Christopher Henze Collection
Scope and Contents of the Collection
The Christopher Henze Collection compiles personal letters, memoirs, and documents related to Christopher Henze and his uncle Carlo Henze. Included in the collection are transcribed excerpts of Christopher Henze’s letters home to his parents documenting his time working in Danané, Côte d'Ivoire as a member of the Peace Corps, as well as his personal memoir tracing his life and career as an officer in the United States Foreign Service.
Also included in the collection are transcribed letters written by Carlo Henze to his wife Harriet during World War II. Carlo Henze served as a captain in the Medical Intelligence Division of the Office of the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army and was a member of the top-secret Alsos Mission during the war. His letters provide an eyewitness account of the frontline as Allied forces moved towards Berlin and document his personal war experience. An article for the Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine sharing his war recollections and a declassified report for Combined Intelligence Objectives Sub-Committee co-authored by Carlo during the Alsos Mission are also included.
Christopher Henze's personal memoirs and letters and Carlo Henze's letters are available in both print and digital formats.
- Creation: 1944-2020
Language of Material
Languages represented in the collection: English.
Collection open for research.
All requests for permission to reproduce or to publish must be submitted in writing to Special Collections.
Biography / Administrative History
Christopher Henze was born in Pasadena on January 3, 1942. At age 13, he was enrolled at the Thacher School, a boarding school in Ojai, California, where he completed his secondary school education. Henze would go on to attend Pomona College, graduating in 1963 as an anthropology major, with minors in French and German. In 1964, he joined the Peace Corps at age 22 and served for two years as an English and physical education instructor in Danané, Côte d'Ivoire. Returning from his Peace Corps service in 1966, Henze taught English for one year at the Polytechnic School in Pasadena before being accepted into a position with the United States Foreign Service. Embarking on life long career as a foreign service officer, Henze served in various locales and roles: South Africa (1968-69); Tanzania (1969-70); Washington D.C. (1970-74, as Assistant Science Advisor); Slovenia (1974-76); the Johns Hopkins University Center in Bologna, Italy (1976-77, for graduate work in economics, political science, and European Community Affairs); Paris (1977-81, as Press Attaché); Washington D.C. (1981-84, as Policy Officer for Europe); Geneva, Switzerland (1984-88, as Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and Other International Organizations); Paris (1988-92, as Cultural Attaché). After retiring from the Foreign Service, Henze held two subsequent jobs: working for a year as a consultant for the International Herald Tribune before spending several years as the acting head of the Press and Publications Division of the International Energy Agency. Henze is retired and lives in Paris with his wife Shana.
Carlo Henze was born in 1907 in Naples, Italy, the son of biochemist Martin Henze. Carlo and his family moved to Innsbruck, Austria where his father had become a professor of biochemistry at the University of Innsbruck. Carlo, himself, would go on to earn a medical degree from the University of Innsbruck, becoming an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology, before joining Sandoz Pharmaceuticals in Basel, Switzerland. With the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany in March 1938 and the threat of being drafted into the German Army as an involuntary German citizen, Carlo was able to secure a company transfer to the United States, where he became medical director of Sandoz in New York City. Carlo enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1941 and was promoted to captain in the Medical Intelligence Division of the Office of the Surgeon General of the Army due to his medical background and being a native German speaker. In 1944, Henze was transferred to the European Theater and served on assignment as a member of the top-secret Alsos Mission, whose main objective was to determine German progress in developing an atomic bomb and biological and chemical weapons. Following the war, Carlo arranged for his parents to move to the United States, where they settled in Pasadena, California. Martin Henze was welcomed as a distinguished scientist at the California Institute of Technology. Carlo had returned to work at Sandoz in New York, becoming vice president in charge of the medical and research departments, and later, president of the Sandoz Foundation. Carlo Henze died in 2003.
0.2 Linear Feet (1 slim document box)
The collection includes personal letters, memoirs, and documents related to Christopher Henze and his uncle Carlo Henze. Christopher Henze served as a member of the Peace Corps in Côte d'Ivoire, before embarking on a lengthy career in the United States Foreign Service. An Austrian immigrant, Carlo Henze served in the U.S. Army during World War II as a member of the top-secret Alsos Mission in Europe. Christopher Henze's personal memoirs and letters and Carlo Henze's letters are available in both print and digital formats.
Organization and Arrangement
The collection is arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Please consult repository.
Provenance/Source of Acquisition
Gift of Christopher Henze, 2020, 2022.
No additions to the collection are anticipated.
Materials were placed in acid-free folders and housed in an archival document box.
- Christopher Henze Letter Collection
- Sean Stanley
- 2022 August
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note