Haakon Maurice Chevalier Diary, 1945-1946
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Brief Description: Haakon Chevalier's diary is comprised of two hand-written notebooks kept during his time working as a French-English translator at the Nuremberg war crimes trials in 1945 and 1946, and a partial transcript of the notebooks' English-language portions. The diaries begin on the first day of the trial, November 20, 1945, and end on March 17, 1946. His account includes vivid descriptions of trial participants (including facial expressions while testifying, unusual physical features, and personality traits), and personal interpretations of testimony.  He mentions challenges to the court's competence, pleas entered by the defendants, Nazi treatment of Jewish peoples in occupied territories, the Anschluss, and myriad other topics, including individual cases against Goering, Ribbentrop, Streicher, and others.  Descriptions of day and weekend trips Chevalier took to Paris and Prague during the course of the trial are also included, as well as doodles, notes he wrote to himself, addresses, and scores from card games.
Held at:
Special Collections & University Archives
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA 92182 8050
Phone: 619-594-6791
Email: askscua [at] mail.sdsu.edu
Created by: Chevalier, Haakon Maurice (1901-1985)
Volume: 0.2 Linear Feet
Acquired: 00/00/1982.
Arrangement: Two notebooks and accompanying transcriptions in portfolio.
Biographical Note for Chevalier, Haakon Maurice (1901-1985) : Haakon Maurice Chevalier was a translator and professor of French at the University of California-Berkeley. After working as a translator for the French government at the first meeting of the United Nations in 1945, he was asked by the War Department to serve as interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials.  He was later responsible (with Leon Dostert) for the introduction of simultaneous interpretation at the United Nations. Chevalier was friends with the atomic physicist Robert Oppenheimer; these relations led to his appearance before the House Subcommittee on Un-American Activities. He later authored a memoir of these events, entitled Oppenheimer: The Story of a Friendship.
Access Restrictions: The collection is open for research.
Subject Index
Nuremberg Trial of Major German War Criminals, Nuremberg, Germany, 1945-1946--Personal narratives
World War, 1939-1945--War Criminals
Genres/Forms of Material
Personal Papers
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
French [fre]
Czech [cze]
Rights/Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.
Acquisition Notes: Willis Thompson
Related Materials: Hitler Memorabilia Collection
PreferredCitation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, Haakon Maurice Chevalier Diary, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.