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 The Library's unique collection of over one million items includes published and unpublished works, press cuttings, photographs and eyewitness testimony.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

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.
Drawing commissioned by SS doctor Josef Mengele of different coloured irises of an Auschwitz experiment victim

Science + Suffering: Victims and Perpetrators of Nazi Human Experimentation

  • 17 May — 29 September 2017 *on now

Medical experiments conducted on human beings during the Nazi period are often associated with notorious SS doctors and concentration camps. The experiments have been described as ‘pseudo-science’ and viewed as a precursor to the killing centres of the Holocaust.

Yet many respected German scientists, research institutes and funding bodies were intimately involved in coerced experiments and research. Medical practitioners seized opportunities offered by war and genocide to advance scientific agendas, without regard for the moral and ethical consequences of human exploitation.

Based on the ground-breaking research of Wellcome Trust Professor at Oxford Brookes University, Paul Weindling, this exhibition examines coerced experimentation in Nazi-dominated Europe. Through the portraits of victims and perpetrators, the exhibition explores the legacy of medical research under Nazism, and its impact on bioethics today.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17
  • Not suitable for children

Website

http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/science-and-suffering

Poster for Grey Matter - jar of preserved brain on white background with film title

Film Screening: Gray Matter

  • 11 September 2017 6-8pm

In the spring of 2002, acclaimed filmmaker Joe Berlinger travelled to Vienna to witness the burial of the preserved brains of over 700 disabled children that had been murdered in a “euthanasia” clinic as part of the Nazi eugenics programme that many consider the opening act of the Holocaust. Gray Matter chronicles the director’s journey as he searches for Dr Heinrich Gross, who not only allegedly participated in these murders, but also continued to experiment on the children’s remains for decades after the end of the war, while rising to prominence in Austrian society despite his past. Along the way, Berlinger meets clinic survivors and other remarkable voices who shed new light upon this shadowy legacy and the nation that now grapples with its own denial.

The film screening will include an introduction, talk and discussion with historian Dr Herwig Czech, postdoctoral researcher in the history of medicine at the Medical University of Vienna.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free admission but registration via The Wiener Library essential

Website

http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=325

Cover of 'The Boy in the Statue'; depicting the Kindertransport memorial at Liverpool Street Station, London

Book Launch: The Boy in the Statue

  • 12 September 2017 6:30-8pm

The Boy in the Statue is the personal story of a Jewish refugee boy, Erich, who arrived in this country from Nazi-occupied Europe three days before the start of the war. He was just four, and would never see his parents again.

Erich’s earliest memories are of the tiny room he slept in off the bedroom of the couple he called Mutti and Vater but who were the Kreibichs, his foster parents. Traumatised by the separation from his birth family he blocks out, from then to now, all memory of his life before, even failing to recognise his eldest brother when he turns up years later.

Erich must come to terms with the realisation that the Kreibichs are not his real parents, to learn of his past, his family and how he came on the Kindertransport.

The book follows his unusual journey from orphan refugee boy to man, and from Vienna to Buckingham Palace!

The evening will feature words from Sir Erich Reich.

Sir Erich Reich is chairman of the Kindertransport-Association of Jewish Refugees, and through his innovative concept of overseas charity challenges, helped to raise millions for charity.

Admission

Free admission, registration via The Wiener Library website essential

Website

http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=344

Photograph of speaker Dr Aleksandra Loewenau

Auschwitz Medical Crimes on Trial in London

  • 18 September 2017 6:30-8pm

n this talk, Dr Aleksandra Loewenau will explore how the Dering v. Uris libel trial drew the attention of the British public to wartime atrocities, by placing those proceedings within an international context of post-war court trials.

In 1962, Dr. Władysław Alexander Dering, a naturalized British citizen, former prisoner of Auschwitz and recipient of the Order of the British Empire, sued American novelist Leon Uris for libel. Dering claimed that the sentence: “Dr. Dehring performed seventeen thousand ‘experiments’ in surgery without anaesthetic”, which appeared in Uris’s Exodus published in 1958, was defamatory. The supposedly uncomplicated case turned out to be one of the most important court proceedings in post-war Britain.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Free admission but registration via The Wiener Library essential

Website

http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=337

Photograph of Professor Paul Weindling

Ruthless Science: The Mindset of Nazi Medical Researchers

  • 19 September 2017 6:30-8pm

Nazi medical experiments and coerced research were long viewed as “pseudo-science” or as medicine “going mad”. More recent approaches have stressed the uninhibited rationality of the medical research in clinics and concentration camps. Reconstructing the previously overlooked victim stories allows one to see how research subjects experienced the brutal but at the same time calculated conduct of the researchers.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Admission free but registration via The Wiener Library website essential.

