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 The Library's unique collection of over one million items includes published and unpublished works, press cuttings, photographs and eyewitness testimony.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

On British Soil: Victims of Nazi Persecution in the Channel Islands

  • 19 October 2017 — 9 February 2018 *on now

During the German occupation of the Channel Islands 1940–1945, many thousands of people were persecuted, including slave labourers, political prisoners and Jews. Their story has been largely omitted from a British narrative of ‘standing alone’ against Nazism and celebrations of British victory over Germany.

This exhibition tells the stories of these persecuted, drawing upon The Wiener Library’s rich archival collections, files recently released by The National Archives, and items belonging to the victims of Nazi persecution themselves.

From the experiences of a young Jewish woman living quietly on a farm in Guernsey and later deported to Auschwitz, to those of a Spanish forced labourer in Alderney, and the story of a man from Guernsey whose death in a German prison camp remained unknown to his family for over 70 years, this exhibition highlights the lives of the persecuted, and the post-war struggle to obtain recognition of their suffering.

Produced in collaboration with Dr. Gilly Carr of Cambridge University, and with the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Admission

Free entry

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/?unique_name=On-British-Soil

Zuzana Knobloch

Fate Unknown: The Search for the Missing after the Holocaust

  • 22 February — 30 May 2018

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.
4 black and white photographs showing members of the Geißlhofer family

Book Talk: Secret Nazi Cold Test Station

  • 17 January 2018 6:30-8pm

Hans Geißlhofer’s recent research has revealed that his part-Jewish family, the Kupelwiesers, were involved in a top-secret project of the Nazis: the testing of tank engines in an Austrian alpine cold-pole area. Their acquiescence was secured by the threat of the forced sale of their country estate, deportation, the expropriation of the island of Brioni by Mussolini and much more. This book tells the story.

Hans Geißlhofer was born in 1950 in the Kupelwieser castle in Lunz, related to the once rich Wittgenstein family and the philosopher, but he grew up on a small farm in Lower Austria, a country estate from his mother had already been expropriated by the Nazi governor before.

After studying spatial planning in Vienna, he worked as a development aid expat for 35 years in West-Africa and at the age of 60 he began as a hobby historian and family "detective" with the revealing of a hidden family drama.

His book has attracted much interest in Austria and appears now in English.

Admission

Free but prior registration via The Wiener Library website is essential

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=365

Photograph showing Jewish refugees who settled in Scotland

Gathering the Voices: A Scottish response to teaching about the Holocaust

  • 19 January 2018 12:30-1:30pm

In this presentation, Dr. Angela Shapiro will outline the key features of a Scottish community based project ‘Gathering the Voices’. The key aim of Gathering the Voices is to collect, and make freely available online, the oral and videoed testimony from men and women who sought sanctuary in Scotland as a consequence of Nazi persecution. The project is using blended learning approaches to engage with the general public and, more specifically, young adults and children of school age. Its website enables teachers to link sections easily to the school curriculum.

Dr. Angela Shapiro is a Senior Lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland. She works in the Learning Development Centre in the School of Engineering and Built Environment. Angela is one of the founder members of the Gathering the Voices Association. Students at GCU are collaborating with the Association in developing educational resources and in publicising the project. Angela has published articles on students from STEM disciplines studying sensitive topics as part of the curriculum.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Free but prior registration via The Wiener Library website essential.

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=363

Book cover for Daniel Siemens' Stormtroopers: A New History of Hitler’s Brownshirts

Book Launch: Stormtroopers: A New History of Hitler’s Brownshirts

  • 23 January 2018 6:30-8pm

The first full history of the Nazi Stormtroopers whose muscle brought Hitler to power, with revelations concerning their longevity and their contributions to the Holocaust

Germany’s Stormtroopers engaged in a vicious siege of violence that propelled the National Socialists to power in the 1930s. Known also as the SA or Brownshirts, these “ordinary” men waged a loosely structured campaign of intimidation and savagery across the nation from the 1920s to the “Night of the Long Knives” in 1934, when Chief of Staff Ernst Röhm and many other SA leaders were assassinated on Hitler’s orders.

In this deeply researched history, Daniel Siemens explores not only the roots of the SA and its swift decapitation but also its previously unrecognized transformation into a million-member Nazi organization, its activities in German-occupied territories during World War II, and its particular contributions to the Holocaust. The author provides portraits of individual members and their victims and examines their milieu, culture, and ideology. His book tells the long-overdue story of the SA and its devastating impact on German citizens and the fate of their country.

