Department of State Records Relating to Refugees, Displaced Persons, Relief, and War Crimes During the World War II Era, Part 2: Decentralized Files

Today’s post was written by David Langbart, archivist in Textual Reference at the National Archives at College Park, MD.

This is the second of three parts describing World War II-era records of the Department of State relating to refugees, displaced persons, relief, and war crimes.  It describes the decentralized files of the Department.  Part 1 described relevant central files.  As noted in that post, there is significant overlap among the central and decentralized files and researchers will find unique material in both categories of files.

3 children w/bread in their hands behind a box stamped "CARE United States of America"
Refugee Children from East Germany (NAID 594541)

The decentralized files fall into three broad categories: records relating to (1) refugees and displaced persons, (2) relief, and (3) war crimes.

1. Refugees and Displaced Persons

●RG 59 Entry A1-1405: Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees/ Records Relating to Administration and Finances, 1943–1947.  (NAID 2124223).

Arranged by subject.  This series consists of despatches, telegrams, airgrams, correspondence, memorandums, and other material relating to the IGCR in general and its administration and finances in particular. (4 boxes)

●RG 59 Entry A1-1406: Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees/ Records Relating to Meetings, 1943–1947.  (NAID 2124224).

Arranged for the most part by meeting.  The records consist of telegrams, despatches, documents, agendas, reports, and other material relating to committee, plenary, and executive committee meetings.  Also included is material relating to the Liquidation Meeting of November 1947. (4 boxes)

●RG 59 Entry A1-1407: Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees/ Subject Files, 1942–1947.  (NAID 2124225).

Arranged by subject.  This series consists of correspondence, reports, memorandums, telegrams, airgrams, despatches, minutes of meetings, and other material.  Subjects include Jewish refugees, Earl G. Harrison and the Harrison Report, the IGCR mandate, the IGCR relationship with UNRRA and the War Refugee Board, and the Bermuda Conference. (4 boxes)

●RG 59 Entry A1-1408: Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees/ Country Files, 1938–1941.  (NAID 2124226).

Arranged alphabetically by name of country.  The files include correspondence, documents, memorandums, memorandums of conversation, telegrams, despatches, notes exchanged with other governments, and other material.  Subjects include refugees, immigration policy, the IGCR, smuggling of refugees, anti-Semitic legislation and activities, the Evian Conference, resettlement, and other related topics.  (7 boxes)

●RG 59 Entry A1-1409: Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees/ Alphabetical Subject Files, 1938–1941. (NAID 2124227).

Arranged alphabetically by subject.  This series consists of correspondence, clippings, memorandums, memorandums of conversation, diplomatic notes, telegrams, despatches, and other material.  In general, the files document the IGCR and the U.S. government’s relations with it.  Specific topics include various relief committees, child refugees, the Coordinating Committee for Refugees, the Coordinating Foundation, the Dorsa settlement, the League of Nations, the Evian Conference, mercy ships for children, minorities, passports, political refugees, the President’s Advisory Committee, Spanish civil war refugees, the work and activities of Myron Taylor, and French, German, and Spanish refugees.  (15 boxes)

●RG 59 Entry A1-1410: Special Committee on Migration/Subject File, 1943–1944.  (NAID 2124228).

Arranged by subject.  The records consist of memorandums, telegrams, correspondence, reports, documents, agendas, minutes of meetings, and other material relating to the work and activities of the committee.  Topics include displaced populations and groups in various countries, the Advisory Committee on Displaced Populations, the Allied Control Commission, civilian internees, advice to military authorities, the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees, refugees and displaced persons, relief efforts, repatriation, and surrender terms.  (4 boxes)  

●RG 59 Entry A1-1411: Special Committee on Migration/Minutes of Meetings, 1943–1944.  (NAID 2124229).

Arranged chronologically.  Minutes of meetings of the committee.  Includes a set maintained  by the chairman, H.F. Arthur Schoenfeld.  (less than one box)

●RG 59 Entry A1-1412: Special Committee on Migration/ Alphanumeric Files, 1943–1944.  (NAID 2124230).

Arranged according to an alpha-numeric filing system.  This series consists of correspondence, memorandums, reports, and other material.  The files largely document administrative matters such as regular and special meetings, procedures and arrangements, statistics, transportation, and means of identification.  (less than one box)

●RG 59 Entry A1-1413: Special Committee on Migration/ Memorandums, 1943–1944.  (NAID 2124231).

