University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Emil Julius Gumbel Papers ca. 1934-1966

© 2006 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Gumbel, Emil Julius. Papers


ca. 1934-1966


2 linear ft. (4 boxes)


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


The Emil Julius Gumbel Papers consist primarily of general personal correspondence arranged alphabetically by correspondent, including in most cases a copy of Gumbel's reply. Also included in the collection are Gumbel's topical files. These files pertain for the most part to particular episodes and activities, such as Gumbel's association with the Office of Strategic Service.

Information on Use


No restrictions.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Gumbel, Emil Julius. Papers

Biographical Note

Emil J. Gumbel, (1891-1966), a mathematical statistician, was one of the many German intellectuals who opposed the Nazi regime and fled their homeland with the hope that democratic government in Germany could be restored through their efforts abroad. The Gumbel papers reflect his associations with fellow anti-Nazis, and their activities to help their homeland recover from the devastation wrought by the Third Reich. Gumbel's early life was spent in Munich where he studied economics, engineering, and actuarial science as well as mathematics and statistics. He joined the faculty of Heidelberg University in 1922 and during the next decade became widely known for his political writings as well as his scientific work. His political views were largely the result of a determined pacifism acquired during his service in the First World War. Through the 1920's he wrote several books and articles which exposed the militaristic goals and political intimidation of right-wing elements whose influence was then growing in Germany, especially the Freikorps and the young National Socialist Party. As a result of his investigations Gumbel was dismissed from the Heidelberg faculty when the Nazis came to power in 1933. He spent the next several years in France, teaching at the Universities of Paris and Lyons, then, upon the German invasion of France in 1940, Gumbel emigrated to New York City, where he obtained a position at the New School for Social Research.

Gumbel's knowledge of German political affairs enabled him to take an active part in the struggle against the Nazis. The papers record that he was frequently consulted by students, scholars, and government agencies, especially the Office of Strategic Services. Most of the correspondence in the collection is from the 1940's, during which period Gumbel continued to maintain his ties with former colleagues in Europe, North and South America. The papers include correspondence with several friends whom he helped escape the Nazis, and with such associates as Otto Lehmann-Russbuldt, president of the Deutsche Liga für Menschenrechte, and Paul von Schoenaich of the Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft. Gumbel's postwar concern for the reconstruction of Germany, the welfare of his countrymen, and his opposition to German rearmament are also documented in the papers by correspondence and such public statements as his "Erklärung gegen Deutsche Aufrüstung."

Gumbel continued to teach at the New School and other New York institutions until his death in 1966.

Scope Note

The Emil Julius Gumbel Papers consist primarily of general personal correspondence arranged alphabetically by correspondent, including in most cases a copy of Gumbel's reply. Also included in the collection are Gumbel's topical files. These files pertain for the most part to particular episodes and activities, such as Gumbel's association with the Office of Strategic Service.

Related Resources

Browse finding aids by topic.

Gumbel's scientific papers, centered on order statistics, especially the development and application of the theory of extreme values, are deposited in the Leo Baeck Institute of New York.

Subject Headings


Series I: General Personal Correspondence

Box 1   Folder 1

Correspondence A-B

  • Altschul, Eugen
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • Das Andere Deutschland
  • Aufbau
  • Balch, Emily G.
  • Baldwin, Roger
  • Becher, Johannes R.
  • Becker, Hertha
  • Berger, Erwin
  • Brinitzer, Maria
  • British Press Service
  • Brown, Lyndon O.
  • Buek, Otto
  • Bürger, Ottmar
Box 1   Folder 2

Correspondence C-F

  • Cerf, P.
  • Comite National Francais aux Etats-Unis
  • The Commentary
  • Committee for One Million
  • Common Cause, Inc.
  • Crabb, George A.
  • Dejardin, G.
  • Dora, Francis E.
  • von Doss, Ilse Wolff
  • Douglas, William O.
  • Dover Publications
  • Dunn, L.C.
  • Eichler, Willi
  • Emersleben, Otto
  • Falck, Carl
Box 1   Folder 3

Falk, Alfred

Box 1   Folder 4

Falk, Alfred

Box 1   Folder 5

Correspondence F-K

  • Flanders, Ralf E.
  • Fliess, Peter J.
  • Franklin, Harry Lee
  • Freymann, M.
  • Fritsch, Mia
  • Fröhlich, Rosi and Paul
  • Gaffron, H. (Hons)
  • Georgi, M.
  • German-American Council
  • Goetze
  • Greenwood, M.
  • Goldziher
  • Hadamard, Jacques
  • Hammer, Walter
  • Hansome, Marius
  • Hermann
  • Hertz
  • Hilger, Wilhelm Joseph
  • Höfler, Heinrich
  • Inoue, Kakutaro
  • Jacobsen, Otto
  • Kallman, H.
  • Kelly, Edna F.
  • Kempfert
Box 1   Folder 6

Kempner, Robert M.W.

