Gustav Hilger Research Library
Gustav Arthur Hilger (September 11, 1886 – July 27, 1965) was a German diplomat and expert on the Soviet Union. He was best known for his role in German–Soviet relations during the interwar period as a Counselor at the German embassy in Moscow. After World War II, he advised the United States and West German governments on Soviet issues. (Read more on Wikipedia.)
Despite Hilger’s central role at the intersection of German, Soviet, and American relations during consequential years from the 1930s through the 1950s, he remains a relatively obscure figure.
A student of 20th century history—especially diplomatic history concerning great powers, geopolitics, ideology, and strategy—might consider learning about Gustav Hilger, his life and his work. This non-profit research library provides relevant documents and reference material to help such a student in this aim.
Who was Gustav Hilger? Useful Secondary Sources
Matt Ellison, “The German Strategic Mastermind Behind America’s Post-War Order” Palladium Magazine, April 12, 2019.
Jörn Happel, Der Ost-Experte: Gustav Hilger—Diplomat im Zeitalter der Extreme [German: “The East Expert: Gustav Hilger—Diplomat in the Age of Extremes”] (Paderborn: Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh, 2018). N.b.: This book is only available in German.
Robert Wolfe, “Gustav Hilger: From Hitler’s Foreign Office to CIA Consultant” Project on Government Secrecy, Federation of American Scientists, June 1, 2006.
Primary Source Documents (in progress)
Gustav Hilger, “The Soviet Foreign Service Officer Through The Changing Years,” March 5, 1951; A seminar at the Russian Research Center at Harvard University.
Gustav Hilger, “Observations on General A. A. Vlasov and the So-Called ‘Vlasov-Action,’” November 8, 1946.
George N. Shuster, “Conversation with Hilger,” Historical Interrogation Commission, War Department General Staff, G-2, Historical Branch, MID; August 13, 1945.
In October 2007, the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) released approximately 300 pages of archival documents related to Gustav Hilger and his work with the U.S. government. (These documents are declassified and in the public domain. Most of these documents are contained within a single digitized Hilger file in the NARA Catalog.) The documents vary in legibility and historical significance. We have begun the process of organizing and transcribing these documents so that they may be more easily accessed and studied.