Peacemaking in Practice

Recording the Aftermath of War

Photograph of Nuremberg trials courtroom scene, circa 1945-1946. From the Hertha Knuth Miscellany, Hoover Institution Archives.

Nuremberg trials courtroom scene, 1945–46. Hertha Knuth Miscellany, Hoover Institution Archives

Nuremberg trials courtroom scene, 1945–46. Hertha Knuth Miscellany, Hoover Institution Archives

“There is no such thing today as isolation in the world. The hopes of the world lie in the prevention of war. There lie relief from poverty and the reduction of human toil.”

Herbert Hoover, “American Policies for Peace” radio address, January 15, 1938

Photograph of US officials inspecting records of Japanese bank, circa 1945-1946. From the International Military Tribunal for the Far East Records , Hoover Institution Archives.

US officials inspecting records of Japanese banks, circa 1945–46. International Military Tribunal for the Far East Records, Hoover Institution Archives

US officials inspecting records of Japanese banks, circa 1945–46. International Military Tribunal for the Far East Records, Hoover Institution Archives

Tasked with collecting records on war, revolution, and peace, the Stanford historians who served as the first curators of the Hoover War Collection, as it was originally known, prioritized securing documentation of peacemaking activities during and after World War I.

Among the founding collections of what later became the Hoover Institution Library & Archives were the so-called delegation propaganda from the Paris Peace Conference. These pamphlets document the efforts of peacemakers to fashion a new international order on the ruins of the old.

As the century progressed, new peace agreements continued to be drafted, and the Hoover collections continued to grow in order to foster the study of peacemaking in practice.

Paris Peace Conference

Photograph of Herbert Hoover in his Paris office during the Paris Peace Conference, 1919. From the World War I Pictorial Collection, Hoover Institution Archives.

Herbert Hoover in his Paris office during the Paris Peace Conference, 1919. World War I Pictorial Collection, Hoover Institution Archives

Herbert Hoover in his Paris office during the Paris Peace Conference, 1919. World War I Pictorial Collection, Hoover Institution Archives

In 1919, after the close of the First World War, Herbert Hoover was serving as adviser to the United States delegation to the Paris Peace Conference. The objectives of the attendees were to negotiate peace terms for the defeated nations and to facilitate the establishment of political order, economic stability, and international cooperation in Europe and the Middle East in the wake of the collapse of the Russian, Austro-Hungarian, German, and Ottoman empires.

The Claims of the Assyrians before the Conference of the Preliminaries of Peace at Paris, 1919. Hoover Institution Library

Memorandum on the Claims of the Kurd People, March 22, 1919. Hoover Institution Library

Seventy states and nations sent representatives to Paris encouraged by Woodrow Wilson’s call for “the self-determination of peoples.” Herbert Hoover was inundated by the publications of various groups vying for recognition. These materials would ultimately be brought together as the Paris Peace Delegation Propaganda Collection, the first library collection of the Hoover Institution.

A Catalogue of Paris Peace Conference Delegation Propaganda in the Hoover War Library, 1926. From the Stanford University Press.

A Catalogue of Paris Peace Conference Delegation Propaganda in the Hoover War Library, 1926. Stanford University Press

A Catalogue of Paris Peace Conference Delegation Propaganda in the Hoover War Library, 1926. Stanford University Press

The Claims of the Assyrians before the Conference of the Preliminaries of Peace at Paris, 1919. From the Hoover Institution Library.

The Claims of the Assyrians before the Conference of the Preliminaries of Peace at Paris, 1919. Hoover Institution Library

The Claims of the Assyrians before the Conference of the Preliminaries of Peace at Paris, 1919. Hoover Institution Library

Memorandum on the Claims of the Kurd People, March 22, 1919. From the Hoover Institution Library.

Memorandum on the Claims of the Kurd People, March 22, 1919. Hoover Institution Library

Memorandum on the Claims of the Kurd People, March 22, 1919. Hoover Institution Library

Das Neue Europa laut den Friedensvertragen von Versailles und St. Germain (The New Europe according to the Treaty of Versailles and St. Germain), 1919. From the Poster Collection, Hoover Institution Archives.

