Collection number: MC 167
Size: 4 boxes (2.56 cu.ft.)
About Franklin Norvish
Franklin Norvish (25 October 1911-3 Jan 2010) was from Needham, Massachusetts. Prior to and after the Second World War, he taught English at Northeastern University in Boston; he was a professor there for forty years. Between 1943-46 he served in the U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence Corps (C.I.C.). Housed in a nondescript building in Brookline, Massachusetts, the C.I.C. conducted background checks on Army employees, kept logs of suspected Communists, and tracked down and arrested suspected spies. The Brookline building once hosted special agent training for espionage and undercover work for some one hundred and twenty agents. Because he spoke some French and German as well as his family’s native Lithuanian, Norvish was given a counter-intelligence assignment in 1943. One of his assignments, six months before the D-Day invasion, was to sneak into France with the French Underground to investigate those who allegedly collaborated with the Germans. When American troops met the Russians at the Elbe in 1944, Norvish and his colleagues were able to interview German POWs who later became valuable in the development of the atomic bomb. Franklin Norvish received the Bronze Star for his service.
Franklin Norvish was a member of the Military Intelligence Association of New England (MIANE), which recently unveiled a 50th anniversary commemorative plaque at the Brookline location. He died on January 3, 2010 at the age of 98.
About the Franklin Norvish World War II Papers
The Franklin Norvish collection primarily consists of Nazi documents, from postcards to propaganda, history books to art. Their value lies in the glimpses they offer into the hearts and minds of the men and women who joined Hitler’s movement. Postcards of German warplanes---called “Junkers”--- reveal the pride that Nazis took in their war effort, and many should also be considered Nazi propaganda. Among the other items designed to instill a proud sense of German national identity is a viewbook that lays idyllic rural scenes of the German countryside side by side with images of Nazi rallies and romantic portraits of historic German buildings. Also of note in this series is a nationalist history of the German people from prehistory to the rise of Hitler entitled, “The Path to the Reich,” a book detailing new German paintings (“Die neue deutsche Malerei”), a certificate of gratitude for a woman who provided winter clothing to German soldiers on the front, and an invitation in French to a funeral service for Adolf Hitler at the Arc de Triomphe.
In addition to pro-German propaganda, Norvish also managed to collect anti-American and anti-Semitic materials that railed against Americans and Jews. Included is a print of an American dollar bill that opens to declare that its symbols are of Hebrew origin and that its paying for the “Jewish war,” as well as a book critical of the capitalist United States and sarcastically titled “In God’s Own Land,” and an anti-Semitic pamphlet published in New York entitled, “Why are Jews Persecuted for Their Religion?”
Alongside Norvish’s German materials, the “American Documents” series is notable for its “black lists,” or profiles of Nazi espionage agents in occupied France. Such documents offer insight not only into the characters who worked with the Nazi occupation in France, but also into the inner workings of the U.S. Army’s Counter-Intelligence Corps in which Norvish played a part. Also within this series is a ten-page press release from the War Department that details new policies for African-Americans in the postwar army, a document that may be of interest to anyone researching diversity or civil rights in the armed forces of the period. The collection also includes, in the last two series, six maps and a fairly notable inventory of Stars and Stripes newspapers from July 1944 to June 1945.
This collection is open.
Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.
[Identification of item], [Folder number], [Box number], Franklin Norvish World War II Papers, 1939-2010, MC 167, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.
Donated: Franklin Norvish, Needham, MA, November 2, 1998 and July 2002 (Accession number: 98.015)
MS 228, the H. Wentworth Eldredge partial autobiography, was originally contained in the collection but has since been separated.
Collection is organized by size of material.
|Box 1, Folder 1||Small Photographs of Nazis
|Box 1, Folder 2||Postcards (color and black and white, 4x6")
|Box 1, Folder 3||Large Photographs of Nazis
|Box 1, Folder 4||Lists, etc.
|Box 1, Folder 5||“Der Weg Zum Reich”
|Box 1, Folder 6||Germanic Pictoral Works
|Box 1, Folder 7||German Orders and Correspondence
|Box 1, Folder 8||Nazi Party Documents
|Nazi Military Propaganda
|Box 1, Folder 10||Anti-American and Jewish Propaganda
|Box 1, Folder 11||"Soldaten"
|Box 2, Folder 1||German Literature
|Box 2, Folder 2||German Artists
|Box 2, Folder 3||Franklin Norvish Newspaper Clippings
|Oversize Box 1|
|Oversize Box 2|
Map Drawer A7:
- Map 1: VII Corps, J. Lawton Collins, Lieutenant General, U.S. Army, Commanding, depicting the operations of the VII Corps in France from D-day until April of 1945, 29” x 22”, undated
- Map 2: Nouveau Paris Monumental: Itineraire Pratique de l’Etranger dans Paris (backside: Plan de Paris, divise en 20 arrondissements et 80 quartiers), 31” x 22”, undated
- Map 3: Plan de Paris, Indiquant toutes les Rues nouvelles (backside: Nouveau Plan de le Banlieue Parisienne), 30” x 24,” undated
- Map 4: Bad Aachen, Stadt-und Waldplan (backside: Aachener Stadtwald), 25” x 20”, undated
- Map 5: Unsere Westgrenze, Velhagen and Klasings Karte, showing Nazi defenses in France and on the German border, 32” x 31”, undated
Map Drawer D4:
- Map 6: “World War II, showing naval and air bases and stations, courtesy of Corstair’s White Seal Blended Whiskey,” Rand McNally and Co., New York, undated (located in Map Drawer D4)