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Harvey Seymour Sussman papers

Call Number: MS 1457

Scope and Contents

The Harvey Seymour Sussman Papers consist of correspondence and memorabilia, which document Harvey Sussman's military service during World War II. The papers highlight his participation in the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) studying Malay at Yale University. Additional correspondence and memorabilia record Sussman's OSS assignments in the Far East and his travels through Europe and Asia on his way to this posting. Sussman's student years at Yale following the end of the war and his work as a Malay translator are also recorded in the papers. Harvey Sussman donated his papers to the Yale University Library in 1990, following a reunion of ASTP participants at which he exhibited many of these papers. Materials given to Sussman by other reunion participants supplement these papers.

The papers are arranged in two sections: Correspondence and Memorabilia. Correspondence includes Sussman's frequent letters to his family in Baltimore and later to his fiancée Muriel Hodes in New Haven. Sussman's letters from Camp Lee and from Yale describe the daily routine of a young Jewish soldier's life and detail the rigorous program of training for an ASTP participant. Though for security reasons he was not able to describe the work he was doing during his time in the Far East, Sussman's letters after his arrival are full of the daily details of military life.

Memorabilia includes announcements, programs, and course notes from the ASTP program at Yale, as well as playbills and invitations from the New Haven area. The section also includes military orders, travel brochures, postcards, and photographs from Sussman's assignments. Examples of Sussman's contract work as a Malay translator for the State Department are also in this section. Several files document Sussman's efforts to locate former ASTP members and to prepare a reunion at Berkeley College in May 1990. These files include correspondence with members and officials at Yale helping to organize the reunion, as well as programs and memorabilia from the reunion. The photographs include pictures of the ASTP participants and of colleagues on assignment in the Far East during World War II and photographs taken at the reunion. Printed materials of a conference dealing with the Office of Strategic Services is also included in the papers.

With his papers, Sussman also donated his short-snorter, a record of his military travels in currency, and other paper money and coins. These are now located in the Yale University Art Gallery's collection of Coins and Medals.


  • 1942-1995


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has been transferred to Yale University for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Harvey Sussman, 1986, 1989-1990, 2005, and 2006; Robin Winks, 1987; and Daniel C. O'Neil, 1990.


1.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers consist of correspondence, memorabilia, and photographs which document Harvey Seymour Sussman's year as a member of the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) at Yale University and his service as a member of the Office of Strategic Services. The papers also include material for the ASTP reunion at Yale in 1990 and a 1995 diary of a return visit to Burma.

Biographical / Historical

Harvey Seymour Sussman was born in Brooklyn, New York, on October 3, 1923. His family later moved to Baltimore where he graduated from high school. He was inducted into the army in February 1943, and while in training at Camp Lee, Virginia, he was selected to study Malay in the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP). From June 1943 to June 1944, he was stationed at Berkeley College on the Yale University campus where he took intensive language training. He was then sent to Washington to learn cryptography by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).

Sussman served overseas with the OSS, first in England, and then in Burma and Ceylon, with other special assignments in the Far East. On his return to the United States in March 1946, Sussman married Muriel Anne Hodes. He returned to Yale University to complete a B.A. degree in oriental studies and graduated in February, 1948.

While at Yale and for a year after graduation, Sussman did Malay translation for the United States State Department. He entered the wholesale food business and eventually became president of Consolidated Brokers, Inc., a food brokering company in New Haven, Connecticut. Sussman died on December 16, 2010, in Delray Beach, Florida.
Guide to the Harvey Seymour Sussman Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Diane E. Kaplan
August 1990
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Yale University Library
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