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Rev. Edmund A. Walsh, S.J.: Priest, Educator and Diplomat

Stephen Richard Kerbs Exhibit Area
January 19, 2010
March 24, 2010

This exhibition honors the life and career of Rev. Edmund A. Walsh, S.J. Born in 1885 and ordained a priest in 1916, Fr. Walsh organized the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1919. Subsequently, he held significant positions in the realm of international politics. For example, in 1922, he directed the Papal Relief Mission to combat a famine in Russia. In addition, in 1929, he participated in discussions to bring peace between the Church and state in Mexico. Moreover, in 1931, Fr. Walsh helped establish a Jesuit College in Baghdad, Iraq. And, from 1945 to 1946, he served as a consultant at the war crimes trials in Nuremberg, Germany. Throughout his career, Fr. Walsh was known as an ardent anticommunist, and he was a leading authority on communism in general and Soviet Russia in particular.

This display highlights new materials about Fr. Walsh recently acquired by the Georgetown University Library. Almost all of the documents on view are part of the Rev. Edmund A. Walsh, S .J. Papers: Part 2, a recent acquisition in Special Collections. This new collection supplements the Rev. Edmund A. Walsh, S.J. Papers: Part 1, a collection which has been preserved for a long time in Special Collections. In addition, a few items seen here are part of the Georgetown University Archives.

This exhibit is timed to coincide with Jesuit Heritage Month at Georgetown University. Fr. Walsh was a dedicated Jesuit at Georgetown whose vision and dynamic personality helped the School of Foreign Service thrive. It is fitting to honor Fr. Walsh for Jesuit Heritage Month for his work at Georgetown and throughout the world.

Portrait photograph of Rev. Edmund A. Walsh, S.J.
Peace Bulletin, No. 3, School of Foreign Service, January 25, 1919

Announcement of the opening of the School

Georgetown's School of Foreign Service opened in February 1919, with Edmund A. Walsh, SJ., for whom it is now named, serving as Regent. Even while undertaking his many international trips and diplomatic missions, Fr. Walsh was always actively involved in the organization and running of the School which he guided until his death in 1956. In 1958, it was named in his memory.

That the School, the first of its kind in the U.S., opened so soon after the end of the Great War is not a coincidence. In the waning days of conflict, the idea of creating and sustaining lasting peace among nations preoccupied statesmen, scholars, and educators alike. The School was organized to have a dual emphasis on foreign commerce and diplomacy, both considered equally useful in promoting world peace. In 1957, the Division of Business and Public Administration separated from the School of Foreign Service and became an independent school, today known as the McDonough School of Business.

Georgetown University Archives

Dedication of the Walsh Memorial Building, October 13, 1958

The Walsh Building, dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower (second from right), was built for the School of Foreign Service. Among the modem and much touted features of the new building were air conditioning and a public address system. The showplace of the building was the Hall of Nations, an auditorium capable of seating over 500, which contained the flags of sixty countries and the seal of the United Nations on the rostrum. The Plexiglas globe of the world in the lobby, ten feet in diameter, rotated once every three minutes. At the time of the building's opening, it was the largest rotating globe in the world.

Georgetown University Archives

Biographical Sketch

Printed program from the Jubilee of Rev. Edmund A. Walsh, S.J.

Rev. Edmund A. Walsh, S.J. Papers: Part 2, Box 2 Folder 10

Edmund A. Walsh, S.J.: A Biography

Gallagher, Louis J.
New York: Benzinger Brothers, 1962.

This biography of Fr. Walsh was written by a close friend and member of the Georgetown University Jesuit community.

Lauinger Library Stacks LD1961.G518 W3

Ordination Card of Fr. Walsh
Russian Relief

Photograph of food leaving a warehouse in Crimea for a kitchen in the country districts. At least 35,000 children were fed by the Papal Mission in the Crimea alone. Fr. Walsh appears in the first automobile in this photograph. In 1922, he served as coordinator of the Papal Relief Commission which was charged by the Vatican to aid Russian areas affected by a severe famine.

Rev. Edmund A. Walsh, S.J. Papers: Part 2, Box 2 Folder 41

Photograph of the Registration Desk in the Catholic kitchen. The children first entered a large waiting room, heated in the winter, to await their food. Fr. Walsh is the third man from the left standing in the photo.

Rev. Edmund A. Walsh, S.J. Papers: Part 2, Box 2 Folder 43

Baghdad College

Typed Letter Signed, dated April 26, 1954, from Rev. Francis W. Anderson, S.J., Director of the Jesuit Foreign Missions of the New England Province of the Society of Jesus, to Mary A. Noonan, a cousin of Fr. Walsh, regarding the Jesuit-run Baghdad College in Iraq. The letter applauds Fr. Walsh for his role in the creation of the college. Also on display is a card depicting the chapel at Baghdad College.

Rev. Edmund A. Walsh, S.J. Papers: Part 2, Box 1 Folder 29

Nuremberg War Crimes Trials

Autograph Letter Signed, dated 11/22/1945, from Fr. Walsh to his brother Fred V. Walsh, regarding the Nuremberg war crimes trials. Sent from Nuremberg, Germany to South Boston, Massachusetts. Fr. Walsh worked as a special consultant to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, the chief counsel at the Nuremberg trials. Fr. Walsh focused on the persecution of Catholics by the Nazi regime, and he traveled widely in Germany to conduct interviews and gather useful information.

Rev. Edmund A. Walsh, S.J. Papers, Box 1 Folder 6

Photograph of Fr. Walsh at work in his quarters in Nuremberg.

Rev. Edmund A. Walsh, S.J. Papers, Box 2 Folder 51

Japan

Photograph of Fr. Walsh in Hiroshima, Japan on December 12, 1947. Fr. Walsh visited the Jesuit novices of the Japanese mission.

Rev. Edmund A. Walsh, S.J. Papers, Box 2 Folder 56

Total Empire: The Roots and Progress of World Communism

Walsh, Edmund A.
Milwaukee: Bruce, 1951

In this book, Fr. Walsh analyzed the ideology and the practice of communism within the Soviet Union. Further, he discussed the foreign policy aims of the Soviets. Fr. Walsh was a leading American anticommunist, and he presented numerous speeches and wrote extensively about the dangers of communism.

Lauinger Library Off-Campus Shelving HX630.W3

Eisenhower Condolence Letter

Typed Letter Signed, dated November 1, 1956, from President Dwight D. Eisenhower to Georgetown University President Rev. Edward B. Bunn, S.J., offering condolences upon the death of Fr. Walsh.

Rev. Edmund A. Walsh, S.J. Papers, Box 2 Folder 68

A Catholic Cold War: Edmund A. Walsh, S.J., and the Politics of American Anticommunism

McNamara, Patrick
New York: Fordham University Press, 2005

Lauinger Library Stacks BX4705.W256 M36 2005