E-Newsletter for November 2020 View in browser
E-Newsletter for November 2020

Dear Friend,

Welcome to The Wiener Holocaust Library's e-newsletter for November 2020.

In line with the latest government guidance, the Library will close on Thursday 5 November. Please see below for more details.

We are pleased to announce a staff blog to raise awareness of the persecution of Black people during the Nazi era; a new online exhibition for Black History Month 2020; an opportunity for a PhD studentship at the University of Cambridge; a vignette from the Library's archives and a chance to catch up on virtual talks and register for upcoming events.

We know this is a difficult time for everyone, and we continue to send our very best wishes to you all.

Kind regards,

The Wiener Holocaust Library

Closure Notice

In line with government guidance, the Library, including the Reading Room and exhibition, will close on Thursday 5 November.

We hope to reopen in early December. However, this may change, so please keep an eye on our website and Twitter for the latest updates.

The safety and wellbeing of our staff and visitors is of paramount importance and we thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this uncertain time.

We look forward to welcoming you back as soon as we can!

The Wiener Holocaust Library Blog
The Persecution of Black People in the Nazi Camp System

Gert Schramm's prisoner registration card. The Wiener Holocaust Library Collections, International Tracing Service Digital Archive, Document number 7058062#1

"In the Library today we pay attention not only to antisemitism and Nazism but to fascist and racialist movements as well." Dr Alfred Wiener, the Library's founder, speaking in 1961.

For Black History Month 2020, our new staff blog aims to raise awareness of the persecution of Black and mixed-race people by the Nazis and their collaborators by exploring their incarceration in the Nazi camp system.

Read blog
New Online Exhibition
The Persecution of Black People in Nazi Germany: Ronald Roberts’ Story

This exhibition explores the life of Ronald Roberts, born in Germany in 1921 to a white German mother and a Black British/Barbadian father.

Ronald Roberts was one of the Black people living in Germany who suffered racist persecution during the Nazi era. In the mid-1930s, Roberts was removed from his school in Wiesbaden and threatened by the Gestapo with sterilisation after he was reported for holding hands with a white girl. Aged fifteen, he was also forced to work as a labourer on Nazi construction projects. A British national, Roberts spent most of the war interned in Germany as a British citizen and he later settled in Britain.

The exhibition draws upon documents deposited with The Wiener Holocaust Library by his wife Carol in 2008, and upon the memoir that Roberts dictated to his wife shortly before his death in 2001.

This exhibition will be available online as well as in the Library's Wolfson Reading Room.

Ronald Roberts post-war; Ronald Roberts’ parents, Alma and Henry Evandale Roberts, with their daughter Beryl, c. 1920; a postcard Ronald Roberts sent to his mother during the Second World War. All images from the Ronald Roberts Collections, Wiener Holocaust Library Collections, courtesy Carol Roberts.

Explore exhibition
The Romani Holocaust and its Aftermath: Gendered Perspectives

We are delighted to be offering a funded collaborative PhD studentship at the University of Cambridge and the Library on the history and legacies of the Romani Holocaust with a focus on gender.

The purpose of this new research project is to shed new light on the history of the ‘forgotten Holocaust’ of Europe’s Roma during the Second World War and its enduring legacies. The persecution of Romani groups was based on ideas about gender as well as race, and gender also shaped the experiences of victims and survivors. Up to five hundred thousand Roma and Sinti were killed in Europe as a direct result of racial policies imposed by the Nazis and their allies between 1939 and 1945. Many of the survivors were scarred by their experiences of sexual violence, forced sterilization, or medical experiments. Moreover, anti-Roma discrimination did not stop in 1945. Continuities in policies and practices – such as segregated schools, coercive sterilization, resettlement and ghettoization of Roma across Europe during the twentieth century – highlight a need to locate gendered histories of the Roma Holocaust in longer-term European and global perspectives.

