2 Replies Latest reply on May 14, 2021 5:04 PM by Virginia Dilkes

    U.S. Legation in Bern, Switzerland ordered to return to Paris to re-open the U.S. Embassy

    Virginia Dilkes Newbie

      In 1941 after the U.S Embassy in Paris was relocated to Vichy, France, fifteen members of the U.S. Embassy in Paris remained in Paris to operate as a consulate.  They were expelled by the Nazi government and ended up in Bern, Switzerland, serving as part of the U.S. Legation in Bern 1942-1944.  After Paris was liberated in August 1944, they were ordered to return to Paris to reestablish the U.S. Embassy in Paris.  The U.S. State Dept. contacted the U.S. War Dept. for support for their journey across bombed out roads and bridges.  I am looking for information on the correspondence between the U.S. State Dept. and the U.S. War Dept. in August, September, and October 1944, and a description of the support the War Dept. was able to provide to the 15-members of the U.S. Legation in Bern that enabled them to make the journey back to Paris.

        • Re: U.S. Legation in Bern, Switzerland ordered to return to Paris to re-open the U.S. Embassy
          Anna Smallwood Wayfarer

          Dear Virginia Dilkes:

           

          Thank you for posting your question on History Hub!

           

          There are a few places to look for these types of records. We conducted a search for "U.S. Legation in Bern" through our catalog and found several related series in Record Group 84, Records of Foreign Service Posts of the Department of State. In addition to these series, we always recommend the State Department Central Files. Additional information about the Central Files and copies of the filing manuals can be found on our website. These records are not digitized. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at Archives2reference@nara.gov.

           

           

          If you have not already done so you should consult Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS). This is a Department of State publication of selected documents from the Department’s files and other sources.  Besides providing the text of the most important documents on U.S. foreign policy, FRUS also provides a source citation printed either as a header with the document or as a footnote).  Those references to file numbers or other records identification are the keys to locating not only the printed documents but other documents on the same subject not selected for publication. Cited "Lot Files" may be difficult to identify among the records in the National Archives using just the Lot number.  If you are interested in using any of those records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov. FRUS is usually available at large universities or public libraries, and in the  U.S. Government Depository Libraries.

           

          In addition to the above records the specific correspondence you seek between the State Department and War Department could be within the correspondence files of Record Group 165, the Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs. There are several series of correspondence for the 1940s. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at Archives2reference@nara.gov.

           

          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

          We hope this information assists you with your research!

          • Re: U.S. Legation in Bern, Switzerland ordered to return to Paris to re-open the U.S. Embassy
            Virginia Dilkes Newbie

            This information is quite helpful.  This summer I plan a trip to the National Archives in College Park, MD, and to the Eisenhower Presidential Library where I can find documents related to the activities of the 79th Infantry.  I will delve deeper into the FRUS documents some of which relate the expulsion of the U.S. Consulate in Paris by the Nazi government.  I have printed your suggestions above and will research them further in the upcoming weeks.  Thank you for your suggestions.  Virginia Dilkes