We will continue to ask all visitors to wear a face covering and to observe social distancing whilst in the building.
We are closely monitoring the situation with respect to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and, as such, our regulations are under constant review and might change at short notice. The safety and wellbeing of all our staff and visitors are of paramount importance and we thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this uncertain time.
The Wiener Holocaust 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.
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.
The Library seeks to help educate visitors on the complex history of antisemitism, and to be inspired by the rich history of anti-antisemites. By learning from the past, we can better recognise instances of antisemitism and challenge it where it is found.
In the video below, exhibition curator, Dr Barbara Warnock, and Director of the Library, Dr Toby Simpson, discuss the relevance and importance of our new exhibition.
We have been delighted to receive the following press coverage for this timely exhibition.
WHL Director visits St Albans exhibition ‘Arriving and Belonging’
On Sunday 24 April our Director, Dr Toby Simpson, spoke about the history of The Wiener Holocaust Library at the St Albans Masorti Synagogue (SAMS) In attendance were members of the congregation and the wider community, including Holocaust survivor, Kitty Hart-Moxon.
The talk was held in connection with the exhibition ‘Arrival and Belonging: Stories from the St Albans Jewish Community’ curated by Helen Singer. In the exhibition, St Albans Jewish community members with roots from around the world told their stories through personal objects and family photographs. Held at the St Albans Museum and Gallery, the display recently ended its run, but much of the content can now be viewed online.
This exhibition stems from the SAMS Roots and Mapping SAMS Roots projects. The projects’ aims included creating a lasting record of the diverse roots of community members. The project team gathered over 100 stories, some of which are featured in this exhibition, reflecting its universal themes.
Dr Simpson said: “I have been so impressed by the work of SAMS and it was a pleasure to tell them more about the Library and its history. Helen Singer’s work to document Jewish life in St Albans show how many fascinating and moving stories are out there awaiting discovery. The Library is very proud to be the repository of the Singer family papers, which are now being catalogued so they can feature on the our Refugee Map resource. Sharing personal stories is so important for our sense of community and common humanity. The ‘Arrival and Belonging’ project brilliantly shows us how to do this.”
Dr Toby Simpson with ‘Arriving and Belonging’ curator Helen Singer and her husband
Thursday 19 May, 1 pm
Lunchtime lecture: Communist Resistance in Nazi Germany
Dr Udo Grashoff
To mark the completion of The Wiener Holocaust Library’s Project to digitise our rare collection of hidden anti-Nazi resistance writings, Tarnschriften
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. The Communist Party of Germany (KPD) was the most important force among different strands of resistance against the Nazi dictatorship within the Third Reich. After Hitler’s appointment as chancellor and despite the brutal repression of political opponents, thousands of Communists still actively supported the party. Particularly during the first three years of Hitler’s rule, the KPD called on its members to resist heroically, at the risk of their lives. The tragic struggle took its toll. 20,000 German Communists died in concentration camps or were executed. 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.
Published in 1935, the above pamphlet apparently advertising Nivea cream actually contains Communist writings advocating anti-fascism. Wiener Holocaust Library Collections.
About the speaker: Udo Grashoff specializes in the history of modern Germany with a focus on the history of everyday life in dictatorships, on resistance and political taboo subjects. He is the author of a study on suicide in the GDR (“In einem Anfall von Depression…” Selbsttötungen in der DDR, 2006) and a monograph on squatting in East Germany (Schwarzwohnen. Die Unterwanderung der staatlichen Wohnraumlenkung in der DDR, 2011). In 2020, he edited the volume Comparative Approaches To Informal Housing Around The Globe (UCL Press London). In 2021, he published a book on betrayal within the Communist resistance movement in the Third Reich (Gefahr von innen. Verrat in der illegalen KPD 1933-1945). After six years at UCL in London, he currently teaches in Leipzig.
Fate Unknown: The Search for the Missing after the Holocaust
In the first part of the Library's event series taking place at the Manchester Jewish Museum, distinguished guest speakers will discuss patterns of persecution and survival found in Jewish and other archives.
Fate Unknown Travelling Exhibition Launch and Drinks Reception
Take part in an exciting launch event that will feature talks by the co-curators, Professor Dan Stone and Dr Christine Schmidt, special guests, a drinks reception, and an opportunity to view the Fate Unknown travelling exhibition.
The workshop will also feature family research support services available from Manchester-based partner organisations and the opportunity to register for one-on-one consultations with the Library’s expert researchers.
On 30 May London will be the site of the installation of Britain’s first Stolperstein, ‘stumbling stone.’ The world’s largest decentralised memorial art installation, the Stolperstein project has placed over 100,000 stones in 26 countries. Created by German artist Gunter 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 stone to be installed in London commemorates 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.