Arranged numerically.  The records consist of the “Migration Memos” issued by the committee.  Topics include a proposed registration card, refugee and migration problems in Eritrea, the internment camp at Ferramonte di Tarsio, procedures for dealing with civilian internees, and the condition of Jews in Italy and Sardinia. (less than one box)

●RG 59 Entry A1-1414: Special Committee on Migration/Documents, 1943–1944.  (NAID 2124232).

Arranged numerically.  This series consists of the “Migration Documents” issued by the committee.  The documents include reports on displaced populations and groups in the Axis and Axis-occupied countries, recommendations to military authorities on treatment of such people, communications between Allied- and Axis-controlled areas, and the problem of displaced persons in general.  (2 1/4 boxes)

●RG 59 Entry A1-1415: Special Committee on Migration/Records Relating to Atrocities Committed by the Nazis, 1944–1945.  (NAID 2124233).

Unarranged.  The records consist of despatches, telegrams, memorandums, newspaper clippings, reports, and other material  relating to Nazi atrocities.  Specific topics include Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, the work of the War Refugee Board, and Raoul Wallenberg.  (1 box)

●RG 59 Entry A1-1416: Records Relating to U.S. Participation in the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration/ Subject File, 1944–1947.  (NAID 632510).

Arranged by subject.  This series consists of correspondence, reports, memorandums, orders, documents, agendas, telegrams, airgrams, despatches and other material relating to the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA).  Specific topics include the organization and functions of UNRRA, that organization’s relationship to work in the areas of refugees and displaced persons,  UNRRA’s sessions and conferences, the Standing Committee on Displaced Persons, relations with U.S. military forces in Europe, and refugee camps.  (9 boxes)

●RG 59 Entry A1-1417: Records Relating to the War Refugee Board/Subject Files, 1944–1945.  (NAID 632794).

Arranged by subject.  The files include correspondence, reports, memorandums, memorandums of conversation, telegrams, despatches, diplomatic notes, and other material relating to the handling of refugee matters and liaison with the War Refugee Board.  Specific topics include the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee; the Emergency Shelter at Oswego, NY; the Hirschmann Report on War Refugee Board activities in Turkey; the Olsen Report on War Refugee Board operations from Sweden; the concept of ransom for victims; and refugee camps.  (2 boxes)

●RG 59 Entry A1-1418: Records Relating to the Santa Rosa Polish Refugee Camp, 1944–1946.  (NAID 632917).

Arranged by subject.  This series consists of correspondence, reports, memorandums, and other material relating to the Polish refugee camp established in Santa Rosa, Mexico during World War II.  The camp was also known as the “Colonia Santa Rosa”.  Subjects include the budget, financing, personnel, and liquidation.  (1 box)

●RG 59 Entry A1-1419: Records Relating to the International Refugee Organization (IRO) and the Displaced Persons Commission (DPC)/IRO Subject File, 1946–1952.  (NAID 633145).

Arranged by subject.  The files include correspondence, reports, documents, memorandums, telegrams, airgrams, despatches, and other material relating to the IRO.  Specific topics include the creation of the IRO, the Preparatory Commission, agreements, resettlement, Congressional hearings, the IRO constitution, the Executive Committee, finances, organization and functions, rations, reparations, shipping, and IRO activities in various countries.  (26 boxes)

●RG 59 Entry A1-1420: Records Relating to the International Refugee Organization (IRO) and the Displaced Persons Commission (DPC)/DP Subject File, 1944–1952.  (NAID 633145).

Arranged by subject or country.  The records consist of correspondence, memorandums, reports, telegrams, documents, clippings, diplomatic notes, airgrams, despatches, and other material relating to displaced persons.  Specific topics/countries include almost all the countries of Europe and the Far East and Palestine, minority populations in those countries, the occupation of Germany, restitution of property, and the Displaced Persons Commission.  (16 boxes)

●RG 59 Entry A1-1421: Records Relating to the International Refugee Organization (IRO) and the Displaced Persons Commission (DPC)/Resettlement File, 1941-1952.  (NAID 633145).

