The documents are arranged by reference numbers. Minutes for both sessions are incomplete.

Series II: Second International War Crimes Tribunal, 1972-1975, consists of various documents on the first public session, including minutes of the opening, the verdict and bulletins, and on the second public session, including a members list, minutes of the opening, and reports on preliminary investigations.

Arrangement

Series are arranged alphabetically.

The International War Crimes Tribunal Records are organized into 2 series: I, First International War Crimes Tribunal, 1966-1972. II, Second International War Crimes Tribunal, 1973-1975.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Sartre, Jean-Paul, 1905-1980
  • Russell, Bertrand, 1872-1970
  • Basso, Lelio, 1903-1978
  • Dedijer, Vladimir, 1914-1990

Subject Organizations

  • International War Crimes Tribunal
  • Măt trân dân tôc giai phóng miên nam Viêt Nam

Subject Topics

  • International War Crimes Tribunal
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Protest movements.

Subject Places

  • Brazil |x Politics and government |y 1964-1985.
  • Vietnam -- Politics and government -- 1945-1975.
  • Brazil |x Foreign relations |y 1964-1985.
  • Chile |x History |y Coup d'etat, 1973.
  • Latin America |x Relations |z United States.
  • Latin America |x Politics and government.
  • Uruguay -- Politics and government -- 1973-1985.

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

The Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Archives has no information about copyright ownership for this collection and is not authorized to grant permission to publish or reproduce materials from it. Materials in this collection, which were created in 1966-1975, are expected to enter the public domain in 2096.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The provenance of this collection is unknown. The accession number associated with this collection is 1950.217.

