We know this is a difficult time for everyone, and we continue to send our very best wishes to you all.
The Wiener Holocaust Library
In line with recent government guidance, we hope to reopen our Reading Room as soon as we can safely do so. We currently expect this to be possible after 12 April with our exhibition space opening again from 17 May. We will continue to keep you updated as and when we can.
The safety and wellbeing of 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.
We look forward to welcoming you back soon!
USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive now available at the Library
The Library is very pleased to announce that access to the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive (VHA) will be available in the Wolfson Reading Room to all our members, users, and visitors once we reopen our doors to the public.
The Visual History Archive is a vital resource for anyone who is interested in or conducting research on genocide: it's a unique primary source that allows users to search through and view more than 54,000 video testimonies of survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust, and other crimes against humanity, offering exclusive insight and knowledge rarely available in traditional content.
Access to the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive was possible due to the generous support by the Pears Foundation.
LGBTQ+ History Month
Persecution of gay people in Nazi Germany
By Dr Barbara Warnock, Senior Curator and Head of Education
To mark LGBTQ+ History Month, Dr Barbara Warnock looked at the persecution faced by gay people in Nazi Germany, and some of the documents in The Wiener Holocaust Library's International Tracing Service digital archive that contain evidence about their experiences.
Pictured left: Renée Sintenis, photographed by Gerty Simon, c. 1929. The Bernard Simon Collection, Wiener Holocaust Library Collections.
The Wiener Holocaust Library is pleased to host a series of workshops and other events designed to engage a variety of researchers, students, faculty, educators and other audiences with our new digital resource, Testifying to the Truth, which features more than 1,000 eyewitness accounts of refugees and survivors of the Holocaust, newly digitised and translated into English for the first time. The resource will continue to grow as more accounts are translated and published.
Testifying to the Truth: Archival Discovery Workshop for Postgraduate Students
The Library is pleased to announce a call for participants in a two-part archival discovery workshop aimed at Postgraduate students. The workshop will feature an introductory hands-on navigation and framing session co-led by Dr Christine Schmidt, Deputy Director and Head of Research, Leah Sidebotham, Digital Asset Manager, and Dr Madeline White (Royal Holloway, University of London).
Virtual Workshop: Thinking through the Library’s Eyewitness Accounts of Jewish Resistance in Belgium
In this workshop, the Library’s Senior Curator and Head of Education, Dr Barbara Warnock, will present recent findings from research conducted into the Library’s eyewitness accounts of Jewish resistance in Belgium, and explore with workshop participants the significance of the documents both as evidence of anti-Nazi resistance, and as evidence of the post-war efforts to document the Holocaust.
Testifying to the Truth: Half-Day Virtual Workshop for Faculty
The Library is pleased to invite applications from teaching or research faculty for a half-day virtual workshop, which will feature sessions on the history of the collection and its metadata, demonstration of search strategies, the methodology used by Dr Eva Reichmann to gather the materials, as well as key themes related to oral histories/testimony, gender, age, resistance and rescue, among others.
The ITS (now known as the Arolsen Archives) is an archive based in Bad Arolsen, Germany, which contains over 30 million pages of Holocaust-era documents relating to the fate of over 17.5 million people. The ITS was originally founded to centralise post-war efforts to trace missing persons and help survivors discover the fate of loved ones caught up in the Holocaust and Nazi persecution during the Second World War.
Yet, its creation was disjointed and messy: it emerged out of several, separate (and sometimes competing) efforts by numerous organisations at various points, during and in the immediate aftermath of the war. Our new article explains this complex process of creation and sheds light on its diverse collections.
The Wiener Holocaust Library holds the United Kingdom’s only digital copy of the ITS, and continues to conduct research for survivors, academics and the wider public.
A prisoner registration card created by the Nazis and belonging to Adolf Schmidt, a German man from Saarbrucken, who was imprisoned in Buchenwald as a political and criminal prisoner on 18 June 1943. ITS Digital Archive, Wiener Holocaust Library Collections.
Virtual Workshops for Teachers, Educators and Students
The Wiener Holocaust Library is pleased to announce the launch of a new educational workshop series aimed at teachers, educators and students of the Holocaust.
