The Community Security Trust's (CST) Antisemitic Incidents Report 2021, published in February 2022, shows 2,255 anti-Jewish hate incidents reported across Britain in 2021. This is the highest annual total that CST has ever recorded and is a 34% increase from 2020.
Antisemitism continues to pose a very real threat to Jews in Britain, Europe and around the world.
The Library's new exhibition has been curated partly in response to worrying trends in contemporary antisemitism, including the rise in harassment of Jews in recent years, and the spread of conspiracy theories online during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This exhibition reveals the history of the fight against antisemitism over the last century in France, Britain and Germany. Through unique and never seen before documents from the Library's collections, and striking photographs from CST's archives, we spotlight the stories of the individuals, organisations and campaigns that have fought against antisemitism since the time of the Dreyfus Affair in 1890s France.
The arrest, trial and imprisonment of Jewish French army officer Alfred Dreyfus on false charges of espionage became a sensation in France and across Europe, galvanising both antisemites and their opponents.
These handbooks were written to provide practical assistance to those fighting antisemitism and were published by Büro Wilhelmstrasse in the early 1930s. Wiener Holocaust Library Collections.
The exhibition shines a light on the various strategies that those fighting against antisemitism have taken over the last one hundred years and more, from publishing pamphlets refuting antisemitic ideas, to gathering evidence about the activities of antisemites, to street fighting and the infiltration of fascist groups.
Exhibition curator, Dr Barbara Warnock, and Director of The Wiener Holocaust Library, Dr Toby Simpson, discuss the relevance and importance of our current exhibition, Fighting Antisemitism from Dreyfus to Today.
Learning from the past to effectively fight antisemitism today
To introduce the Library's Fighting Antisemitism from Dreyfus to Today exhibition, the Library's Director, Dr Toby Simpson, and Senior Curator, Dr Barbara Warnock have written an op-ed for Al Jazeera, exploring how we can learn from the past to effectively fight antisemitism today, wherever it is found.
On 30 May 2022 London saw the installation of Britain’s first Stolperstein, ‘stumbling stone.’
Stolperstein artist Gunter Demnig installed a stone at 3 Golden Square in London to commemorate Ada van Dantzig, a young Dutch-Jewish paintings conservator who came to this country in the 1930s to work, but later re-joined her family in the Netherlands. She was murdered in Auschwitz on 14 February 1943.
The world’s largest decentralised memorial art installation, the Stolperstein project has placed over 100,000 stones in 26 countries. Created by Demnig 25 years ago, these small brass plaques are placed in the pavement in front of the homes or places of work of victims of Nazi persecution.
The Wiener Holocaust Library hosted a panel discussion with Demnig and several scholars and practitioners about themes of Holocaust memory, memorialisation, and education.
In an interviewwith the BBC, the Library's Director Dr Toby Simpson noted, "Most people are not aware of how close to home the Holocaust was. The stones are important because they make this history personal and attach it to specific places."
A commemorative plaque for Ada van Dantzig, London's first Stolperstein
Recovery & Repair: Supporting Jewish Family Histories of the Holocaust in Britain
On 23-24 May, the Library’s Research team visited Manchester as part of the Recovery and Repair: Supporting Jewish Family Histories of the Holocaust in Britain project. Along with RHUL’s Prof. Dan Stone, the Library’s Dr Christine Schmidt, Dr Ian Rich, Maya Shlomo and Elise Bath delivered a two day programme of events, hosted by the Manchester Jewish Museum. An academic panel discussion: ‘Fate Unknown: The Search for the Missing after the Holocaust’ featured presentations from Christine, Dan, and Elise, along with University of Manchester’s Niamh Hanrahan and Prof. Cathy Gelbin, after which an evening drinks reception marked the launch of the traveling exhibition Fate Unknown, which explores the search for information about the missing after the Holocaust. We were delighted to be joined at this exhibition launch by dignitaries and members of the Jewish community across Manchester, with moving remarks from Marc Levy, Chief Executive of the Jewish Representative Council. The second day featured a family workshop day where ITS researchers explored the ITS archive and how it can be used in family research. Presentations from Errol and Denise Gross from the Manchester branch of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain, MJM’s curator Alex Cropper, and Dr Pamela Aveyard also added fascinating and useful information and tips on the resources available to support people’s family research projects.