Das Neue Europa laut den Friedensvertragen von Versailles und St. Germain (The New Europe according to the Treaty of Versailles and St. Germain), by Hans Neumann, 1919. Poster Collection, AU 281, Hoover Institution Archives

Das Neue Europa laut den Friedensvertragen von Versailles und St. Germain (The New Europe according to the Treaty of Versailles and St. Germain), by Hans Neumann, 1919. Poster Collection, AU 281, Hoover Institution Archives

The Consequences of the Paris Peace Conference

The Treaty of Versailles was signed during the Paris Peace Conference and required Germany to pay extensive reparations. In the years that followed, the German economy faltered and many Germans blamed the treaty and its financial burden.

The resulting resentment birthed the platform of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party, whose leadership by Adolf Hitler ultimately led to World War II. In the end, the Paris Peace Conference was not able to maintain world peace, but its records give researchers and policymakers insights into how peacemaking can be implemented in the future.

Il Faut Que Ceux Qui Ont Fait le Mal le Réparent (It Is Necessary That Those Who Have Done Evil Repair It), 1918. From the Pamphlet Collection, Hoover Institution Library.

Il Faut Que Ceux Qui Ont Fait le Mal le Réparent (It Is Necessary That Those Who Have Done Evil Repair It), 1918. Hoover Institution Library

Il Faut Que Ceux Qui Ont Fait le Mal le Réparent (It Is Necessary That Those Who Have Done Evil Repair It), 1918. Hoover Institution Library

Some Aspects of the Problem of the Inter-Allied Debts and Reparation Payments, by Frederick C. Goodenough, April 10, 1922. From the Pamphlet Collection, Hoover Institution Library.

Some Aspects of the Problem of the Inter-Allied Debts and Reparation Payments, by Frederick C. Goodenough, April 10, 1922. Hoover Institution Library

Some Aspects of the Problem of the Inter-Allied Debts and Reparation Payments, by Frederick C. Goodenough, April 10, 1922. Hoover Institution Library

Versailles, Zug um Zug Zerrissen! (Versailles, Torn by a Tug of War!), 1938. From the Poster Collection, Hoover Institution Archives. This poster was used during the German election of Adolf Hitler.

Versailles, Zug um Zug zerrissen! (Versailles, torn up step by step!), 1938. Poster Collection, GE 989, Hoover Institution Archives. This poster was used during the German election of Adolf Hitler.

Versailles, Zug um Zug zerrissen! (Versailles, torn up step by step!), 1938. Poster Collection, GE 989, Hoover Institution Archives. This poster was used during the German election of Adolf Hitler.

Nuremberg Trials

Photograph of Nuremberg trials courtroom scene, circa 1945–1946. From the Hertha Knuth Miscellany, Hoover Institution Archives.

Nuremberg trials courtroom scene, circa 1945–1946. Hertha Knuth Miscellany, Hoover Institution Archives

Nuremberg trials courtroom scene, circa 1945–1946. Hertha Knuth Miscellany, Hoover Institution Archives

Between 1945 and 1946, German officials who had been implicated in the Holocaust and other criminal activities were brought before an international tribunal in the Nuremberg Trials. Nuremberg was chosen as the site for the trials in part because the city had been the location of the Nazi Party’s annual rallies, and also because anti-Semitic laws had been passed there in 1935.

The first and best known of the Nuremberg trials was the Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal, held from November 1945 to October 1946. It passed judgment on two dozen of the most important captured leaders of Nazi Germany for war crimes, crimes against peace, and crimes against humanity. Twelve of the accused were sentenced to death.


Proposals for Denazification, 1947. From the William Russell Philp Collection, Hoover Institution Archives.

Proposals for Denazification, 1947. William Russell Philp Collection, Hoover Institution Archives

Proposals for Denazification, 1947. William Russell Philp Collection, Hoover Institution Archives

The Nuremberg Trial, Introductory Comment, by Hale Anderson, May 26, 1947. From the James B. Donovan Papers, Hoover Institution Archives.

The Nuremberg Trial, Introductory Comment, by Hale Anderson Jr., May 26, 1947. James B. Donovan Papers, Hoover Institution Archives

The Nuremberg Trial, Introductory Comment, by Hale Anderson Jr., May 26, 1947. James B. Donovan Papers, Hoover Institution Archives


Scrapbook documenting identifications of Nazis on trial at Nuremberg, from 1946. From the William Russell Philp Collection, Hoover Institution Archives.

