Holocaust-Era Assets

Finding Aids: Holocaust-Era Assets Acknowledgments

A Finding Aid to Records at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland

Finding Aid Table of Contents


Without the help and support of numerous NARA staff, researchers, and others, this finding aid would not be as complete as it is. My supervisors and their supervisors the past two years, Clarence F. Lyons, Jr., R. Michael McReynolds, Timothy Nenninger, James Hastings, and Sharon Thibodeau, have encouraged and supported my efforts to produce the finding aid, allowing me the time to work on it at the expense of other unit and Division goals and responsibilities. Michael J. Kurtz, Assistant Archivist of Records Services-Washington DC, not only allowed me the time to serve on the Interagency Group, but gave his full support to the effort to ensure that NARA could produce a useful first version of this finding aid in a relatively short period of time. He assigned resources to ensure that newly accessioned records were declassified and made available to researchers in an expeditious manner. Dr. Kurtz, realizing the importance of the Holocaust-Era assets issues over the past several years, also was instrumental in authorizing me to produce the second and this version of the May 1997 finding aid. Realizing the importance of the mission of the Interagency Group on Nazi Assets, the issues surrounding the subject matter of this finding aid, and NARA's mission of making records available to researchers, John W. Carlin, Archivist of the United States, fully supported our effort to provide "ready access to essential evidence."

Numerous NARA staff, including part-time and interns, have assisted me in uncovering pertinent series of records, making box and folder lists, declassifying and making available new accessions of pertinent records, contributing support services, and in other ways sharing their expertise and encouragement. They include Denise Austin, Dennis Bilger, Rich Boylan, Giuliana Bullard, Alexis Capili, Marie Carpenti, Gerald Cerny, Eric Chaskes, Susan Cooper, Katherine Coram, Robin Cookson, Rebecca L. Collier, Wayne DeCesar, Mary DeGeorge, Crystal Dodd, Eric Freiwald, Jackie Fultz, Milton Gustafson, Steve Hamilton, Maria T. Hanna, Tom Haughton, Mollie Karpman, Ken Heger, Alan Kovan, Larry McDonald, Will Mahoney, Anita Mason, Marty McGann, Lee Morrison, Shawn Morton, Tim Mulligan, Tim Nell, Tim Nenninger, Dave Pfeiffer, Geraldine Phillips, Alan Puglia, Fred Romanski, Jimmy Rush, Marvin Russell, Jeanne Schauble, Ken Schlessinger, Amy Schmidt, Heather Shaffer, Jeannine Swift, Ron Swerczek, John Taylor, David Van Tassel, Bill Walsh, Tim Willard, Dick Wood, and Barry Zerby.

When I first suggested to Lida H. Churchville, NARA's chief librarian, that it might be a good idea to add a bibliography to this finding aid, she not only immediately agreed but was soon at work preparing the bibliography that is the appendix to this finding aid. Even before I made my suggestion, she was providing me with books, articles, and information taken from the Internet, all of which have broadened and deepened my knowledge about the subjects of this finding aid. She and the others in NARA's library, particularly Jeff Hartley and Sheryl Griffith, have always been prompt and gracious in providing information to me, as well as to other NARA staff and researchers.

Also thanks need to be conveyed to the Department of State declassification reviewers of the 1950-1954 segment of the Decimal File of the Department of State, who were kind enough to identify specific files of interest for researchers. And an advanced thank you needs to be made to the NARA staff and volunteers who are putting together a database containing information from two series of records pertaining to the Safehaven program. This includes volunteers Phyllis Altragge, Fred Barrett, Dick Beal, Ed Greenberg, Chris Prouty, Eugene Rosenfeld, Charles Taber, and Tom Wyatt, and NARA staff members Johnny Atkinson, LuvRonda Jones, and Joseph Scovitch.

I am indebted to numerous researchers who shared their research findings with me. These include David Alvarez, Doug Bloomfield, Brad Brown, Christel Converse, Max Friedman, James B. Gillespie III, Willi Korte, Ernest H. Latham III, James Lide, Kevin Mahoney, Greg Murphy, Wil Reed, Hans Safrian, Helene Sugarman, Patrick Tracy, Hannah E. Trooboff, Mia Waller, Max Wilkinson, and Sidney Zabludoff, as well as the research team members from numerous groups, including those representing Senator Alfonse D'Amato's office, the House Banking and Financial Services Committee, Ford Motor Company, Ernest & Young, High Risk International, Holocaust Art Recovery Project, the Stockholms Enskilda Bank, the World Jewish Congress, and the Swiss Bankers Association (especially Sarah M. Robinson, who during the past two years has spent more time in the Textual Research Room than anyone else).

