At the end of the Second World War a number of German generals were tried for war crimes which they were alleged to have committed during the course of hostilities. The trials were based in the German city of Nuremberg and were known as 'The Nuremberg Trials'.
One of the generals on trial was Erich von Manstein, who was accused of less serious crimes than some of the better-known generals. Although it was part of the Nuremberg Trials, his trial took place in Hamburg, away from the intense attention of the media and film crews which characterised Nuremberg itself. In Nuremberg, the trials were meticulously recorded on nitrate laquer discs and on film; but, until recently, it was believed that only a written record was available of the trials which took place in Hamburg.
Recently the Public Records Office at Kew released from its archives a set of audio recordings which comprise a complete record of the trial of Erich von Manstein. Unfortunately these recordings were not immediately playable because they had been made on Recordgraph loops, a recording format which has become completely obsolete. Despite a lengthy search, working Recordgraph equipment could not be found which was in a satisfactory condition to allow the copying of these irreplaceable recordings without risk of damage.
Poppy Records has been commissioned to design and construct a playback system to allow these recordings to be transferred to a digital format to give public access and allow preservation for the future.
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