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   Robert J. Levy Papers, 1918-1969 [Bulk Dates: 1943-1946]

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Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Robert J. Levy papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information

Abstract

The papers of Robert J. Levy consist primarily of administrative and personal documentation from Levy's time as Liaison Officer from General Dwight David Eisenhower to General Charles de Gaulle during World War II. Also included are related correspondence, personal mementos, and ephemera, and drafts of and notes for a manuscript on de Gaulle.

At a Glance

Call No.:MS#0775
Bib ID:4079025 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Levy, Robert J.
Title:Robert J. Levy Papers, 1918-1969 [Bulk Dates: 1943-1946]
Physical description:.73 linear feet (1.5 document boxes)
Language(s): Material is in English and French.
Access: This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. This collection has no restrictions.  More information »

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection has been left in its original physical order, but is intellectually arranged in three series. Although a broad distinction has been made between documents related to general military operations and those related to Levy personally, most of Levy's personal papers also reflect on or relate to his time in the military.

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Description

Scope and Content

Much of the collection is drawn from scrapbooks kept by Lt. Col. Robert J. Levy during his period of military service in the U.S. Army. Consisting primarily of administrative and personal documentation, Levy's papers focus mainly on his time as Liaison Officer from General Dwight David Eisenhower to General Charles de Gaulle (1944-1945). The collection also contains ephemera and personal mementos from this time, as well as related correspondence both during and after Levy's service, including a brief correspondence with Eisenhower (1968) regarding Eisenhower's position on the war in Vietnam.

The strength of the papers lies in their documentation of events of World War II from the perspective of someone positioned close to the major historical players. Included in the collection are not only restricted communiques between de Gaulle and the Allies, but also opinions about de Gaulle himself and the effect of the war on the mood and cultural attitudes of the French people, notably an increase in anti-Semitic feeling. The collection also provides a snapshot of daily events through rosters, correspondence, and daily orders. The collection also contains manuscript drafts and notes detailing Levy's experiences with and perspectives on de Gaulle.

The material type of the collection is mixed. Many items in the collection were once or are still mounted to scrapbook pages.

Series I. Military Documents

This series consists of correspondence, reports, rosters, and similar documents related to the military operations of the Allied Forces circa 1940s. Much of the documentation centers around the time leading up to and following the liberation of Paris from German forces. The series also contains instructional printed material and first-hand accounts of events written by Levy.

Subseries 1. Administrative Files, 1944-1945

This subseries consists of rosters of French, British, and American officers and of records related to daily military occurrences and events, including daily orders, details of correspondence and reports, troop and supply movements, ceremonies, and personnel issues.

Subseries 2. Correspondence, circa 1940s 1944-1945

This subseries consists of long- and short-form correspondence, communiqués, and reports. Most of the correspondence is addressed to and/or from de Gaulle, Eisenhower, and S.H.A.E.F. and dated in the months after the liberation of France (August-November 1944). Many of the documents are labeled "secret" or "restricted."

Subseries 3. Printed Material, circa 1940s 1943-1944

This subseries contains military instructional guide books. It also contains a provisional edition map of France illustrating "Control of Refugees and Displaced Persons" and two identical company rosters from the Military Government School at Fort Custer, one of which is autographed by classmates and teachers.

Series II. Personal Documents

This series contains documents, printed materials, and realia related to Levy's personal experiences, primarily focusing on his military tour in Europe, 1944-1945.

Subseries 1: Correspondence, 1944-1946, 1968

This series contains personal letters to Levy, primarily dated April 1944-November 1945. It includes correspondence from André Siegfried, political writer and member of the Académie française, and a brief exchange between Levy and Eisenhower regarding Eisenhower's article in Reader's Digest (included) on domestic response to the war in Vietnam.

Subseries 2: De Gaulle Manuscript, Undated

This subseries contains undated handwritten and typed notes and manuscript pages detailing Levy's personal experiences with and perspectives on de Gaulle. A partial manuscript, written by Levy with Noel F. Busch, is titled "Is General DeGaulle Through? --an expert appraisal of an enigmatic hero on whom, the author says, France may soon call again."

