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

Dear Subscriber,

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

This month we share news of the Library's latest online exhibition; our video entry for this year's Yom HaShoah online commemorations; details on our first virtual events, and more. 

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

Kind regards,

The Wiener Holocaust Library

The Wiener Holocaust Library Remains Closed

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, The Wiener Holocaust Library has been continually monitoring the UK government and NHS advice. The safety and wellbeing of all our visitors and staff is of paramount importance. This is the longest forced closure of the Library since its move to Russell Square in 2011, and it is unprecedented in the Library’s eighty-year history to be forced to close for public health reasons

The Library will now remain closed until further notice in line with the most recent government advice. Our staff will continue to work remotely and monitor mailboxes regularly and respond to enquiries as fully as we can. If you have a query do please email info@wienerlibrary.co.uk. To stay updated please visit our website or follow us on Twitter.

Giving Tuesday Now 2020
Help us make our collections more accessible

Today the Library is taking part in Giving Tuesday Now, a global day of giving, when everyone, everywhere can do something to support the good causes and communities that mean so much to them.

In order to continue growing as an organisation, we are aiming to build a new website which will make our collections more accessible to the public.

We need your support now more than ever to raise money for this important project, so we kindly ask you to make a donation today if you can.

Thank you!

Donate today
Book Talk: Hadley Freeman & Esther Safran Foer

The Library is delighted to be hosting our first virtual book talk with Hadley Freeman, Esther Safran Foer and Dr Daniel Lee on Wednesday 20 May 2020!

We are looking forward to learning more about the research that went into writing both of these moving and wonderful family memoirs.

Book tickets
Online Archival Discovery Workshop: ‘The Legion of the Lost’

Following the Second World War, the International Tracing Service (ITS) researched and created these maps, showing the routes that death marches took. This map shows death marches from Flossenbürg concentration camp. Courtesy of Arolsen Archives, Document Number 10.12.694.

Within the history of liberation and the end of the Holocaust, the death marches and chaos of evacuation are widely contested. The Wiener Holocaust Library in partnership with the Holocaust Research Institute, Royal Holloway, University of London is pleased to welcome post-graduate students and early career researchers to an online archival discovery workshop focusing on the fate of Nazi concentration camp inmates who were killed on the death marches in the final months of the war.

The workshop will be held via Zoom in two-parts (Thursday 18 and 25 June, 3-4.30pm BST) and will be co-led by Professor Dan Stone (Holocaust Research Institute, Royal Holloway, University of London), and Wiener Holocaust Library staff, Dr Christine Schmidt, Elise Bath and Mary Vrabecz. Participants will gain insight into the history of the death marches and archival resources that shed new light on this aspect of the history of liberation. The topic will serve as a foundation for discussing other aspects of liberation.

Working From Home - International Tracing Service Research

During the Library’s closure, our usual work and operations are inevitably curtailed to a degree. However, our staff are working hard to try to provide as normal a service as possible, wherever that can be done.

In our latest blog, Senior ITS Researcher, Elise Bath details how she is still working through requests for research, although her office space has changed significantly!

Read blog

Residents of the Kitchener Camp, 1939-1940. Wiener Holocaust Library Collections.

The Kitchener Camp, 1939-1940

The Wiener Holocaust Library’s new online exhibition, The Kitchener Camp, 1939-1940, highlights the largely forgotten story of the Kitchener Camp which, in 1939, became the scene of an extraordinary rescue and saved 4,000 men from the horrors of the Holocaust. 

The Library has an important collection of documents relating to the history of the Kitchener Camp which have been donated both by individuals who worked at the camp and by those who fled persecution in Nazi-dominated Europe. With this online exhibition, we highlight some of these collections which consist of family papers, official documents, photographs, and personal testimonies. These collections offer a unique insight into the experiences of these individuals during their time at the camp and their lives after.

Online Exhibition

Courtesy of Gerald Pearce. 

Calling all descendants of former Niderschoenhausener who came to the Kitchener Camp and/or Australia

In 1934, the Reich Representation of German Jews opened in Niederschoenhausen, close to Berlin, a site for professional retraining which was in its later years acknowledged as a Hachshara by Hechaluz, an umbrella organisation of Jewish youth movements.

The place was established and organized under the leadership of Leopold and Ruth Kuh (later Kew) and residents could flee to the UK in 1938 and 1939. Former trainees learned a trade, became gardeners and farmers.

