The Wiener 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 The Library's unique collection of over one million items includes published and unpublished works, press cuttings, photographs and eyewitness testimony.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 anti-Semitism 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:
We have recently moved to new premises in a historic location on Russell Square. At this time, access for some disabled people is limited and we encourage visitors to contact us in advance if they are concerned about access.
•The ground floor exhibition area is accessible only by a flight of five steps. We will be installing step-free access in Spring 2012. Once inside the building, all areas are accessible to wheelchairs via the 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.
Finding Treblinka

Finding Treblinka

  • 16 August — 30 September 2016 *on now

The Wiener Library’s current temporary exhibition explores the Nazi labour and extermination camps of Treblinka using the ground-breaking research of Staffordshire University archaeologist Dr Caroline Sturdy Colls and in artistic responses to the topic curated by Michael Branthwaite.

Between 800,000 and 1 million Jews, Poles and Roma from across Europe were killed during the Holocaust in the Nazi labour and extermination camps at Treblinka. Yet, the history of both camps is not well known. Few are aware of the scale of the killings that took place at the sites or the complexity and diversity of the camps’ architecture. The very few survivors and the almost total destruction of the camp by the Nazis have left a scant historical record.

Since 2007, a team of forensic archaeologists, led by Dr Caroline Sturdy Colls, have investigated the sites of both the former Treblinka extermination and labour camps. Through the team’s unique, predominantly non-invasive approach, a more accurate picture of the camps has emerged. At the same time, religious and ethical considerations surrounding their investigation have been respected. This work allowed the old gas chambers, mass graves and a large number of objects to be located. Sturdy Colls’ forensic archaeological research is therefore one of the best ways to reconstruct the events that occurred at Treblinka.

Now, for the first time in the UK, this archaeological work has been adapted and displayed at the Wiener Library, in cooperation with Caroline Sturdy Colls and Michael Branthwaite. The exhibition features specially commissioned artworks by Michael Branthwaite, Janine Goldsworthy, Dave Griffiths, Hilary Jack and Jenny Steele.

Website

http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Finding_Treblinka

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.
AFSC Feeding Programs

Friends in Deed: American Quakers and Refugees from Nazi Europe, 1938-1941

  • 28 September 2016 6:30-8pm

The Library is pleased to host a lecture and discussion by EHRI Fellow Ron Coleman, a research librarian for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, whose research interprets the American response to refugees who tried to escape Nazi persecution between Kristallnacht in 1938 and the American entry into World War II in 1941. Coleman will share recently re-discovered stories of refugees and families the American Quakers aided during the "refugee crisis" years.

Ron Coleman has been a reference and systems librarian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC since 2003. Ron assists scholars, students, family researchers, and other visitors wishing to use Museum collections to learn more about the Holocaust and related subjects. He has an undergraduate degree in History, Literature, and Philosophy from West Virginia Wesleyan College, and a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh.

Mr Coleman will be in residence at the Wiener Library as an EHRI Research Fellow in mid September 2016.

Admission

Admission is free but booking is essential as space is limited

Website

http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=273

Dr Rebecca Erbelding

PhD and a Cup of Tea: The War Refugee Board: Using Methodology to Address the Controversies of American Response

  • 29 September 2016 4:30-5:30pm

We're delighted to welcome recent PhD recipient, Dr Rebecca Erbelding, to discuss her research on the War Refugee Board and American policy during the Holocaust.

In January 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt announced that it was American policy to attempt to rescue and provide relief for Jews and other victims of Nazi persecution. The story of his new agency, the War Refugee Board, tasked with carrying out the new policy, has been overshadowed by an entrenched historiography that has simplified American response to the Holocaust as a story in which the country knew nothing, and did nothing. By examining the War Refugee Board's records using new research technology, it's clear that the agency was much more robust, creative, and daring than we previously thought.

Dr Rebecca Erbelding (PhD, History, 2015) has been an archivist and historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for thirteen years. She is currently detailed to work on the Museum's upcoming exhibition, which will examine the role of Americans during the Holocaust. Her revised dissertation on the War Refugee Board will be published by Doubleday in the spring of 2018.

Tea will be served from 4.30pm and there will be a chance for the audience to ask Dr Erbelding about her research following the talk.

