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Collection Number: 05159

Collection Title: Maurice Kurtz Papers, 1943-1946, 2004

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


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Size Linear Feet: 0.5 linear feet feet of linear shelf space (approximately Items: About 400 items items)
Abstract Playwright and romance languages professor Maurice Kurtz was a United States Army officer in Europe during World War II; worked on the staff of Arts, a Paris weekly; and served as as secretary-general of the International Theater Institute. His Jacques Copeau: Biography of a Theater was published in 1999. The collection includes a scrapbook, an audio interview and accompanying transcript, and other items documenting Maurice Kurtz's service in the United States Army during and after World War II. The scrapbook contains photographs from various locations in the United States, France, and Germany where Kurtz was stationed. There are also clippings describing major events in World War II, and a few personal items. In the interview, Kurtz describes the contents of the scrapbook and his time in the army in detail. Also included are letters and other items documenting Kurtz's wartime and post-war activities. The latter included his involvement in the American Military Government in Germany and work with German prisoners of war. Among these items are letters recounting a meeting between Kurtz and Jacques Copeau, founder of the Theatre du Vieux-Colombier and the subject of Kurtz's doctoral dissertation, and a chance encounter with Gertrude Stein in Paris. Also included is correspondence, 2004, between Kurtz and Remi Krug of Krug Champagnes, Reims, France, in response to a article in New York Times about Jeanne Krug, Remi Krug's grandmother, who Kurtz had met in France. Also included is a photocopy of a French pamphlet about Raoul Nordling, a Swedish diplomat during World War II. According to one of Remi Krug's letters, Nordling was instrumental in freeing Jeanne Krug from Gestapo custody in 1944.
Creator Kurtz, Maurice, 1913-
Language English, French, and German
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
Use of audio materials may require production of listening copies.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Maurice Kurtz Papers #5159, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Maurice Kurtz of Chapel Hill, N.C. in May 2004 (Acc. 99795) and July 2004 (Acc. 99855).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Maurice Kurtz was born in 1913 in New York City. He was married to Laya Kurtz and working as a professor of Romance languages and literature at New York University when World War II broke out. After enlisting in the United States Army, he was sent to France, where he served as a civil affairs officer. After the war, he helped launch the theater program at UNESCO, worked on the staff of Arts, and was the secretary-general of the International Theatre Institute. His Jacques Copeau: Biography of a Theater was published in 1999.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection includes a scrapbook, an interview, and other items documenting playwright and romance languages professor Maurice Kurtz's service in the United States Army during and after World War II. The scrapbook contains photographs from various locations in the United States, France, and Germany where Kurtz was stationed. There are also clippings describing major events in World War II, and a few personal items. The interview of Kurtz was conducted by Seth Koth on 12 July and 16 July 2004. In the interview, Kurtz describes the contents of the scrapbook in detail and his time in the military during World War II. Also included are letters and other items documenting Kurtz's wartime and post-war activities. The latter included his involvement in the American Military Government in Germany and work with German prisoners of war. Among these items are letters recounting a meeting between Kurtz and Jacques Copeau, founder of the Theatre du Vieux-Colombier and the subject of Kurtz's doctoral dissertation, and a chance encounter with Gertrude Stein in Paris. Also included is correspondence, 2004, between Kurtz and Remi Krug of Krug Champagnes, Reims, France, in response to a article in New York Times about Jeanne Krug, Remi Krug's grandmother, who Kurtz had met in France. Also included is a photocopy of a French pamphlet about Raoul Nordling, a Swedish diplomat during World War II. According to one of Remi Krug's letters, Nordling was instrumental in freeing Jeanne Krug from Gestapo custody in 1944.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Scrapbook and Interview, 1943-1945, 2004.

6 items.

The scrapbook contains photographs from various locations in the United States, France, and Germany where Maurice Kurtz was stationed during his service in the United States Army during World War II. It also includes newspaper clippings describing major events in World War II, and personal items relating to Kurtz's service, including dog tags, patches, currency, and programs from plays and operas. In the interview, conducted by Seth Koth on 12 July and 16 July 2004, Kurtz describes the contents of the scrapbook and his service in the United States Army both before and after World War II (29 June 1943-30 April 1946) in detail.

Photograph Album PA-5159/1

Scrapbook, 1943-1945 #05159, Series: "1. Scrapbook and Interview, 1943-1945, 2004." PA-5159/1

Audiotape T-5159/1-4

T-5159/1

T-5159/2

T-5159/3

T-5159/4

Interview audio, 2004 #05159, Series: "1. Scrapbook and Interview, 1943-1945, 2004." T-5159/1-4

Folder 1

Interview transcript, 2004 (112 pages) #05159, Series: "1. Scrapbook and Interview, 1943-1945, 2004." Folder 1

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Other Items, 1945, 2004.

About 400 items.

Arrangement: by type.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.1. Letters, 1 January 1945-28 December 1945.

About 350 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Letters sent from Maurice Kurtz to Laya Kurtz from 1 January 1945 to 28 December 1945. The letters recount Kurtz's daily life during World War II. Due to the limits of military censorship, the letters provide few details about the operations in which Kurtz was involved. However, some of his post-war activities are represented in detail, including his involvement in the American Military Government in Germany and his work with German prisoners of war through lectures on democratic government. The letters also contain Kurtz's responses to certain milestone events in the war, including V-E Day.

Kurtz had many friends in France, dating from his time studying in a lycee in Evreux before the war, and the letters describe efforts by him and his wife to send packages of foodstuffs and other necessities to some of these friends. The letters also recount a meeting between Kurtz and Jacques Copeau, founder of the Theatre du Vieux-Colombier and the subject of Kurtz's doctoral dissertation, as well as a chance encounter with Gertrude Stein in Paris.

Folder 2-6

Folder 2

Folder 3

Folder 4

Folder 5

Folder 6

Letters, 1945 #05159, Subseries: "2.1. Letters, 1 January 1945-28 December 1945." Folder 2-6

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.2. Military Government Documents, May-June 1945.

9 items.

Documents pertaining to the activities of the American Military Government in Forchheim, Germany, May-June 1945. They include requests by citizens for special consideration, including the easing of travel restrictions and information on wounded relatives. They also include an account of the Allied capture of Pennenstein on 16 April 1945, as well as a list of SS documents found in the town.

Folder 7

Military government documents #05159, Subseries: "2.2. Military Government Documents, May-June 1945." Folder 7

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 2.3. Correspondence with Remi Krug, 28 January-9 April 2004.

8 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Correspondence between Kurtz and Remi Krug of Krug Champagnes, Reims, France. The letters and emails were in response to an article by Frank Prial in the 28 January 2004 edition of the New York Times about Jeanne Krug, Remi Krug's grandmother, who Kurtz had met in France. In the letters, Kurtz recollected his meeting with Jeanne Krug, while Remi Krug expressed his gratitude for Kurtz's recollections and added some more biograpical information about Jeanne Krug. Also included is a photocopy of a French pamphlet referred to in one of the letters. It recounts the actions of Raoul Nordling, a Swedish diplomat during World War II. According to one of Remi Krug's letters, Nordling was instrumental in freeing Jeanne Krug from Gestapo custody on 18 August 1944.

Folder 8

Correspondence with Remi Krug and Nordling Brochure #05159, Subseries: "2.3. Correspondence with Remi Krug, 28 January-9 April 2004." Folder 8

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Processing Information

Processed by: Jesse Brown, September 2004

Encoded by: Jesse Brown, September 2004

Finding aid updated in May 2008 by Joyce Chapman because of addition.

Diacritics and other special characters have been omitted from this finding aid to facilitate keyword searching in web browsers.

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