Admission

Free but prior registration via The Wiener Library website essential

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=364

#WLdebate 2018: The Power of Words: Social Media and Holocaust Discourse

#WLdebate 2018: The Power of Words: Social Media and Holocaust Discourse

  • 25 January 2018 6:30-8pm

If you’re aged 16-25 we’re inviting you to attend our fifth annual Social Media Debate at the Library on Thursday, 25 January 2018. As part of our Holocaust Memorial Day event programme, the Library’s Marketing and Social Media Officer, Leah Sidebotham, will lead a discussion based on this year’s HMD theme:

The Power of Words: Social Media and Holocaust Discourse

We’ll be live-tweeting the discussion using the hashtag #WLdebate, so join in the discussion online. We’ll be discussing and responding to the tweets we receive during the debate.

Example questions we will be asking:

Does the character length on Twitter (formerly 140, now 280 characters) affect how we talk about the Holocaust?
Do social media platforms do enough to counter the use of racist/antisemitic language?
Is social media a suitable substitute for real-life Holocaust advocacy (i.e. how effective is 'clicktivism')?
How well do governments and politicians use social media around Holocaust Memorial Day/other days of remembrance? Is a short tweet or status about it enough/sincere? Is it better than nothing?
Refreshments will be served.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=367

Photograph showing Bea Green (far right) on arrival in Britain

Camden Council and The Wiener Library Holocaust Memorial Day event

  • 25 January 2018 6-7pm

Camden Council’s HMD event is an opportunity to reflect on the HMD theme this year: ‘The Power of Words’

For Holocaust Memorial Day 2018, Camden Council are hosting an event with The Wiener Library, the world's oldest archive of material on the Nazi era and the Holocaust. The Library holds some of the earliest written records of the Holocaust.

The event will feature Kindertransportee Bea Green, who came to Britain aged fourteen as a refugee from Nazi Germany. The event includes readings from The Wiener Library’s collection of eyewitness testimonies to the Holocaust, collected by Library staff in the 1950s.

This HMD event will be in the presence of the Mayor, and local politicians, and is open to the public, councillors and staff.

Rabbi Shlomo Levin will say Kaddish.

Admission

Free but prior registration via The Wiener Library website essential

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=369

he Forum Cinema, Jersey, decorated with swastikas to celebrate Hitler’s birthday.

Public Lecture: Narrating the German Occupation of the Channel Islands

  • 30 January 2018 6:30-8pm

Part of the On British Soil events series

The presentation will retrace the evolution of the historiography – and interpretation - of the occupation of the Channel Islands; in the light and context of the international development of the study of the Nazi occupation of Europe in World War II. This evolution will be illustrated through the path- and agenda-setting contributions made over the past decades, including the presenter’s own work on the occupation since 1998.

Dr Paul Sanders is a historian and management scholar with expertise in World War II and leadership ethics. Paul is associate professor at NEOMA Business School (Reims, France). His major publications are History of the Black Market 1940-1946 (2001, in French), The British Channel Islands under German Occupation 1940-1945 (2005) and The Ultimate Sacrifice (2018, 3rd edition). The latter featured the first authoritative account of the story of Louisa Gould, the heroine of Another Mother’s Son. His current research is dedicated to investigating ethics under duress – with a particular emphasis on the controversial case of Israel Kasztner - and the problem of Dirty Hands.

Admission

Free but prior registration via The Wiener Library website essential

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=355

Book cover for Thomas Weber's Becoming Hitler – The Making of a Nazi

Book Talk: Becoming Hitler – The Making of a Nazi

  • 5 February 2018 6:30-8pm

The story of the making of Adolf Hitler that we are all familiar with is the one Hitler himself wove in his 1924 trial, and then expanded upon in Mein Kampf. It tells of his rapid emergence as National Socialist leader in 1919, and of how he successfully rallied most of Munich and the majority of Bavaria's establishment to support the famous beer-hall putsch of 1923. It is an account which has largely been taken at face value for over ninety years. Yet, on closer examination, Hitler's account of his experiences in the years immediately following the First World War turns out to be every bit as unreliable as his account of his experiences as a soldier during the war itself.

In Becoming Hitler, Thomas Weber continues from where he left off in his previous book, Hitler's First War, stripping away the layers of myth and fabrication in Hitler's own tale to tell the real story of Hitler's politicization and radicalization in post-First World War Munich.

Admission

Free but prior registration via The Wiener Library website essential.