With many thanks to Manchester Jewish Museum for their hospitality and help with this programme, and all the speakers at the various events. Special thanks as well to those who helped us to make contacts in the area and welcomed us with such warmth and enthusiasm.
The Library’s ITS Research team will visit various other locations in the UK as part of the Recovery and Repair programme – further details to follow.
Refugee Week 2022
Celebrating Refugee Week 2022
To mark this year’s Refugee Week, the Wiener Holocaust Library has launched a series of events, exhibitions, and blogs, drawing upon the Library’s Refugee Map and our many other activities funded by our 2020 Arts Council England grant.
Let us know what you think of the Library’s Refugee Map through this short questionnaire. Your feedback will help us to continue to improve and add to this resource.
Monday 20 June, 10am-4pm
Online Workshop: Mapping Migration and the Challenges of Digital Curation
Library will host an interdisciplinary, one-day virtual symposium on Monday 20
June that will examine themes related to the challenges of transnational
digital curation and the sustainability of digital humanities resources in a
new digital age for archives and heritage collections.
symposium will feature a keynote lecture by Dr Simone Gigliotti, Royal
Holloway, University of London, as well as a hands-on workshop for
postgraduate researchers to work with the Library’s Refugee Map.
welcome digital humanities scholars and practitioners, and scholars,
postgraduate students and early career researchers in digital humanities,
migration studies, history, sociology, anthropology, information studies,
curatorial and archival studies, and related fields to participate. We
anticipate that this workshop will be useful to both users and creators of
digital humanities resources.
Hosted by the Holocaust and Genocide Research Partnership, an initiative of the Wiener Holocaust Library and the Holocaust Research Institute.
The application deadline has been extended to 10 June 2022. Please find details of how to apply here.
Tuesday 21 June, 6-7pm
Hybrid Event: Passion, Frustration and Bureaucracy: British Voluntary Efforts for Refugees from Nazism
In this hybrid event, Becky Taylor will draw from her recent book, 'Refugees in Twentieth-Century Britain. A History', to explore the enormous efforts made by voluntary organisations to bring refugees from Nazism to Britain.
Becky Taylor is Professor of Modern History at the University of East Anglia. She specialises in the histories of minority and marginalised populations and their relationship with the state.
The Library’s Project Archivist, Dr Christopher Gilley, explores the Gordon Family Papers collection
in the first of a series of blogs this month to celebrate newly catalogued and digitised Family Papers collections in our archive.
These collections are available to view at the Reading Room as well as online through a selection of materials published on our Refugee Map.
New Travelling Exhibition
Mapping Memories: Jewish Refugees to Britain, 1933-1945
Our new travelling exhibition Mapping Memories draws from the Library’s Refugee Map, which traces refugee journeys using documents from our unique collections. Around 80,000 Jewish refugees arrived in the UK between 1933 and 1945. Mapping Memories explores some of their journeys and examines British governmental (in)actions as well as the activities of community and voluntary organisations.
This travelling exhibition consists of four, double-sided pop-up banners and is available to hire with a refundable deposit after 22 June 2022. The Library’s travelling exhibitions are easy to install and are designed especially for schools, organisations and institutions to educate and inform their own audiences regardless of space and budget.
EHRI and Academic Workshops
Library staff are delighted to participate in a variety of international outreach and research initiatives. In April, Deputy Director and Head of Research Dr Christine Schmidt and ITS Team Manager Elise Bath participated virtually in a Research Ethics conference hosted by Linköping University. The Library is pleased to be a founding member of the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI), and Director Dr Toby Simpson and Head of Education and Senior Curator Dr Barbara Warnock attended the EHRI general partners meeting on 16-18 May in Prague, with Christine Schmidt attending the next plenary in Amsterdam in June. Also this month, Toby Simpson visited Bonn to participate in an event organised by the German Finance Ministry as it seeks to develop an online platform for Wiedergutmachung records. Christine Schmidt will deliver a keynote presentation at the Refugees and Survivors in National Historiographies and Public Histories workshop at Malmö University in Sweden, and will take part in the Photography of Persecution conference at the American University in Paris.