Find out more
A Vignette from the Library's Archives
The Hinrichsen family, the music publishers

By Howard Falksohn, Senior Archivist 

Music Publishing and Patronage, CF Peters: 1800 to the Holocaust by Irene Lawford-Hinrichsen, Edition Press, 2002

In Brussels, 1942, a 73-year-old man was living alone in a run-down lodging house. He had just buried his beloved wife of 44 years after having recently lost their youngest son, a victim of Nazi persecution. This man is shortly to meet his own cruel fate – deportation from Malines detention camp and murder at Auschwitz concentration camp.

Who was this man and how had it come to this?

Henri Hinrichsen (1868-1942) had been the proprietor of one of the world’s oldest and most esteemed publishing houses. C F Peters Bureau de Musique was situated in Leipzig, the acknowledged centre of musical life in Germany since the beginning of the 18th century. Among the company’s clients were the following composers: Robert Schumann (1810-1856), Anton Bruckner, Moritz Moszkowski (1854-1925), Richard Strauss (1864-1949), Hans Pfitzner (1869-1949) and Arnold Schönberg (1874-1951).

Henri Hinrichsen and his predecessor and uncle, Max Abraham (1831-1900), didn’t merely publish music. They were interested in promoting their composers’ musical development and often showed a genuine, almost paternal interest in their clients' well-being. Edvard Grieg (1843-1907), the famous Norwegian composer and pianist, became a close family friend for whom both Max, and later Henri, gave emotional and financial support, even letting Edvard share the family home.

In addition to being a great benefactor with a passion for music, Henri Hinrichsen was also a philanthropist. Thanks to his generous patronage, and the inspiration of Henriette Goldschmidt (1825-1920) he founded the first All Women’s College, Hochschule für Frauen, in Germany, Leipzig in 1911. Conceived as a college of further education it offered not only a regular education but also functioned as an educational institute for all women, including those not registered as students who could also attend lectures on philosophy, history, art, literature, education, sociology, law and biology.

Henri Hinrichsen also oversaw the continued growth and development of the Peters Music Library, founded by his uncle at the end of the 19th century. It became the largest privately funded library of its kind in the world. It housed a renowned collection of early books, manuscripts, original sheet music and a museum of musical instruments, all freely accessible to musical scholars.

In recognition for his many contributions within the many different spheres of social and economic life, he was honoured with the title Geheimer Kommerzienrat (or Geheimrat for short), equivalent in status to the British ‘Privy Councillor’.

Following the Nazi’s ascension to power, Henri Hinrichsen and other assimilated German Jews saw their businesses, livelihoods, and eventually freedoms completely curtailed. Two of his sons, Max and Walter, were able to continue the business in new incarnations in London and New York respectively. The rest of the Hinrichsen family suffered various fates.

Through the dedication and interest of Max’s daughter, Irene, The Wiener Holocaust Library is now the proud owner of an important collection which documents the Hinrichsen family and their remarkable achievements.

In 1991, a reader at the Staats und Universitätsbibliothek, Bremen, noticed a number of the library’s books were marked ‘JA’ followed by a numeral in pencil on the inside cover. Further investigation revealed that ‘JA’ was an abbreviation for Juden Aktion and that these books had been expropriated from the belongings of Jews – many of whom would have been murdered in the Holocaust. The books, along with a myriad of other possessions, which had been packed in shipping crates and stranded in the Bremen docks after the outbreak of the Second World War, were subsequently plundered and sold at auction. One of the main customers for these books was the city and University Library of Bremen.

The head librarian undertook a systematic survey of the library’s holdings and discovered some 1,500 books with similar annotations.

The descendants of Henri Hinrichsen were contacted and these books, where it could be identified, were repatriated to the family. The Wiener Holocaust Library now holds a sample number from those recovered, as part of the Hinrichsen collection.

November dates now available

We are pleased to share further dates for those who wish to visit our exhibition in November. Please visit our Eventbrite page to pre-book.