Scrapbook documenting identifications of Nazis on trial at Nuremberg, 1946. William Russell Philp Collection, Hoover Institution Archives

Scrapbook documenting identifications of Nazis on trial at Nuremberg, from 1946. From the William Russell Philp Collection, Hoover Institution Archives.

Scrapbook documenting identifications of Nazis on trial at Nuremberg, 1946. William Russell Philp Collection, Hoover Institution Archives

Post-War Japan

Photograph of Japanese General Yamashita arraigned as war criminal, circa 1945-1946. From the International Military Tribunal for the Far East Records, Hoover Institution Archives.

Japanese General Yamashita arraigned as war criminal, October 8, 1945. International Military Tribunal for the Far East Records, Hoover Institution Archives

Japanese General Yamashita arraigned as war criminal, October 8, 1945. International Military Tribunal for the Far East Records, Hoover Institution Archives

From 1945 to 1953 the Allied powers, led by General Douglas MacArthur, occupied and rehabilitated Japan after its defeat in World War II. The occupation brought sweeping changes to Japan, including the introduction of political, economic, social, and military reforms. The new Japanese constitution was drafted under the close supervision of the Allied leaders, with some rough drafts being composed and edited in English.

A rough draft of the Japanese Constitution by the Constitution Investigating Committee, December 12, 1945. From the Milo E. Rowell Papers, Hoover Institution Archives.

A rough draft of the Japanese Constitution by the Constitution Investigating Committee, December 12, 1945. Milo E. Rowell Papers, Hoover Institution Archives

A rough draft of the Japanese Constitution by the Constitution Investigating Committee, December 12, 1945. Milo E. Rowell Papers, Hoover Institution Archives

One of the most contentious issues was the treatment of the Japanese emperor and his future role as leader of the nation. The figure of the emperor had been deified and universally revered by the Japanese people during the period of empire, and Emperor Hirohito was no different.

Original draft of the proposed Constitution of Japan, 1946. From the Milo E. Rowell Papers, Hoover Institution Archives.

Original draft of the proposed Constitution of Japan, 1946. Milo E. Rowell Papers, Hoover Institution Archives

Original draft of the proposed Constitution of Japan, 1946. Milo E. Rowell Papers, Hoover Institution Archives

This reverence made his complete removal and prosecution for war crimes strategically undesirable from the point of view of Allied officials, who understood that the support of the Japanese people was essential to a successful postwar transition. Hirohito was spared a trial and a prison sentence, but the Japanese constitution was rewritten so that the emperor’s status was reduced to that of a ceremonial figurehead.

Opening Statement, Hideki Tojo, Individual Defense, December 26, 1947. From the Japanese Modern History Manuscript Collection, Hoover Institution Archives.

Opening Statement, Hideki Tojo, Individual Defense, December 26, 1947. Japanese Modern History Manuscript Collection, Hoover Institution Archives

Opening Statement, Hideki Tojo, Individual Defense, December 26, 1947. Japanese Modern History Manuscript Collection, Hoover Institution Archives

Statement by John Foster Dulles, on behalf of the Delegation of the United States of America as co-sponsor of the Draft Treaty of Peace with Japan, September 5, 1951. From the Conference for Conclusion and Signature of Treaty of Peace with Japan (1951: San Francisco) Records, Hoover Institution Archives.

Statement by John Foster Dulles, on behalf of the Delegation of the United States of America as co-sponsor of the Draft Treaty of Peace with Japan, September 5, 1951. Conference for Conclusion and Signature of Treaty of Peace with Japan (1951: San Francisco) Records, Hoover Institution Archives

Statement by John Foster Dulles, on behalf of the Delegation of the United States of America as co-sponsor of the Draft Treaty of Peace with Japan, September 5, 1951. Conference for Conclusion and Signature of Treaty of Peace with Japan (1951: San Francisco) Records, Hoover Institution Archives

Shigemitsu Mamoru Sketches

Commonly known as the Tokyo trials, the International Military Tribunal for the Far East tried Japanese political and military leaders on charges of crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The Tokyo trials lasted two and a half years. All the surviving defendants charged with crimes against peace were found guilty. Among them was the minister of foreign affairs, Shigemitsu Mamoru, who signed Japan’s instrument of surrender aboard the USS Missouri. During the trial, Shigemitsu documented court scenes by making sketches and taking notes, which provide a unique insider’s view of the trial.