EHRI General Partners Meeting, Prague
Wiedergutmachung Portal Meeting, Bonn
Resources and Events for Schools
The Wiener Holocaust Library’s educational outreach programme has grown and developed significantly in recent months, following the recruitment of a dedicated Education Officer, Kiera Fitzgerald. We have expanded our programme of online talks and exam revision sessions, and also welcomed many schools into the library for tailored workshops on a variety of topics including Using Photographs in Teaching About the Holocaust; The Nazi Rise to Power; The Day of ‘Liberation’; An Introduction to the Holocaust; Source Analysis for Coursework; Jewish Resistance, Nazi Dictatorship, The Racial State and Nazi Persecution of Roma and Sinti. We have also delivered a number of sessions in schools. Through these online and in-person sessions we have reached over 600 students throughout the UK over the last year. We have also worked with a number of groups of teachers and training teachers. We have also developed a number of new educational resources and features on our The Holocaust Explained website. The latest educational resource to be uploaded is Nazi Antisemitism and this uses contemporary source material to explore antisemitism during the Nazi regime.
As we look forward to the 2022/2023 Academic Year, please contact email@example.com if you are interested in booking a tailored talk or workshop for your school.
2021 Ernst Fraenkel Prize
2021 Ernst Fraenkel Prize Award Announced!
We are delighted to announce the winner of our 2021 Ernst Fraenkel Prize. The jury has awarded Franziska Exeler’s book, Ghosts of War: Nazi Occupation and its Aftermath in Soviet Belarus the prize. The judges noted that they “found it to be an ambitious – and successful – deep dive, exploring questions of wartime compliance, complicity, and collaboration and the post-war toll that these exacted. It is strikingly original in exploring issues that many have acknowledged but few have investigated and is a very worthy winner of this prestigious prize.”
Further information about Prof. Exeler’s book can be found here.
Prof. Exeler will give her Ernst Fraenkel Prize Lecture on 5 September 2022, 6:30-8pm. This will be a hybrid event held at the Wiener Holocaust Library and online.
We are pleased to announce the relaunch of ‘Survivor’s Stories’, a section of our popular educational website, The Holocaust Explained,which explores an array of survivor experiences through different forms of testimony.
During the redevelopment, we completely redesigned the section to make it more user-focused and accessible, and added four new case studies drawing on documents from the Library’s unique archive of family papers.
Pictured: Hans, Else, Peter and Hana Briess with their cousins Anita and Eva Graetzer on holiday in Ilfracombe, Devon, in 1944. Peter’s story - of escape from Czechoslovakia, life in wartime England and the fate of his family left behind - is one of the new case studies on The Holocaust Explained.
Life in Nazi-controlled Europe
Women in the Third Reich
We are pleased to announce the publication of a new article on the Library's online educational website The Holocaust Explained exploring the Nazi Party's approach to, and the experiences of, women in the Third Reich.
The article seeks to explain the ways in which women were central to the Nazis' version of the Third Reich and their future Volksgemeinschaft by looking at the principles of Küche, Kinder and Kirche, female employment, and the participation and resistance of women in the Nazi regime.
Basic Recipes as a Key to the Art of Cooking: examples of some recipes from a 1931 cookbook. Wiener Holocaust Library Collections.
Drawing on a wide range of historical and literary sources, as well as extended interviews with family members and Holocaust survivors, Modern Times examines the reality of Hungarian-Jewish life in the first half of the twentieth century.
In this Hybrid Event, Linda Kinstler will be in conversation with William Shawcross to discuss her major non-fiction debut which investigates both her family story and the archives of ten nations to examine what it takes to move history in our uncertain century.
