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Collecting area: World War II Page 1 of 7
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Bajgier Family

Bajgier Family Papers

1925-1986
2 boxes 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 400
Depiction of Joseph and Martha Bajgier at Bell Market, Chicopee, 1937
Joseph and Martha Bajgier at Bell Market, Chicopee, 1937

On March 13, 1903, Joseph Michael Bajgier was born in Odrzykon, Poland, the youngest of three sons in a farming family. Schooled only through the third grade, Joseph served as a young man in the First Air Division of the Polish Army before following his older brother in emigrating to the United States in 1927. Settling in Chicopee, Mass., with its large and active Polish community, Bajgier began work as a slaughterer of pigs for a meat processing company, but within a few years, he had saved enough money to purchase a small grocery store in Longmeadow. In about 1935, he returned to Chicopee, purchasing a grocery and deli, Bell Market, that his family ran for 36 years. Bajgier was deeply involved in the local Polish community as a member of the Polish National Alliance, the Holy Name Society of St. Stanislaus Parish, and an organization of Polish veterans in exile (Stowarzyszenie Polskich Kombatantow). He and his wife Martha (Misiaszek) had two sons, Casimir and Edward

The Bajgier collection documents the lives of a Polish family in Chicopee, Mass., from the time of immigration through the 1970s. The core of the collection surrounds the life of Joseph Bajgier, and includes a number of documents and a diary from the time of his emigration in 1927, a fascinating series of letters from relatives in Turaszowka, Poland before and after the Second World War, and several photographs of the family and their business in Chicopee.

Subjects
Chicopee (Mass.)--Social life and customs
Polish Americans--Massachusetts
World War, 1939-1945
Contributors
Bajgier, Joseph M
Types of material
Photographs
Baker, Hugh P. (Hugh Potter), 1878-1950

Hugh Potter Baker Papers

1919-1951
4.5 linear feet
Call no.: RG 003/1 B35
Depiction of Hugh P. Baker, ca.1945
Hugh P. Baker, ca.1945

Hugh Baker served as President during most of the existence of Massachusetts State College, taking office in 1933, two years after it changed name from Massachusetts Agricultural College, and retiring in 1947, just as the college became the University of Massachusetts. A forester by training, Baker began his career as a professor, and later dean, in the College of Forestry at Syracuse University. In 1920, he left Syracuse to become Executive Secretary of the American Paper and Pulp Association, and for nearly a decade, he worked in the forestry industry. He returned to academia in 1930, when he resumed the deanship at the New York State School of Forestry. During his presidency at Massachusetts State College, Baker oversaw the construction of improved housing and classroom facilities for students, a new library, the expansion of the liberal arts curriculum, and a near doubling of student enrollment. Further, chapel services were reorganized to be voluntary, and a weekly convocation was initiated. Baker also founded popular annual conferences on recreation and country life.

The Baker Papers include correspondence with college, state, and federal officials, college suppliers, and alumni; speeches and articles; reports and other papers on topics at issue during Baker’s college presidency, 1933-1947, particularly the building program. Also included are several biographical sketches and memorial tributes; clippings and other papers, relating to Baker’s career as professor of forestry at several colleges, trade association executive, and college president.

Subjects
Clock chimes--Massachusetts--Amherst--History
College buildings--Massachusetts--Amherst--History
Massachusetts State College--Anniversaries, etc
Massachusetts State College--Buildings
Massachusetts State College--History
Massachusetts State College--Student housing
Massachusetts State College. President
Massachusetts State College. School of Home Economics
Massachusetts--Politics and government--1865-1950
Old Chapel (Amherst, Mass.)--History
Student housing--Massachusetts--Amherst--History
University of Massachusetts Amherst--History
Contributors
Baker, Hugh P. (Hugh Potter), 1878-1950
Banfield, Walter

Walter Banfield Papers

ca.1945-1999
12 boxes 6.75 linear feet
Call no.: FS 117

The plant pathologist Walter M. Banfield joined the faculty at UMass Amherst in 1949 after service in the Army Medical Corps during World War II. A native of New Jersey with a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, Banfield’s research centered on diseases affecting shade trees in the United States, and he is widely credited with identifying the origin of Dutch elm disease. As early as 1950, he emerged as a prominent advocate for the protection of open space and farmland, becoming a founder of the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail. An avid hiker and canoeist, he remained in Amherst following his retirement. He died at age 95.

