Musmanno, Michael Angelo, born 07-04-1897 in Stowe Township, in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, an industrial neighborhood a few miles west of Pittsburgh. Musmanno rose to the rank of Rear Admiral in the United States Navy. He served as a regional military governor of the Sorrentine Peninsula in Italy during the Allied occupation. Later, he was presiding judge at the Einsatzgruppen, Death Commando Groups, Trial of the United States Nuremberg Military Tribunal, and a member of the court during the Erich Milch trail
and the Oswald Pohl Trial during the Subsequent Nuremberg Trials. He was appointed head of the three-person Board of Soviet Repatriation of Displaced Persons in 1946 in Austria, where he fought the forcible repatriation of people into the Soviet Union, many of whom did not want to be “repatriated” and faced terrible persecution on their arrival in Soviet territory. He later was a witness in Jerusalem against SS Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann. Musmanno was very proud of his Italian heritage, and among his numerous books was one arguing that Christopher Columbus was the first European to discover the new world. Musmanno attended the Mount St. Peter Church in New Kensington, and on 11-11-1951, he was the first lay orator to stand in the Pulpit of the newly dedicated building. Musmanno was also intensely religious, and the last of his many dissenting opinions was against overturning an assault/attempted rape conviction where the trial judge instructed the jury to seek God’s guidance in reaching their decision. Justice Musmanno concluded: I am perfectly willing to take my chances with the trial judge at the gates of Saint Peter and answer on our voir dire that we were always willing to invoke the name of the Lord in seeking counsel in rendering a grave decision on earth, which I believe the one in this case to be.
Death and burial ground of Musmanno, Michael Angelo.
Michael Musmanno died 12-10-1968, age 71, on Columbus day. Musmanno is buried in Arlington National Cemetery Section 2. His former home in Stowe Township is now a historic landmark.