In February 2008 a large ancient metal crate arrived from Belgium full of papers dealing with the Fourth International and Ernest Mandel. Ernest Mandel's papers had been deposited at the Institute years ago. This ancient crate had been donated by Ernest Mandel personally to the Belgian Trotskyist Georges Dobbeleer around 1950, when it was feared a Third World War would break out, and the papers were to be sheltered in a safe place.
The crate contains records, bulletins, and other printing matter for internal purposes, as well as correspondence by Mandel from 1946-1948 to acquaintances all over the world including Ernst Federn, survivor of Buchenwald, Livio Maitan from Venice, George Novack, one of New York's intellectuals, and Michel Pablo, the Greek revolutionary who acted as general secretary of the Fourth International since 1946. A fair amount of correspondence with Dutch Trotskyists is included: Andries Dolleman, Maurice Ferares, and Sal Santen.
The correspondence offers an intriguing picture of Trotskyism shortly after the Second World War, an international movement that was partly legal and partly illegal during the first postwar years, one that existed between hope and fear and bore the marks of Second World War and the Holocaust.