Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

Robert J. Levy papers, 1918-1969, bulk 1943-1946

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 1943-1946
Physical Description .73 linear feet (.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 three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.

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. Series I. Military Documents Subseries 1. Administrative Files, 1944-1945 Subseries 2. Correspondence, circa 1940s, 1944-1945 Subseries 3. Printed Material, circa 1940s, 1943-1944 Series II. Personal Documents Subseries 1: Correspondence, 1944-1946, 1968 Subseries 2: De Gaulle Manuscript, Undated Subseries 3: Personal Administrative Files, 1918, 1943-1953 Subseries 4: Printed Material and Realia, circa 1940s, 1943-1945 Series III: Photographs and Clippings, circa 1940s, 1944-1945, 1955, 1969, Undated.

Description

Summary

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.

  • 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.

  • 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 shipLou Gehrig; the handerkerchief is mounted together with a photo of Levy with Mrs. Lou Gehrig and a clipping describing the occasion.

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.

Preferred Citation

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

Accrual

No additions are expected

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 07/--/89.

Papers processed by Kellie Walsh (Rutgers University, 2012).

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

Revision Description

2011-03-31 File created.

2011-04-13 XML document instance created by Catherine C. Ricciardi

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

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

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Photographic prints Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

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

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

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).