John Amen

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John Harlan Amen
Born (1898-09-15)September 15, 1898
Exeter, New Hampshire
Died March 10, 1960(1960-03-10) (aged 61)
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Rank Colonel
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Legion of Merit (2)
Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of Saint Olav
Order of the White Lion (Czechoslovakia)
Spouse(s) Marion Cleveland Dell
Relations Grover Cleveland (father-in-law)
Other work Lawyer

Colonel John Harlan Amen (September 15, 1898 – March 10, 1960) was a lawyer and United States Army Intelligence officer, who served as Nuremberg Prison Chief Interrogator during the Nuremberg War Trials.

Early life and education

John Harlan Amen was born on September 15, 1898 to Harlan Page Amen and Mary Rawson in Exeter, New Hampshire. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1915, where his father had previously been principal, and from Princeton University in 1919. He attended Harvard Law School from 1919 to 1923.[1]

Legal and political career

He was admitted to the New York bar in 1923. He served as an associate with Shearman & Sterling in New York from 1923 to 1928.[1]

From 1928 to 1938, he was a partner in the firm of Duryee, Zunino, & Amen.[1] In 1938, he was a partner in the firm Parker & Duryee.[1]

He served as a special assistant to the United States Attorney General on cases involving anti-trust laws from 1928 to 1938.[1]

On October 26, 1938, he was appointed as the special prosecutor to supersede the district attorney of Kings County in connection with investigation of official corruption in Brooklyn.[1]

Amen served on the prosecution for the Murder Inc. killers.[2] His investigation eventually led to the dismissal of nearly a dozen police officers for accepting fraudulent bonds.[3]

Military career

He served as a 2nd lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps Reserve Flying Corps.[1]

By 1942, he was a lieutenant colonel with the United States Army.[1] He was promoted to colonel in 1944.[1]

During the Nuremberg trials, he served as the Associate trial counsel, chief interrogations division office for the United States Chief of Counsel in war criminal trials at Nuremberg from 1945 to 1946.[1][2]

Personal life

He married Marion Cleveland Dell, the daughter of former President Grover Cleveland, on July 25, 1926. John and Marion Amen had one son, Grover Cleveland.[1]

Awards and honors

He received the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Order of St. Olav with rank of Commander from Norway, and the Order of the White Lion from Czechoslovakia.[1]


Amen died on March 10, 1960.[1]

Portrayal in popular culture

John Amen has been portrayed by the following actors in film, television and theater productions;


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Marquis Who's Who, Inc. Who Was Who in American History, the Military. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who, 1975. P. 9 ISBN 0837932017 OCLC 657162692
  2. ^ a b "One of last witnesses recalls Nuremberg trials". 
  3. ^ Nash, Arthur (2010). New York City Gangland. Arcadia Pub. p. 61. ISBN 9781439638712. 
  4. ^ "Nuremberg (2000) (TV)". Retrieved May 20, 2008. 
  5. ^ "Nuremberg: Goering's Last Stand (2006) (TV)". Retrieved May 20, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial (2006) (TV)". Retrieved May 20, 2008. 
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