Holocaust-Era Assets

Military Agency Records

The War Department and the Army Records

Records of the Office of the Secretary of War (RG 107)

Records of the Under Secretary of War

The Under Secretary of War occupied a position created by an act of December 16, 1940 (54 Stat. 1224), and carried on the duties, formerly vested in the Assistant Secretary of War. Robert P. Patterson became Under Secretary when that position was created and continued in office until September 1945. Besides his primary procurement functions the Under Secretary of War had various duties that were delegated to him from time to time by the Secretary.

The position of the Under Secretary of War was held by the following: Robert P. Patterson (December 16, 1940-September 26, 1945), Kenneth C. Royall (November 9, 1945-July 23, 1947), and William H. Draper, Jr. (August 29, 1947-September 17, 1947)

Administrative Office Classified Decimal File March 1943-November 1945 (Formerly Security-Classified Correspondence) (Entry 141)

Records filed under the project portion of the series under "Foreign Countries and Cities," contain information on the military occupation of Germany, and Swedish and Swiss wartime trade with Germany. The records are arranged according to the War Department decimal classification scheme. At the end of the series are ten project files, one of which is "Foreign Countries and Cities." Each project file is arranged alphabetically by name or subject and thereunder according to the War Department decimal classification scheme. Boxes 209-264

Box # Country
260 Argentina
261 France
Germany
262 Iberian Peninsula
Italy
Portugal
263 Spain
Sweden (4 folders)
264 Switzerland (3 folders)

Administrative Office Decimal File 1943-1945 (General Correspondence) (Entry 144)

Much of the series consists of cross-reference sheets that refer to documents which either were filed elsewhere in this series, or in Patterson's security-classified correspondence for this period (Entry 141), or, within the records of his assistants, or which were forwarded to other offices. The correspondence itself consists mainly of letters, memorandums, reports, cablegrams, bulletins, transcripts of hearings, and publications exchanged with other officials in the War Department, Army Service Forces, Cabinet Members, the White House, Members of Congress, Federal Bureau of Investigation, businessmen, and industrialists. Within the project files in the series under the project "Foreign Countries and Cities," are records primarily concerning U.S. installations located within the country and the financial, military, and political conditions of the country or city. The records are arranged according to the War Department decimal classification scheme. At the end of the series is a number of project files which are arranged alphabetically by subject or project. The records in each project are arranged alphabetically by topic and thereunder according to the War Department decimal classification scheme. Boxes 262-552 Security-Classified Correspondence 1945-1947 (Entry 146)

Among the records in this series are those relating to employment of economic warfare to reduce the war potential of the enemy (decimal 091.3, contained in Box 4; ) The records in this series are arranged according to the War Department decimal classification scheme with a number of small project files at the end of the series arranged alphabetically by subject or project. Boxes 1-12

Administrative Office Decimal File 1945-1947 (General Correspondence) (Entry 147)

Much of this series consists of cross-reference sheets which refer to documents filed elsewhere in this series, in other series of the Under Secretary's correspondence, or among the records of other officials in the Office of the Under Secretary of War, or in other offices of the War Department. Most of the correspondence was with other officials in the Offices of the Under Secretary and Secretary of War, the Army Services Forces, Members of Congress, members of interagency boards and committees, businessmen, and industrialists. The records in the project portion of the files relate almost entirely to the acquisition or lease of land and property for military purposes or the disposal of surplus Government property. In addition, records filed under the project "Foreign Countries," deal with the economic needs of those countries, settlement of lend-lease payments, the military occupation of Germany and Austria, and industrial mobilization in the Axis and Allied countries during World War II. The records are arranged according to the War Department decimal classification scheme. At the end of the series is a number of project files arranged alphabetically by subject of the project. The records in each project file are arranged alphabetically by topic thereunder according to the War Department decimal classification scheme. Boxes 553-706

Records of the Executive Assistant, Special Assistant and Consultants

Records of Special Assistant Harold H. Neff

Harold H. Neff served as an expert and adviser on foreign economic matters to the Under Secretary of War from September 1941 until September 1945. As such, he was principally concerned with ensuring adequate supplies of critical and strategic defense materials for the United States and its Allies while denying these essential materials to the Axis powers, analyzing the industrial and economic strength of the enemy, and serving as the Under Secretary of War's major contact with the War Department liaison office attached to the Board of Economic Warfare and its successors, the Office of Economic Warfare and the Foreign Economic Administration.

