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Kindleberger, Charles P. Papers

Dates: 1932-92

Official with the Office of Strategic Services, 1942-45; Official with the Department of State, 1945-48; and professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1948-81

The papers of Charles P. Kindleberger document primarily his work as an official with the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, the Department of State's Division of German and Austrian Economic Affairs from 1945 to 1947, the Council of Foreign Ministers for several months in 1947, and the Economic Cooperation Administration in 1947-48.

[Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List]

See also Charles P. Kindleberger Oral History


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: 4.9 linear feet (about 9,800 pages)
Access: Open, with the exception that some documents are closed in accordance with the provisions of the Executive order governing the administration of classified information, and others in accordance with the provisions of the donor's deed of gift.
Copyright: Charles P. Kindleberger has donated to the United States government his copyright interest in any of his unpublished writings in the custody of the Truman Library or of any other federal government archival repository.
Processed by: Mary Godfrey, Sharie Simon, and Raymond H. Geselbracht

[ Top | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

1910

 

Born, New York City

1932

 

A.B., University of Pennsylvania

1937

 

Married Sarah Bache Miles

1937

 

Ph.D., Columbia University

1936-69

 

Research economist, Federal Reserve Bank, New York

1939-49

 

Research economist, Bank of International Settlements, Basel, Switzerland

1940-1942

 

Research economist, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC

1942

 

Official in the Research and Analysis Branch

     

Feb. 1943

 

Office of Strategic Services, Washington, DC

March 1943

 

On Detached Service from the OSS with the Enemy

June 1944

 

Objectives Unit, Economic Warfare Division, U.S. Embassy, London

July 1944-June 1945

 

On Detached Service from the OSS with the intelligence section (G-2) of the 12th Army Group, European Theater

1945, June-Nov.

 

Adviser, Office of Finance and Development, Department of State, Washington, DC

Nov. 1945-June 1947

 

Chief, Division of German and Austrian Economic Affairs, Department of State

1947, April-May

 

On assignment to the U.S. Delegation to the Council of Foreign Ministers Meeting, Moscow

June 1947-July 1948

 

Adviser, European Recovery Program, Department of State

1948-1981

 

Economics Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

[ Top | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The papers of Charles P. Kindleberger document primarily his work as an official with the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, with the Department of State's Division of German and Austrian Economic Affairs from 1945 to 1947, and as an adviser in the Department of State for the European Recovery Program from 1947 to 1948. The collection has a particularly rich combination of official and personal correspondence covering Kindleberger's work with the Office of Strategic Services and the Division of German and Austrian Economic Affairs. The collection also has some documentation of his long academic career.

Kindleberger published two books that describe his life and career, and particularly his government service during and following World War II. The Life of an Economist (Oxford, England, 1991) is his own account of his life and career; it includes listings of all the positions he held during his career and all the books written and edited by him. The German Economy: 1945-1947 (Westport, Connecticut, 1989) publishes the letters he wrote to officials of the Division of German and Austrian Affairs and to his wife during his assignments in Europe in August 1946 and March and April 1947. An introduction to this book describes Kindleberger's work during these years and identifies the important names and abbreviations that appear in his letters.

The collection has five series: The Office of Strategic Services File, the State Department Division of German and Austrian Economic Affairs File, the Economic Cooperation Administration File, the Subject File, and the Correspondence File. Although the Office of Strategic Services File includes a few documents covering Kindleberger's work with the Research and Analysis Branch of the Office of Strategic Services in Washington, D.C., and a somewhat larger number covering his service with the Enemy Objectives Unit in the American Embassy in London, most of the documents in this series relate to his service with the 12th Army Group. Kindleberger's task in all of his wartime positions, as he says in his autobiography, was to use his economist's skills, in one way or another, "to decide how best the enemy economy could be taken apart." The Chronological File subseries contains the copies of documents relating to his OSS service that Kindleberger sent to the Library in either 1976 or 1980. The Subject File subseries contains the originals or other copies of many of the same documents, some bearing Kindleberger's retrospective annotations, that he donated to the Library in 1991. The Subject File subseries also contains a diary written by a German prisoner of war and Kindleberger's so-called "War Diary," which explains the background, purpose and operations of the Enemy Objectives Unit.

The State Department File consists of two subseries, the Division of German and Austrian Economic Affairs File and the European Recovery Program File. The Division of German and Austrian Economic Affairs File documents Kindleberger's role in the American effort, as he describes it in his autobiography, "to help put [Germany] back together." His task as part of the Division of German and Austrian Economic Affairs was to help formulate the economic policies of the Office of Military Government, United States. The series also documents Kindleberger's assignment in March and April 1947 to the staff of the American delegation to the Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Moscow. Of particular importance are two groups of letters and memoranda that Kindleberger prepared, one during August 1946 when he made an inspection tour of Europe to assess the American effort at reconstructing the European economies, and the other during his attendance at the Council of Foreign Ministers meeting. Kindleberger edited and published these two groups of letters in The German Economy, 1945-1947. The European Recovery Program File is composed primarily of mimeographed copies of Economic Cooperation Administration documents and printed and carbon copies of documents created by the Organization for European Economic Co-operation. The series documents Kindleberger's work within the State Department on the European Recovery Program. According to his autobiography, he was "the secretary to the economics group [within the office of the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs], and in due course the chairman of a small coordinating committee that stood between an elaborate system of commodity committees on the one hand, and country committees on the other."

