Political Intelligence Department: News digest for Germany and Austria

Scope and Content

Papers of Political Intelligence Department, 1945-1946, comprise news digest bulletins regarding conditions in post-war Germany and Austria compiled by the Political Intelligence Department of the Foreign Office. Subjects include reports on the Bergen Belsen trial and the Nuremberg War Crimes trial and other war crimes trials. Also reports on the social economic and political conditions of Germany and Austria in the immediate post-war years.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Otto Kahn-Freund was born 17 November 1900 in Frankfurt am Main and was professor of comparative law, University of Oxford. He was born in Frankfurt am Main of Jewish parents and educated at the Goethe-Gymnasium there and Frankfurt University. He became judge of the Berlin labour court, 1929. Dismissed by the Nazis in 1933, he fled to London and became a student at the London School of Economics. He became an assistant lecturer in law there in 1936 and Professor in 1951. He was called to the bar (Middle Temple) in 1936. He became a British citizen in 1940.

He was appointed Professor of Comparative Law, University of Oxford, and fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford in 1964 and elected FBA in 1965. He became an honorary bencher of the Middle Temple in 1969 and a QC in 1972. He was knighted in 1976.

He played an important part in the establishment of labour law as an independent area of legal study, and was a member of the Royal Commission on Reform of Trade Unions and Employers' Associations, 1965. Kahn-Freund died in 1979.


The frequency of these extant copies varies. They begin daily, become weekly, then more intermittent with a break between December 1945 and May 1946. The material is arranged chronologically.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposited by the family in 1986.

Other Finding Aids

A detailed description exists on the Wiener Library's online catalogue www.wienerlibrary.co.uk.

Archivist's Note

Entry compiled by Howard Falksohn.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies can be made for personal use. Permission must be sought for publication.

Custodial History

This collection of news digests was compiled by editors at the German and Austrian Division of the Political Intelligence Department of the Foreign Office. The information contained within was obtained from numerous European sources for internal consumption. This set was found amongst the papers of Sir Otto Kahn-Freund.

Geographical Names