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During World War II and the first decade and a half of the Cold War, the Office of Strategic Services and the State Department assigned leading scholars to write special classified reports about Asia, Europe, the Soviet Union, Latin America, and Africa.
These reports, some 3,774, have recently been digitized by ProQuest in History Vault. The reports provide fascinating details about political, industrial, military and social conditions around the world from the early years of World War II through the first 15 years of the Cold War.
Here are excerpts from just five of the 3,774 reports for examples of the type of material you might find:
JEWS IN POSTWAR EUROPE
“Moses Leavitt, secretary of the JDC, paid this tribute to Sweden: ‘Two countries stand out in the humanitarian treatment of refugees, Jewish and non-Jewish, These two countries are Switzerland and Sweden.’ The pre-war native Jewish population of Sweden was around 6,500. At present, some 15,000 refugees are living there.”
-- From Department of State Memo from Harold J. Jonas, Subject: Jewish Survivors in Post-War Europe, December 31, 1945
EUROPEAN ATTITUDES TOWARD THE U.S.
“There is a large range of anti-American or ‘neutralist’ attitudes which, although widespread and vociferous, are not likely to have decisive influence on the shaping of US-European relations. These are attitudes toward issues which do not seem to concern the vital daily needs of the population although they are kept before the public mind by the interested political parties and their press. To this category belong the widespread criticism of ‘American materialism,’ the resentment against American propaganda, rejection of the atomic bomb…”
-- From Department of State Intelligence Report, European Attitudes Which Affect U.S. Influence in Europe, October 9, 1951
POLITICAL SITUATION IN POSTWAR GERMANY
“In conjunction with Wilhelm Pieck and other German Communists, Ulbricht in 1945 issued a manifesto telling the Germans that there was then no possibility of establishing a Soviet system in Germany and that conditions called for an ‘anti-fascist democratic regime’ and a democratic parliamentary republic with all democratic liberties. Ulbricht ardently advocates the fusion of the Communists and the Social Democrats. In his speech at- the two-day Communist Party conference held in Berlin on March 2 and 3, 1946, he stated ‘that fusion of the Social Democratic and Communist Parties means a great historical turn in the German nation’s destiny.’ ”
-- From Department of State, The Principal Political Leaders in Occupied Germany, April 9, 1946
STUDENT UNREST IN JAPAN
“ The Zengakuren (Zen Nippon Gakusei Jichikai Sorengo --.All-Japan Federation of Student Self-Government Associations) is the only nationwide student organization of importance in Japan. This organization grew rapidly in membership after its formation in October 1948 and, by the time of the outbreak of the recent series of student disturbances, had gained the affiliation of the student organizations in 390-400 universities and colleges (national, public, and. private), with an aggregate membership of nearly 300,000 students, or approximately 70 percent of all undergraduate collegiate enrollment in Japan.”
-- From Department of State, Student Communist Activities in the Japanese Universities, September-October 1950, December 27, 1950
POLITICS IN ARGENTINA IN 1945
“On 2 March 1945, a Radical manifesto, signed by 1500 party members, was issued to the Argentine press. ‘We do not want the silence imposed by the suppression of the right of assembly and free speech to be interpreted as acquiescence to facts and situations which are contrary to our historic tradition and to the spirit of our republican institutions...’ the statement said. The government imposed by the 1943 Revolution ‘is foreign to our national spirit and characterized by arbitrariness in the exercise of power, the dissolution of federal government, the annulment of individual guarantees, and the preponderant influence of minorities with ideologies contrary to the democratic sentiment of the Argentine people.’ As members of the Radical Party, the statement continued, the signers are working for the restoration of the Constitution ‘which will not return while a special class of Argentine society pretends to rule the common destinies. With patriotic fervor we pledge our action as citizens so that the people may recover the exercise of their sovereignty and the rule of law, the only conditions under which cordiality is possible among the Argentine family.’”
-- From Office of Strategic Services Research and Analysis Branch, The Argentine Radical Party and the Peron Government, April 21, 1945
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