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Ernest Warren Lefever papers

Call Number: MS 953

Scope and Contents

The Ernest Warren Lefever Papers are made up of research materials concerning the treatment of German civilians and prisoners of war after World War II. There is a small amount of material about the German Youth Activities (GYA) Section of the Training and Education Branch of the United States Army, established in 1945 to reorient German youth. Included are two items of correspondence with W. P. Shofstall of the GYA, notes, and statistics on United States Army assistance to German youth groups. Lefever was collecting this material for use in writing his Yale Ph.D. thesis, Protestants and United States Foreign Policy, 1925-1954: A Study of the Response of National Protestant Leaders to the Issues and Directions of the United States Foreign Policy and of the Theoretical Assumptions Which Underlay That Response (1956).

The bulk of the papers consists of materials on the treatment of German prisoners of war in Russia, which Lefever collected in Bremen, Germany, in 1948. These include first-hand histories of returning prisoners of war, reports and articles about prisoners of war, and notes and printed matter. Most of these papers are in German.


  • 1947-1948


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for 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 Ernest Lefever, 1951-1952.


0.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Research materials collected largely in connection with the preparation of Ernest Warren Lefever's Ph.D. disseration at Yale University, 1956. The bulk of the papers consist of memoirs, reports, and articles about German prisoners of war who had returned from Russia. These were collected in Bremen in 1948. The remainder of the papers contain correspondence and printed matter concerning the re-education of German youth after World War II as produced by the German Youth Activities Section of the Training and Education Branch of the United States Army.

Biographical / Historical

Ernest Warren Lefever was born on November 12, 1919, in York, Pennsylvania. He was educated at Elizabethtown College, where he graduated with an A.B. in 1942. In 1945, he received a B.D. from Yale University, where he continued to study, receiving a Ph.D. in 1956. Lefever has worked in international affairs for nearly his entire life, beginning in the years following World War II, when he was a field secretary in Europe for the World's Alliance of YMCAs. Over the course of the next two decades, Lefever worked in international affairs at the National Council of Churches (1952-1954), Johns Hopkins University (1955-1956, 1960-1961), the University of Maryland (1956-1957), the Library of Congress (1957-1959), and for Senator Hubert Humphrey (1959-1960). Between 1964 and 1976, he was a member of the senior staff of foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institute. In 1976, he helped found and became president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He remained president until 1989, when he became a senior fellow. He has been an adviser to Presidents Kennedy and Reagan. Lefever has written, co-authored, or edited twenty books and has frequently written articles for many of America's leading newspapers and magazines.

Guide to the Ernest Warren Lefever Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Janet Elaine Gertz
July 1983
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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