The Banfield Papers include records from his Army service, family records, and professional and family correspondence – particularly between Banfield and his wife Hertha whom he met in Germany during WWII. The professional correspondence documents Banfield’s commitment to land preservation, and include many applications for land to be set aside for agricultural or horticultural use. Banfield was also a talented landscape photographer, and the collection includes a large number of 35mm slides reflecting his varied interests, including images of Europe at the end of World War II and various images of landscape, trees, forests, and other natural features that he used in teaching.

Subjects
Dutch elm disease
Plant pathology
University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Plant Pathology
World War, 1939-1945
Contributors
Banfield, Walter M
Berke, David M.

David M. Berke Collection of Nuremberg Trials Depositions

1944-1945
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 804

During the latter months of the Second World War, Edmund F. Franz served with the U.S. Army’s War Crimes Branch in Wiesbaden, Germany. Part of the team involved in war crimes investigation, Franz processed hundreds of pages of first-hand accounts by perpetrators, eye witnesses, concentration camp survivors, political prisoners, and prisoners of war that ultimately served the prosecution during the Nuremberg trials. At the war’s end, he returned home to Aurora, Ohio, eventually bequeathing a collection of depositions from his wartime work to a friend, David M. Berke.

The Berke Collection contains copies of approximately 300 pages of material gathered by U.S. Army investigators in preparation for the Nuremberg trials. The depositions, affidavits, and reports that comprise the collection are varied in scope, but most center on German maltreatment of prisoners — both political prisoners and prisoners of war — with a handful of items relating to larger issues in intelligence and counter intelligence. Gathered originally by the Office of Strategic Services, the Counter Intelligence Corps, and other Army units, the materials offer chilling insight into the brutality of the concentration camp system, “labor reform” prisons, and police prisons, and the sheer scale of wartime inhumanity.

Gift of Cathy Abrams
Subjects
Buchenwald (Concentration camp)
Dachau(Concentration camp)
Flossenburg (Concentration camp)
Innsbruck-Reichenau (Labor reform camp)
Ravensbruck (Concentration camp)
Sachsenhausen (Concentration camp)
World War, 1939-1945--Atrocities
World War, 1939-1945--Prisoners and prisons
Contributors
Franz, Edmund F.
United States. Army. Counter Intelligence Corps
United States. Army. Office of Special Services
Types of material
Depositions
Chalfen family

Chalfen Family Papers

ca.1890-2011
51 boxes 76.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 770

Born into a Jewish family in Khotyn, Bessarabia (now Ukraine), in 1888, Benjamin Chalfen emigrated to United States as a young man, arriving in New York City in 1910 before making his way to Boston. Taking work as a clerk with the Roxbury Crossing Steamship Agency, he married a fellow Russian immigrant, Annie Berg in 1914 and, after their divorce a few years later, married a second time. Benjamin and Annie’s son, Melvin (1918-2007), studied Forestry at Massachusetts State College (BA 1940) and Yale (MF 1942) before enlisting in the Army Air Corps in Aug. 1942. Moved to active duty in 1943 as a communications specialist, he rose to the rank of Lieutenant. After he returned home, Mel met and married a recent Smith College graduate, Judith Resnick (1925-2011), with whom he raised three sons. The couple settled into a comfortable life in the Boston suburbs, where Mel carved out a successful career as a home inspector and educator while Judith became well known as a supporter of the arts and as one of the founders of Action For Children’s Television (1968), an important force in promoting quality television programing for children.