Book slot
Exhibition catalogue now available

We are delighted that copies of our exhibition catalogue, Jewish Resistance to the Holocaust, written by curator Dr Barbara Warnock, are now available to buy.

If you would like to purchase a copy for £10 (+£5 p&p) please email your interest to info@wienerlibrary.co.uk.

Educational resource on Jewish Resistance to the Holocaust now available

The Library is pleased to launch a new educational resource exploring Jewish Resistance to the Holocaust on The Holocaust Explained

This resource aims to help teachers give children an overview of the different ways in which Jews responded to and resisted the Nazis’ persecution. It focuses specifically on partisan activity, armed uprisings in camps and ghettos, resistance organisations, rescue, and cultural and spiritual resistance.

Designed for British schoolchildren aged between 13-18, with the GCSE and A-Level curriculum in mind, the resource includes downloadable primary sources, worksheets, a glossary, contextual information and teaching guidance.

In Kovno (Kaunas) ghetto in Lithuania, the Jewish community established schools. This photograph shows four students of a religious school, photographed by Zvi Kadushin (George Kadish), 1941-1943. Courtesy of United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Being Human Festival 2020
The Legion of the Lost: New Discoveries on the Holocaust

Map of graves in Michelbach an der Bilz hand drawn during postwar Allied investigations of the death marches. ITS Digital Archive, Wiener Holocaust Library Collections.

The Library is delighted to be taking part in the Being Human Festival this year.

In this online event, a first in a series, participants will discover the history of a little-known archive, the International Tracing Service, created to find missing people after the Holocaust.

This online taster event will feature a preview of work by the leading Holocaust historian, Professor Dan Stone, as he uncovers new aspects of Holocaust history and its legacies and will also highlight family history research resources. The event will also include a preview of a traveling exhibition on tracing missing people after the Holocaust, which will be shown at the Linen Hall Library in 2021.

Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of confronting difficult histories on the personal level, with special consideration of the themes of war, migration, rupture, survival and victimhood.

This event will be followed by a workshop and lecture at the Linen Hall Library in Belfast in 2021, as pandemic conditions permit.

Organised by The Wiener Holocaust Library and the Holocaust Research Institute, Royal Holloway University of London. In partnership with The Linen Hall Library, Belfast.

Book tickets
Upcoming Events
Monday 2 November, 7-8pm
Virtual Book Launch: The Ghetto: A Very Short Introduction

The Wiener Holocaust Library is delighted to launch The Ghetto: A Very Short Introduction by Bryan Cheyette, in conversation with Howard Cooper.

Exploring the various identities and uses of ghettos, Bryan Cheyette shows how different instances of ghettoization interrelate across time and space. 

Tuesday 3 November, 6.30-8pm
Virtual Book Talk: Agnes Kaposi - 'Yellow Star - Red Star'

This postponed March event returns, with Agnes Kaposi in conversation with Chairman of the Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies, François Guesnet.

Her memoir Yellow Star - Red Star, written in cooperation with the Hungarian historian László Csősz, goes beyond the recollections of a Holocaust survivor - it is an appeal to all of us to defend the truth.

Monday 16 November, 7-8pm
A Virtual Book Talk: Escaping Extermination

The Wiener Holocaust Library is delighted to welcome Julia Neuberger, Rachel Polonsky, Mika Provata-Carlone and Robert Max. 

Join them in conversation on how music and art sustain the human and much more to mark the publication of this extraordinary memoir.

Tuesday 24 November, 7-8pm
Virtual Book Launch: Paper Bullets: Two Artists who Risked Their Lives to Defy the Nazis

The Wiener Holocaust Library is delighted to launch Paper Bullets: Two Artists who Risked Their Lives to Defy the Nazis by Professor Jeffrey Jackson. This new work is the first to tell the true story of an audacious anti-Nazi campaign undertaken by an unlikely pair - two French women, Lucy Schwob and Suzanne Malherbe.

This talk is part of our Jewish Resistance to the Holocaust exhibition event series.

