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Sunday, February 4, 2024

A Dachau Exhibit Featuring Hansen Collection Images

In 2021, The Riesenfeld Center released a digital exhibit commemorating the World War II career of Horace Hansen (1910-1995). Hansen was a St. Paul native and
 a chief prosecutor overseeing the main Dachau war crimes trials in occupied Germany. In that role, from 1945 to 1946, Hansen and his staff gathered evidence and prepared cases for trial at Dachau, representing the Dachau main camp trial, and the Buchenwald and Mauthausen camp trials. The trials held at the Dachau concentration camp became the largest prosecution of war crimes undertaken by American forces, resulting in more than 1,400 convictions. The Riesenfeld Center's digital exhibit features narrative accounts of Hansen's military service and war crimes investigations. In addition, the exhibit includes trial transcripts from the Dachau trials, images, and documents from Hansen's personal collection of papers, kindly donated to the Library by Jean Hansen Doth, Hansen's daughter. 

In 2022, the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, located at the notorious Nazi camp, opened a new exhibit, "Dachau Trials - Crimes, Proceedings, Responsibility." The exhibit commemorates the Dachau war crimes prosecutions, the devastating testimony and the criminal judgments passed against the accused camp staff and guards. The exhibit was opened on the 77th anniversary of the day of Dachau's liberation in 1945 and has now been extended through the end of 2024. In the exhibit, Horace Hansen has also found a place, by way of photographs he took as evidence of war crimes, and photos captured by the government at the Dachau trials that are contained in the Center's Hansen Collection. The latter images were used by the US Army to publicize and memorialize the tribunal's proceedings. We are grateful to contribute digital images to the exhibit at the Dachau Memorial, which will soon feature a virtual tour for online visitors.


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