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Burgundy Hermès briefcase given to former Vice President Henry A. Wallace by female French partisans

Object | Accession Number: 2017.362.2

Hermès briefcase presented to former Vice President Henry A. Wallace by female French partisans when he visited the country in 1947. The briefcase was made by the French brand Hermès, a high end luxury goods manufacturer. The case was given to Wallace as a gift by the Union des femmes françaises (UFF) when he gave a speech at the Sorbonne in Paris, calling for international cooperation at a time of rising Cold War tensions. The UFF was a World War II resistance movement that was officially organized by a congress in December 1944 at the initiative of the French Communist Party and worked with the Front National, a major resistance organization. The UFF distributed newsletters, journals, newspapers, mounted demonstrations against restrictions, and assisted families affected by the war. Henry A. Wallace was an American agricultural business owner and politician. While in college, he invented a new strain of disease resistant corn that produced better yields. He started a business manufacturing and distributing the corn and was very successful. In 1932, he supported Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidential bid and following his victory, was appointed as Roosevelt’s secretary of agriculture for eight years. He also served as vice president for Roosevelt’s third term, and later, secretary of commerce for Roosevelt and then Truman.

received:  1947
received: Sorbonne; Paris (France)
Object Type
Briefcases (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ann Cornell
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:16:35
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