Special Assistant for Economic Warfare Harold H. Neff, General File 1943-1945 (Entry 160)

Neff's correspondence with the Under Secretary of War consists largely of memorandums outlining his views on the policy the War Department should recommend or pursue on such issues as alleged Swedish violations of the Anglo- Swedish War Trade Agreement of 1939; smuggling of oil, diamonds, and other minerals into Germany by neutral countries; exportation of aviation gasoline to Sweden and Spain; and, implementation of a blockade against Japan. There are also synopses of lengthy reports and studies prepared by Neff and forwarded to the Under Secretary of War on such broader subjects as neutral trade and German economic strengths and weaknesses. The rest of the series includes short notes Neff prepared as aides-memoir, summarizing meetings he had attended and telephone conversations he had held; minutes of meetings of the BEW [Board of Economic Warfare] (with Neff's comments on the matters discussed); mimeographed copies of area studies and reports prepared by the Board of Economic Warfare; Foreign Economic Administration, and the Research and Analysis Branch of the Office of Strategic Services; War and State Departments cablegrams on economic conditions in Europe; and export license applications received from Spain, Portugal, Turkey, and Sweden. The records are arranged in two alphabetical sequences: the first by office or subject; the second by name of country. The four largest country files (Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland) are further divided as follows: general, cables, statistics, and various subjects arranged alphabetically. Boxes 906-929

Box # File Title and/or Subject
906-907 Board of Economic Warfare, Office of Economic Warfare,
Foreign Economic Administration;
910 Board of Economic Warfare, Neutral Trade
912 War Refugee Board
913 Argentina
914 Europe-"Safehaven"
915 Germany; Italy
919-919 Portugal
920-921 Spain
922-926 Sweden
927-929 Switzerland
929 Turkey

Records of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of War

Among the duties of the Assistant Secretary of War were: 1) Supervision of lend-lease policy and the economic phases of military occupation; 2) supervision of civil affairs, that is, the military government of occupied countries; and, 3) coordination of War Department policies and activities with those of the State Department. In this capacity, the Assistant Secretary of War served as a member of the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee. The Assistant Secretary of War also served as chairman of the Combined Civil Affairs Committee, an Anglo-American committee which served under the Combined Chiefs of Staff. It recommended civil affairs policies for enemy and enemy-held areas that were occupied by combined operations and coordinated military and civilian agency interests in such matters.

The position of Assistant Secretary of War was held successively by John J. McCloy (April 1941- November 1945) and Howard Petersen (December 1945-July 1947).

Classified Reference-Subject File 1940-1947 (Name and Title Index to the Formerly Security-Classified Correspondence 1941-1945) (Entry 179)

This series consists largely of carbon copies of letters and memorandums sent or received, which serve as a name and title index to McCloy's security-classified correspondence (see Entry 180). On the right margin of these carbons are the date of the document and the decimal number under which the original or first carbon of the document is filed. The records are arranged alphabetically by surname or title of the writer, of the addressee, or of the person who is the subject of the correspondence. Correspondence concerning countries is filed under "geographical" and thereunder alphabetically by name of country or region.
Boxes 84-88

Formerly Security Classified Correspondence of John J. McCloy 1941-1945 (Entry 180)

At the end of this series are a number of War Department Civil Affairs Division reports, May 1943-January 1946. There are also 21 letters and memorandums removed from McCloy's personal papers as official documents. The records are arranged according to the War Department decimal classification scheme. For a name and title index see Entry 179.
Boxes 1-49

Box # Decimal # File Title or Subject
1-3 000.51 War Crimes
5 004.7 Strategic Services Unit
11 044.2 Federal Bureau of Investigation
12 091 Countries
16 291.2 Jews
  314.4 Captured German Records
19 334.8 Committee of 3 Minutes-Patterson
  334.8 Committee of 3 Minutes
  334.8 State-War-Navy (Committee of 3)
  334.8 State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee
20 336 Foreign and International Affairs
  336.1 Cartels
24 370.8 Countries (2 folders)
  370.8 Combined Civilian Affairs Committee (2 folders)
  370.8 Allied Control Commission
25 370.8 Austria
25-26 370.8 France
26-30 370.8 Germany [contains information on the Morgenthau Plan for Germany] (Note 1)
32-33 370.8 Italy
38 386.3 Property
  386.3 Funds
39 388 Kilgore Committee
44 400.38 Jews
  400.38 War Refugee Board (4 folders)
46 - Reports from the Civil Affairs Division 1943-1946