A massive archive documenting three generations of a Jewish family from Boston, the Chalfen family papers contain a rich body of photographs and letters, centered largely on the lives of Melvin and Judith Chalfen. The Chalfens were prolific correspondents and the collection includes hundreds of letters written home while Mal and Judy were in college and while Mel was serving in the Army Air Corps during the Second World War — most of these in Yiddish. The thousands of photographs cover a broader span of family history, beginning prior to emigration from Bessarabia into the 1960s. Among many other items of note are rough drafts of a New Deal sociological study of juvenile delinquency and the impact of boys’ clubs in the late 1930s prepared by Abraham Resnick (a Socialist community organizer and Judith’s father); materials from the progressive Everyman’s Theater (early 1960s); and nearly three feet of material documenting Judy Chalfen’s work with Action for Children’s Television.

Gift of the Chalfen family, 2011.
Language(s): Yiddish
Subjects
Action for Children's Television
Jews--Massachusetts--Boston
Massachusetts State College--Students
Smith College--Students
World War, 1939-1945
Contributors
Chalfen, Benjamin
Chalfen, Judith, 1925-2011
Chalfen, Melvin H. (Melvin Howard), 1918-2007
Types of material
Photographs
Chrisman, Miriam Usher

Miriam Chrisman Papers

1937-2007
13 boxes 9 linear feet
Call no.: FS 128
Depiction of Miriam U. Chrisman, 1964
Miriam U. Chrisman, 1964

A noted scholar of the social impact of the German Reformation, Miriam Usher Chrisman was born in Ithaca, New York, on May 20, 1920. With degrees from Smith College, American University, and Yale, she served for over thirty years on the faculty of the Department of History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, becoming a well-loved professor and treasured mentor to a generation of students.

A faithful and colorful correspondent, the bulk of Miriam Chrisman’s papers consist of letters written to family and friends stretching from her college days at Smith through the year before her death. The bulk of the correspondence is with her husband, Donald Chrisman, an orthopedic surgeon who was enrolled at Harvard Medical School during their courtship. Soon after the Chrismans married in November 1943, Donald left for active duty in the Navy on the U.S.S. Baldwin. The couple’s war correspondence is unusually rich, offering insight on everything from the social responsibilities of married couples to their opinions on the progression of the war. Of particular note is a lengthy letter written by Donald during and immediately after D-Day in which he provides Miriam a real-time description of the events and his reactions as they unfold. Later letters document Miriam’s extensive travels including a trip around the world. .

Subjects
Smith College--Students
University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of History
World War, 1939-1945
Contributors
Chrisman, Miriam Usher
Types of material
Letters (Correspondence)
Civilian Public Service Camps

Civilian Public Service Camp Newsletter Collection

1941-1944
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 537

Born out of a unique collaboration between the United States government and the historic peace churches, the first Civilian Public Service Camps were established in 1941 to provide conscientious objectors the option to perform alternative service under civilian command. Nearly 12,000 COs served in the 152 CPS camps in projects ranging from soil conservation, agriculture, and forestry to mental health. While the work was supposed to be of national importance, many of the men later complained that the labor was menial and not as important as they had hoped. Furthermore with no ability to earn wages and with their churches and families responsible for financing the camps, many COs, their wives and children found themselves impoverished both during and after the war.

During their time off, many of the men in the CPS camps published newsletters discussing education programs, which frequently involved religious study, work projects, and news about individuals sent to family and friends back home. This collections consists of newsletters created in camps in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Indiana, Maryland, and Colorado.

Acquired from Eugene Povirk, 2009
Subjects
Civilian Public Service--Periodicals
Conscientious objectors--United States
Pacifists--United States
World War, 1939-1945--Conscientious objectors--United States
Types of material
Newsletters
Clark, Edie

Edie Clark Papers

1834-2018 Bulk: 1939-2017
18 boxes 25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1018

Beloved for her essays on New England life and for a long-running column in Yankee Magazine, Edie Clark was born in northern New Jersey in 1948 and raised near Morristown. A graduate of Beaver College, Clark cut short a career as editor for the Chilton Company in 1973 when she and her husband, inspired by Scott Nearing, moved to Vermont to pursue a simpler, more self-sufficient life. Drawing on the skills honed at Chilton, Clark developed a successful editorial business, which led her to approach Yankee Magazine in 1978 with the idea of writing an article on Abby Rockefeller and composting toilets, beginning an association that would last nearly twenty years. In 1990, Clark began writing a regular column on country life for Yankee, and in the years since, she has written dozens of essays and seven books, including The place he made (2008), a memoir about her second husband’s struggle with cancer; States of grace (2010), containing essays on “real Yankees;” and What there was not to tell (2013), an account of Clark’s search to uncover her parents’ experiences during the Second World War. Following a lengthy period of ill health, Clark retired from writing in 2017.

