Collection consists of correspondence of Feliks Gross; minutes of the steering and other committees; reports relating to post-World War II planning and reconstruction in Eastern Europe; policy memoranda and research papers relating to the economic, social, and political problems of Poland in the postwar period; and financial and other papers. Correspondence is mainly of Gross and other Board members and staff. Topics include wartime conditions in Europe, plans for postwar reconstruction, and Board matters. Office records contain minutes, reports, notes, and printed matter. Administrative records include by-laws, budgets, financial statements, correspondence, and related items. Also, publications, reports, photographs, reproductions of drawings, caricatures of political figures, and newsclippings.
Acquisition: 1945, Received from Feliks Gross, Gift
Biographical/historical: The Board was founded in New York in January 1942 by representatives of the exiled governments of occupied Czechoslovakia, Greece, Poland, and Yugoslavia following their attendance at the International Labor Conference held in New York in November 1941. From 1942-1945 it conducted research and formulated plans for postwar reconstruction in the four countries, with the goal of forming a democratic central and eastern European federation. The countries financed the Board with their contributions, and were represented by government ministers: Jan Masaryk (alternating with Jaromir Necas), Czechoslovakia; Emanuel Tsouderos (replacing Aristides Dimitratos, Greece's original representative on the Board), Greece; Jan Stanczyk, Poland; and Sava N. Kosanovich, Yugoslavia. These representatives made up the General Steering Committee (chaired by Kosanovich), the Board's executive body. The Board also had committees on economics (with subcommittees on agriculture, finance and foreign trade, industry, and relief) and education. Feliks Gross was Secretary-General. Gross - lawyer, sociologist, political scientist, author of many books and articles, active in the labor movement in Poland, member of the Polish Socialist Party - was born in Poland in 1906, and came to the United States during the war.
The Board published the monthly journal New Europe; a monthly newsletter, Survey of Central and Eastern Europe, which reported on wartime conditions in the occupied countries; a pamphlet series; and a series of irregularly issued Documents and Reports. It also participated in institutes, conferences, and other educational forums on the topic of postwar reconstruction in central and Eastern Europe. Many of these were held at colleges and universities in the United States; Antioch College, Hofstra College, New York University, and the University of Wyoming are mentioned frequently.
The withdrawal Yugoslavia and Greece from the Board in August and September of 1943, respectively; the severance of relations between the Czech and Polish governments; and changes in the political climate which caused Gross to remark: "... realities are against the ideas which were underlying the foundation of our organization", (Gross to M. A. de Capriles, Acting Chief, Foreign Agents Registration Section, War Division, Department of Justice, August 3, 1945) all contributed to the closing down of the Board in the Fall of 1945.