University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Committee for Aid to German and Austrian Scholars. Records 1946-1950

© 2006 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Committee for Aid to German and Austrian Scholars. Records




.5 linear feet (1 box)


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


The Committee for Aid to German and Austrian Scholars Records contain the correspondence of the Committee for the years 1947 to 1949. Other materials in the collection include fund-raising materials, reports on conditions in post-War Germany and a scrapbook compiled by students in Wurzburg, Germany for the Committee.

Information on Use


No restrictions.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Committee for Aid to German and Austrian Scholars. Records, [Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Historical Note

On December 16, 1946, Otto G. von Simson, Executive Secretary of the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, wrote to Chancellor Robert M. Hutchins of the plight of the German people, and especially of German scholars, arising from near famine conditions. Stating that the food situation in post-war Germany threatened, "to bring about the immediate collapse of higher education," Professor von Simson proposed that contributions be solicited in this country, and the money be used to send material aid in the form of C.A.R.E. parcels to scholars in German and Austrian Universities. Chancellor Hutchins not only approved the plan, but accepted chairmanship of the Committee for Aid to German and Austrian Scholars on February 18, 1947.

Early in 1947 the Committee launched a campaign by sending its appeal in the form of letters to the editors of at least one newspaper in every major city in the country, and, of course, to the German language newspapers. The response was most effective from the Progressive magazine, from the German language newspapers, and from such denominational journals as the Christian Century. Contributions also came from other universities, where similar groups were formed, some independent of the Chicago C.A.G.A.S., and some acting as collecting agents to channel funds to Chicago. Dr. Otto Krayer of Harvard Medical School was a prime example of a persistent solicitor of funds and supporter of the Chicago program. From private individuals such as Fred Pabst, Harold H. Swift, and Edward Mallinckrodt repeated contributions were sent.

Shortly after the program began, it was necessary to shift its goals. Because of the enormity of the task, the varying economic conditions in Europe, and the growing difficulties between the occupation powers in Germany and Austria, the Committee decided to limit its aid to the professors and students of the six universities in the American zone of Germany. However, as financial support grew, aid was again expanded until by 1948 it was being sent to twenty-one institutions, some of which were technical colleges.

s relief requirements changed in Germany in 1948, the form of aid sent began to vary and depart from the standard C.A.R.E. parcels. The Committee began sending such foods as dried staples, peas, flour, lard, etc., by the ton to the dining halls of the universities.

Programs for the sending, and eventually for the exchange, of books, research supplies and reports were begun as the need for food packages decreased. On the material side, clothing packages were sent to Germany, and a program was instituted for supplying the Heidelberg Children's Hospital with a herd of cows, purchased in Denmark with money raised by the Chicago Committee.

The Committee also became a means for German scholars to probe American job opportunities. Although the Committee tried to avoid deviating from its original purpose, it did intercede for some German scholars in an attempt to find them positions in this country. As an alternative proposal, an exchange was started between Professors in Germany and Professors at the University of Chicago. This later developed into the Frankfurt exchange program for both professors and students.

With the improvement of economic conditions throughout Germany in 1948, aided by the German economic reforms of that year, as well as from the effect of a natural post-war recovery spurred on by the Marshall Plan, relief projects became less pressing, and the C.A.G.A.S. dissolved in mid-1949.

Scope Note

The Committee for Aid to German and Austrian Scholars Records contain the correspondence of the Committee for the years 1947 to 1949. Other materials in the collection include reports on conditions in post-War Germany and a scrapbook compiled by students in Wurzburg, Germany for the Committee.

The papers of the C.A.G.A.S. came to the library from the office of Professor O. J. M. Jolles of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literature when Professor Jolles left the University of Chicago in the spring of 1962.

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Subject Headings


Box 1   Folder 1

Organizational Correspondence, A - California (20 letters)

Box 1   Folder 2

Organizational Correspondence, Care - Chicago (23 letters)

Box 1   Folder 3

Organizational Correspondence, Church - Fordham (26 letters)

Box 1   Folder 4

Organizational Correspondence, Frankfurt-Krayer (24 letters)

Box 1   Folder 5

Organizational Correspondence, Mainz - Safe (27 letters)

Box 1   Folder 6

Organizational Correspondence, Seeman - Z (25 letters)

Box 1   Folder 7

Job Requests, Orssich, Raczinski, Wajsblum (21 items)

Box 1   Folder 8

Correspondence with aid recipients, Jan. 18-April 19, 1947 (26 letters)

Box 1   Folder 9

Correspondence with aid recipients April 27-July 1, 1947 (28 letters)

Box 1   Folder 10

Correspondence with aid recipients July 11-Dec. 23, 1947 (26 letters)

Box 1   Folder 11

Correspondence with aid recipients Feb. 10-June 10, 1948 (26 letters)

Box 1   Folder 12

Correspondence with aid recipients June 23, 1948-Nov. 15, 1949 (30 letters)

Box 1   Folder 13

Fund Raising Campaign, A - Malinckrodt (23 letters)

Box 1   Folder 14

Fund Raising Campaign, Pabst - z (22 letters)

Box 1   Folder 15

Donor Correspondence, A - Krayer (25 letters)

Box 1   Folder 16

Donor Correspondence, Lehman - Paepcke (20 letters)

Box 1   Folder 17

Donor Correspondence, Swift - z (19 letters)

Box 1   Folder 18

Reports on Conditions in Germany

Box 1   Folder 19

A scrapbook compiled in 1950 by the students of Wurzburg for their American Friends- contains photographs of students and of Wurzburg before and after it was bombed in March, 1945. It was sent as a sign of gratitude to the C.A.G.A.S. Also included are 2 accompanying letters dated 1950; and a 3 page statistical survey of "Life conditions of the students of the Wurzbrug University"