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Guide to the Camille Chautemps papers M1601
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Collection Details
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  • Scope and Contents note
  • Access to Collection
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation note

  • Title: Camille Chautemps papers
    Identifier/Call Number: M1601
    Contributing Institution: Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Language of Material: French
    Physical Description: 27.0 Linear feet
    Date (inclusive): 1885-2005
    Abstract: Chautemps was a French politician and radical socialist leader. He was premier in 1930 and in 1933-34. A member of the first Popular Front cabinet of Socialists and Communists (1936-37) under Leon Blum, he headed the second, less radical, Popular Front cabinet (1937-38). Vice premier of the Vichy government, Chautemps came to the United States in 1940 on a mission and did not return to France. In 1947 he was tried and convicted in absentia for collaborating with the Vichy regime; in 1954 his sentence was voided by the statute of limitations.

    Scope and Contents note

    The Camille Chautemps papers are broken into eight different series consisting of correspondence, personal diaries, book typescripts, speech transcripts, and collected clippings of Camille Chautemps (1885-1963), who served as President of the Council (Prime Minister) of France three times between 1930 and 1938. The biographical resources of this collection include research materials and preliminary drafts for an unpublished book by his daughter, Antoinette Chautemps Samuels (1940-present). This incomplete work, along with much of Chautemps' own personal writing, attempts to unravel the political decisions leading up to France's capitulation to Germany in 1940 and Chautemps' role in negotiating France's decision. Both father and daughter aim to shed light on the political landscape and considerations that affected the actions of the French government at a critical juncture in the course of World War II. This collection provides a unique perspective into the personal life of Camille Chautemps as well--the correspondence tells of his experience in the war as the father of two sons fighting in the French army and the brother of a victim of the Nazi concentration camps, along with the challenges of living in the US as a disgraced former politician and French expatriate. Photographs and memorabilia of Camille Chautemps' family and the family of his daughter Antoinette and her husband, businessman and politician Howard J. Samuels (1919-1984), are accessible through this collection as well.
    Series 1: Personal and political correspondence (mainly between 1940-1960); his correspondence with prominent French and American government officials, including Marechal Petain and Sumner Welles, may be of special interest to researchers.
    Series 2: Diary of Chautemps: a record, in French, of his experiences from May 1940-41, leading up to and during the fall of France.
    Series 3: Chautemps' publications, manuscripts, and lectures. The typescripts form part of an unpublished book about the fall of France; speeches and lectures are mostly written for US audiences from 1941 onwards and often address post-war Franco-American relations.
    Series 4: Biographical and Family History--brief biographies from secondary sources, personal memorabilia, FBI surveillance files covering Chautemps' first decade in US. Official and personal defense documents pertaining to 1947 trial in which Chautemps was tried in absentia by the French court for collaborating with the enemy; also, records of his eventual amnesty in 1954.
    This series also contains notes and articles about the Chautemps' family and members' historical involvement in public service. Clippings relating to Juliette Chautemps' career as a concert pianist and her subsequent work as a hat designer have been preserved. The papers and personal memorabilia of Antoinette Chautemps can be found here as well, along with photographs of the Chautemps and Samuels families. Howard Samuels' involvement in politics brought him in contact with three American presidents, all of whom appear in photographs of this collection. Samuels' 1974 NY gubernatorial campaign is documented in this series through a number of newspaper clippings. Antoinette Samuels' close relationship with Sen. Ted Kennedy is also captured in the photographs, clippings, and correspondence of this series.
    Series 5: Drafts of Antoinette C. Samuels' biography of her father. Told from Antoinette's perspective; a portrait of Camille Chautemps drawn heavily from his daughter's personal memories of him. Research materials for the biography can be found here as well; much of it was gathered in 1974 during Howard Samuels' campaign for governor of NY, when allegations of anti-semitism were raised against Camille Chautemps. The documents collected by Antoinette in response to this include letters in defense of Chautemps and lists of Jewish refugees whom Chautemps helped.
    Series 6: Stavisky Affair. Alexandre Stavisky was a financier whose Ponzi-like embezzlement scheme implicated many high-ranking government officials. His mysterious death, along with the unsolved murder/suicide of Judge Albert Prince the day before he was to have testified in the case, compounded the problem of the prosecution. Close personal and political ties made this the scandal that forced Chautemps' resignation as Prime Minister in 1934. The tendency of the public to associate Chautemps with corruption (the Prosecutor General, Georges Pressard, was also Chautemps' brother-in-law) spurred his efforts to thoroughly document his involvement: official reports, memoranda, and clippings about the case are available here.
    Series 7: Relevant Political and Historical Documents. This series incorporates a wide range of materials relating to World War II and the relationship of the Chautemps/Samuels' family to the White House. World War II materials include a copy of Petain's mission to Chautemps in 1940 and copies of letters between Franklin D. Roosevelt and government officials. The Chautemps and Samuels' family had close ties to a number of different administrations: Chautemps saved his invitation to Truman's inauguration, for example, and Howard Samuels kept President Carter's inauguration guide and dinner programs from visits to the White House.
    Series 8: Clippings. Chautemps collected many clippings throughout his lifetime, particularly news articles written about or referencing him. He was also interested in clippings that examined or criticized the decisions of French politicians in World War II and kept newspapers celebrating such events as Truman's inauguration.

    Access to Collection

    Open for research. Audio-visual materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted to a digital use copy.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94304-6064. Consent is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner, heir(s) or assigns. See: http://library.stanford.edu/depts/spc/pubserv/permissions.html.
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation note

    [identification of item], Camille Chautemps Papers. M1601. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Auriol, Vincent, 1884-1966
    Blum, Léon, 1872-1950
    Bonnet, Georges Étienne, 1889-
    Bullitt, William C., 1891-1967
    Carter, Jimmy, 1924-
    Castagnez, Jean, 1902-
    Chautemps, Camille, 1885-1963
    Chevalier, Maurice, 1888-1972
    Churchill, Winston, 1874-1965
    Cornu, André
    Cox, E.E. (Edward Eugene), 1880-1952
    Daladier, Édouard, 1884-1970
    Darlan, Jean Louis Xavier François, 1881-1942
    Doumergue , Gaston, 1863-1937
    Gaulle, Charles de, 1890-1970
    Guernut, Henri, 1876-1943
    Hahn, Reynaldo, 1875-1947
    Henry-Haye, G.
    Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945
    Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963.
    Lamoureux, Lucien, 1888-
    Laval, Pierre, 1883-1945
    Lemaigre Dubreuil, Jacques, 1894-1955
    Maeterlinck, Maurice, 1862-1949
    Malliavin, René
    Michelson, Charles, 1869-1948
    Onassis, Jacqueline Kennedy, 1929-
    O'Neill, Tip
    Pétain, Philippe, 1856-1951
    Piot, Jean
    Pomaret, Charles Henri, 1897-
    Prince, Albert, 1883-1934
    Reynaud, Paul, 1878-1966
    Romains, Jules, 1885-1972
    Roosevelt, Franklin D., Mrs.
    Rougier, Louis Auguste Paul, 1889-
    Schuman, Robert, 1886-1963
    Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
    Stavisky, Alexandre, 1886-1934
    Thibaud, Jacques, 1880-1953
    Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972.
    Welles, Sumner, 1892-
    Weygand, Maxime, 1867-1965