The record of a popular writer known for her depictions of contemporary New England, the Edie Clark Papers contain drafts and printed copies of nearly all of Clark’s work. An assiduous researcher, she gathered background materials on topics ranging from Lyme disease to the New England-Canadian border region to psychics and Spiritualists, and she corresponded or conducted interviews with dozens of people who featured in her work, including the author Carolyn Chute (author of The Beans of Egypt, Maine) and her husband Michael, then leaders in the so-called Second Maine Militia. Even more voluminous are some remarkable Clark family materials, including dozens of essays and letters by Clark’s grandmother Eleanor Sterling Clark and over 2,000 letters from her parents. Luther and Dorothy Clark, written during the Second World War while they were serving in the Army Air Corps and Marine Corps, respectively. These letters formed the basis for Clark’s remarkable book, What there was not to tell.

Gift of Edie Clark, April 2018.
Subjects
Authors--New England
New England--Social life and customs--20th century
Spiritualism
World War, 1939-1945
Contributors
Chute, Carolyn
Clark, Dorothy Rahmann
Clark, Eleanor Sterling
Clark, Luther Stowell, Jr.
Types of material
Audiocassettes
Oral histories
Communist Party of Massachusetts

Communist Party of Massachusetts Collection

1932-1957
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 538

A branch of the Communist Party of the United States of America, the Communist Party of Massachusetts enjoyed strong popularity during the 1930s and 1940s, organizing the textile and other manufacturing industries.

This small collection is comprised of a miscellaneous assemblage of fliers, broadsides, and ephemera issued by the Communist Party of Massachusetts and its affiliates from the mid-1930s through the repression of the McCarthy era. Originating mostly from Boston, the items in the collection center on significant themes in Communist thought, including opposition to Fascism and militarism, labor solidarity against capital, and elections. A small number of items relate to Party-approved cultural productions, including plays and gatherings to celebrate Lenin or the Russian Revolution. Many items are associated with Otis A. Hood, a perpetual candidate for public office on the Communist Party ticket who became a target for McCarthy-era repression in the mid-1950s.

Acquired from Eugene Povirk, 2008
Subjects
Antiwar movements--Massachusetts
Communists--Massachusetts
Elections--Massachusetts
World War, 1939-1945
Contributors
Communist Party of Massachusetts
Types of material
Broadsides
Fliers
Davenport, Janina Smiertka

Janina Smiertka Davenport Papers

1918-1990
7 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 343
Depiction of Janina Smiertka, 1934
Janina Smiertka, 1934

Raised in a Polish American family from Greenfield, Mass., Janina Smiertka Davenport was the epitome of a life-long learner. After graduating from Greenfield High School in 1933, Davenport received degrees from the Pratt Institute in Food Management and from the Franklin County Public School for Nurses (1937). In 1938, she began work as a nurse in the U.S. Navy, receiving two special commendations for meritorious service during the Second World War. She continued her formal and informal education later in life, receiving degrees from Arizona State University in 1958 and UMass Amherst in Russian and Eastern European Studies (1982). Davenport died in Greenfield in March 2002.

The Davenport Papers contain a thick sheaf of letters and documents pertaining to her Navy service before and during World War II, along with assorted biographical and genealogical data, materials collected during educational trips to Poland and elsewhere, and approximately one linear foot of family photographs and photo albums.

Subjects
Nurses--Massachusetts
Polish Americans--Massachusetts
United States. Navy
World War, 1939-1945
Contributors
Davenport, Janina Smiertka
Types of material
Photographs
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