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Summary

Abstract:
The Henry Ehrmann Papers are focused on Ehrmann's scholarly career as a political scientist and a professor of law and his participation in the program of re-education of German prisoners-of-war in the 1940s. The material also documents Ehrmann's association with other universities and institutions in the United States and Europe. The correspondence from and to the former German prisoners-of-war who met Ehrmann during the reeducation program organized by the War Department include letters - in several cases written by the prisoners' family members as well - almost entirely dating from the period immediately subsequent to the POWs' release and their return to Germany. Therefore, they are a valuable source of information about the living conditions in occupied Germany, the country's political transformation, and the correspondents' adaptation to new circumstances. Letters in the general correspondence subseries are, for the most part, related to Ehrmann's contacts with his fellow scholars and with academic or political institutions. Also included are speeches, lectures, lecture notes, and newspaper articles, 1941–1984. Ehrmann was a professor of political science at the University of Colorado, the University of California at San Diego, and Dartmouth University, and worked on French politics, labor relations, and comparative government.
Extent:
4 cubic ft.
Language:
English , German .
Preferred citation:

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Henry W. Ehrmann Papers, 1932-1998. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Ehrmann Papers).

Background

Scope and Content:

The Henry Ehrmann Papers, 1932-1998, are focused on two important aspects of Ehrmann's life: his scholarly career as a political scientist and a professor of law at the University of Colorado in Boulder and Dartmouth College in Hannover, NH, as well as his participation in the program of re-education of German prisoners-of-war in the 1940s. The material also documents Ehrmann's association with other universities and institutions in the United States and Europe. The papers do not provide much information on Ehrmann's private life and on his professional career previous to 1940.

The collection is arranged by subject and consists of the following series: 1) biographical materials (1932-1998), 2) correspondence - divided into two subseries: 2.1) general correspondence (1941-1988) and 2.2) correspondence with the former prisoners-of-war or pertaining to their reeducation program (1945-1950; 1978) 3) materials related to the reeducation program for German prisoners-of-war (1945-1947; 1982), 4) miscellaneous works written by Ehrmann (1931-1989), such as articles, reports, and conference papers, and 5) lectures - divided into two subseries: 5.1) single lectures (1947-1986) and 5.2) university courses and syllabi (1953-1988).

A considerable part of the collection (esp. Ehrmann's correspondence and lectures) is written in German and French. Among biographical materials, there is a copy of Ehrmann's certificate of marriage, diplomas and honors, an autobiographical lecture given by Ehrmann shortly after his arrival in the USA, materials documenting his participation in academic freedom cases at the University of Colorado and Dartmouth College, and a CIA file obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Letters from over a hundred former prisoners-of-war whom Ehrmann taught during the reeducation program developed by the War Department form a particularly valuable part of his correspondence. They provide insight into life in Germany during the period of transition from dictatorship to democracy after the Second World War and into German soldiers' adaptation to new circumstances. Letters in the general correspondence subseries are, for the most part, related to Ehrmann's contacts with his fellow scholars and with academic or political institutions.

The reeducation program series contains an extensive historical monograph on the program (including reports, memoranda and instructions, copies of confidential correspondence between the Department of State and the War Department, samples of POW magazines "Der Ruf" and "Auslese", and a supplement on the reeducation of Japanese prisoners-of-war), educational materials (e.g. Ehrmann's lectures on the history of Germany "Deutsche Geschichte im neuem Licht"), and questionnaires used in selecting candidates for the program.

The group of Ehrmann's miscellaneous works includes his reports on France ("Frankreich Berichte") commissioned by the Institute of Social Research in New York (1936-1939), reports on German communities in Latin America written for the Bureau of Latin American Research in Washington, D.C. (1943), and transcripts of radio broadcasts.

Single lectures - given by Ehrmann both in the United States and abroad - are divided into the following subject groups: France, Germany, USA, and International Affairs. Lectures in the university courses and syllabi subseries belong to eight courses: International Law, International Organization, International Law and Organization, Comparative Politics: Europe, Introduction to Political Science - Comparative Politics, Verfassungslehre und Verfassungspraxis in den USA und der französischen fünften Republik, Le Système Politique Français, and Politics in France.

Newspaper clippings, which appear in all but the fifth series, include articles on Ehrmann and his professional activities, articles and letters to newspaper editors written by Ehrmann, materials accompanying his lectures, articles related to the reeducation program of German POWs, as well as clippings from German newspapers sent to Ehrmann by his correspondents.

Biographical / Historical:

Henry (Heinrich) Walter Ehrmann, a political scientist and professor of law, was born in Berlin in 1908. He attended the French Lycée in Berlin before studying Law and Political Science at Berlin University, from which he graduated with a law degree (LL.B.) in 1929. In 1932 Ehrmann obtained a doctorate in jurisprudence at the University of Freiburg, Germany, and was appointed as a judge in Berlin.

