The Wiener Library

Photograph of the Reading Room in the Library
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The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide is one of the world's leading and most extensive archives on the Holocaust and Nazi era. The Library's unique collection of over one million items includes published and unpublished works, press cuttings, photographs and eyewitness testimony. It provides a resource to oppose antisemitism and other forms of prejudice and racism.

Venue Type:

Library, Archive, Museum

Opening hours

Monday to Friday 10.00-17.00
Tuesday 10.00-19.30

Closed: Bank Holidays
First day of Rosh Hashanah
First day of Yom Kippur
Christmas & New Year

Admission charges

Free entry to the public.
Photo ID and proof of address/letter of introduction required on first visit.
Only Members or Friends of the Library are permitted to borrow books.

Getting there

By tube:
• Russell Square (Piccadilly line)
• Goodge Street (Northern line)
• St Pancras International (Metropolitan, Northern, Circle, Victoria and Hammersmith & City lines)

By bus:
The following buses stop nearby:
7, 59, 68, X68, 91, 168, 188

Access:
In 2011 the Library moved to new premises in a historic location in Russell Square.
• There is a disabled lift outside of the building, and once inside the building, all floors are accessible via the indoor lift.
• There are adapted toilets on the basement level.
• The nearest step-free underground station is King’s Cross, St Pancras.

The Wiener Library collects material related to the Holocaust, its causes and legacies. The Library has holdings of approx 65,000 items searchable online including books, pamphlets, periodicals and documents. The collection includes rare eye-witness accounts and an extensive press cuttings archive. The Library holds a photo archive of over 10,000 images, in the process of being digitised and made accessible through the website. Up to one third of the collection contains pre-war material and the Library continues to add to its collections.

Collection details

Archives, Photography, Religion, Social History, World Cultures

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Zuzana Knobloch

Fate Unknown: The Search for the Missing after the Holocaust

  • 22 February — 30 May 2018 *on now

By the end of World War II, millions of people had been murdered or displaced by war and genocide. Families and communities were torn apart. Many were missing, and some people’s fates remain unclear to this day.

Despite immense logistical challenges, a number of charities, such as the British Red Cross Society and the Jewish Relief Unit, attempted to help find missing people and reunite families. Their efforts came together what became known as the International Tracing Service (ITS).

Co-curated with Professor Dan Stone (Royal Holloway, University of London), this exhibition tells the remarkable, little-known story of the agonising search for the missing after the Holocaust. Drawing upon The Wiener Library’s family document collections and its digital copy of the ITS archive, one of the largest document collections related to the Holocaust in the world, the exhibition considers the legacy of the search for descendants of those affected by World War II, and the impact of fates unknown.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17

Admission

Free admission

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/fate-unknown

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Curators’ Talk: Fate Unknown: The Search for the Missing after the Holocaust

Curators’ Talk: Fate Unknown: The Search for the Missing after the Holocaust

  • 19 April 2018 6:30-8pm *on now

Delve deeper into the personal histories, collections and themes that make up The Wiener Library’s current temporary exhibition on the search for the missing after the Holocaust. Co-curators Dr. Christine Schmidt and Professor Dan Stone will discuss the inspiration for and development of Fate Unknown: The Search for the Missing after the Holocaust.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17

Admission

Free, reserve tickets via The Wiener Library

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=377

Holocaust Consciousness, German Jewish Refugees and the Civil Rights Struggle in Post-War America

Talk: Holocaust Consciousness, German Jewish Refugees and the Civil Rights Struggle in Post-War America

  • 24 April 2018 6:30-8pm

“When I was the rabbi of the Jewish community in Berlin under the Hitler regime, I learned many things. The most important thing that I learned under those tragic circumstances was that bigotry and hatred are not the most urgent problem. The most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful and the most tragic problem is silence.” Those words were spoken by Rabbi Joachim Prinz (1902–1988) addressing the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, in Washington D.C., by then the biggest demonstration of the African American Civil Rights Movement.

