Oral History

Historian Peter Black describes impact of the Braunsteiner Ryan case

In the 1980s and 1990s, historian Peter Black worked for the US Department of Justice Office of Special Investigations, as part of a team tracking and prosecuting suspected war criminals. Black later served as the Senior Historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.


Clearly important was the precedent of the Braunsteiner Ryan case in 1972, which sparked questions about how many other Nazi criminals were living in our midst, so to speak, and that created a certain degree of public pressure in part from Jewish groups and survivor groups, which unlike in 1945, 1950, where they were immigrants with no confidence to say what they wanted and no strong desire to relive the immediate past as opposed to dealing with creating a new life in the future, were now established U.S. citizens quite conscious and aware of their rights to lobby congressmen to get some results on this.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum
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