The Hoover Archives has received the papers of Spas Raikin, a Bulgarian-American historian, and émigré anti-communist activist. His papers, contained in ninety-nine binders, document Raikin’s historical research and writing as well as Bulgarian émigré activities in the United States. Binder nr. 71, however, is different from the others. It documents an episode in Raikin’s life that has a place in world history: his meeting with Lee Harvey Oswald in the port at Hoboken, New Jersey on June 13, 1962, when Oswald was returning from the Soviet Union.
The Bernard Lee Schwartz Foundation has donated a collection of thirty-four portraits to the Hoover Institution. Among the images are those of royalty, heads of state, diplomats, military leaders, and literary figures. Michael Schwartz, president of the Schwartz Foundation and son of Bernard “Bern” Schwartz, coordinated the donation.
Included in the donation are portraits of Hoover fellow and British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, four Israeli prime ministers, and journalist and author Malcolm Muggeridge. Lady Thatcher chose Schwartz’s portrait for her 1978 campaign poster, and a 1982 commemorative first-day cover commemorative stamp in England features his classic portrait of Lord Mountbatten. Muggeridge, a journalist, author, satirist, and television personality, was a frequent panelist on William F. Buckley Jr.’s Firing Line, and a collection of his papers is housed in the Hoover Institution Archives.
Click here for more information about the Bern Schwartz collection.
Adolf Kurtz, a Protestant pastor, following Hitler’s ascent to power in 1933, resisted the government’s efforts to control religious life in Germany. In that his wife was born a Jew, he organized a relief agency to help Christians of Jewish heritage. After the war, in 1948, Pastor Kurtz was invited by the British military authorities in Berlin to come to England to visit German prisoner-of-war camps. A year ago, Hoover Archives acquired a collection of letters, certificates, church registers, and photographs, mostly associated with Pastor Kurtz’s later life in Oxford. The newly acquired increment consists of many original personal documents, mostly from the pastor’s earlier years in Berlin.
In May 1961 Nikita Khrushchev visited the autonomous Soviet Republic of Adjara (Adzharia) in the present Republic of Georgia. The chief communist official in the region, Aleksandr Dursunovich Tkhilaishvili, was his guide and host. The photographs in this collection depict some scenes and meetings that took place during this visit. Of particular interest is someone in the crowd greeting Khrushchev holding up a large photo of Joseph Stalin, who at the time was out of favor with Khrushchev and his supporters.
The Hoover Institution Library and Archives have recently acquired more than two hundred pieces of historical materials relating to the Chinese Cultural Revolution, a sociopolitical movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976. Set into motion by Mao Zedong, then chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, its goal was to enforce socialism by removing capitalist, traditional, and cultural elements from Chinese society and to impose Maoist orthodoxy within the party. This increment, which augments an earlier collection of Hoover’s Chinese Communist Party records contains nearly two hundred issues of the Red Guard “little newspapers” between 1967 and 1971 and other communist pamphlets, internal party documents, booklets, serial issues, and published speeches of communist leaders during this period.
Prince Andre Lobanov-Rostovsky was a specialist on Russo-Asian relations and a professor of Russian history at the University of Michigan and the University of California at Los Angeles. Several years ago his papers were donated to the Hoover Archives; that gift has now been followed by his library. Among the interesting and rare books received is a set of publications of the Russian Orthodox Mission in Peking (Beijing).
Vaclav Havel is a man of letters—author, playwright, essayist, and poet. A series of more than two hundred letters between him and Czech emigre historian Vilem Precan are now available to researchers at the Hoover Institution. Havel’s correspondence with Precan, like the published prison letters, will be an essential source for future biographers of Vaclav Havel, the man, the writer, and the unlikely hero of the Czechoslovak Velvet Revolution.
The Hoover Archives have received the papers and photographs of Charles Nelson Leach (1884–1971), a US doctor who participated in some of the greatest health emergencies of the twentieth century. His association with programs led by Herbert Hoover and contribution to the building of the Hoover Tower are remembered on the walls inside the lobby of the Hoover Tower, where his name is inscribed in three separate places. The bulk of the Charles Leach collection pertains to the 1917–1920 period. It includes photo albums, calendars, clippings, and a diary of an adventurous 1919 trip, in an ARA Cadillac, through Central and Eastern Europe.
In 1989, H. Lucas Ginn, then a California high school student, wrote to a Soviet magazine saying he was seeking a pen pal in the Soviet Union. Ginn’s letter and address were published in Studencheskii meridian, a youth magazine; he subsequently received some two thousand missives from young Soviet citizens. Most letters, which came from all over the USSR, are brief (and in Russian) but do allow some glimpses of the interests of Soviet youth at the time, including music, current events, and AIDS.
The Hoover Institution Library and Archives have recently acquired the personal papers of Chen Jiaxian (Henry Chen), a Chinese Nationalist Party official in charge of overseas Chinese affairs in the Caribbean region and Latin America. The personal papers include correspondence between Chen and important Kuomintang Party officials regarding China’s diplomatic relations with the Caribbean region and Latin America, the Kuomintang’s policy toward overseas Chinese communities, and photos depicting Chen’s activities in Trinidad and Latin America.