Dr. David Juenger will take this event and this quote as a vantage point to explore the participation of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany in the African American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. He will talk about various personages, especially Rabbi Joachim Prinz, a Zionist rabbi who left Berlin in 1937 and became an important figure of American Jewry from the 1950s through the 1970s.

It is the purpose of this talk to highlight the historical experience with Nazi oppression of those protagonists as a key instrument for understanding their later activism in the Civil Rights Movement. It is argued argument that the Jewish involvement in the Civil Rights Movement cannot be understood without an understanding of early Holocaust memory in the United States and without looking at those Jews who had fled Nazi-occupied Europe and became leading activist of post-war American Jewry.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Free, reserve tickets via The Wiener Library

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=382

Fate Unknown Series: Film Screening – Fred Zinnemann’s The Search

Fate Unknown Series: Film Screening – Fred Zinnemann’s The Search

  • 26 April 2018 6:30-8pm

In honour of Fred Zinnemann’s birth month and as part of The Wiener Library’s Fate Unknown exhibition series, we are pleased to host a free screening of Zinnemann’s The Search (1948). The screening will be accompanied by a talk from renowned expert on Zinnemann’s work, Professor J. E. Smyth (University of Warwick).

Starring Ivan Jandl, Montgomery Clift, Aline MacMahon, and Jarmila Novotna, The Search tells the story of a young Auschwitz survivor and his mother who search for each other across postwar Europe. Zinnemann was one of the first filmmakers allowed inside postwar Germany, and he spent months interviewing child Holocaust survivors, many of whom appear in the film.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Free, reserve tickets via The Wiener Library

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=378

Fate Unknown Series: The Power of Words by Survivor Leslie Kleinman

Fate Unknown Series: The Power of Words by Survivor Leslie Kleinman

  • 30 April 2018 1:30-3pm

Leslie (Lázár) Kleinman was born on 29th May 1929 in Ambud, a small village near Satu Mare in Romania, into an Orthodox Jewish family. He had four brothers and three sisters and his father was a Rabbi. The family's peaceful world was first disrupted when Hungary occupied this area in 1940. Worse was to come in 1944 when Germany invaded Hungary, arriving in Ambud on Shabbat. His father was deported. In April 1944, the rest of Leslie’s family were forced to enter the ghetto, where they were held for a month. From the ghetto, Leslie and his family were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Although Leslie was only fourteen, he said that he was older and was selected for work. He was separated from the rest of his family who were all taken straight to the gas chamber with the exception of one sister.

Part of the Wiener Library’s Fate Unknown exhibition series, this daytime talk will feature Mr Kleinman, who will speak about his experiences during the Holocaust and his story of survival, including his time in the Kloster Indersdorf children’s centre run by the UN Relief and Rehabilitation Administration and learning about the fate of his family after the war.

Mr Kleinman was recognized for his service to Holocaust education in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Free, reserve tickets via The Wiener Library

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=374

Fate Unknown Series: “The Greatest Detective Story in History” and the Search for Missing Children after the Holocaust

Fate Unknown Series: “The Greatest Detective Story in History” and the Search for Missing Children after the Holocaust

  • 3 May 2018 6:30-8pm

In 1950, Alan Burgess's BBC radio play, The Greatest Detective Story in History, gave unprecedented and moving insight into the work of the International Tracing Service (ITS), particularly with regard to its efforts to find missing children after the Second World War. The play also captures the ways in which the Nazi period was understood in Britain in the post-war years.

Part of The Wiener Library's Fate Unknown exhibition series, this event will include a talk by Professor Dan Stone, co-curator of the exhibition, and a dramatic reading of excerpts of the Burgess radio play.

To be dramatised by:
Alicia Ambrose-Bayly - Alicia trained at The Central School of Speech and Drama. TV and Film credits include: Emmerdale, the lead role in BAFTA long listed film Darklight and the lead in Mongrel Country. Theatre includes a U.K. and Ireland No.1 Tour of A Murder is Announced, a UK No.1 Tour of Kindertransport, Shoot I didn’t Mean That at The National Theatre. Voice works includes First Officer Amelia Curtis in ATA Girl directed by Lou Jameson for Big Finish Productions, Ha'penny in WW2 comedy Dot and Kerry’s List with Kerry Godliman, for BBC Radio 4.