Ishami Foundation Summer 2022 ‘Education and Conversation’ online symposium
This symposium will assess the history and legacy of the ICTR from different perspectives, bringing together panellists who are experts in international criminal justice and those who have first-hand experience of the ICTR.
Exhibition talk: Conspiracy and Antisemitism: combatting the Protocols of the Elders of Zion 100 years ago and why this remains significant today
Antisemitism entered the political mainstream in Britain in 1920 when a national newspaper, the Morning Post, published 18 long articles loosely based on the forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. This newspaper series was the most prominent expression of a widespread tendency among conservatives at the time, who repurposed deep-rooted anti-Jewish stereotypes as they reacted to global crisis and the Bolshevik Revolution. The challenge of combatting antisemitism produced significant divisions among Jews who not only disagreed over what the causes of antisemitism were but also argued over whether education or, indeed, anything could help improve matters. In this lecture David Feldman explores the appeal of conspiracy theory in these postwar years and the responses of British Jews to the threat they faced. He asks how this history can illumine the challenges we face combatting antisemitism today.
David Feldman is Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism and Professor at Birkbeck College, University of London. He specialises in the history of antisemitism, Jewish history, the history of migration in modern Britain and the history of racialization.
This talk will focus on Maria Chamberlain’s book, 'Never Tell Anyone You’re Jewish', a story of two assimilated Jewish families in Nazi-occupied Poland in the eye of the Holocaust. The material in the book is compiled from recounted memories of the survivors, unfinished memoirs, letters, photographs, and historical archives.
Exhibition talk: Joe Mulhall: The Rise of the Today’s Far Right
Joe Mulhall's dramatic experiences on the front line of anti-fascist activism, including infiltrating far-right events in both Europe and America, coupled with his academic research, will clearly explain the roots of both elected and non-elected far-right movements across the globe and seek to explain how we got here and where we could be headed.
Joe Mulhall is one of the UK’s leading experts on far-right extremism and Director of Research at the UK’s largest anti-fascism organisation, HOPE not hate.
Deborah Cadbury will discuss her book on the school, which features moving first-hand testimony, letters, diaries and present-day interviews, The School That Escaped the Nazis is a dramatic human tale that offers a unique child's-eye perspective on Nazi persecution and the Holocaust. It is also the story of one woman's refusal to allow her beliefs in a better, more equitable world to be overtaken by the evil that surrounded her.
More than 75 years after the Holocaust, antisemitism is on the rise again on the left as well as the far right. Our speakers have expertise on antisemitism in France, Britain and Germany, and amongst the topics that they will consider are recent manifestations of antisemitism in these countries; the connections that current day antisemitism has with antisemitism in the past, and the reasons why antisemitism persists.
Speakers: Natasha Lehrer, Daniel Trilling, Olga Grjasnowa
The Wiener Holocaust Library was delighted to host this hybrid in-person and virtual event in celebration of Karina Urbach’s new book Alice’s Book as part of our Excavation-Confrontation-Repair? Family Histories of the Holocaust events series.
Chaired by Dr Christine Schmidt, Deputy Director and Head of Research at the Library, the event featured four Yale University Press authors, Rebecca Clifford (author of Survivors), Amy Williams, Bill Niven (author of Hitler and Film) and Dan Stone (author of The Liberation of the Camps). Each author talked about the writing of their books to reflect on how the historiography of the Holocaust has changed and why the topic is more important now than ever.
This event, a collaboration between The Wiener Holocaust Library, Yale University Press and The Institute of Historical Research (IHR), was held to mark the IHR’s centenary year.
In this talk, historian Dr Udo Grashoff will give an overview of Communist resistance in Nazi Germany. Although it was not successful and it hardly promoted a democratic alternative, Communist resistance to the Nazis deserves to be considered with respect. Communist resistance varied in form and scope, and was for the most part not centrally coordinated, but it did continue until the end of the war in 1945.
