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William C. Christianson papers relating to Nuremberg war crime trials

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 1998.A.0298

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    Overview

    Description
    Contains mimeograph copies of trial transcripts, mimeograph copies of evidence documents, memoranda, notes (typescripts and handwritten) and some correspondence relating to Judge William C. Christianson's involvement in the Wilhelmstrasse and Frick cases at Nuremberg. Also includes general notes on the cases; resumes of the prosecution cases; memoranda from defense lawyers; notes on legal precedents and source; statements by defense witnesses; notes on history of slave labor; and documents submitted as evidence in the trials. The records date generally from 1946 to 1948.
    Date
    1946-1948
    Collection Creator
    William C. Christianson
    Biography
    William C. Christianson (1892-1985), who served as a judge at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials during 1947-1949, was born in Moody County, South Dakota on 5 December 1892. He lived in Minnesota as a child, and graduated from Highland Park College in Des Moines, Iowa, and later obtained a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School. Following service in the United States Navy during World War I, he returned to Minnesota, practicing law with the firm of Bentley and Christianson in Red Wing from 1922-1946. During this period he also served as assistant county attorney in Goodhue County, Minnesota, and as city attorney in Red Wing. In March 1946, when Minnesota Supreme Court justice Luther Youngdahl resigned from his post in order to run for state governor, Christianson was appointed by Gov. Edward Thye to that position. Running for election to that position in the fall of 1946, he lost, and served out the remainder of his term until January 1947. Later that same year, however, he was named by General Lucius Clay to serve as a judge in the Nuremberg Military Tribunal IV, in the case of United States v. Friedrich Flick (also known as Case #5), in which six industrialists were tried for war crimes in connection with the use of slave labor in their coal and iron mines and steel plants. After a verdict was rendered in this case in December 1947, Christianson was assigned to serve on Military Tribunal IV-A, in the case of United States v. Ernst von Weizsäcker, et.al. (also known as Case #11, or the Ministries Case), in which 21 defendants were tried on a number of different war crimes charges. Following the conclusion of this trial in April 1949, Christianson returned to Minnesota, and was appointed by Governor Youngdahl as a judge in the first judicial district, in which he served until his retirement in 1963. He subsequently served as a judge on a part-time basis in Hennepin County, Minnesota, and died in Red Wing on 27 May 1985.

    Physical Details

    Extent
    122 boxes

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Christianson, William L.

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    Gift of William L. Christianson, 1998.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 13:56:49
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn502047

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