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Otto Leven during World War I [ca. 1917]

Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: World War, 1914-1918
  • Branch of Service: Army
  • Service Unit/Ship: Company E, 357th Infantry Regiment, 90th Division
  • Location of Service: Camp Travis, Texas; Camp Mills, Long Island, New York; England; France
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Collection Number: AFC/2001/001/49807

View full service history

"Believe me I sure would like to have a great big talk with you all for I've certainly got lots to tell." Last letter from Otto Leven, 9/27/1918

The son of German immigrants, Otto Leven worked on his family’s farms in Kay County, Oklahoma until he was drafted into the Army in October 1917. While serving in the 357th Regiment of the 90th Division, Leven apparently wrote home copiously; his surviving letters project his earnestness, charm, and enthusiasm. Leven was mortally wounded while on patrol on September 29, 1918 and died two days later. His last letters home offer the reader an irony created by the contrast between Leven's generally cheery prose and the harshness of war. The irony is further defined by Leven's description of a dream he has where he envisions his mother and sister laying out his clothes.

[ Photo Album ]

More Resources

[ Otto Leven's death certificate [02/03/1919] ]
[ Letter from the American Red Cross concerning Otto Leven's death in France [05/17/1919] ]
[ Military orders shipping remains of Otto to Newkirk, Ok [04/26/1922] ]
[ Letter from Camp Travis, TX [11/17/1917] ]
[ Letter from Camp Travis, TX [11/29/1917] ]
[ Letter from Camp Travis, TX [05/22/1918] ]

Show more resources (20)

[ Letter probably from Camp Mills, NY [06/15/1918] ]
[ Letter from Camp Mills, NY [07/03/1918] ]
[ Letter "Somewhere France" [07/10/1918] ]
[ Letter "Somewhere France" [07/21/1918] ]
[ Letter from France [07/27/1918] ]
[ Letter from France [08/03/1918] ]
[ Letter from France [08/10/1918] ]
[ Letter from France [08/15/1918] ]
[ Letter from France [08/26/1918] ]
[ Letter from France [08/27/1918] ]
[ Letter from France [09/07/1918] ]
[ Letter from France [09/23/1918] ]
[ Last letter from Otto Leven, written from France [09/27/1918] ]
[ Letter from Captain Neighbors, Leven's commanding officer, to his parents [11/20/1918] ]
[ Letter from Chaplain Magee to Otto Leven's parents [12/26/1918] ]
[ Typed letter from Capt. Neighbors, Otto Leven's commanding officer [02/10/1919] ]
[ Typed letter from Captain Neighbors, Otto Leven's commanding officer [02/10/1919] ]
[ Journal of Otto Leven ]
[ Newkirk Doughboy "Uncle" Otto Leven ]
[ Newspaper clipping reprinting Otto Leven's final letter of September 27, 1918 ]

About this Item

Title

  • Otto Ferdinand Leven Collection

Names

  • Leven, Andrew A
  • Leven, Otto Ferdinand

Home State

  • Oklahoma

Headings

  • -  Leven, Otto Ferdinand
  • -  World War, 1914-1918 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Army.

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Gender

  • Male

Status

  • veteran

Service History

  • World War, 1914-1918

    • Branch of Service: Army
    • Service Unit/Ship: Company E, 357th Infantry Regiment, 90th Division
    • Location of Service: Camp Travis, Texas; Camp Mills, Long Island, New York; England; France
    • Highest Rank: Sergeant
    • Dates of Service: 1917-1918
    • Entrance into Service: Drafted
    • Military Status: veteran

Materials

  • Manuscript: Correspondence [17 items] -- Handwritten document (collected 1917-1918)
  • Manuscript: Correspondence [6 items] -- Mixed (handwritten and typewritten documents) (collected 1918-1919)
  • Artifact: Artifact [1 item] -- (collected 1918-10)
  • Photograph: Digital print [4 items] -- Photographs (collected 2014-09)
  • Photograph: Copy photographic print [4 items] -- Photographs (collected 1916-1917)
  • Manuscript: Correspondence [1 item] -- Handwritten document (collected 1918)
  • Manuscript: Military papers (orders, personnel/201 files, etc) [5 items] -- Mixed (handwritten and typewritten documents) (collected 1916-1919)
  • Manuscript: Correspondence [4 items] -- Handwritten document (collected 1918-08)
  • Manuscript: Diaries and journals [1 item] -- Handwritten document (collected 1918)
  • Manuscript: Civilian papers (certificates, forms, wills, etc) [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected 1919-01-27)
  • Manuscript: Clippings [4 items] -- Typewritten document (collected 1918-2008)
  • Manuscript: Correspondence [17 items] -- Mixed (handwritten and typewritten documents) (collected 1917-1919)
  • Manuscript: Military papers (orders, personnel/201 files, etc) [25 items] -- Mixed (handwritten and typewritten documents) (collected 1918-2003)
  • Manuscript: Biography [1 item] -- Mixed (handwritten and typewritten documents) (collected 2007-02)
  • Manuscript: Clippings [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected 1918)
  • Manuscript: Correspondence [17 items] -- Handwritten document (collected 1917-1918)
  • Manuscript: Diaries and journals [1 item] -- Handwritten document (collected unknown)
  • Manuscript: Military papers (orders, personnel/201 files, etc) [5 items] -- Mixed (handwritten and typewritten documents) (collected 1918-1922)
  • Manuscript: Correspondence [6 items] -- Mixed (handwritten and typewritten documents) (collected 1918-1919)
  • Photograph: Photocopy of Photographic Print [3 items] -- Photographs (collected 1917)
  • Computer File: CD [1 item] -- Multiple types of electronic files (collected 2007-02-11)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/49807

Cite as

  • Otto Ferdinand Leven Collection (AFC/2001/001/49807), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Leven, Andrew A, and Otto Ferdinand Leven. Otto Ferdinand Leven Collection. 1917. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.49807/.

APA citation style:

Leven, A. A. & Leven, O. F. (1917) Otto Ferdinand Leven Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.49807/.

MLA citation style:

Leven, Andrew A, and Otto Ferdinand Leven. Otto Ferdinand Leven Collection. 1917. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.49807/>.