Run by the Library’s experienced education team and guided by the British curriculum, the workshops will focus on a variety of topics to help participants deepen their understanding of the Holocaust through engagement with the Library’s unique and historic archive. The workshops will help participants to critically consider the topic and explore the variety of ways in which it can be approached in an educational setting.
We are pleased that the Library's inaugural virtual Teacher Workshop, which will examine and explore the use of Holocaust atrocity photographs, was popular and spaces were filled quickly.
We are looking to continue this series so if you are interested in attending a rerun of this workshop or future workshops on other topics, please send an email to Roxzann Baker, The Holocaust Explained Project Coordinator, registering your interest.
The PhD and a Cup of Tea doctoral seminar series is designed for early-career researchers and PhD candidates to present their research for feedback from other researchers, PhD candidates, and faculty. We are particularly interested in welcoming MA, doctoral students, and faculty to attend the seminars to share their views and perspectives.
Exhibition Launch: Death Marches: Evidence and Memory
The Library's upcoming exhibition uncovers how forensic and other evidence about the death marches has been gathered since the end of the Holocaust. It chronicles how researchers and others attempted to recover the death march routes – and those who did not survive them.
The launch event will include a gallery walk-through, short talks by the co-curators and other guest speakers.
In this new work, Ümit Kurt digs into the details of the Armenian dispossession that produced the homogeneously Turkish city in which he grew up. In particular, he examines the population that gained from ethnic cleansing.
Virtual Book Talk: The Boy from Boskovice: A Father’s Secret Life
In this online event, the Library celebrated the publication of Vicky Unwin’s memoir about her father.
Vicky Unwin had always known her father – an erstwhile intelligence officer and respected United Nations diplomat – was Czech, but it was not until a stranger turned up on her doorstep that she discovered he was also Jewish.
Vicky Unwin in conversation with journalist and author Sarah Helm.
Virtual Book Launch: Beyond Camps and Forced Labour
We are delighted to announce the publication of the proceedings of Beyond Camps and Forced Labour: Sixth International Conference, co-edited by Suzanne Bardgett, Christine Schmidt and Dan Stone.
This book presents a selection of the newest research on themes amplified by the sixth annual Beyond Camps and Forced Labour conference held in 2018 on the post-Holocaust period, including ‘displaced persons’, reception and resettlement, exiles and refugees, trials and justice, reparation and restitution, and memory and testimony.
Virtual Event: Hans Albrecht Foundation Annual Lecture and Human Rights Award
The 2021 Hans Albrecht Foundation Annual Lecture and Human Rights Award with Professor David Nott of the David Nott Foundation, Iris Veysey from the Imperial War Museum London and Lord Daniel Finkelstein.
The Library seeks continued participation in the European Solidarity Corps
The Library is deeply distressed that the UK will no longer be participating in the European Solidarity Corps.
We have been working with several European organisations for a number of years to offer an inspiring and empowering experience for young Europeans who want to help, learn and develop in Britain as part of their voluntary service.
We would like to ask our friends and supporters to share and sign the petition below.
My mother came to England in 1939 on a Domestic Service Visa. I am sure that some of the readers of this newsletter will have heard Jennifer Craig-Norton’s excellent presentation on this subject and I was wondering what interest there would be in establishing a “Domestics” group. The aim would be to create a website where descendants could share their relative’s stories and relevant historical documents, letters and photos which would bring this remarkable British rescue story to a wider audience and in so doing, commemorate and educate about these domestic workers.
In the first instance I would be delighted to hear from anyone who is a descendant of a Domestic, with a view to forming a network and, with any luck, there may even be somebody who has the expertise to create such a website.
Many of us are holding on to precious documents, letters and photographs, wondering where to place them so this material could then be uploaded onto such a website. I don’t know how others would feel but if my mother’s documents were to be on a website, I would feel less anxious about having the originals in my possession and maybe, in the future, I would be happy to hand them over to an organisation which could store them permanently.
This event will take place on MS Teams from Tuesday 15 - Thursday 17 June 2021. A series of 90-minute sessions will be spread across the three days, with no more than three sessions per day. These will be taught by staff from the Holocaust Research Institute, beginning at 12:00 and finishing by 17:00 BST. The programme will consist of seminars and discussions focusing on new trends in historiography and scholarship in several fields, such as representations of the Holocaust in literature, film and digital humanities.
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.