Overview of the Judges, by Shigemitsu Mamoru, circa 1947–1948. Shigemitsu Mamoru Sketch Books, Hoover Institution Archives

The overview of the judges, by Shigemitsu Mamoru, circa 1947–1948. From the Shigemitsu Mamoru Sketch Books, Hoover Institution Archives

Overview of the Judges, by Shigemitsu Mamoru, circa 1947–1948. Shigemitsu Mamoru Sketch Books, Hoover Institution Archives

Overview of the Judges, by Shigemitsu Mamoru, circa 1947–1948. Shigemitsu Mamoru Sketch Books, Hoover Institution Archives

United Nations

The United Nations Conference on International Organization, San Francisco, 1945. From the United Nations Conference on International Organization Proceedings, Hoover Institution Archives.

The United Nations Conference on International Organization, San Francisco, 1945. United Nations Conference on International Organization Proceedings, Hoover Institution Archives

The United Nations Conference on International Organization, San Francisco, 1945. United Nations Conference on International Organization Proceedings, Hoover Institution Archives

Peace and Security: New Opportunities, published by The Stanley Foundation, June, 1973. From the Pamphlet Collection, Hoover Institution Library.

Peace and Security: New Opportunities, published by The Stanley Foundation, June, 1973. Hoover Institution Library

Peace and Security: New Opportunities, published by The Stanley Foundation, June, 1973. Hoover Institution Library

The UN Role in Intervention: Where Do We Go From Here?, published by The Stanley Foundation, 1993. Hoover Institution Library

The UN Role in Intervention: Where Do We Go From Here?, published by The Stanley Foundation, 1993. Hoover Institution Library

The United Nations (UN) Conference on International Organization took place from April 25 to June 26, 1945, in San Francisco. Fifty countries gathered at the conference, whose purpose was to draft the text of the United Nations Charter. The executive secretary of the conference was C. Easton Rothwell, who served as director of the Hoover Institution from 1952 to 1959.

Anthony Eden reacts to news of the German surrender, 1945. From the United Nations Conference on International Organization Proceedings, Hoover Institution Archives

Anthony Eden reacts to news of the German surrender, 1945. United Nations Conference on International Organization Proceedings, Hoover Institution Archives

Anthony Eden reacts to news of the German surrender, 1945. United Nations Conference on International Organization Proceedings, Hoover Institution Archives

After the Charter had been ratified by a majority of signatory states, the UN came into existence on October 24, 1945. The Hoover Institution Archives holds a collection on the UN’s founding conference that includes sound recordings of conference proceedings made by the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and photographs and contact sheets depicting delegates and scenes at the conference.

You and the United Nations, by Lois Fisher, published by Children's Press, Inc., 1947. From the Pamphlet Collection, Hoover Institution Library. This children's book was a gift of Herbert Hoover.

You and the United Nations, by Lois Fisher, published by Children's Press, Inc., 1947. Hoover Institution Library. This children's book was a gift of Herbert Hoover.

You and the United Nations, by Lois Fisher, published by Children's Press, Inc., 1947. Hoover Institution Library. This children's book was a gift of Herbert Hoover.

Peace and Security: New Opportunities, published by The Stanley Foundation, June, 1973. Hoover Institution Library

The UN Role in Intervention: Where Do We Go From Here?, published by The Stanley Foundation, 1993. Hoover Institution Library

Peace takes practice. The United Nations toward world progress. International cooperation–economic and social advancement–human rights. United Nations Day–October 24, issued by the U.S. Government Printing Office, 1948. From the Poster Collection, Hoover Institution Archives.

Peace Takes Practice, issued by the U.S. Government Printing Office, 1948. Poster Collection, INT 34, Hoover Institution Archives

Peace Takes Practice, issued by the U.S. Government Printing Office, 1948. Poster Collection, INT 34, Hoover Institution Archives


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