Subseries 3: Personal Administrative Files, 1918, 1943-1953

This subseries primarily consists of official military correspondence and documentation regarding Levy's military assignments; honors, awards, and commendations; and personal forms and identification cards. Included alongside the commendations are schedules and details regarding military ceremonies held on September 8, 1944 and September 8, 1945. This subseries also contains some non-military documentation, including a personal history statement which provides an overview of Levy's military and non-military careers.

Subseries 4: Printed Material and Realia, circa 1940s 1943-1945

This subseries contains ephemera and personal mementos related to Levy's time in Europe during World War II. Printed materials include theater programs, invitations, and related printed materials for entertainment events and occasions, many of which were diplomatic or military in nature. Realia includes Levy's S.H.A.E.F. uniform patch and a 10 reichsmark note and stamps.

Series III: Photographs and Clippings, circa 1940s 1944-1945, 1955, 1969, Undated

This series contains photographic prints and newspaper clippings, primarily documenting Levy's time in the U.S. Army, circa 1940s. Included are multiple photos of the S.H.A.E.F. plaque dedication ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris (September 8, 1945). Also included: a handkerchief made by French textile manufacturer Marcel Fremaux from cotton delivered from the U.S. to France on the ship Lou Gehrig ; the handerkerchief is mounted together with a photo of Levy with Mrs. Lou Gehrig and a clipping describing the occasion.

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Using the Collection

Offsite

Access Restrictions

 This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

      offsite requestMore information and link to off-site request form

This collection has no restrictions.

Restrictions on Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Curator of Manuscripts/University Archivist, Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML). The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Robert J. Levy papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Finding aid in repository; folder level control.

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About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

Cataloged 07/--/89 Christina Hilton Fenn

Papers processed by Kellie Walsh ( Rutgers University, 2012)

Finding aid written by Kellie Walsh ( Rutgers University, 2012) March 2011

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion March 31, 2011 Finding aid written in English.
    2011-03-31 File created.
    2011-04-13 XML document instance created by Catherine C. Ricciardi

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Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Photoprints.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Allied Forces--Supreme HeadquartersPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
France.--Armée.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Gaulle, Charles de, 1890-1970.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Great Britain.--Army.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Levy, Robert J.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
World War, 1939-1945--Europe.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

Robert J. Levy was born on August 31, 1902, in New Orleans, LA. He was raised in New Orleans and attended one year at Tulane University before transferring to Harvard University, from which he earned his A.B. degree in English and Economics in 1923. In 1927, he married Rebecca Claire Shwartz (b. 1902), also of New Orleans, with whom he had one daughter, Ann Patricia Levy.

A resident of New York City from 1935, Levy traveled often to Washington D.C. as a business analyst and financial expert, serving as Head Administrative Officer and Business Head C.A.F. for the Office of the Board of Economic Welfare and Office of Price Administration Industrial Manufacturing Division (January-July 1943) and Head Administrative Officer of the Board of Economic Warfare (rubber development and procurement). Levy also served as a Senior Partner in his family's financial firm starting in 1932, a position which he retained while overseas during World War II, until 1951.

Levy traveled throughout Europe as an officer with the U.S. Army, and in 1944 and 1945 served as Liaison Officer from General Dwight David Eisenhower to General Charles de Gaulle and Liaison Officer to General Alphonse Juin, Chief of Staff for National Defense (France) for the Supreme Headquarters American Expeditionary Forces (S.H.A.E.F.) Mission to France. Levy also represented S.H.A.E.F. as member secretariat of the four party committee (United States, France, United Kingdom, and S.H.A.E.F.). For his service, Levy was awarded a E.A.M.E. Theater Ribbon with 1 star, World War II Victory Medal, and Croix de Guerre with Palm (France) and received the French Legion of Honor (Chevalier) and Order of the British Empire (Degree Officer).

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