In 1933 he was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to the Oranienburg concentration camp for his contacts with the German Social Democratic Party. Ehrmann escaped to Czechoslovakia and eventually fled to France where he was a political refugee from 1934 to 1940 and worked as a journalist, a corresponding member of the Institute for Social Research, Columbia University, New York, and an associate of the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam. During his stay in France, Ehrmann became a member of the Neues Beginnen, a small underground anti-fascist group of German exiles. Having been interned as a German in 1940, he managed to escape with his wife (née Claire Sachs) through Spain and Portugal to the USA. After coming to the United States, Ehrmann became a research associate on the graduate faculty of the "University in Exile", the New School for Social Research in New York City (1940). Between 1941 and 1943 he was also the editor of "In Re: Germany", published monthly in New York City. From 1943 to 1947 Ehrmann served as a consultant to the Office of War Information and the War Department in Washington, DC, and lectured at re-education courses for selected German prisoners-of-war held at Forts Kearney, Getty and Wetherill, R.I., and Fort Eustis, VA. He was also in charge of the German History Department at Fort Getty, R.I.

In 1947 Ehrmann was appointed associate professor of Political Science at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he taught until 1961. During his work at the University of Colorado, he took part in an academic freedom case connected with the non-renewal of Morris A. Judd's appointment as instructor in philosophy at the university (1952).

In 1950 Ehrmann participated in a seminar on modern France at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, NJ. Other positions he held in the 1950s include: a member of the editorial board of the American Political Science Review (1952-1956), a member of the Fulbright Awards Selection Committee (1953-1956), and a consultant to the Social Science division of UNESCO, for which he edited and co-authored a publication, "The Teaching of the Social Sciences in the United States" (1954). Ehrmann also served as a rapporteur for a conference of the International Political Science Association and edited its ensuing volume, "Interest Groups on Four Continents" (1958).

In February 1960, Ehrmann took part in the production of "The Diary of Anne Frank" at the Nomad Playhouse in Boulder, CO. In 1961 he was named Professor of the Year at Boulder. In the same year Ehrmann resigned from the University of Colorado faculty and moved to Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, where he taught as the Joel Parker Professor of Law and Political Science until 1971. In 1969 he became involved with an academic freedom case at Dartmouth after disciplinary charges were brought against a group of students who prevented a controversial speech on race and genetics at the college ("The Shockley incident"). In 1971 Ehrmann resigned from his position in the Government Department at Dartmouth and accepted a similar post at McGill University in Montreal (1971-1973), where he also chaired a commission responsible for implementing a curriculum reform at the Faculty of Arts.

Apart from the above-mentioned schools, Ehrmann taught as a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley and San Diego and in various cities in France (the universities of Bordeaux, Grenoble, Nice and the Sorbonne in Paris) and Germany (the Free University of Berlin, the University of Mannheim, and the Academy of Administration in Bochum).

In 1977 Ehrmann was cited by the French government as a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques. In 1978 he received an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Hartford in Connecticut, and in 1982 an honorary doctorate of philosophy from the University of Mannheim. Ehrmann was a member of the American Civil Liberties Union. He held awards from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Social Science Research Council. Ehrmann died in La Jolla, CA, in 1994.

His major publications include: "Der Mehrgliedrige Tarifvertrag" (1932), "German History in a New Light" (1945), "French Labor from Popular Front to Liberation" (1947), "Organized Business in France" (1957), "Interest Groups on Four Continents" (1958), "Politics in France" (1968), and "Comparative Legal Cultures" (1976).

Date Event 1908
Born in Berlin, Germany
1926
Graduated from the French Lycée in Berlin
1926-1929
Studies Law, Political Science, History, and Economics at the Universities of Berlin and Freiburg.
1929
Receives a Bachelor of Laws degree at Berlin University
1932
Doctorate in Jurisprudence at the University of Freiburg
1936-1939
Corresponding member (in Paris) of Institute for Social Research, Columbia University, New York City
1936-1940
Research Associate (in Paris) of International Institute for Social History, Amsterdam
1940-1943
Research Associate, Graduate Faculty of Social and Political Science, New School for Social Research, New York City
1941-1943
Editor of "In Re: Germany"
1943-1947
Consultant to the Office of War Information and the War Department in Washington
1945
Head of the German History Department at Fort Getty, Rhode Island
1947-1961
Teaches at the University of Colorado in Boulder
1950
Participates in a seminar on modern France at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, New Jersey
1952
Morris A. Judd's case at the University of Colorado
1952-1956
Editorial board member, American Political Science Review
1953-1956
Member, Fulbright Awards Selection Committee
1954
Consultant to the Social Science Division of UNESCO
1960
Participates in the production of "The Diary of Anne Frank" at the Nomad Playhouse in Boulder, CO
1961
Chosen Professor of the Year at the University at Colorado in Boulder
1961-1971
Teaches at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire
1969
William Shockley's case at Dartmouth College
1971-1973
Teaches at McGill University in Montreal
1977
Awarded the rank of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques
1978
Receives an honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of Hartford, Connecticut
1982
Receives an honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Mannheim
1994
December 25, Dies in La Jolla, California
Acquisition information:
All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by Henry W. Ehrmann in 1987-1988. An additional accession was received from Michael Ehrmann in January 2004.
Processing information:

Processed in June 2002 by Jaroslaw Szurek. Revised by Sandra H. Hawrylchak in November 2005.

Arrangement:

The collection is organized into five series.

Physical location:
The materials are located onsite in the department.

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RESTRICTIONS:

Access to this record group is unrestricted.

TERMS OF ACCESS:

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

PREFERRED CITATION:

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Henry W. Ehrmann Papers, 1932-1998. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Ehrmann Papers).

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