Admission

Admission is free but booking is essential as space is limited

Website

http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=281

Bloomsbury Festival Logo

Wiener Library Lunchtime Tours

  • 19 — 21 October 2016

The Wiener Library is pleased to host free lunchtime tours during Bloomsbury Festival, an annual event that celebrates Bloomsbury's vibrant contemporary cultural life. Visit us for a tour of the Library, including the Wolfson Reading Room and archive stores, and to view our new temporary exhibition.

For five days each October, the streets, parks, museums, galleries, laboratories and public and private buildings of this vibrant cultural quarter play host up to 130 events. For more information, please visit the Bloomsbury Festival website.

Website

http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=268

Deportation of Jews in Czechoslovakia, 1938.

Roundtable: Making a Difference: Critical Responses to the Refugee Crises Then and Now

  • 2 November 2016 6-8pm

The current refugee crisis has provoked mixed responses in Britain, from manifestations of hostility and xenophobia to a grassroots effort to support refugees and demonstrate solidarity. At this event, speakers will reflect upon the historical examples of the work of Bertha Bracey and Eleanor Rathbone in working and campaigning for refugees in the 1930s and 1940s, and consider parallels with the present day situation, and the problems that such campaigners may encounter in attempting to gain sanctuary for victims of war, oppression and persecution.

Speakers:
Rabbi James Baaden on the work of Bertha Bracey, a Quaker who assisted hundreds of mainly Jewish refugees to come to Britain from Germany and Austria in the 1930s.
Dr Susan Cohen on the work of Eleanor Rathbone, the ‘MP for Refugees’ who campaigned for Britain to take more refugees during the 1930s and 1940s.
Daniel Trilling, a journalist, writer and campaigner who has reported extensively upon the current refugee crisis, will reflect on grassroots responses to the current refugee crisis.

The short talks will be followed by a Q and A and discussion and a reception.

Admission

Admission is free but booking is essential as space is limited

Website

http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=279

Professor Philip Spencer

Genocide After the Holocaust

  • 8 November 2016 — 17 January 2017

The Wiener Library is delighted to offer another opportunity for learners of all ages and backgrounds to enrol in a second course of study led by Emeritus Professor in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Kingston University, Philip Spencer. The course will last ten weeks and will run every Tuesday from 8 November 2016 to 17 January 2017, with a break for holidays on 27 December. It will be hosted at the Library from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. The full price of the course is £175, just £17.50 per session.

The main aim of this course is to look at the phenomenon of genocide in the modern world. It has been argued that the Holocaust was a critical turning point, a catastrophe which required a fundamental rethinking of how the rights of human beings could be protected when states try to murder large numbers of people, including many of their own citizens, what we now call genocide. The course will begin with reflections on the Nazi attempt to annihilate the Jews and some of the immediate responses to the Holocaust, particularly the Genocide Convention which was passed by the newly formed United Nations in December 1948. The Convention was designed to commit the international community to halt and prevent the recurrence of this crime but there have nevertheless been several cases since 1948, across decades and continents. We will look first at some of the key crucial issues that arise when we think about what is involved in genocide and why it is (as the Tribunal on the Rwanda genocide put it) “the crime of crimes”. We then examine a number of cases of genocide that have taken place since the Holocaust, and consider why almost nothing has been done to halt or prevent the crime, despite the promise of the Convention. Among the cases we will look at are the genocides in Cambodia, Guatemala, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Darfur. The course will conclude with some reflections on how justice might be provided in the aftermath of genocide.

Each week, there will be some basic directed reading. There will also be a longer list of readings each week. All of this you can access in the Library. The first hour each week will be a lecture, which will then be followed by a seminar discussion of a key question.

For further information and to enrol, please contact nlavee@wienerlibrary.co.uk.


Professor Philip Spencer

Philip Spencer is Emeritus Professor in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Kingston University and Visiting Professor in Politics at Birkbeck College, London University. He was the founder and director of the Helen Bamber Centre for the Study of Rights, Conflict and Mass Violence at Kingston University. He is the author of several books, including: Genocide Since 1945 (Routledge, 2012); of Nationalism: A Critical Introduction (Sage, 2002), Nations and Nationalism (Edinburgh University Press, 2006) (both with Howard Wollman); and of Antisemitism and the Left: The Return of the Jewish Question (with Robert Fine) to be published by Manchester University Press later this year. He is a Trustee of the Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide and a Research Associate of the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism. He is a member of the European Sociological Association Research Network for the Study of Racism and Antisemitism; and a member of the International Association of Genocide Scholars.