Will Hartley - William is best known for his work with award-winning sketch group Clever Peter, with whom he co-wrote and starred in five sell-out Edinburgh Fringe shows, toured nationally, and created a critically acclaimed Radio 4 series, Strap In - It’s Clever Peter (Pozzitive Productions). He has been on screen in The One Griff (BBC) alongside Griff Rhys Jones, as well as E4’s Cardinal Burns, BBC3’s Otherworld, and BAFTA-nominated CBBC sketch show FIT. He recently premiered his one-man comedy Western show, GUN, at the VAULT Festival.

Rosie Holden - Rosie trained at Drama Centre London. Her work in theatre includes Each His Own Wilderness (Orange Tree Theatre) Love Me Do (Watford Palace); Mother Courage and Her Children (The Platform Theatre); Kindertransport (UK tour); and After the Ball (Theatre 503). TV includes Father Brown (BBC), Midsomer Murders (ITV) and Lewis (ITV). Film includes Cold Blow Lane and Wrong Turn 5.

Steve Wickenden - Steve is an actor/singer/educator based in Kent. His most recent stage work was in the Grand Opera House York’s record-breaking Beauty and the Beast and he is the lead singer of the vintage rock & roll band The Bandits. Steve works in youth theatre and therapeutic drama, implementing workshops for young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties and those from less advantaged backgrounds. He completed a Master’s degree in Holocaust Studies from Royal Holloway, in 2016.

Lecture provided by:
Dan Stone is Professor of Modern History and Director of the Holocaust Research Institute at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is a historian of ideas who works primarily on twentieth-century European history. His research interests include: the history and interpretation of the Holocaust, comparative genocide, history of anthropology, history of fascism, the cultural history of the British Right and theory of history. He is the author or editor of sixteen books and some seventy scholarly articles

The play's author:
Alan Burgess (1915 - 1998) was an RAF pilot and English author who wrote several biographical and non-fiction books between the 1950s and the 1970s. He wrote biographies of Gladys Aylward and Flora Sandes, and co-wrote Ingrid Bergman's autobiography. Having served in the RAF during World War II, Burgess went on to write The Longest Tunnel: The True Story of World War II's Great Escape, the story of "the Great Escape."

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17
  • Any age

Admission

£5, purchase tickets via The Wiener Library

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=385

'That is Bella, Only Seven': The Depiction of Holocaust Survivors in Liberator Narratives

Fate Unknown Series: 'That is Bella, Only Seven': The Depiction of Holocaust Survivors in Liberator Narratives

  • 10 May 2018 6:30-8pm

Witnessing the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust had a profound effect on the military forces that liberated Nazi concentration camps. Dr. Mark Celinscak will discuss his recent book, which re-examines the surrender and relief of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in northwest Germany at the end of the Second World War. His talk will survey the personal narratives of both British and Canadian military personnel as they responded to the situation at the camp, drawing on diaries, letters, and personal interviews.

Dr. Celinscak is a historian of twentieth-century Britain and Europe, specializing in war, Holocaust and genocide studies. He is the author of Distance from the Belsen Heap: Allied Forces and the Liberation of a Nazi Concentration Camp, a work which re-examines the surrender and relief of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in northwest Germany at the end of the Second World War. His award-winning book explores how military personnel struggled with the intense experience of liberation, how they attempted to describe what they had seen, heard, and felt to those back home, and how their lives were ultimately transformed by the encounter. His primary area of research is the Second World War and its impact on the twentieth century. He is particularly interested in the relationship between war and culture. He is currently working on a book that explores the process of denazification in postwar Germany. This project is being supported by a European Holocaust Research Infrastructure fellowship at The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide in London, England.