Website

http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=327

Book cover for British POWs and the Holocaust

Book Talk: British POWs and the Holocaust

  • 2 October 2017 6:30-8pm

British POWs were held all over Germany and the occupied lands, spending their war in and around towns and villages with names now long forgotten except in local lore. But in many of these out-of-the-way places, another event was playing itself out. Supposedly shrouded in secrecy, the Jews of Europe were being stigmatised, marginalised, starved, worked to death, shot or eventually gassed. It is widely assumed that British POWs saw little of this, with only a handful witnessing anything at all. In fact, captured Britons saw and understood a great deal more than anyone has so far realised. This talk explores their story. Using eyewitness testimony, Dr. Russell Wallis reveals their essentially human response and shows that conventional notions of courage and gallantry, fear and timidity cannot explain the actions and reactions of POWs.

The talk will be chaired by Martin Winstone, an Education Officer for the Holocaust Educational Trust.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Admission free but registration via The Wiener Library website essential

Website

http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=340

Book cover for 'Goodbye Berlin': group of black and white photograph of some young children with book title

Book Talk: Goodbye Berlin

  • 18 October 2017 6:30-8pm

24th of March 1939 was a poignant day for twelve-year-old Gerald Wiener. He was on a train pulling out of Berlin and he was on his way to the UK to escape persecution in Nazi Germany. He was one of the thousands of unaccompanied children saved by the Kindertransport. Looked after by two sisters in Oxford, his abilities as a scholar became apparent, and from an early age, he was set on the road to academic achievement.

In Goodbye Berlin, Margaret M. Dunlop traces the life of her husband, Gerald Wiener, and explores how one man’s life and achievements mirror the great events of the second half of the twentieth century and the opening years of the new millennium.

Admission

Free admission, registration via The Wiener Library website essential.

Website

http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=341

The Wiener Library Document Section 532

The Vilnius Komitet and the Destruction of Polish Jewry, 1939–1941

  • 25 October 2017 6:30-8pm

The Library is pleased to partner with the Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies in welcoming Miriam Schulz to present her recent publication Before The Bow That Was Drawn: The Vilnius Komitet and its documentation of the destruction of Polish Jewry, 1939–1940/41 - a pioneering study of the very first Jewish historical committee in Eastern Europe documenting the destruction of Jewish communities in Poland since September 1939. Her study is based on The Wiener Library collection of reports and statements on the persecution of the Jews in Poland.

In November 1939, a group of 60 Jewish journalists and writers, refugees from recently occupied Poland, founded the Komitet tsu zamlen materialn vegn yidishn khurbn in Poyln 1939 (Committee to Collect Documents on the Destruction of Polish Jewry 1939) in still independent Vilnius. Without delay, they embarked on a mission to gather documents and eye-witness accounts about the destruction of Polish Jewry until June 1941––when the Wehrmacht invaded Lithuania and killed leading members of the Committee. Miriam Schulz will present the history and legacy of this committee

Admission

Free admission, registration via The Wiener Library website essential

Website

http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=345

Book cover for The Addis Ababa Massacre

The Addis Ababa Massacre: Italy's National Shame

  • 1 November 2017 6:30-8pm

In February 1937, following an abortive attack by a handful of insurgents on Mussolini’s High Command in Italian-occupied Ethiopia, ‘repression squads’ of armed Blackshirts and Fascist civilians were unleashed on the defenceless residents of Addis Ababa. In three terror-filled days and nights of arson, murder and looting, thousands of innocent and unsuspecting men, women and children were roasted alive, shot, bludgeoned, stabbed to death, or blown to pieces with hand-grenades. Meanwhile the notorious Viceroy Rodolfo Graziani, infamous for his atrocities in Libya, took the opportunity to add to the carnage by eliminating the intelligentsia and nobility of the ancient Ethiopian empire in a pogrom that swept across the land.

In a richly illustrated and ground-breaking work backed up by meticulous scholarly research, Ian Campbell reconstructs and analyses one of Fascist Italy’s least known atrocities, which he estimates eliminated 19-20 per cent of the capital’s population. He exposes the hitherto little-known cover-up conducted at the highest levels of the British government, which enabled the facts of one of the most hideous civilian massacres of all time to be concealed, and the perpetrators to walk free.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Admission free but registration via The Wiener Library website essential

Website

http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=342

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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