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Blair Holmes collection on the liberation of Austria

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS SC 1414

Scope and Contents

Contains photocopies of papers and memos dealing with the liberation of Austria and the Austrian Battallion (Austrian nationals within the United States Army), collected by Blair Holmes. Includes correspondence and internal memos (mostly typed), office documents, press releases, newspaper clippings, and other papers from the United States departments of War, State, and Justice, the Austrian Labor Committee, Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, Czechoslovak National Council of America, U.S. embassies (stateside and international), Military Committee for the Liberation of Austria, etc. Includes correspondence between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Archduke Otto von Habsburg of Austria, as well as between top government officials (Henry L. Stimson, U.S. secretary of war; Sumner Welles and Cordell Hull, consecutive secretaries of state; international diplomats, etc.). Materials dated 1940 to 1972 (bulk dated 1940 to 1945).


  • 1940-1972
  • Majority of material found within 1940-1945


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to use material from this collection must be obtained from the Reference Services at

Biographical / Historical

Otto von Habsburg was born November 20, 1912, in Reichenau, Lower Austria. He was the last crown prince of Austria-Hungary from 1916 until the dissolution of the empire in November 1918. From the 1930s on, he had a long career in European politics, advocating for European union. His family lived in exile in France, where he spoke up against the Nazi regime during WWII, acting as the unofficial head of several resistance groups in Central Europe. He fled to Portugal and then the United States once Germany invaded France. Otto lived in Washington, D.C. from 1940 to 1944. There, he and his brothers were often in contact with President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the federal government, advocating for Austria. Otto died July 4, 2011, in Pöcking, Germany, at the age of 98.

Biographical / Historical

Franklin D. Roosevelt was born January 30, 1882, in Hyde Park, New York. He attended Harvard University and Columbia Law School and became a corporate lawyer. In 1905, Roosevelt married Eleanor Roosevelt. He was elected to the New York Senate in 1910 and was appointed by President Wilson to be the Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1913. In 1920, Roosevelt was the Democratic nominee for Vice President of the United States. In 1928, he became Governor of the state of New York. In 1932, Roosevelt was elected President of the United States, eventually serving four terms, and lead American into World War II in 1941. Roosevelt passed away while still serving in the office of president on April 12, 1945, in Warm Springs, Georgia.

Biographical / Historical

Blair Ralph Holmes was born June 29, 1942, in Victor, Idaho, to Harold Harper Holmes and Audrey Muriel Berger Holmes. A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he served a mission in Austria between approximately 1961 and 1962. On August 26, 1965, he married Margie Green in the Idaho Falls Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Following graduation from Brigham Young University in 1966, he studied Eastern European history at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado. Holmes completed his PhD in 1972 in history. He was employed at Brigham Young University as a history professor from 1971 until 2008. He helped with a family and local history project there that was established in 1978 and was abolished in 1985. Blair retired from Brigham Young University in 2008. He and his wife, Margie, are the parents of six children: Brian, Steven, Christopher, Karin, Robert, and Richard.


3 folders (0.2 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Materials were donated by Blair Holmes in 1978.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Blair Holmes; 1978.


Western history (Mormon and Western American Manuscripts Collection Development Policy V.B.5.c, 2020).

Related Materials

See also Blair Holmes research notes and correspondence (MSS SC 1417).

Processing Information

Processed; Amanda Crandall; September 2023.

Register of Blair Holmes collection on the liberation of Austria
Amanda Crandall
2023 September 7
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States