Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Chevalier (Haakon Maurice) Diary
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement Note
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Source of Acquisition
  • Related Materials
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Note
  • Accruals

  • Contributing Institution: Special Collections & University Archives
    Title: Haakon Maurice Chevalier Diary
    Creator: Chevalier, Haakon Maurice
    Identifier/Call Number: MS-0403
    Physical Description: 0.20 Linear Feet
    Date (inclusive): 1945-1946
    Language of Material: English , French .

    Scope and Contents

    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.

    Arrangement Note

    Two notebooks and accompanying transcriptions in portfolio.

    Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open for research.

    Conditions Governing Use

    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.

    Source of Acquisition

    Willis Thompson

    Related Materials

    Hitler Memorabilia Collection

    Preferred Citation

    Identification of item, folder title, box number, Haakon Maurice Chevalier Diary, Special Collections and University Archives, San Diego State University Library.

    Biographical Note

    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.


    9999-140 (1982)

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    World War, 1939-1945--War Criminals
    Nuremberg Trial of Major German War Criminals, Nuremberg, Germany, 1945-1946--Personal narratives
    Personal Papers