Arranged by subject.  The files include correspondence, memorandums, reports, telegrams, airgrams, despatches, documents, clippings, diplomatic notes, and other material relating to the resettlement of refugees.  Included are files on the resettlement policies of most European and Latin American countries, and files on specific resettlement proposals in Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Louisiana.  (7 boxes)

2. Relief

●RG 59 Entry A1-1364: UNRRA Handbook, 1943.  (NAID 632510).

A handbook prepared for the U.S. delegation to the first session of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.  In general, it covers the scope and functions of that organization.  Specific topics include the draft UNRRA agreement, rules and procedures, and projected relief distribution policies.  (1 box)

●RG 59 Entry A1-1365: Records Relating to UNRRA’s Founding, 1940–1944.  (NAID 632510).

Arranged by subject.  The records consist of memorandums,  telegrams, airgrams, despatches, correspondence, notes, and other material relating to the development of UNRRA. Specific topics include negotiations with the British, relief measures planned for various countries, and UNRRA’s probable reception by the U.S. congress.  (2 boxes)

●RG 59 Entry A1-1366: Records Relating to the UNRRA Council, 1943–1949.  (NAID 632510).

Arranged by UNRRA council session and thereunder by subject, committee, or subcommittee.  The files consist of correspondence, memorandums, reports, documents, and other material relating to the work and activities of the UNRRA Council.  Specific topics include agricultural and industrial rehabilitation in Europe and the Far East, displaced persons, welfare, health and quarantine matters, and the ability of countries to support relief and rehabilitation efforts.  (26 boxes)

●RG 59 Entry A1-1367: Subject Files of U.S. UNRRA Council Delegate Dallas Dort, 1944–1947.  (NAID 632510).

Arranged alphabetically by subject or name of country.  The records consist of correspondence, memorandums, memorandums of conversation, reports, telegrams, notes from other governments, and other material relating to the work and activities of UNRRA.  In addition to files on various countries, topics include animal carriers, UNRRA personal, supplies, sanitary conventions, and wheat.  (3 boxes)

3. War Crimes

●RG 59 Entry A1-1368: Office of the Legal Adviser/Records Relating to German War Crimes, 1942–1946.  (NAID 634007).

Arranged by subject.  The files consist of telegrams, airgrams, despatches, notes, memorandums, aides-memoire, summaries, chronologies, correspondence, documents, and other material relating to the planning, definition, policy, and organization of U.S. participation in the war crimes program as it affected Europe.  Specific topics include cooperation with other governments, extradition of suspected war criminals, quislings, asylum, crimes against humanity, anti-Jewish atrocities, negotiations, and denazification of postwar Germany.  (5 boxes)

●RG 59 Entry A1-1369: Office of the Legal Adviser/Records Relating to U.S. Participation in the United Nations War Crimes Commission, 1943–1949.  (NAID 634007).

Arranged by subject.  The records consist of telegrams, airgrams, despatches, correspondence, instructions, documents, and other material relating to the work of the United Nations War Crimes Commission (UNWCC) and U.S. participation in it.  Specific topics include the establishment of the commission, the work and activities of the commission, and U.S. policy in the commission.  (11 boxes)

●RG 59 Entry A1-1370: Office of the Legal Adviser/UNWCC Lists of War Criminals, 1944–1948.  (NAID 634007).

Arranged by type of list and thereunder numerically.  The files consist of the “List of War Criminals,” “Alphabetical Index,” and “Staff of German Concentration Camps.”  (6 boxes)

●RG 59 Entry A1-1371: Office of the Legal Adviser/Records Relating to Japanese War Crimes, 1943–1960.  (NAID 634007).

Arranged by subject.  The records consist of telegrams, airgrams, despatches, notes, memorandums, summaries, aides-memoire, chronologies, correspondence, documents, and other material relating to the planning, definition, policy, and organization of the U.S. regarding war crimes committed by Japanese military personnel and civilians.  Specific topics include classes of war criminals (A, B, & C), the Emperor, disposition of war crimes cases before and after the signing of the peace treaty with Japan, and the Clemency and Parole Board for War Criminals (Japanese).  (8 boxes)

●RG 59 Entry A1-1372: Office of the Legal Adviser/Country Files, 1943–1950.  (NAID 634007).

Arranged alphabetically by country.  The files consist of telegrams, airgrams, despatches, intelligence reports, and other material.  In general, the files document war crimes and war criminals, war crimes programs and trails, and attitudes towards war criminals in various countries.  (6 boxes)


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