Held at: Historical Society of Pennsylvania [Contact Us]1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
George H. Earle III began a career in politics in the 1930’s as a supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1932 campaign for the presidency. Earle’s support of Roosevelt led to his appointment as United States Minister Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Austria on 24 July 1933. In 1934, Earle resigned from his appointment and ran a successful campaign to become governor of Pennsylvania. After a failed campaign in 1938 for a seat in the United States Senate, Earle was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary to Bulgaria in 1940, and he served in that position until Bulgaria declared war on the United States in December of 1941. Earle served in the Navy during World War II (1942-1945) where he was Assistant Naval Attaché to Turkey from 1943 to 1945. On three separate occasions, Earle testified before House committees that while he served as Attaché to Turkey, he was an undercover representative for President Roosevelt and reported directly to the president on Balkan matters. Earle’s war experience caused him to become an early believer that communism, and particularly Russia, posed a threat to the United States and its interests. In sworn testimony and in later published works, Earle claimed that he provided President Franklin Roosevelt with credible evidence that Stalin’s Russia perpetrated the Katyn Massacre, the systematic execution of approximately 22,000 Polish soldiers and members of the Polish professional class, and warned Roosevelt that Russia posed a larger threat than Germany. Earle’s anti-Russian materials were not made public during the war, and Roosevelt took a public position that Nazi Germany was responsible for the Katyn Massacre. Roosevelt expressly forbid Earle from publishing anti-Russian material during the war, and shortly thereafter Earle was reassigned to the position of Assistant Governor of Samoa where he remained until the end of the war in 1945.
In the years following the war, Earle publicly expressed his views on the threat Russia and communism posed to the United States and the world. He also authored an article published in the March 24th, 1960 edition of Human Events titled “Roosevelt’s Fatal Error and How I Tried to Prevent It.” The article discusses secretive contact that Earle had with splintering German officials who offered to assassinate Adolf Hitler in exchange for American cooperation in keeping the Russian Army out of Germany and Central Europe. George Earle died in 1974.
The collection spans from June 1944 to March 1960 but most of the material dates from 1944 to 1952. This collection includes seven pieces of correspondence including three letters from President Franklin D. Roosevelt spanning June 1944 to March 1945, one letter from Roosevelt’s daughter Anna Roosevelt Boettiger dated 24 March 1945, one letter from President Harry S. Truman dated 28 February 1947, and two letters from retired U.S. Army General A.C Wedemeyer from the 6th and 8th of December 1958. Of particular interest in the correspondence are two letters: a letter from Franklin Roosevelt dated 24 March 1945 in which Roosevelt forbids Earle from publishing anti-Russian material. The second is a letter from Truman dated 28 February 1947 in which Truman states that the United States is “perfectly safe as far as Communism is concerned.” Also included in the collection are copies of Earle’s 1947 testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee, his 1948 testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and his 1952 testimony before a House Special Committee investigating the Katyn Massacre. None of the material Earle gathered as evidence of Russian culpability in the Katyn Massacre is part of this collection. The remaining pieces of the collection include a broadcast transcript from the American Broadcast Company’s radio program Town Meeting in which Earle appeared as a guest to discuss the Russian threat. There is also an article that Earle published in the March 24th, 1960 edition of Human Events titled “Roosevelt’s Fatal Error and How I Tried to Prevent It.” The article discusses secretive contact that Earle had with splintering German officials who offered to assassinate Adolf Hitler in exchange for American cooperation in keeping the Russian Army out of Germany and Central Europe.
The collection is housed in one box consisting of twelve folders that are arranged in chronological order.
- Hitler, Adolf, -- 1889-1945 -- Assassination attempts
- Katyn Massacre, Katyn', Russia, 1940
- United States Government--House Committee on Un-American Activities
- United States Government--House Foreign Affairs Committee
- United States--History--Cold War
- United States--History--World War, 1939-1945
- United States--Relations--Soviet Union
- Historical Society of Pennsylvania
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Michael DiCamillo
- Finding Aid Date
- ; 2018.
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.