Tuesday 8 December, 7-8pm
A Virtual Talk: The Resistance in Colour: Resisters from the colonies in France, 1940-44

In this talk, Dr Ludivine Broch will share the stories of non-white resisters from the colonies in mainland France during the Second World War and present a culturally and ethnically diverse portrait of the internal resistance in metropolitan France.

This talk is part of our Jewish Resistance to the Holocaust exhibition event series.

The Wiener Holocaust Library Blog

Why not check out the Library's blog? Read staff articles, past book reviews, guest posts and more. 

Library Blog
Virtual events on the Library's YouTube Channel

Did you know that the Library has a YouTube channel? Why not have a browse through some of the past events the Library has hosted. Includes virtual events, book talks, curator talks and more.

The GHS invites 6th form history teachers to a webinar to mark the 82nd anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom in Germany

The Kristallnacht pogrom (‘Night of Broken Glass’), an attack on the Jewish community, its members, public institutions and places of worship, took place across the Third Reich on 9 November 1938. Described by the UK’s leading illustrated newspaper Picture Post as marking Germany’s ‘return to the middle ages’ it in fact was a prelude to much worse to come for Europe’s Jews during the Second World War.

This webinar will work with eye-witness testimonies from German Jews living in Bavaria in 1938, now housed in the Library's archives and soon to be made available online, to offer both a commemoration of the Kristallnacht event and an opportunity to discuss how such sources might be used in A-level and equivalent teaching.

This online event is organised by the German History Society and will be run by three of the UK’s leading historians of twentieth-century Germany: Paul Moore (University of Leicester); Caroline Sharples (Roehampton University) and Matthew Stibbe (Sheffield Hallam University). Participation is free to 6th form history teachers, subject to registration in advance. Participants will be offered:

- Access to a short video about the documents made by Dr Barbara Warnock, Senior Curator and Head of Education at the Library.

- The opportunity to read the documents in advance of the webinar.

- Live introductions to the documents, placing them in the context of the history of the Nazi concentration camp system (Paul Moore); the experience of German-Jewish women and children, including as refugees to the UK (Caroline Sharples); and the history of Bavaria under the Third Reich (Matthew Stibbe).

- A chance to discuss how the documents might be introduced into 6th form teaching in smaller break out groups.

Register now
Call For Papers
Rallying Europe: Intersectional Approaches to Youth in the Mid-Twentieth Century

This workshop seeks to approach the interwar and Second World War period by looking through the lens of age and gender. In doing so, we hope to reveal how adult perceptions of youth and gender framed young men and women's lives and their roles in society.

From the International Brigades of the Spanish Civil War to the Hitler Youth to the Jewish Youth Movements in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the turmoil of the mid-twentieth century saw young people of all political, ideological or social affiliations rallying for action across Europe. 

Proposals are welcome for original research articles that explore the themes of youth and gender from a variety of perspectives and methodologies from historians of all career stages, though early career researchers are particularly encouraged to submit proposals. 

Successful applications will be invited to an international workshop taking place on 25-27th March 2021 at the Department of Contemporary History at the University of Vienna. 

Please send an abstract of 500 words and a short biography by 15.12.2020 to Katharina Seibert (University of Vienna) and Barnabas Balint (University of Oxford) on rallyingeurope.zeitgeschichte@univie.ac.at.

Find out more
Generation 2 Generation upcoming events
Monday 16 November 2020
The Story of Naomi Blake

Anita Peleg will recount the personal history of her mother, Naomi Blake, née Zissi Dum.

Zissi was deported with her family to Auschwitz concentration camp and then worked in a munitions factory at Brahnau concentration camp. She escaped the death marches and made the long journey home to find many of her family members had been murdered. After finding her way to Palestine and fighting in the Israeli Independence war, she finally made her home in London where she became a sculptor dedicating her work to the promotion of understanding between faiths.

Register now
The Wiener Holocaust Library

The Wiener Holocaust Library
29 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DP
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7636 7247

Registered charity number 313015

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