Roswell and Marjorie McClelland papers
The Roswell and Marjorie McClelland papers contains a unique set of correspondence and documents related to the American Friends Service Committee’s work in Rome, Marseilles, and Geneva during World War II, and the work of the War Refugee Board in Switzerland from 1944-1945.
The collection includes photographs and copies of photographs of Roswell and Marjorie McClelland after their 1938 wedding; in Rome in 1940; of AFSC workers in France in 1941-1942; of the Gurs and Les Milles camps; of Roswell with their sons Barre and Kirk in 1945; and of the entire family in Switzerland ca. 1949. Copies of photographs taken by and of Roswell McClelland on a tour of the Mauthausen concentration camp in the summer of 1945 are also included.
Biographical information includes curriculum vitaes written by Roswell McClelland and a biographical statement written by Kirk McClelland of his father’s life, written after Roswell’s death.
Original documents includes newsclippings announcing their 1940 trip to Europe; the McClelland’s 1941 Cartes d’ Identite in France; artwork given to them as thank-you gifts from prisoners in French internment camps; Roswell McClelland’s handwritten notes in preparation for and after meeting with Pierre Laval in the summer of 1942 regarding the deportation of Jews, and copies of various reports.
Personal correspondence includes letters written from the McClellands, mainly to members of the Miles family. Marjorie McClelland is the main author of the lengthy letters, which are numbered in a series which she resets when the family moves to a new location. The correspondence covers their personal and professional lives.
The War Refugee Board papers include copies of weekly reports of the Board’s activities, compiled by the staff in Washington; the copies in this collection cover the period August 1944-September 1945. This series also includes copies and various handwritten drafts of the Auschwitz Protocols, copies of various reports written and submitted by McClelland, miscellaneous notes related to ransom negotiations, and correspondence with various aid organizations in Switzerland.
Correspondence with historians and documentarians include documents regarding McClelland’s work as a War Refugee Board representative; most of the material focuses on ransom negotiations, the Auschwitz Protocols, and the proposal to bomb the Auschwitz concentration camp. This series includes correspondence with many of the leading historians working in the field of American response to the Holocaust in the late 1970s and early 1980s. A transcript of a 1967 interview of McClelland by Yehuda Bauer includes McClelland’s handwritten notes and corrections.
Roswell McClelland and members of his family gathered articles, reports, clippings and copies of documents related to Auschwitz, the War Refugee Board, ransom negotiations, and the work of the AFSC in France. Includes drafts of McClelland’s essay, “An unpublished chapter in the history of the deportation of foreign Jews from France in 1942,” copies of documents included in David Wyman’s archival source series, a copy of Dino Brugioni’s report on the possibilities of bombing Auschwitz, and other collected materials.
As Roswell McClelland had a habit of annotating documents as he was reading them, many of the reports and correspondence include handwritten notes and comments.
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Kirk McClelland
Record last modified: 2021-11-09 10:53:09
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn80304
Also in This Collection
Thank you card made for Roswell McClelland, a US aid worker, by prisoners in Les Milles internment camp in France between 1941 and 1942. Roswell and his wife, Marjorie, went to Europe in August 1940 to work for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker organization that promotes development, service and peace programs throughout the world. Roswell directed an AFSC refugee relief office in Rome until August 1941, when the office officially closed. Roswell and Marjorie were then sent to another AFSC office in Marseille, a port city in the southern part of France. Marseille was located in Vichy France, the unoccupied, southern half of France that was ruled by the collaborationist Vichy Government. Roswell worked to provide relief for prisoners in Les Milles internment camp and Marjorie worked to select children for the USCOM children’s transport to the US in summer 1942. Late that summer, the couple moved to Geneva to establish a special office of the AFSC’s Relief & Refugee Section in Switzerland. Roswell and his office developed several programs to provide refugees with financial assistance, clothing, and preparation for emigration. On January 22, 1944, President Roosevelt established the War Refugee Board (WRB) to carry out an official American policy of rescue and relief for victims of the war and Nazi persecution. In March, Roswell was selected as the Board’s representative in Switzerland, a post he held until the end of the war in May 1945.