The training in Niederschoenhausen was, for many of them, a last chance to leave Germany as destination countries closed their borders. A large group came from Niederschoenhausen to the Kitchener Camp near Sandwich, Kent. Traces of former Niderschoenhausener residents can be followed to Palestine and Israel, the UK, US or Australia and other countries.

Mr Gerald Pearce, whose father was trained there too, from Melbourne, Australia, is searching in cooperation with Dr Verena Buser in Berlin for descendants. Please contact them by emailing gerald@marcqui.com and/or verena.buser@berlin.de

Yom HaShoah 2020

As you may be aware, Monday 20 April 2020 was Yom HaShoah, the date in the Jewish calendar to mourn the loss of the six million people murdered during the Holocaust. The Library was honoured to have been invited to mark Yom HaShoah 2020 by contributing to this year’s online commemorations. On Tuesday 21 April, we joined a series of online Holocaust education sessions together with our community and charity partners.

The Library has produced a film with contributions from staff that looks at the history of our institution and gives an insight into the work of the Library today. Contributions include information on events, exhibitions, tours; our online educational resource The Holocaust Explained; the International Tracing Service archive; and an introduction into our collections and family papers.

Transforming Document Requests at the Library - The National Archives UK Grant

Thanks to a grant given by The National Archives we can continue to improve public access to our collections.

Read our latest staff blog by Head of Collections, Greg Toth, on how we are looking to transform document requests in the Library's Reading Room.

Learn more
The Wiener Holocaust Library is hiring!

We are seeking an experienced Project Officer to join the Library on an eighteen-month contract starting on 1 July 2020, to support the ongoing digitalization and research of the Library’s uncatalogued collections of Jewish refugee family papers. For someone with an interest in modern history and archive collections, this is an opportunity to help develop one of Britain’s foremost archives of document collections relating to the Holocaust. Deadline for all applications is Friday 8 May 2020

More information
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
The Wiener Holocaust Library on YouTube
View all

Did you know that the Library has a YouTube channel? While in lockdown why don't you have a browse through some of the Library's past events? Including book talks, curator talks and more.

Memorial Concert 80th Anniversary of Kristallnacht and the Kindertransport

On Thursday 22 November 2019, the Library hosted a special memorial concert to mark the 80th Anniversary of Kristallnacht and the Kindertransport at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, London.

Watch in full
Curator’s Talk: Shattered: Pogrom, November 1938

In this talk, the Library’s curators Dr Christine Schmidt and Dr Barbara Warnock explored the development of the Library’s exhibition Shattered: Pogrom, November 1938, which examines the origins, events and legacies of Kristallnacht.

Watch in full
Holocaust Memorial Day Trust announce theme for HMD 2021

On Thursday 30 April, Holocaust Memorial Day Trust announced the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2021: Be the light in the darkness. The theme encourages everyone to reflect on the depths humanity can sink to, but also the ways individuals and communities resisted that darkness to ‘be the light’ before, during and after genocide.

Be the light in the darkness is an affirmation and a call to action for everyone marking HMD. This theme asks us to consider different kinds of ‘darkness’, for example, identity-based persecution, misinformation, denial of justice; and different ways of ‘being the light’, for example, resistance, acts of solidarity, rescue and illuminating mistruths.

People across the UK will be exploring the theme and commemorating the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and more recent genocides during HMD activities held for HMD 2021, on 27 January.

Find out more
Survivors in Solidarity

Help the Ishami Foundation support vulnerable survivor families most affected by the current Coronavirus crisis during the period of genocide commemoration in Rwanda.

Over a million people were killed during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. 26 years later Rwanda is remembering the dead whilst dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. As the commemoration period begins, the whole country is under lockdown and many people are unable to work.

Survivors find this time of the year hard. But this year it is much harder because many don’t have food to eat. The situation is particularly extreme for survivors because they lost most or all of their family members during the genocide. Who is left to offer support?

Having lived through genocide, survivors also have a great deal to share in terms of resilience and community mobilization when faced with trauma, isolation and loss. But to lead they need your help.

Just £25 is enough to provide food for a family of three for a month. £10,000 will provide food for 500 families or 1500 people for one month, we are hopeful that we’ll raise more, to sustain families for longer. Please stand in solidarity with survivors today

Donate here
Dutch Network of War Collection wins international innovation prize with Warlives.org

The Dutch Network of War Collections [Netwerk Oorlogsbronnen] has won a prestigious GLAMi Award with its WarLives.org [Oorlogslevens.nl] website. This is one of the most important international prizes in the field of heritage and innovation. The Award is presented every year during the MuseWeb Conference in the United States. In other categories, winners included the Smithsonian Institution and The Getty.

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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