Box 1   Folder 7

Correspondence K-L

  • Kessman, Dorothy M.
  • Kersten
  • Klimpt, E.E.
  • Kraschutzki, Heinz
  • Kuczynski, Marguerite
  • Kuester, Fritz
  • Kun, Frederick
  • Kuhn, Hermann
  • LaCroix, Max
Box 1   Folder 8

Lehmann-Russbüldt, Otto

Box 1   Folder 9

Lehmann-Russbüldt, Otto

Box 1   Folder 10

Lehmann-Russbüldt, Otto

Box 1   Folder 11

Lehmann-Russbüldt, Otto

Box 1   Folder 12

Lehmann-Russbüldt, Otto

Box 1   Folder 13

Lehmann-Russbüldt, Otto

Box 1   Folder 14

Lehmann-Russbüldt, Otto

Box 1   Folder 15

Lehmann-Russbüldt, Otto

Box 1   Folder 16

Lehmann-Russbüldt, Otto

Box 1   Folder 17

Lehmann-Russbüldt, Otto

Box 1   Folder 18

Lehmann-Russbüldt, Otto

Box 1   Folder 19

Correspondence L-M

  • Leroux
  • Lloyd, D.
  • Löwenthal, Fritz
  • Luschnat
  • Macmillan Co.
  • Magdeburg, University, Philosophische Fakultät
  • Meyer, Albert Willy
  • Middleman, W.
  • Moch, Jules
  • Morse, Wayne
  • Munter
Box 2   Folder 1

Correspondence N-R

  • Nathan, Otto
  • Nation
  • National Council for Prevention of War
  • Nielsen, William Allan
  • New York Times
  • Norden, Albert
  • Oelze, Werner
  • Oriender, Anita
  • Paetel, Karl
  • Pearson, E.S.
  • Penham, Daniel F.
  • Perrin, Francis
  • Pollock, Frederick
  • Radbruch, Gustav
Box 2   Folder 2

Correpondence R

  • Reisner, Konrad
  • Rhein Neckar Zeitung
  • Riebel, Paul
  • Rosenfeld, Kurt
Box 2   Folder 3

Correspondence S

  • Saffron, H. (Hans)
  • Salomon, Esme
  • Schairer, Reinhold
  • Scheer, Maximilian
  • Schoenaich, Freiherr von
  • Schoenbaum, E.
  • Schramm, Hanna
Box 2   Folder 4

Schwarz, Arthur

Box 2   Folder 5

Schwarz, Arthur

Box 2   Folder 6

Schwarz, Arthur

Box 2   Folder 7

Correspondence S

  • Sellin, Thorsten
  • Senzig, Guido
  • Seydewitz, Max
  • Simon, Hugo
  • Stern, Catherine
  • Sternthal, Frederick
  • Studenic, Hubert
Box 2   Folder 8

Correspondence T-W

  • Taube, Arthur
  • Thomson, William M.
  • Uhlmann, Carla
  • Van Abbe, Derek
  • Wedel
  • Weil, Bruno
  • WMCA, station
  • Writer's War Board
  • Wolff, Arthur
Box 2   Folder 9

Unidentified correspondence and papers

Series II: Topical Files

Box 2   Folder 10-17

Academic Affairs

  • Correspondence and papers relating to Gumbel's position at the New School for Social Research and other institutions, inquiries for support from foundations, and various administrative papers. Ca. 1940-66.
Box 3   Folder 1-11

Bergstraesser Affair

  • Correspondence, statements, and clippings relating to Gumbel's part in the investigations of Arnold Bergstraesser, a German immigrant who taught at Scripps College and the University of Chicago. Suspected of Nazi sympathies, Bergstraesser was twice interned by federal authorities, and his academic appointments stirred much controversy. Ca. 1940-45.
Box 3   Folder 12

Curricula vitae and bibliographies of Gumbel's publications, to Ca. 1939.

Box 4   Folder 1-2

École Libre des Hautes Études

  • Correspondence and papers relating to Gumbel's association with the École Libre des Hautes Études, an institute for research and study founded in New York City in 1942 by French-speaking immigrants. Ca. 1942-45.
Box 4   Folder 3

Erklärung gegen Deutschen Aufristung

  • Drafts of, and correspondence relating to, a public statement against German rearmament composed by Gumbel and co-signed by many prominent German scholars. The statement appeared in the New York Times, July 12, 1952.
Box 4   Folder 4

Hamburg, University of, visiting professorship.

  • Correspondence and other papers produced and received by Gumbel during his term as visiting professor at the University of Hamburg in 1964.
Box 4   Folder 5

Ligue des Croits de 1'Homme, Congress at Lyon, 1934. Correspondence, statements, and clippings concerning Gumbel's attendance at the Ligue's regional conference. Misinterpretation of his remarks to the conference by the French press raised a controversy over the desirability of continuing Gumbel's appointment at the University of Lyon. 1934.

Box 4   Folder 6

Memoir. A short memoir containing Gumbel's reflections on his life and the events, which he witnessed and participated in. Undated.

Box 4   Folder 7


  • Transcript of a radio interview with Gumbel on the subject of pre-war German politics. 1944.
  • Dialogue between Gumbel and Dr. Siegfried Aram concerning pre-war German polotics. Undated.
  • Statement from an unidentified source upon German reconstruction. Undated.
  • Document from unidentified source entitled "Der Tod des Hermann Friede." Undated.
  • Public statement on the necessity of German reconstruction, signed by many prominent German immigrants. Gumbel's signature is lacking. [1945.]
Box 4   Folder 8-9

Office of Strategic Services. Correspondence and papers related to Gumbel's work for the OSS. During World War II he had prepared reports for the OSS concerning the activities of subversive German political groups in the 20's and 30's, especially the Nazi party and the Freikorps. Ca. 1940-45.