Dr. Celinscak is the Louis and Frances Blumkin Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and Executive Director of the Sam and Frances Fried Holocaust and Genocide Academy at the University of Nebraska Omaha.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Free, reserve tickets via The Wiener Library

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=379

Boat on which the Jewish emigrants lived during their journey today

River Danube as a Holocaust Landscape: The Journey of the Kladovo Transport

  • 15 May 2018 2-3:30pm

The film Two Emperors and a Queen (2015) by Vesna Lukic traces the journey of the 'Kladovo transport': a large group of about 1200 Jewish refugees from central Europe whose illegal attempt to flee Nazi persecution in 1939 via the river Danube, fatally ended in Serbia in 1941/42. In our first PhD and a Cup of Tea 2018 Series, Vesna Lukic will explore the role of audio-visual media in Holocaust representation.

Vesna Lukic is a visual artist and PhD candidate at the University of Bristol. She is working on a practice-as-research doctoral project on the Kladovo transport. This is an interdisciplinary study that explores the role of audio-visual media in probing ideas on place, space, movement and temporality in relation to Holocaust representation.

Admission

Free, registration required

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=388

Fate Unknown Series: Workshop - Resources for Family Research

Fate Unknown Series: Workshop - Resources for Family Research

  • 22 May 2018 10am-12:30pm

The Wiener Library, the world’s oldest archive of material on the Holocaust and the Nazi era, invites you to this half-day workshop to learn more about the historical sources, evidence and methods used in tracing the paths of persecution of those impacted by the Holocaust and World War II.

Part of the Library’s Fate Unknown exhibition series, the workshop will provide participants the opportunity to learn about The Wiener Library’s unique history and collections, and hear from an expert about the Library’s International Tracing Service archive, its history and how it is used to uncover the fate of those caught up in the Holocaust.

The workshop will also include a talk by Jeanette R. Rosenberg OBE, a specialist on German-Jewish genealogy and Education and Outreach Officer for the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Free, reserve tickets via The Wiener Library

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=376

German troops watch a village burn in the Rogachyevo district of Gomel, Belarus.

A Blind Eye and Dirty Hands: The Wehrmacht's Crimes

  • 11 June 2018 6:30-8pm

After the Second World War, a myth arose to the effect that the German military, the Wehrmacht, had been an essentially anti-Nazi institution that had fought honourably against overwhelming odds, albeit under criminal leadership. Thus, any crimes were the fault of Adolf Hitler, a small circle of fanatical yes-men around him, and Nazi organizations such as the SS. In reality, the Wehrmacht’s leadership shared most of Hitler’s goals and methods. The Wehrmacht launched a war of conquest and, especially in the east, aided and committed acts of genocide. This talk will describe and explain the Wehrmacht’s role in Nazi Germany’s crimes.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Free, booking essential.

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=387

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Online Learning Materials

http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/wls.aspx

A selection of the Wiener Library's unique stories and materials are now remotely accessible to anyone who wishes to learn more about the Holocaust and the Nazi era. The site allows users to trace different topics interactively, as well as providing background information on connected themes. The materials currently include detailed information on 'Childhood under the Swastika', 'Helping the Survivors' and the fascinating story of German-Jewish factory owner Ludwig Neumann.

Creator

  • The Wiener Library

How to obtain

The Wiener Library Learning Materials are freely accessible to everyone via the Wiener Library website.

Getting there

By tube:
• Russell Square (Piccadilly line)
• Goodge Street (Northern line)
• St Pancras International (Metropolitan, Northern, Circle, Victoria and Hammersmith & City lines)

By bus:
The following buses stop nearby:
7, 59, 68, X68, 91, 168, 188

Access:
In 2011 the Library moved to new premises in a historic location in Russell Square.
• There is a disabled lift outside of the building, and once inside the building, all floors are accessible via the indoor lift.
• There are adapted toilets on the basement level.
• The nearest step-free underground station is King’s Cross, St Pancras.

The Wiener Library
29 Russell Square
London
Greater London
WC1B 5DP
England

Website

www.wienerlibrary.co.uk

E-mail

info@wienerlibrary.co.uk

Telephone

020 7636 7247

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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