Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Truman Smith Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1913-2007
Collection number: XX071
27 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize box, 4 microfilm reels
12 linear feet)
Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Abstract: The papers relate to the German army between World Wars I and II, national socialism in Germany, American military intelligence
activities before and during World War II, and postwar American military policy. It is comprised of correspondence, memoirs,
diaries, speeches and writings, intelligence reports, service records, printed matter, personal documents, photographs, and
postcards. Includes papers of Katharine Alling Hollister Smith, wife of Truman Smith, and other family papers. In part, photocopies.
Physical location: Hoover Institution Archives
English and German
Collection open for research.
The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to
copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives
at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see
or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.
For copyright status, please contact
the Hoover Institution Archives.
[Identification of item], Truman Smith Papers, [Box no.], Hoover Institution
Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1969, with increments added in 1974, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981,
1993, and 2010.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find
the collection in Stanford University's online catalog Socrates at
. Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in Socrates is larger than the number of boxes
listed in this finding aid.
In part, originals in: Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.
Scope and Content of Collection
The papers were received in several increments and are retained as they were originally received, with the exception of oversize
photographs that were rehoused. Included are the papers of Truman Smith's wife, Katharine Alling Hollister Smith (KAHS), who
accompanied her husband in his stays in Koblenz, Berlin, and elsewhere. A prolific writer, Katharine's memoirs, diaries,
and correspondence provide insight into the family's interactions with German officials, life in Berlin between the wars,
and her relationship with Smith.
Among the original documents in the
Speeches and Writings,
Subject file, and
1980-1993 Increments series are photocopies of Truman Smith's papers at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch, Iowa.
Some of these copies are printed from the microfilm, which is also available in the collection.
Of particular note in the
Correspondence series are original letters written by Charles Lindbergh to Truman Smith. Having come to Germany at Smith's invitation to
observe the development of German aviation, Lindbergh's letters offer his frank impressions of the Luftwaffe and their capabilities.
More formal analysis is available in Smith's reports to the War Department.
Among the original materials in the
1980-1993 Increments is a photo album containing postcards from the 1936 Berlin Olympics depicting Hitler, American athlete Jesse Owens, and other
scenes from the newly buily stadium. This increment also includes KAHS's unpublished memoirs.
While stationed on the Mexican border during General Pershing's Mexican Expedition and as a commander of the 4th Infantry
in German-occupied France during World War I, Smith wrote constantly to his family and to Katharine (
2010 Increment). Although often personal in nature, these letters offer insight into Smith's understanding of the historical events which
surrounded him and provide researchers with context to his future military career.
The papers also include manuscript copies of Smith's memoir "The Facts of Life" which was published in
Berlin Alert: The Memoirs and Reports of Truman Smith (1984), edited by Robert Hessen as part of the Hoover Archival Documentaries series.
Throughout the collection, notes and annotations by Katharine Alling Hollister Smith and daughter Katharine T. Coley (née
Smith, but known mostly as Kätchen) accompany photographs and correspondence to provide historical context to the documents.
Original folders and folder titles were retained.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Nationalsozialistische deutsche Arbeiter-Partei.
United States. --Army--Officers.
Army wives--United States.
World War, 1939-1945--Secret service.
Secret service--United States.
United States--Military policy.
|1893 August 25
||Born, West point, New York
||Bachelor of Arts, Yale College
||Joined 12th Infantry Regiment of the New York National Guard
||Ordered to the Mexican border to defend against Pancho Villa's army
|1917 July 14
||Married Katherine Alling Hollister
||Commander, 4th Infantry, Company B (later Company A) in World War I, in France
||Instructor, U.S. Infantry School, Langres, France
||Political advisor to the Officer in charge of Civil Affairs at Koblenz, Germany
||Assistant military observer and assistant military attaché, U.S. Mission and U.S. Embassy, Berlin, Germany
||Instructor, Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia
||Commands 2nd Battalion of the 27th Infantry at the Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
||Military attaché, U.S. Embassy, Berlin, German
||German Specialist in Intelligence, General Staff (G-2), War Department
||Military Advisor to the Eberstadt (Armed Forces) Committee on the Hoover Commission
|1970 October 3
||Died, Fairfield, Connecticut