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Container List

Series I: First International War Crimes Tribunal, 1966-1972, 1966-1972

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Bulletin, no. 5-no. 7
Feb 10, 1967-Apr 14, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Canadian Committee: Leaflets
[1966?]-Apr, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Correspondence
Apr 12, 1967-May 5, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Defense Paper: Aziz Kurtha
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 5 First Public Session: Clippings
Dec 31, 1966-Apr 30, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 6 First Public Session: Investigation Work, Clippings
Dec 30, 1966-[Apr?], 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 7 First Public Session: Search for a Venue
Apr 14, 1967-May 3, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 8 First Public Session, Stockholm: Final Statement to the Press
May 19, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 9 First Public Session, Stockholm: Minutes
May 2, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 10 First Public Session, Stockholm: Minutes
May 3, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 11 First Public Session, Stockholm: Minutes
May 4, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 12 First Public Session, Stockholm: Minutes
May 5, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 13 First Public Session, Stockholm: Minutes
May 7, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 14 First Public Session, Stockholm: Minutes
May 8, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 15 First Public Session, Stockholm: Minutes
may, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 16 First Public Session, Stockholm: Organization
Apr-May, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 17 First Public Session, Stockholm: Press, Transcripts
May 2-8, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 18 First Public Session, Stockholm: Testimony
May, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 19 First Public Session, Stockholm: Verdict
May, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 20 Founding: Clippings
Aug 25, 1966-Feb 2, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 21 Founding: Leaflets
[1966?]
Box: 1 Folder : 22 Fund Raising
[1966?]
Box: 1 Folder : 23 Internal Reports, Karen Wald
Jul 2-4, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 24 Leaflets
Nov 25, 1966-Apr 28, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 25 List of Members
[1967?]
Box: 1 Folder : 26 Michigan-Area War Crimes Hearing: Agenda
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 27 Michigan-Area War Crimes Hearing: Clippings
Apr 14, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 28 Preliminary work: Report, Hugh R. Manes
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 29 Preliminary work: Report, Leon Matarasso
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 30 Preliminary work: Reports, Gabriel Kolko
Mar, 1967-Apr, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 31 Preliminary work: Report, "Implications [of the Tribunal] for the American Anti-War Movement," Karen Wald
May 11, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 32 Second Public Session, Roskilde: A1B, Opening Message, Bertrand Russell
Nov 20, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 33 Second Public Session, Roskilde: A3B, Inaugural Statement
Nov 20, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 34 Second Public Session, Roskilde: A5B, List of Witnesses
Nov 20, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 35 Second Public Session, Roskilde: B3B, Report, Wilfred Burchett
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 36 Second Public Session, Roskilde: B5B-B10B, Report, M. F. Khan, J.-M. Krivine, R. Pic
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 37 Second Public Session, Roskilde: B13B, Testimony, Marta Rojas
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 38 Second Public Session, Roskilde: B14B, Report on Thailand and the Philippines, Charles Fourniau
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 39 Second Public Session, Roskilde: B19B, Report on Bombardments and Waterworks, Yves Lacoste
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 40 Second Public Session, Roskilde: B21B-B22A, Testimonies
May 29, 1966-Jul, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 41 Second Public Session, Roskilde: C1B, Report, "Incendiary Weapons...", Abraham Behar
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 42 Second Public Session, Roskilde: C3B-C3aB, Report on Arms Forbidden by International Convention, Yves Jouffa`
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 43 Second Public Session, Roskilde: C4A, Report on Crimes towards Civilians, Commission of Inquiry
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 44 Second Public Session, Roskilde: C5A-C6B, Report, Gisele Halimi
Nov, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 45 Second Public Session, Roskilde: C8B, Report on Warfare Gasses, M. F. Kahn
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 46 Second Public Session, Roskilde: C9B, Statutes of the Tribunal, Reformulation
Nov, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 47 Second Public Session, Roskilde: C10B, Report on the Trial of Japanese War Crimes, J. Chesneaux
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 48 Second Public Session, Roskilde: C11B, Introductory Report to the Second Session, Leon Matarasso
Nov, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 49 Second Public Session, Roskilde: C12B-c13B, Reports on Genocide, L. Matarasso, M. A. Aybar
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 50 Second Public Session, Roskilde: C14B, Report, "On Vietnam", Guillermo Franck
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 51 Second Public Session, Roskilde: C15B, Report, "Chemical Warfare", Edgard Lederer (dir.)
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 52 Second Public Session, Roskilde: D4B-D7B, Testimonies
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 53 Second Public Session, Roskilde: E2B, Report on Japan, Japan Committee
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 54 Second Public Session, Roskilde: E3B, Report on Genocide Crimes in Vietnam, Shingo Shibata
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 55 Second Public Session, Roskilde: E4B, Report about the Tokyo Tribunal
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 56 Second Public Session, Roskilde: E5B, Report on Okinawa, Hiroaki Yoshizawa
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 57 Second Public Session, Roskilde: F1A-F3B, On Cambodia, Kouroudeth, N. Sihanouk
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 58 Second Public Session, Roskilde: G1B-G4B, Reports and Testimonies on Laos
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 59 Second Public Session, Roskilde: H1B, Report on the Government of Thailand
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 60 Second Public Session, Roskilde: J1B-J2B, Reports on Korea, Paik Ilkon
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 61 Second Public Session, Roskilde: K1B, Letter to Jean-Paul Sartre, Pham Van Dong
Oct 17, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 62 Second Public Session, Roskilde: K2B-K3B, Reports on South-Vietnam
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 63 Second Public Session, Roskilde: K4B, South Vietnam Peoples Committee for Solidarity with American People, Program of Action
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 64 Second Public Session, Roskilde: K5B, Report, National Front for Liberation (NFL = Măt trân dân tôc giai phóng miên nam Viêt Nam)
Sep, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 65 Second Public Session, Roskilde: K6B-K7B, Reports on War Crimes in South Vietnam
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 66 Second Public Session, Roskilde: K8B, Report, Pham Ngoc Thach
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 67 Second Public Session, Roskilde: K10B, Statement, South Vietnam National Front for Liberation
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 68 Second Public Session, Roskilde: K11B, Message, Nguyen Huu Tho
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 69 Second Public Session, Roskilde: K12B, Declaration, President of the Tribunal
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 70 Second Public Session, Roskilde: L2B, Message, Mahmud Ali Kasuri
dec 1, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 71 Second Public Session, Roskilde: List of Witnesses
Nov 23, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 72 Second Public Session, Roskilde: M1B, Statement, Vladimir Dedijer
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 73 Second Public Session, Roskilde: M2B, Answer on the Yugoslav Press, Vladimir Dedijer
Nov 28, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 74 Second Public Session, Roskilde: M3B, Declaration about Ralph Schoenmann, Jean-Paul Sartre
Nov 20, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 75 Second Public Session, Roskilde, M4B, Declaration about Stokely Carmichael, Jean-Paul Sartre
Nov 27, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 76 Second Public Session, Roskilde: Organization
[Oct?], 1967-[Nov?], 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 77 Second Public Session, Roskilde: Table of Contents
1967
Box: 1 Folder : 78 Statutes
Nov 15, 1966
Box: 1 Folder : 79 Third Public Session: Organization
Jun 9, 1972
Box: 1 Folder : 80 Witness Summons: B. Russell to Lyndon B. Johnson
Aug 25, 1966
Box: 1 Folder : 81 Witness Summons: Jean-Paul Sartre to Dean Rusk
May 3, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 82 Vietnam War: Article from Dagens Nyheter, Sven Oste
May 9, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 83 Vietnam War: Leaflets
[1966?]
Box: 1 Folder : 84 Vietnam War: Poem, "Fathers...", Christopher Logue
Undated
Box: 1 Folder : 85 Vietnam War: Review of Bertrand Russell's Book, War Crimes in Vietnam, 1966
Jan 4, 1967
Box: 1 Folder : 86 Vietnam War: Speech, Ralph Schoenmann
Feb, 1966
Box: 1 Folder : 87 Vietnam War: Vietnam Courier, no. 105
Apr 10, 1967

