The Roseanne Klass collection on Afghanistan and the Soviet-Afghan War
Scope and Contents
The papers document the various aid groups and human rights organizations involved in the Afghanistan war from the 1970's to the late 1990's. Support groups include the Afghanistan Relief Committee, Free Afghanistan, and Medicines san Frontieres.
Other subjects represented are the negotiations, political figures, living conditions, and atrocities of the wars. A small administrative selection kept by Klass is included.
- Creation: 1970s-1990s
- Klass, Rosanne (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.
This collection is only partially processed. Contact Special Collections for more information.
Conditions Governing Use
Single copies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from the Special Collections department. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions.
Biography of Roseanne Klass
Roseanne Traxler Klass was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She earned a BA in literature from the University of Wisconsin and became a freelance writer, editor, and journalist. From 1980 to 1991 Klass founded and headed the Afghanistan Information Center at Freedom House in New York, NY.
Historical Background on Afghanistan and Collection Focus
The Roseanne Klass collection focuses on the media's analysis of the contemporaneous situation in terms of the USSR and USA.
When the Khalq and Parcham parties in Afghanistan became reconciled in the 1970s, it was unclear whether the USSR meddled in these relations. The USSR denied and downplayed its influence in Afghanistan; recognizing Afghanistan as "socialist," and therefore a nation worthy of its protection (1979). Because the Soviets labeled Afghanistan as an undeveloped democracy, they felt justified in invasion.
Resistance groups consisted of seven factions characterized as two general groups: fundamentalists and moderates. Many of the men fighting in Afghanistan (the mujahideen) relocated their families to refugee camps in Pakistan. The USA began providing arms aid in 1982. Several media outlets advocated US medical aid, agricultural advice, food, school supplies, government instruction, and media equipment in order to facilitate a more robust resistance movement.
Other writers in the collection argue that Afghanistan was more strategically and geopolitically important than the US realized. The US disinterest caused Americans to view Afghanistan as "remote... primitive... and, in its [i.e. America's] official view of the world, strategically unimportant..." Since the Soviets had an interest in Persian Gulf oil resources, it is thought that conquering Afghanistan would further their direction.
Timeline of Afghanistan Conflict
No biographical or historical information is available at this time.
- former Prime Minister Daoud seized power
- Nur Muhammad Taraki became President of Revolutionary Council and Prime Minister of Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
- Moscow signed treaty with Afghanistan
- Revolt spread into a countrywide insurgency
- Peshawar-based guerrilla organizations formed an alliance.
- Invasion forces killed Amin and installed Babrak Karmal.
- Massive Soviet ground forces invaded from the north.
- Amin refused to take Soviet advice.
- Soviet forces land in Kabul under the pretext of a field exercise.
- Hafizullah Amin seized power from Taraki.
- Mujahidin active in and around Kabul.
- Karmal regime demise; Karmal replaced by Muhammad Najibullah.
- Geneva accords.
- Heavy fighting in Kabul.
- Interim Islamic Jihad Council.
- Islamabad Accord.
- Kabul sinks further into anarchy.
- Taliban capture the city of Kandahar.
- Taliban occupies Kabul.
- Taliban occupies 90 percent of the country.
83.73 Cubic Feet (64 record center cartons, 1 letter size document box, 1 legal size document box, 1 legal half-size document box, 5 flat boxes (20.5 x 14.5 x 1.5 inches), 2 pamphlet boxes (17 x 6.5 x 10.5 inches))
Language of Materials
Roseanne Traxler Klass was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. From 1980 to 1991 Klass founded and headed the Afghanistan Information Center at Freedom House in New York, NY.The papers document the various aid groups and human rights organizations involved in the Afghanistan war from the 1970s to the late 1990s. Support groups include the Afghanistan Relief Committee, Free Afghanistan, and Medicines san Frontieres.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Roseanne Klass donated her papers to the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University in March, 2005. As part of the gift agreement, the materials are housed within Special Collections.
Bibliography for Biographical Note
- Who's who in the East, 1993-1994: including Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, D.C., and in Canada, the provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and the eastern half of Ontario. 1992. New Providence, N.J.: Marquis Who's Who.
Bibliography for Conflict Timeline
- Afghanistan: The Soviet Invasion in Perspective, Anthony Arnold (2nd ed., Stanford, Calif.: Hoover Institution Press, 1985).
- Afghanistan and the Soviet Union, Henry S. Bradsher (2nd ed., Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1985).
- Background Note: Afghanistan, the US Department of State, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5380.htm
Parts of this collection were processed in October 2005 through October 2006, and June 2008 through March 2009 by Margaret Burri, Jill Reilly James, and Kelly Spring.
Folder titles were copied directly from folder headings.
This collection has not been completely processed. Boxes 8.1 and 9.1-9.2 were added later. See Conditions Governing Access note for more information.
- Freedom Medicine (Organization)
- Afghanistan Information Center (Peshawar, Pakistan) (Organization)
- Afghanistan Relief Committee (Organization)
- Klass, Rosanne (Person)
- The Roseanne Klass collection on Afghanistan and the Soviet-Afghan War
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Special Collections Repository
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