The Nuremberg Trials:  Newspaper Accounts

Nuremberg trial judge's papers sent to Holocaust museum

Copyright © 1998 The Associated Press

RED WING, Minn. (September 8, 1998 12:55 p.m. EDT) -- Twenty-two boxes of transcripts and other papers from two Nuremberg trials have been sent to the Holocaust museum in Washington, D.C., after sitting for years in the garage of a Minnesota judge who took part in the proceedings.

The papers include Judge William Christianson's notes on transcripts of the trials, memos from defense attorneys and "personal items that are not available anyplace else," museum archivist Travis Roxlau said.

"In general, there was 50 years of dust on them, but they were just in excellent condition," said Travis Roxlau, an archivist at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.

The records -- 60 linear feet of them -- eventually will join other collections available for researchers, Roxlau said.

Christianson, whose long legal career included a stint on Minnesota's Supreme Court, died in 1985. His son, Bill Christianson, kept the papers in his own office for a while, and eventually sent them to a local historical society.

But the museum seemed the ideal place for the papers because "we're talking about something of international scope," the son said.

Recommend to the post by Minnesota's chief justice at the time, the elder Christianson was sent to Germany following World War II to be one of the Nuremberg trial judges. In all, more than dozen trials of various Nazi associates -- top Nazi officials, death squad members, industrialists and others -- were held there.

Christianson served on a three-judge panel that tried steel magnate Frederick Flick and five associates. He also presided over the longest of the war-crimes trials. The trial, which wound up in spring 1949, resulted in convictions for nearly all the 21 defendants, most of them former government ministers.

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