The Subject File is an odd assortment of material relating to Kindleberger's military service and to selected aspects of his life after leaving government service in 1948. The autobiographical manuscript and the material from the files of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is in this collection as a result of Kindleberger's frustration at his inability between his departure from government service and sometime in the early 1960s to get a government security clearance. The subseries also contains information about Kindleberger's appointment as a visiting professor at Clark College and other colleges belonging to the Atlanta University Center, as well as a paper on monetary reform in western Germany, prepared by Kindleberger and F. Taylor Ostrander for a conference at Princeton University in 1998.

The Correspondence File contains primarily personal and professional correspondence relating to Kindleberger's experiences just before and during World War II. The correspondence with his wife and parents-in-law is from the war period; other folders contain primarily correspondence from a later period with people writing about American strategic bombing during the war. There is also a little correspondence about German currency reform.

Because of the complication caused by the incremental way in which Kindleberger donated his papers to the Truman Library, the accession date for the material in every folder is included as part of the folder title; two of the accessions, those of 1976 and 1980, however, are not distinguished from one another.

Several other collections in the Truman Library's holdings include materials relating to those in Kindleberger's papers. The Rose A. Conway Files have material relating to the Office of Strategic Services. The Confidential File and the papers of Dean Acheson, Edward H. Foley, Jr., Katherine Fite Lincoln, J. Anthony Panuch, Paul R. Porter and Alvin J. Rockwell have material relating to the work of the State Department's Division of German and Austrian Economic Affairs. The President's Secretary's Files, the Confidential File, the Official File and the papers of Thomas C. Blaisdell, Clark Clifford, James P. Hendrick, Paul G. Hoffman, Joseph M. Jones and Harry B. Price have material relating to the State Department's role in the European Recovery Program. The President's Secretary's Files and the Confidential File have material relating to the Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Moscow in 1947.

[ Top | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]

SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos.

 

Series

1-3

 

OFFICE OF STRATEGIC SERVICES FILE, 1942-45, 1978-ca. 1982
consisting of two subseries, as follows:

  • CHRONOLOGICAL FILES, 1942-45: Copies of memoranda and reports, together with a few original documents relating to Kindleberger's work in the Research and Analysis Branch of the Office of the Strategic Services and on special assignment from the OSS to the Enemy Objectives Unit of the Economic Warfare Division in the U.S. Embassy, London, and to the 12th Army Group in Europe. Subjects covered include potential bombing targets and plans to disrupt the German economy. Kindleberger gave these materials to the Truman Library in either 1976 or 1980. Arranged chronologically.
  • 2-3 SUBJECT FILE, 1942-45, 1978-ca.1982: Memoranda, correspondence and reports relating to Kindleberger's positions within the OSS. This subseries includes the originals of most or perhaps all of the documents of which copies are present in the above Chronological File. This duplicated material is especially in the folders entitled Uxbridge and German Railroad Intelligence. The duplication is probably not complete, and some of the documents in this subseries contain annotations by Kindleberger that are not present on the copies in the Chronological File. The subseries also includes a diary of a German prisoner of war and volume five of a so-called OSS "War Diary," entitled "Economic Outpost with Economic Warfare Division." Kindleberger gave the material in this subseries to the Truman Library in 1991. Arranged by subject.

4-7

 

STATE DEPARTMENT FILE, 1945-48
consisting of two subseries, as follows:

  • 4-5 DIVISION OF GERMAN AND AUSTRIAN ECONOMIC AFFAIRS FILE, 1945-47: Memoranda, correspondence, reports and printed material relating to economic conditions in Germany and Austria after World War II and to the work of the American occupation government; and also relating to Kindleberger's assignment in March and April of 1947 to the meeting in Moscow of the Council of Foreign Ministers. There is some duplication of materials found elsewhere in this sub-series in the folders entitled "Memoranda--l946; and "Memoranda--1947." Arranged alphabetically by subject or document type.
  • 5-7 EUROPEAN RECOVERY PROGRAM FILE, 1947-48: Reports, printed material and memoranda relating to Kindleberger's work within the State Department as an adviser on the European Recovery Program. Arranged alphabetically by subject.

8-9

  SUBJECT FILE, 1943-90
The series contains records relating to Kindleberger's military service, an autobiograph