Additional acknowledgment needs to be extended to the numerous researchers, staff, and administrators representing foreign commissions and governments, groups, and themselves, including those from Great Britain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Argentina, and Sweden, who generously shared the results of their research and/or in some other way made producing this finding aid more complete than perhaps it would otherwise have been. A special thank you should be extended to Thomas Maissen and Rico Carisch of Switzerland, Ambassador Sven Hedin of Sweden; members of the Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Argentine, and Swedish commissions; Gil Bennett of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Jean-Francois Bergier, Linus von Castelmur, Jacques Picard, Sybil Milton, Regina Deplazes, and the other members, researchers, and staff of the Independent Commission of Experts-Switzerland; Helen Junz and others working with the Swiss Independent Committee of Eminent Persons; Christoph Graf of the Swiss Federal Archives, Claude Altermatt of the Swiss Federal Task Force; and Christoph Bubb, David Vogelsanger, Caroline Heimo, and Keri Douglas of the Swiss Embassy in Washington, DC.

Additional thanks are due to the College Park staff of the Textual Archives Services Division as a whole for their efforts to make records readily available to researchers. Joining the Division in its efforts to provide timely and accurate access to relevant records has been the staff of the Customer Services Division, especially Diane Dimkoff, Bob Coren, Calvin Jefferson, Carolyn Powell, and the staff members who have serviced the records in the Research Room Hold Area and the Microforms Research Room. And a final thanks needs to be made to past and present NARA staff who produced many useful finding aids to many of the records described in this finding aid.

I cannot conclude without saying what a pleasure it has been to have worked with David Herschler, Rita Baker, David Goldman, Basil Scarlis, Judy Osborn, Denver Brunsman, Stephen Kane, Douglas Keene, Gerald Monroe, Sidney Ploss, Ruth Van Heuven, and the late Eli Maurer of the Department of State; Eli Rosenbaum, Steve Rogers, Ed Stutman, Bob Waite, and Elizabeth Barry White of the Department of Justice; Jeff Clarke of the Center of Military History; Don Steury of the Central Intelligence Agency; Stan Turesky, Wesley Fisher, Henry Mayer, Jim Blackaby of the United States Holocaust Museum; Cindy Springer and David Cohen of the U. S. House Banking and Financial Services Committee; Don Adams and Jeanne Young of the Federal Reserve Board; Jim Hennessy of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Bill McFadden and Abby Gilbert of the Department of the Treasury; Judith Barnett and Jim Desler of the Department of Commerce; and all of the individuals and organizations involved with the work of the Interagency Group on Nazi Assets and the planning of the Washington Conference of December 1998.

It has also been a wonderful experience and honor to work with three of the hardest working and most dedicated public servants I have ever known: Bennett Freeman, Senior Adviser to Under Secretary Eizenstat; William Z. Slany, The Historian, Department of State; and Under Secretary of State Stuart E. Eizenstat. Without their tireless efforts and commitment to the belief that the United States Government has a responsibility to turn history into justice, the progress that has been made the past two years in finishing one of the vital unfinished tasks of this century, doing justice to the victims of Nazi per- secution, would not have been as great as it has been.

Indefatigable and relentless in their efforts to use NARA holdings as documentary evidence to right the wrongs of the past have been Miriam A. Kleiman, working first with the World Jewish Congress and Senator D'Amato's Office and subsequently with a Washington, DC, law firm, and Senator Alfonse D'Amato Legislative Director, Gregg Rickman. Since they first appeared at Archives II in College Park in March 1996, both have reviewed and analyzed hundreds of thousands of pages of documents, provided me and others with timely and useful information about the fruits of their substantial research efforts, and have always been a source of encouragement and motivation for not only myself, but for other NARA staff, as well as countless researchers. It is not an understatement to suggest that without Miriam and Gregg this finding aid would never have been started or finished.

Undoubtedly, and unfortunately, I have neglected to mention people and organizations that have provided information, insights, and assistance. I apologize in advance and can only rationalize this unintentional oversight by the exigencies that have been my lot the past two and one-half years. In a subsequent version of this finding aid, additions can be made if brought to my attention. Again, my apologies.

Undoubtedly also, mistakes have been made in the information provided in this finding aid. Also there may be individual documents, file folders, boxes, and series of records that should be included in future updates. I urge staff and researchers to bring to my attention any corrections, modifications, additions, or deletions that need to be made. I can be reached in Archives II, Room 2405; or by telephone at 301-837-3510, ext. 245; by fax at 301-837-1752; or by e-mail to the author.

Dr. Greg Bradsher
Director, Holocaust-Era Assets Records Project
Textual Archives Services Division
Office of Records Services-Washington D.C.
National Archives and Records Administration