Arno Viehoever FIAT Records
Scope and Content
The Arno Viehoever FIAT Records contain records of the Field Information Agency, Technical (FIAT), which were collected and maintained by Arno Viehoever during his service with the agency. The materials in these records document Viehoever’s activities with FIAT and of FIAT itself in Allied Occupied Germany in the years immediately following World War II. The records are arranged into the following five series:
- Chronological Files
- Subject Files
- German Technology Evaluation Sheets
- Printed Materials
- Reference Cards
- Majority of material found within Bulk 1945-1947
- Viehoever, Arno, 1885-1969 (Person)
Language of Materials
A majority of the materials in this collection are in English and German. Also includes small amounts of materials in French, Dutch, Russian, Spanish, Italian, and Romanian.
The Arno Viehoever FIAT Records are open to researchers with the exception of the following files:
Box 1 Folders 1-5, 7-9, 11-12, 14 are closed to researchers until further notice.
Box 2 Folders 3, 11-12 are closed to researchers until further notice.
The Science History Institute holds copyright to the Arno Viehoever FIAT Records. The researcher assumes full responsibility for all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.
Arno Viehoever (1885-1969) was a German-American pharmaceutical chemist. He was noted for his work in the areas of microbiology, food chemistry, and pharmacognosy. From 1946 to 1947, he served in the Field Information Agency, Technical (FIAT).
Viehoever was born in Wiesbaden, Germany on November 3, 1885. He earned his Degree of Pharmaceutical Chemistry (1908) and Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Micro-Physiology from the University of Marburg (1913). He moved to the United States in 1913 when he accepted a position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Chemistry, where he served as Director of the Pharmacognosy Laboratory (1913-1923). In 1923, Viehoever joined the faculty of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, where he served as Head of the Department of Biology and Pharmacognosy (1923-1934) and Director of the Gross Laboratory for Biological and Biochemical Research (1934-1938).
In 1939, Viehoever accepted a position with the Government of Thailand’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, where he served as Scientific Advisor and Director of Research in the ministry’s Department of Science (1939-1941). When Japan invaded Thailand in December 1941, Viehoever was interned by the Japanese as an enemy civilian. He was repatriated to the United States as part of an internee exchange in 1942.
Viehoever reentered federal government service upon his return to the United States. From 1942 to 1944, he served as Principal Biochemist at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Food Supplies and Nutrition. In 1944, he joined the Foreign Economic Administration’s Office of Food Programs, where he served as Regional Economist and Food Advisor for the Far East (1944-1945). Viehoever returned to Thailand in 1945, where he served as Regional Economist and Deputy Chief of the Special Siam Committee for the U.S. Rice Commission (1945-1946).
In 1946, Viehoever joined the U.S. Army’s Field Information Agency, Technical (FIAT). Serving first as a Technical Consultant, then as Chief of Pharmacy, Medicine, and Food, he worked out of FIAT’s Karlsruhe, Germany (1946-1947) and London, England offices (1947). In this capacity, he contributed to FIAT’s efforts to evaluate the state of Germany’s science and technology and to make public scientific and technological advances made by the Germans during World War II.
After serving with FIAT, Viehoever joined the of the staff of the U.S. Army’s Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., where he served as Chief of Research and Consultant to the Director of the Veterinary Division (1948-1950). In 1950, he went to work for the Central Intelligence Agency’s Office of Science Information, where he served as Chief of the Pharmacological, Biological, and Nutritional Branch’s Medicine Division (1950-1958). Viehoever was later the Founder and Managing Director of Viehoever & Campbell Waste Consultants in Oxon Hill, Maryland (1965-1969). In 1968, he was certified as Maryland’s first professional engineer in biochemistry.
Arno Viehoever passed away in Oxon Hill, Maryland on December 11, 1969.
Field Information Agency, Technical (FIAT) The Field Information Agency, Technical (FIAT) was a U.S. Army agency that was active in Allied Occupied Germany during the years immediately following World War II. Its mission was to “secure the major, and perhaps only, material reward of victory, namely, the advancement of science and the improvement of production and standards of living in the United Nations, by proper exploitation of German methods in these fields”.
Established in early 1945 under the auspices of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), FIAT was first conceived as a post hostilities agency. It was initially authorized to “coordinate, integrate, and direct the activities of various missions and agencies” interested in scientific and technical intelligence. The new agency was at first prohibited from collecting and exploiting such information on its own responsibility.
When SHAEF was dissolved in July 1945, FIAT was placed under the joint control of the U.S. Group Council and the U.S. Forces, European Theater (USFET). Under the control of its new parent agencies, FIAT provided accreditation, support, and services to the Technical Industrial Intelligence Committee (TIIC), which was gathering scientific and technical information from German laboratories and industrial sites. This led to FIAT becoming the custodian of German documents and equipment gathered by the TIIC.
In late 1945, under the orders of the U.S. Department of War, FIAT assumed control of the Publications Board. Established in June 1945 by U.S. President Harry Truman, the Publications Board was charged with reviewing all scientific and technical advances developed with government funds during the war with a view towards declassifying and publishing it. Shortly after V-J Day, President Truman ordered the public dissemination of scientific and industrial information obtained from the enemy and assigned this responsibility to the Publications Board.
Over the course its existence (1945-1947), FIAT sent its teams across Germany, screening, editing, and translating reports, and shipping reports and equipment back to the United States. The end result of FIAT’s work was that it made public many of the scientific and technological advances made by the Germans during World War II. The information published by FIAT allowed Allied businesses and industries to take advantage of German science and technology. The newly published information also helped scientists and researchers in former Axis countries, who had been denied access to German research. FIAT also discovered that German scientists and researchers had been hampered by a lack of paper for printing, which prevented much of their work from being disseminated during the war.
FIAT ceased operations in June 1947.
Arno Viehoever FIAT Records, Science History Institute Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“Reports on German War-time Industry and Science.” Nature 161 (March 13, 1948): 388-389. Untitled-1 (nature.com)
Ziemke, Earl F., The Army Historical Series: The U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History, United States Army. 1975. The U.S. Army and the Occupation of Germany, 1944-1946 (fdlp.gov)
3.5 Linear Feet (2 Record Boxes and 1 Index Card Box.)
Correspondence, reports, memoranda, reference cards, and other miscellaneous materials belonging to German-American pharmaceutical chemist Arno Viehoever. The materials in this collection document his activities with the Field Information Agency, Technical (FIAT), a U.S. Army agency that evaluated the state of German science and technology and made public German scientific and technological advances in the years immediately following World War II.
The Arno Viehoever FIAT Records were donated to the Science History Institute by Merritt Chesley in August 2020.
The Arno Viehoever FIAT Records were processed by Kenton G. Jaehnig in June 2021.
- Archival materials
- Germany -- History -- 1945-1955
- Industries -- Germany -- History -- 20th century
- Science -- Germany -- History
- Technology -- Germany -- History -- 20th century
- United States. Army
- United States. Department of Commerce. Office of Technical Services
- United States. Joint Chiefs of Staff
- Arno Viehoever FIAT Records
- Finding aid created and encoded into EAD by Kenton G. Jaehnig.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 2021: Finding aid revised by Kenton G. Jaehnig