Admission

The full price of the course is £175, just £17.50 per session.

Website

http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=272

Dr Anthony Grenville

Encounters with Albion: Images of Britain in Texts by Jewish Refugees

  • 23 November 2016 6-8pm

Part of the Wiener Library’s Refugees Then and Now series, Anthony Grenville will present his forthcoming book, Encounters with Albion: Britain and the British in Texts by Jewish Refugees after 1933, to be published by Legenda in Oxford next year. The book sets out to analyse the image of British society as conveyed in over 50 texts by Jewish refugees from Nazism - novels, memoirs, autobiographies, diaries and collections of letters. The book’s opening chapters run parallel to the Wiener Library’s exhibition A Bitter Road and before the talk, visitors will have the opportunity to view the exhibition.

Dr Anthony Grenville, whose parents came to Britain from Vienna in 1938, lectured in German at the Universities of Reading, Bristol and Westminster from 1971 to 1996. He is Consultant Editor of the Association of Jewish Refugees Journal and Chair of the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies, University of London.

Admission

Admission is free but booking is essential as space is limited

Website

http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=280

Wiener Library Documents Section 532

PhD and a Cup of Tea: Wiener Library Documents Section 532

  • 28 November 2016 1-2pm

We’re delighted to welcome Ph.D. candidate, Miriam Schulz, to discuss her research on the Wiener Library’s Documents Section 532 –– the archive of the as yet unknown, first Jewish historical committee documenting the Holocaust in Eastern Europe.

In November 1939, a group of 60 Jewish journalists and writers, refugees from recently occupied Poland, founded the collective Komitet tsu zamlen materialn vegn yidishn khurbn in Poyln 1939 (Committee to collect materials 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 since the German invasion on September 1, 1939. Miriam Schulz will present the history and legacy of this committee. By contextualizing its efforts withing the historiographical tradition of Eastern European Jewry (khurbn-forshung), her findings contribute to our understanding of Eastern European Jewish resistance during the Holocaust and reveal the interconnection of Vilnius’ Komitet to communal archives and documenting efforts in the later ghettos––both in spirit and personnel-wise. Additionally, the archive in its digital form will be inaugurated.

Miriam Schulz (MA, Holocaust Studies, 2014) is a Ph.D. Student of Yiddish Studies at Columbia University, New York. She is also a research assistant for the project “Protecting Memory: Preserving and Memorializing the Holocaust Mass Graves of Eastern Europe” as well as the project “A Comprehensive History of the Jews of the Soviet Union“ of NYU’s Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies. Her pioneering study on “The Committee to collect materials on the destruction of Polish Jewry 1939” was published in German by Metropol-Verlag in October 2016 and includes the Yiddish to German translation of the Committee’s six bulletins. As part of the print publication, the bulletins have also been published digitally and can be accessed alongside Schulz’ translation.

Admission

Admission is free but booking is essential as space is limited

Website

http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=282

The Arab-Israeli Conflict in American Political Culture

Lunchtime Talk: In Response to the US Elections

  • 29 November 2016 12:30-1:30pm

The Wiener Library is delighted to host Professor Jonathan Rynhold talking on the results of the US Presidential election and its implications for the US-Israel relationship.

Professor Rynhold is a leading expert in this area, and the author of The Arab-Israeli Conflict in American Political Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2016) which won the 2016 Israel Association for Political Science Book Prize. He is also Director of the Argov Center for the Study of Israel and the Jewish People, and a Senior Researcher at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA), all at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. Professor Rynhold is also an advisory editor of Fathom, the online journal.

Admission

Admission is free but booking is essential as space is limited

Website

http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=278

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:
We have recently moved to new premises in a historic location on Russell Square. At this time, access for some disabled people is limited and we encourage visitors to contact us in advance if they are concerned about access.
•The ground floor exhibition area is accessible only by a flight of five steps. We will be installing step-free access in Spring 2012. Once inside the building, all areas are accessible to wheelchairs via the 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

Fax

020 7436 6428

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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