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Using the Collection
Note: some material may be restricted or offsite
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At a Glance
The collection has been arranged into two series.
Scope and Content
The collection documents Marshall MacDuffie's work as chief of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration's Mission to the Ukraine and his trip to the Soviet Union in 1953. It includes correspondence, manuscript drafts, publications, newspaper clippings, and a large collection of photographs, slides, and negatives.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
This collection has no restrictions.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Marshall MacDuffie Papers, 1945-1962; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Herbert H. Lehman Papers, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University
Sir Robert G.A. Jackson Papers, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University
Hugh R. Jackson Papers, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University
Research Materials on Leo Szilard, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University
Ownership and Custodial History
Gift of Rose Keane MacDuffie.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
UNRRA Correspondence, reports, clippings Surveyed Julie Miller 05/--/87.
Trip to USSR Papers Accessioned 1954.
Trip to USSR Papers Accessioned 1968.
Trip to USSR Papers Processed 01/--/80.
Trip USSR Papers Revised 11/--/81.
UNRRA and Trip to USSR Papers Combined 2013.
2016-10-28 xml document instance created by Carolyn Smith
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Marshall MacDuffie was born in 1909 to Marshall and Wilhelmina Helmar MacDuffie. He attended Philips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, graduating in 1927. He attended Yale Law School, graduating in 1935, and then joined the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell, where he practiced until 1941. MacDuffie married Rose Keane Shumlin in 1953.
MacDuffie moved to Washington, DC in 1941 and served on several wartime commissions and boards, including the Board of Economic Warfare in the Middle East. He also served as a director of the European branch of the Foreign Economic Administration Deputy Foreign Liquidation Commissioner (State Department).
In 1945, New York Governor Herbert Lehman appointed MacDuffie to the position of chief of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) Mission to the Ukraine. The region had been hit with heavy losses and destruction during the war, and was also facing drought. Along with deputy Paul F. White and reporter John S. Fischer, MacDuffie traveled to Kiev to oversee the oversee the distribution of $180 million worth of emergency relief supplies, primarily food, clothing, medicine, tools, and agricultural supplies such as seeds and refrigerating machinery. The program struggled with delays, but large numbers of supplies did reach their designated locations.
In June of 1946, a US congressman called for the end of UNRRA aid in Russia on the grounds that US officials were being censored and barred from access to key areas. MacDuffie challenged these claims, insisting that his staff was able to move freely throughout Ukraine to inspect living conditions and the need for rations, and that they were assisted, not hindered, by local authorities. He resigned in protest over the incident, but his statements were supported by UNRRA Director Fiorella LaGuardia, who insisted that the relief efforts would continue. Paul White succeeded MacDuffie as Chair and oversaw the Mission for another year, until its termination in July, 1947.
While involved in the mission, MacDuffie befriended Nikita Khrushchev, then Premier of the Ukraine. Several years later, he wrote to Khrushchev to request a travel visa for a private trip to the Soviet Union to see how the landscape had changed. Despite the tensions of the Cold War, which normally forbade US citizens from visiting the Soviet Union, the request was granted, and in 1953 MacDuffie traveled freely for two months, covering 10,000 miles between Leningrad and the Chinese border. He visited factories, farms, and slaughterhouses, met with many citizens, and kept extensive notes. MacDuffie was interviewed by a number of newspapers upon his return and wrote a book, The Red Carpet:10,000 Miles through Russia on a Visa from Khrushchev, about the experience. MacDuffie also conducted several interviews with Khrushchev, including a three-hour interview in 1956, and wrote other books and articles on Soviet life. He advocated the development of positive relations between the US and the USSR.
In 1955, MacDuffie served five months as chief counsel of the Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights, but resigned after a dispute. Around the same time, he began receiving letters from US citizens with family members in Russia, who were unable to leave due to the country's anti-emigration policies. Using his connections to Khrushchev and others, as well as his skills as an attorney, MacDuffie helped obtain exit visas for several individuals. He established his own law firm in 1956 and continued to take on such cases, often waiving his attorney fee.
Marshall MacDuffie died in New York in 1967.
Chief of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation (UNRRA) Mission to the Ukraine.