Nuremberg + 70

The photos, of course, have been seared into history — Hitler’s henchmen in the dock at Nuremberg.


And Luther Gulick was there (although they misspelled his name).



Here, found in Gulick’s World War II files, is a seating chart of the trial.


For five days in July, 1946, Gulick sat in Courtroom 600 in the Palace of Justice — the only major building in the medieval Nazi showcase that had not been bombed into rubble — taking part in the International Military Tribunal that sought justice for Germany’s  numberless victims and innovated the prosecution of crimes against humanity.

P/J 8

This month marks the 70th anniversary of the court’s convening.


Nine days later, on Oct. 18, 1945, the Allies made the charges official, indicting 24 Nazi leaders.


The following month, with the number of major defendants now at 20, the trial opened.


Gulick had played a significant role in the Allied victory, serving on Roosevelt’s War Production Board and an alphabet soup of other defense and relief agencies.



Most important, perhaps, his work as a member of the Brownlow Committee in the 1930s had been instrumental in reorganizing the executive branch, creating the modern office of the Presidency that proved so vital in reversing the Great Depression and winning the war.

So it stands to reason Gulick would turn up in Nuremberg. But it was not his first trip to defeated Germany.

In July 1945, he traveled to Potsdam with President Truman and envoy Edwin Pauley to meet Stalin and Churchill to hammer out the details of German surrender and reparations.

Here he is with Pauley (center) and Gen. Mark Clark in Vienna.  Gulick Trio Front

He preserved many mementos of his visit.



He had even taken a souvenir from Der Fuehrer’s office itself.

2014-09-22 hitler letter

So what was Gulick doing in Nuremberg?

A grisly mission. Supreme Court Associate Justice and Chief Prosecutor Robert H. Jackson had asked Gulick to examine and survey the more than 20,000 exhibits of evidence against Nazi leaders. His account sums up the horrors of the Holocaust.

He cited a report, evidently to Heinrich  Himmler on the “Elimination of the Jews from Warsaw” including daily “progress” reports of thousands of Jews “disposed of” — documented in some cases by photos of corpses.

He found medical studies of grotesque human experiments, and documents and photos  of a human “soap factory” with victims beheaded and scalped for their hair.

“Another exhibit is a lampshade of tatooed human skin.” And “a chemically shrunken head, mounted on a slab or mahogany” from the home of a concentration camp commandant.

Interviews with some of the defendants, Gulick concluded, found some “crafty and smart” but others “extremely stupid.”

Particularly shocking, he said, was “the casual callous every-day nature of the routine reports” documenting the atrocities “and the calm way all of the prisoners admit the facts and their own participation in the system but think they have no responsibility in the matter.”





The Judgment at Nuremberg on Oct. 1, 1946, acquitted three. Four got 10 to 20 years. Three got life. And 12 were sentenced to death. Goering killed himself with cyanide before he could be hanged. Martin Bormann, condemned in absentia, was never captured but remains later identified as his confirmed his death. The remaining 10 went to the gallows  on Oct. 16, 1946.


It’s Official! The IPA/Gulick Collection Is Up and Open!


We’re on the boards!

Yes, highlights of the IPA Collection and Luther Gulick Papers now decorate a wall on the fifth floor of Baruch”s Newman Library at 151 East 25th St., (the same historic building, as we have written, that once housed Sam McClure’s irreverent upstart magazine and its staff of journalistic muckrakers back in the 1890s.) https://blogs.baruch.cuny.edu/ipaprocessing/?s=muckrakers

Here’s archivist Steven Calco putting the finishing touches on the display, which went up shortly after Baruch officially announced the opening of the collection to scholars. However, a major part of it is still undergoing digitization for eventual online access.

It’s been a long haul, to say the least, since August 2014 when the collection first arrived at the Baruch Archives in more than 700 boxes looking like this…


…and this…

2014-09-09 12.28.55

Now it looks like this!


So we take particular pride in the new exhibit that just skims the surface of the vast collection that traces the origins of the good-government revolution in America and the man who has been called “the leading reformer of the 20th century” — Luther Halsey Gulick III.





It’s worth a picture!



Gulick: the T-Shirt!

The cult of Luther Gulick, which finds its apotheosis in this blog, has now attained the ultimate — its own merch. Here, modeled by our own Steven Calco and just in time for the annual NASPAA Conference of leaders of schools of public affairs, is the authentic Gulick T-shirt (not that the modest and fastidious dean of public administration would ever have been caught dead wearing one). But we like to think he’d enjoy the tribute after all.

use this backuse this


The (Five) Revolutions That Made America

Our  IPA Collection and Luther Gulick Papers continues to yield archival gold. The latest find is a 1974 monograph by Rowland A. Egger, an eminent professor of politics and public affairs, and emissary of President John F. Kennedy. Egger, a Texan who died at 71 in 1979, was prominent at the University of Virginia and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and served as a special representative of JFK to Bolivia in 1961.

rowland egger
Rowland A. Egger, Public Administration Review, editor-in-chief, 1947-’49

In 1974, Egger delivered his paper, “The Period of Crisis — 1933 to 1945” to a meeting of what was then called the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). Today it’s still NASPAA but it now stands for the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration. http://www.naspaa.org/

Its annual conference is taking place next week, Oct. 14-17, at the Brooklyn Marriott, which gives this post a timely peg. http://www.naspaa.org/AnnualConference/index.asp

At the conference, Baruch’s School of Public Affairs, a host and mainstay of NASPAA, will distribute a brochure and leaflet on the IPA Collection and Gulick Papers. IPA Leaflet

The 1974 conference, at Syracuse University, celebrated a milestone — the 50th anniversary of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, successor of the Training School for Public Service that Mrs. E.H. Harriman and the New York Bureau of Municipal Research founded so momentously in 1911. And where Gulick got his first education in public policy.


