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David Rousset Scrapbook Collection

Identifier: MS171

Scope and Contents

David Rousset (1912-1997), French writer and political activist, was “… a … Communist militant and a Nazi concentration camp survivor who was among the first French intellectuals to denounce the horrors of the Soviet Gulag…. (In 1947 he) won the Prix Renaudot, a prestigious French literary award … for ''The Concentration Camp Universe,'' in which he described the atrocities and systematic breakdown of the human spirit orchestrated by the Nazis. Two years later, he attacked the Gulag -- the forced labor camps -- of the Soviet Union. … (M)any of France's postwar intellectuals belonged to the French Communist Party, (however,) and they refused to see the Gulag as the logical consequence of totalitarianism. Mr. Rousset was accused of falsifying history and being an instrument of anti-Soviet propaganda financed by American labor unions (he won his case against the paper in 1951).”  (“David Rousset, 85, Early Critic of the Soviet Gulag’s Horrors.” The New York Times, 22 December 1997.)

This collection, comprising 1 box, mainly contains articles from major French newspapers from 1945 to 1951, documenting the events leading up to and surrounding the trial of David Rousset, for his criticism of Soviet labor camps. It consists of scrapbooked and loose clippings of Roussset’s newspaper articles in which he exposed the Soviet system of labor camps to the French, and articles related to the attack on Rousset by the French communist newspaper Les Lettres françaises. Also present are undated photographic images of the Belsen and Buchenwald concentration camps, an undated broadsheet announcing a talk on the exposition of Nazi crimes, a commemorative photo of a hero of the French Resistance from 1944, and several issues of La Chaine from 1945, a French newspaper for Holocaust survivors searching for missing relatives and friends.


  • 1944 - 1951
  • Other: Majority of material found within 1950 - 1951
  • Other: Date acquired: 07/12/2009

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on use of the materials in the department for research; all patrons must comply with federal copyright regulations.


1.00 Boxes

Language of Materials



This collection, comprising 1 box, consists mainly of a variety of articles from major French newspapers from 1945 to 1951, contained in two scrapbooks and as loose clippings; it also contains undated mass-produced and individual prints of photographs from the Holocaust and a commemorative photo of a hero of the French Resistance from 1944; and other post-Holocaust ephemerae from 1945. The majority of collection documents the political activism concerning Soviet labor camps, and the subsequent trial, of French writer David Rousset.

Arrangement Note

Arrangement is approximately as received.

Photo reproductions have identifying information printed on verso – some marked as property of LAPI; some contain additional handwritten notes. All of the photographs are collected loosely in a pageless case binding.

Many loosely collected articles contain handwritten dates and newspaper titles, sometimes with other names, in blue, black or red ink.

Source of Acquisition


Method of Acquisition


Processing Information

Sara Stigberg, 2012.
Guide to the David Rousset Scrapbook Collection
Sara Stigberg
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US