Geographic File (Formerly Security Classified Correspondence Relating to Conditions and Events in Europe, Asia, and Latin America) 1941-1943 (Entry 181)

This series contains correspondence with the Secretary and Under Secretary of War, the Military Intelligence Division of the War Department General Staff, the Department of State, and members of Congress. Among the records are those relating to the value of Bern and Stockholm as intelligence listening posts. Arranged alphabetically by country or region. Boxes 82-83

Reference-Subject File 1940-1947 (Name and Title Index to the General Correspondence 1941-1945) (Entry 182)

Carbon copies or summaries of letters and memorandums sent and received, which serve as a name and title index to McCloy's general correspondence (Entry 183). On the right margin of these carbons are the date of the document and the decimal number under which the original of the document or the first carbon is filed. The records are arranged alphabetically by surname or title of the writer, of the addressee, or of the person who is the subject of the letter. Correspondence with the War Department is filed under "War Department" and thereunder alphabetically by name or office or title of official. Boxes 156-175

General Correspondence of John J. McCloy 1941-1945 (Entry 183)

Arranged according to the War Department decimal classification scheme.
Boxes 1-67

Box # Decimal # File Title or Subject
1 000.51 War Crimes (5 folders)
2 0004.7 Strategic Services Unit
  004.7 UNRRA
  007 Fine Arts
35 291.2 Jews-Palestine
  291.2 Jews
45 334.8 State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee
46 336 International Affairs
  336.6 Potsdam Conference
  336.7 Displaced Persons
55 370.8 Countries
  370.8 France
  370.8 Committees (Alphabetical)
  370.8 Allied Control Commission
  370.8 General
  370.8 Allied Military Government
55-56 370.8 Germany
58 370.8 Italy
61 383.8 Commercial Firms Blacklists Enemy Trading
  386 Property Rights Involved in War (Germany)
  386.7 German Assets location 390/9/35/01
62 400.38 Countries A-B
  400.38 Countries C-F
  400.38 Countries G-H
  400.38 Countries J-Z
  400.38 Europe and Europe, Northwest
  400.38 Country-Germany
  400.38 Country-France
  400.38 Country-Italy
  400.38 War Refugee Board
  400.38 Jews

Formerly Top Secret Correspondence 1945-1947 (Entry 184)

Among the subjects in this series are conditions in and U.S. policy towards Argentina (decimal 091). The records are arranged according the War Department decimal classification scheme. Boxes 1-2

Cross Indexes 1946-1947 (Cross-Reference Sheets to the Formerly Security-Classified Correspondence) (Entry 185)

Sheets give the decimal number under which the document is filed, decimals in this series under which identical index sheets are filed, date and subject of document, name of writer and addressee, summary of document's content, and disposition made of document. Duplicates of sheets in this series are filed with the correspondence in Entry 186. Arranged according to the War Department decimal classification scheme. Boxes 1-13

Formerly Security-Classified Correspondence of Howard Petersen December 1945- August 1947 (Entry 186)

This series includes both Petersen's classified and unclassified correspondence for the period December 1945-August 1947 and his top secret correspondence from December 1945 through August 1946. Much of the correspondence is with the Department of State, Civil Affairs Division of the War Department Special Staff, Office of Military Government for Germany (U.S.), and Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP). Among the subject covered are the revival of the economies of Germany and Austria (decimal 091.31) and the care, evacuation, and resettlement of Jews and other displaced persons and refugees (decimal 291.2 and 383.7). Arranged according to the War Department decimal classification scheme.
Boxes 1-39

Box # Decimal # Subject
1-2 000.5 War Criminals
7 091 Austria
7-8 091 Germany
9-11 091.31 Commerce
13 123.7 Foreign Exchange Control (2 folders)
20 291.2 Race including Jews
21 291.2 Jews Includes a 103 pp. printed study entitled "Tentative List of Jewish Cultural Treasures in Axis-Occupied Countries, published by the Commission on European Jewish Cultural Reconstruction in 1946.
30-31 383.7 Displaced Persons
31 386 Swiss Negotiations Reparation Settlements
  386.3 Looted Property
32 387 Reparations(4 folders)

Formerly Security-Classified Office File of Howard Petersen (Entry 187)

Among the records are those relating to Petersen's trip to Germany in October 1946 to examine the economy of and the military government for Germany and the problem of displaced persons. The records are arranged alphabetically by subject.
Boxes 1-2

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