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Series II: Second International War Crimes Tribunal, 1972-1975, 1972-1975

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 2 Folder : 1 Bulletin: "Russell Tribunal Brazil", n. 1, 2, 4
Feb 1973-Sep/Oct, 1973
Box: 2 Folder : 2 First Public Session, Rome: Correspondence, Harald Edelstam
Mar 7, 1974
Box: 2 Folder : 3 First Public Session, Rome: Minutes
Mar 30, 1974
Box: 2 Folder : 4 First Public Session, Rome: Reports
[1974?]
Box: 2 Folder : 5 First Public Session, Rome: Verdict
1974
Box: 2 Folder : 6 Founding: Report
Nov 6, 1973
Box: 2 Folder : 7 Second Public Session, Brussels: Minutes (n. 4-5)
Jan 11, 1975
Box: 2 Folder : 8 Second Public Session, Brussels: Organization
Jan, 1975
Box: 2 Folder : 9 Second Public Session, Brussels: Preliminary Work, List of Materials (Typescript)
[1975?]
Box: 2 Folder : 10 Second Public Session, Brussels: Preliminary Work, Report on Brazil, Comrad Detrez (n. 13)
Oct 25, 1974
Box: 2 Folder : 11 Second Public Session, Brussels: Preliminary Work, Report on Brazil, Fernando Andrade (n. 18)
[1974?]
Box: 2 Folder : 12 Second Public Session, Brussels, Preliminary Work, Report on Brazil, Jan Knippers Black (n. 15)
[1974?]
Box: 2 Folder : 13 Second Public Session, Brussels: Preliminary Work, Report on Brazil, Manoel Mello (n. 16)
[1974?]
Box: 2 Folder : 14 Second Public Session, Brussels: Preliminary Work, Report on Brazil, Sadayiki Satoh (n. 14)
[1974]
Box: 2 Folder : 15 Second Public Session, Brussels: Preliminary Work, Report on Chile and Brazil, Fabio Gencarelli (n. 17)
[1974]
Box: 2 Folder : 16 Second Public Session, Brussels: Preliminary Work, Report on Chile, A. van Lancker (n. 26)
[1973?]
Box: 2 Folder : 17 Second Public Session, Brussels: Preliminary Work, Report on Chile, F. Debuyst (n. 25)
[1974]
Box: 2 Folder : 18 Second Public Session, Brussels: Preliminary Work, Report on Chile, G. Speranza (n. 22)
[1974]
Box: 2 Folder : 19 Second Public Session, Brussels: Preliminary Work, Report on Chile, Van Solinge and Chkounda (n. 28)
[1974?]
Box: 2 Folder : 20 Second Public Session, Brussels: Preliminary Work, Report on Guatemala (n. 32)
[1974]
Box: 2 Folder : 21 Second Public Session, Brussels: Preliminary Work, Report on Haiti, Ulrick Joly (n.35)
Jan, 1975
Box: 2 Folder : 22 Second Public Session, Brussels: Preliminary Work, Report on Legal Aspects, J. P. Dubois (n. 31)
Nov 23, 1974
Box: 2 Folder : 23 Second Public Session, Brussels: Preliminary Work, Report on Panama, Xabier Gorostiaga (n. 34)
Sep 9-14, 1974
Box: 2 Folder : 24 Second Public Session, Brussels: Preliminary Work, Report on Paraguay (n. 33)
Jan 11-18, 1975
Box: 2 Folder : 25 Second Public Session, Brussels: Preliminary Work, Reports on Bolivia (n.10, 11, 20)
[1974]-Jan, 1975
Box: 2 Folder : 26 Second Public Session, Brussels: Preliminary Work, Reports on Brazil (n. 9, 12, 19)
[1973?]-[1974?]
Box: 2 Folder : 27 Second Public Session, Brussels: Preliminary Work, Reports on Chile (n. 8, 21, 23, 24, 27)
[1974?]
Box: 2 Folder : 28 Second Public Session, Brussels: Preliminary Work, Reports on Multinational Companies, J.-P. Dubois and P. Ramadier, Buffolo (n. 29-30)
[1974?]
Box: 2 Folder : 29 Second Public Session, Brussels: Preliminary Work, Reports on Uruguay (n. 6-7, 37)
[1974]

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