In this event, Daniel Sonabend, historian and author of We Fight Fascists: The 43 Group and their Forgotten Battle for Post-War Britain, tells the story of the militant Jewish anti-fascist organisation the 43 Group.
The Roma Support Group has created a short survey to gauge whether teachers in secondary schools would benefit from having resource material on the Roma genocide during the Second World War and Roma migration in the UK.
Completing the survey will inform our practice and policy team.
Jewish Museum London's new exhibition until 18 September
The Eye as Witness: Recording the Holocaust
Discover how images shape the way we remember history with The Eye As Witness – a major exhibition using creative technology to contrast Holocaust photos taken by perpetrators with the perspective of victims.
The Eye as Witness is an immersive multimedia experience examining Holocaust photography. It has been designed to make us question the motives behind the recording of historical events and to encourage critical thinking on racism, hatred and ‘fake news’ today.
Taking the instantly recognisable Nazi-propaganda images of sub-human victims in Nazi ghettos and concentration camps, visitors are led to reconsider the images as persecuted and dignified humans living ‘everyday’ lives only days before the Nazis came to power.
Featured in the exhibition is an award-winning immersive virtual reality (VR) experience. This cutting-edge experience enabled visitors to enter a virtual environment and ‘step into’ a Nazi-produced Holocaust photograph taken in the Warsaw Ghetto.
Alongside this are interactive displays, which offer visitors the opportunity to view the rare secret photos taken by Jewish people and members of the anti-Nazi resistance who use the camera to record the story as they saw it.
Refugees and Survivors in National Historiographies and Public History. Archives, Voices and Memories
This workshop will explore the ways to recognize those who have experienced forced migration or genocides as agents in the past as well as documenters and knowledge producers of that past.
During the last decade, scholars have highlighted the ways in which refugees have been given space in the writing of history and debated why refugees as actors have received so little attention. It had been argued that in cases where “refugees” and “survivors” are investigated, they are usually portrayed as an unnamed mass—passive victims of persecution, war, or revolution—not as named actors in various contexts.
The importance of placing the people defined as refugees and survivors at the heart of history writing and exploring their perspectives, actions, experiences, and self-understanding has been stressed by historians, and refugee scholars and Holocaust scholars.
One aim of the workshop is to explore the role that refugees, forced migrants and genocide survivors have played and continue to play in documenting, remembering and producing knowledge about genocide, oppression and forced migration.
Russia's attack on Ukraine has caused the death and injury of thousands, the forced flight of millions, and the physical destruction of cities and towns. Please join poet Iya Kiva, art historian Eugeny Kotlyar, and journalist Olga Tokariuk, who will address the complexities of lives disrupted and the experience of unfolding war from the perspectives of their three professions. Award-winning poet Iya Kiva’s work has been translated into more than 20 languages. Kharkiv State Academy of Design and Arts professor Eugeny Kotlyar is a renowned expert on Jewish heritage sites in Ukraine. And independent journalist Olga Tokariuk’s reports have been featured in (inter alia) Time and
The Washington Post, and on NPR. Co-Chairs: Elissa Bemporad and Natalya Lazar.
This event is hosted in association with:
The Center for Jewish Studies at the Graduate Center—CUNY
The School of General Studies and Graduate Education and the Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Stockton University
The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, USHMM
A Generation2Generation event to remember the Vel d,d’hiv, the largest round up of French
Jews during the Holocaust, which took place 80 years ago in Paris
on 16 and 17 July 1942 and also affected foreign-born Jews in
other areas of France.
The film will focus on the experiences
of the families of two of Generation 2 Generation’s speakers, Debra
Barnes and Susanna Rosenberg. They will be available to answer
questions together with Holocaust historian, Dr Jamie Ashworth.
Demands upon the Library continue to increase as we face rising antisemitism, racism, distortion and denial of the Holocaust and genocide. We need to continue our important work to ensure our Collections are put to the best possible use and to the service of the future.
Becoming a member is a powerful way you can support us in working towards our wider mission. In return, you can enjoy our exclusive member benefits and know that you are playing a significant role in the future success of the Library.