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Florence Hodel papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2014.300.1

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    The Florence Hodel papers consists of photographic portraits, printed reports, correspondence, and clippings related to Hodel’s work as a member of the staff of the War Refugee Board and her post-war work on the International Monetary Fund.

    The portraits include graduation portraits of Hodel, portraits of Hodel and her sisters ca. wartime, portraits of Hodel taken in 1945, and portraits, ca. 1960, of Hodel in her office at the International Monetary Fund.

    The War Refugee Board materials include a transcript of a meeting between Moses Leavitt of the Joint (JDC) and John Pehle, Florence Hodel, and Josiah DuBois, Jr. of the Treasury Department staff on January 10, 1944, related to the history of the relationship between the State Department and relief agencies. It also includes the reports “The Extermination Camps of Auschwitz (Oswiecim) and Birkenau in Upper Silesia,” (Nov. 1944), “Report on the Activities of the War Refugee Board Through its Representation at the American Legation in Bern, Switzerland, March 1944-July 1945,” and “Final Summary Report of the Executive Director, War Refugee Board.” Miscellaneous clippings, copies of press releases, correspondence about an upcoming interview with journalist Arthur Morse, and distribution lists of “The War Refugee Board History” volumes are also included.

    The International Monetary Fund material includes personal and professional correspondence sent to Hodel during the period 1961-1969. Several of the letters are from former members and collaborators of the War Refugee Board, but for the most part, these documents relate to Hodel’s post-war work.
    inclusive:  1925-1973
    bulk:  1944-1945
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Jay Weber
    Collection Creator
    Florence Hodel
    Florence Hodel was born on September 12, 1907, on the outskirts of New York City, to Jacob and Amelia Hodel. She was the oldest of three daughters: Florence, Ethel, and Amy. The family later moved to Millburn, NJ. Florence graduated from Wellesley in 1928 and attended Cornell Law School, where she was on the editorial board of the Cornell Law Quarterly. She graduated from Cornell in 1931 and went to work in New York City for Legal Aid. She met and married Christopher Wagner, but continued to use her maiden name. Their marriage was unhappy, and they divorced shortly after World War II, though they had been separated for some time. In 1939, Florence moved to Washington, DC, and began to work for the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Funds Control. After the creation of the War Refugee Board (WRB) in January 1944, Florence became Assistant Executive Director of the agency, working for John Pehle, formerly the head of Foreign Funds Control and the WRB's first director. In January 1945, with the war coming to a close, most of the WRB staff resigned, although Florence stayed on to assist new Executive Director William O'Dwyer. During O'Dwyer's frequent absences from the WRB, during his candidacy for mayor of New York, Florence became the Acting Executive Director of the War Refugee Board. After the war, Florence worked for the International Monetary Fund until her retirement in 1969. She lived in Bowie, MD, and passed away on April 27, 1991.

    Physical Details

    1 box

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The family of Florence Hodel donated these papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2014.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-25 09:52:15
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