This public installation will take place at 11 am on 30 May at
3 Golden Square, Soho, London, the site where Ada worked.
Following the installation, from 2pm-4pm, the Wiener Library will host a panel discussion featuring the artist Gunter Demnig, who will speak about his work. Several scholars and practitioners will also comment on related themes of Holocaust memory, memorialisation, and education. Pre-registration required.
Call For Applicants
Mapping Migration and the Challenges of Digital Curation
A one-day virtual workshop on Monday 20 June 2022, 10am – 5pm BST.
To mark 2022’s Refugee Week, the Library’s launch of its new Refugee Map and to explore the opportunities and challenges of digital humanities projects to record, analyse, and commemorate the experience of forced migration, we are pleased to host an interdisciplinary, one-day virtual symposium 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. To what extent do digital resources that map the paths of forced migration extend or subvert archival mediation? Do they democratise access to globally dispersed archives, or reinforce national, cultural or other barriers? What are the problems of sustainability for digital resources?
The symposium will also 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 new Refugee Map. A draft programme will be posted shortly.
We 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.
Rare anti-Nazi resistance pamphlets at the Library
A temporary Reading Room exhibition displaying some of the Library's unique collections of rare Tarnschriften.
Tarnschriften were pamphlets produced as a form of political resistance to the Nazi Party’s rule between 1933 and 1945.
To avoid detection and to allow the pamphlets to be more easily smuggled into Germany, many Tarnschriften were expertly disguised as everyday items, including advertisements for common products or places, information manuals or pieces of popular German literature.
Hybrid Book Talk: Carole Angier in conversation with Philippe Sands
As part of the Library's new academic event series, author and historian Carole Angier will be in conversation with Philippe Sands to discuss her new book which explores the life and work of the influential writer, W. G. Sebald.
Virtual Student Revision: Democracy and Nazism: The Nazi Dictatorship
This virtual revision session, aimed at GCSE and A-Level students, will utilise sources from the Library’s unique archive to examine the Nazi Dictatorship. It will explore the idea of ‘the Terror State’; the role of the SS and Gestapo; opposition to the Nazis; Nazi propaganda and the extent of totalitarianism in Germany.
Exhibition Talk: We Fight Fascists: The 43 Group and their Forgotten Battle for Post-War Britain
The first event in the Library's Fighting Antisemitism exhibition series, historian and author Daniel Sonabend will tell the story of the militant Jewish anti-fascist organisation the 43 Group. Join us in-person or online.
Hybrid Event: The Future of Holocaust History: An Event for the IHR’s Centenary, In Partnership with Yale University
This hybrid event is a collaboration between the Library, Yale University and The Institute of Historical Research and is being held to mark the IHR's centenary year. The event will feature three Yale University Press authors who will talk 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.
Virtual Student Revision: Democracy and Nazism: The Racial State
This virtual revision session, aimed at GCSE and A-Level students, will utilise sources from the Library’s unique archive to examine the Nazi’s creation of a ‘Racial State’. It will explore the radicalisation of the state; Nazi racial ideology; increasing antisemitic policies and actions as well as the treatment of Jews in the early years of war by looking at the development of ghettos and deportations.
Hybrid Book Talk: Alice’s Book – Karina Urbach in conversation with Lord Daniel Finkelstein
To celebrate the publication of Alice's Book, which uncovers the truth about a stolen cookbook and tells the story of a family torn apart by the Nazi regime, author and historian Karina Urbach will be in conversation with leading political journalist Lord Daniel Finkelstein.
Virtual Book Talk: Get The Children Out: Unsung Heroes of the Kindertransport
In this virtual book talk, renowned Holocaust educator Mike Levy will draw on his newly published book to tell the untold stories of the quiet heroes who helped organize the famous mass rescue of children at the start of the Second World War.
Hybrid Event: Testimonies of the Farhud in the Sephardi Voices UK Archive
In this event, we will introduce the Sephardi Voices UK archive, explore testimonies of those who lived through the 1941 pogrom, the Farhud, and discuss the long-term effects on Baghdad's Jewish population.
Curator’s Talk: Fighting Antisemitism from Dreyfus to Today
In this talk, Dr Barbara Warnock, curator of the Library's latest exhibition, Fighting Antisemitism from Dreyfus to Today, will discuss the genesis of the exhibition project, the process of curation and explore some of the key documents, photographs and artefacts on display.
Hybrid Event: Come to this Court and Cry: Linda Kinstler in Conversation with William Shawcross
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.
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 of Nazism to Britain.
Russia's brutal invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 has brought, and continues to bring, devastation to the lives of millions and has triggered Europe's greatest refugee crisis since the Second World War.
Historian Yuri Radchenko, poet Ostap Slyvynsky, and photojournalist Anton Skyba will address the complexities of lives disrupted and the experience of unfolding war from the perspectives of their three professions.
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.