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Harry K. Wolff Jr. papers

 Collection
Identifier: 6128
The Harry K. Wolff Jr. papers document Lt. Wolff's experiences as a member of "C" Battery 120 AAA Gun Battalion, 3rd Army, 1942-1945. The papers include the letters sent by Wolff to his new wife, Natalie, that describe his experiences from basic training to combat to his time spent at Dachau guarding German prisoners and attending the War Crimes Trials. Wolff's nearly 500, virtually unredacted letters to his wife, included in the papers, describe in great detail his personal experiences, and provide context and provenance for the other items in the papers. In the letters, Wolff expresses a great ability to maintain a sense of warmth and calm in even the most extreme situations, always appears in control, sensitive to the needs of others, and yet manages to keep things light. He describes capturing Germans, painting swastikas on US military equipment to fool Germans, shooting down German planes, warm greetings by the French, life in Dachau, and his visit to the crematorium there. The papers also include the many souvenirs (realia, ephemera, and books) Wolff collected throughout these experiences, many of which are referred to in the letters, and often referred to by Wolff as "junk"; and photographs documenting his tour of service across France and Germany.

[Adapted from a Wolff family narrative]

Dates

  • 1929-1945
  • Majority of material found in 1944-1945

Creator

Language of Materials

English

Conditions Governing Access

Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Extent

9.39 Linear Feet (10 boxes)

Overview

Harry K. Wolff Jr. was a Jewish lawyer from San Francisco who was a member of "C" Battery 120 AAA Gun Batallion, 3rd Army. His unit was initially under the command of General Omar Bradley, and ultimately General George Patton. Wolff was also called upon to represent American soldiers in military tribunal proceedings as a Judge Advocate, bore witness to the aftermath found at both Ohrdruf and Dachau concentration camps, and was one of the officers responsible for over 30,000 Nazi soldiers and SS officers held at Dachau after its liberation who were awaiting trial before war crimes tribunals held at Dachau and nearby Nuremberg. The Harry K. Wolff Jr. papers document Wolff's experiences in the United States Army from 1942-1945. The papers include the letters sent by Wolff to his new wife, Natalie, that describe his experiences from basic training to combat to his time spent at Dachau guarding German prisoners and attending the War Crimes Trials. The papers also include the many souvenirs (realia, ephemera, and books) Wolff collected throughout these experiences, many of which are referred to in the letters, and often referred to by Wolff as "junk"; and photographs documenting his tour of service across France and Germany.

Biographical / Historical

Harry K. Wolff Jr. was a Jewish lawyer from San Francisco who was a member of "C" Battery 120 AAA Gun Batallion, 3rd Army. His unit was initially under the command of General Omar Bradley, and ultimately General George Patton. Wolff was also called upon to represent American soldiers in military tribunal proceedings as a Judge Advocate, bore witness to the aftermath found at both Ohrdruf and Dachau concentration camps, and was one of the officers responsible for over 30,000 Nazi soldiers and SS officers held at Dachau after its liberation who were awaiting trial before war crimes tribunals held at Dachau and nearby Nuremberg.

[Adapted from a Wolff family narrative]

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Andrea and David Stanley, October 13, 2016.
Title
Finding aid for the Harry K. Wolff Jr. papers
Status
completed
Author
Sue Luftschein
Date
2016 November
Description rules
dacs

Repository Details

Part of the USC Libraries Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-0189 United States