What caught our eye was something Egger said about Gulick in that 1974 paper. He was writing about the President’s Committee on Administrative Management (PCAM), the triumverate of chairman Louis Brownlow, Gulick, and Charles Merriam that laid out a crucial reorganization of the executive branch in 1937.

Brownlow Committee
PCAM: from left, Gulick, Merriam and Brownlow

As we noted in this blogpost from last year, until then federal agencies were directly reporting to the White House, causing mayhem. After Congress grudgingly passed the reorganization (or much of it), a streamlined organizational chart insulated President Roosevelt from routine decisions, creating what scholars recognize as the powerful modern presidency. https://blogs.baruch.cuny.edu/ipaprocessing/2014/11/fdrs-ghostwriter/

But Egger went further. In his paper he called PCAM’s innovations “the first comprehensive reconsideration of the Presidency and the President’s control of the executive branch since 1787, and is probably the most important constitutional document of our time.” (My emphasis.)

There were other insights in Egger’s paper. He wrote of “the five authentic social revolutions” (up to 1974) that transformed the Republic since its founding: the war of independence; Jacksonian Democracy; Lincoln’s salvation of the Union; Roosevelt’s muscular federalism that threw the massive resources of the government behind a struggling citizenry; and the egalitarian dictates of the Warren Court.

Egger wrote of the management revolution as well, particularly the years 1933-1937 “marked by extraordinary development and experimentation in public administration, especially in the national government.” The POSDCORB formulation of Gulick and his co-author Lyndall Urwick was getting “a run for its money” and the planning innovations of the era would be studied for decades to come. https://blogs.baruch.cuny.edu/ipaprocessing/2015/04/ode-to-luther-gulick/

Egger highlights the reversals as well, particularly the nation’s calamitous slide back into Depression in 1937 when Roosevelt applied the economic brakes too soon. In a replay of 1929’s Black Tuesday, eight years later, almost to the day, the stock market took another sickening dive. Wisely, Roosevelt, prodded by that champion of government intervention John Maynard Keynes, quickly reversed course, abandoning budget-balancing and pumping new federal billions into the economy, narrowly averting disaster. A prolific author, Egger wrote and contributed to numerous books on government and public administration. .http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3ARowland%20Egger

Let’s end with a lovely tableau from 1933, the coming of the New Deal, as cited by Egger from Edmund Wilson’s memoir, “The American Earthquake.”




Einstein to Gulick: It’s Relative

Einstein at Princeton in 1935, a year after Gulick sought his counsel

If you were Luther Gulick looking for a scientific method of choosing good public servants, whom would you turn to?

Albert Einstein, of course.

Gulick did exactly that in 1934, writing the renowned mathematician and physicist for advice on behalf of the Commission of Inquiry on Public Service Personnel at 302 East 35th Street.

But, Einstein confessed, when it came to civics he was no Einstein.

He was then at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, having fled Germany the year before (yes, a migrant!), following Hitler’s election to the German chancellorship and seizure of absolute power. With Jews an immediate target of the Nazis, Einstein was on a death list, his books burned in the street by frenzied mobs. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein

Gulick was a growing world authority in his own right — preeminent government reformer, chief of the influential Institute of Public Administration and advisor to Franklin D. Roosevelt going back to his pre-Presidential days in the Albany state house.

Ever since his formative years in the nineteen-teens at the Training School of the New York Bureau of Municipal Research, Gulick was preoccupied by problems of management, organization, and public service. How should society go about choosing and grooming its leaders?

In 1934, he put the question to Einstein. Alas, we don’t have a copy of Gulick’s letter — at least it has not yet turned up in the 700 boxes of Gulick papers and Institute of Public Administration records now processed and being partially digitized at the IPA Collection at Baruch’s Newman Library Archives.

But we have the original — a very valuable signed original! — of Einstein’s answer, typewritten from Watch Hill, R.I., on June 22, 1934. From it, we can deduce the question Gulick asked.

Einstein Letter

Esteemed Sir,

My knowledge of local conditions is by far insufficient to justify my participation in the effort you envision. I must even openly confess that I do not believe in any mechanical methods for selecting suitable men for public office. However it may be set up, success always depends on the ability and honesty of those who have to make the choice.
Respectfully yours,

A Einstein

Too bad. But we are consoled by something that popped up on the Internet. When searching information on Einstein in 1934, we found another signed Einstein letter from the same year that Amazon is offering for sale — for $27,500!