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=371

Toni Schiff Memorial Lecture: Moving Holocaust Stories. Mon 26 Feb 2018

Toni Schiff Memorial Lecture: Moving Holocaust Stories

  • 26 February 2018 6:30-8pm

Toni Schiff, like many Jews before, during, and after the Second World War, was constantly on the move. In part, she was searching for a place that was safe, or at least safer, which saw her move across national borders. But she was also someone who was moved across national borders to one of the most notorious of fixed sites of the Holocaust – Auschwitz. This lecture takes Toni Schiff’s story as a starting point to examine the Holocaust as an event that was both itself constantly on the move, and also involved the mass movement – both forced and ‘voluntary’ – of Jews around the European continent.

Tim Cole is Professor of Social History at the University of Bristol, where he is also Director of the Brigstow Institute. He is the author of a number of books on the Holocaust, most recently Holocaust Landscapes (2016).

This lecture is in memory of Toni Schiff with support from The Toni Schiff Memorial Fund.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17

Admission

Free admission. Prior registration via The Wiener Library website essential

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=375

Book cover for The Participants: The Men of the Wannsee Conference

Book Launch: The Participants: The Men of the Wannsee Conference

  • 28 February 2018 6:30-8pm

Despite lasting less than two hours, the Wannsee Conference is today understood as a signal episode in the history of the Holocaust, exemplifying the labour division and bureaucratization that made the “Final Solution” possible. Yet while the conference itself has been exhaustively researched, many of its attendees remain relatively obscure. Combining accessible prose with scholarly rigor, The Participants presents fascinating profiles of the all-too-human men who implemented some of the most inhuman acts in history.

Hans-Christian Jasch is the Executive Director of the Memorial and Educational Site of the Wannsee Conference. He has authored the definitive study, published in 2012, of Wilhelm Stuckart, state secretary in the Reich Interior Ministry, and the role of the civil service in Jewish policy.

Christoph Kreutzmüller is a curator of the new permanent exhibition at the Jewish Museum Berlin. His acclaimed study Final Sale in Berlin: The Destruction of Jewish Commercial Activity 1930–1945 was published in 2015 by Berghahn Books - and was also launched at The Wiener Library.

Admission

Free but prior registration via The Wiener Library website is essential.

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=370

Dr. Jennifer Rodgers

The International Tracing Service and the ‘Legacies of Political Humanitarianism’

  • 8 March 2018 6:30-8pm

This talk explores the long history of the International Tracing Service (ITS), an agency established by the Western Allies during World War II to locate and reunite persons missing as a course of the hostilities. It tells the story of how states and non- governmental organizations — especially the United States, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the International Committee of the Red Cross — used the purportedly neutral and universal humanitarian services of tracing missing victims of the Holocaust that the ITS offered in pursuit of their respective political and social agendas. Dr. Jennifer Rodgers will discuss how an organization established to ameliorate the crimes of Nazism reframed international humanitarian norms as well as the practice of relief itself. At the same time, Dr. Rodgers will also shine a light on the ways the ITS policies impacted not only Holocaust memory, but also how the history of National Socialism and the Holocaust was — and still is — negotiated.

Dr. Jennifer Rodgers, is a historian who is currently a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Rodgers, a former postdoctoral fellow at the University of South Florida, is PhD alumna of the University of Pennsylvania. Her work focuses on German and European history in its inter- and transnational contexts. She is currently completing a book manuscript titled The Archives of Humanity: The International Tracing Service, The Holocaust and Postwar Order. It examines the International Tracing Service and the ways in which it reframed humanitarianism in the post-World War II world. Dr. Rodgers has held a wide array of fellowships and grants from institutions in the United States and Europe including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC; the Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris; the Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement in Geneva, Switzerland; the Freie Universität in Berlin; and the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung in Potsdam, Germany.

Admission

Free admission, prior registration via The Wiener Library website is essential

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=380

Group of women & children arriving at Auschwitz

Mothers, Sisters, Resisters? Motherhood and the Holocaust Twenty Years on

  • 22 March 2018 6:30-8pm

Part of the Holocaust and Motherhood conference organised by Royal Holloway, University of London.

Women’s experience of the Holocaust remains a marginal subject. Even recent studies which claim to offer a comprehensive account tend to ignore or downplay the specific importance of women’s testimony. As we prepare to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Brana Gurewitsch’s path-breaking Mothers, Sisters, Resisters, Zoë Waxman will seek to explain why it is that women are still being silenced, and why motherhood, in particular, deserves serious attention.

Dr. Zoë Waxman is a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. She previously taught in the history faculty in Oxford and at Royal Holloway, University of London, where she was fellow in Holocaust Studies. She is the author of Writing the Holocaust: Identity, Testimony, Representation (2006), Anne Frank (2015), and Women in the Holocaust: A Feminist History (2017) as well as numerous articles relating to the Holocaust and genocide. A board member of the British Association of Holocaust Studies, she also sits on the editorial board of Holocaust Studies and the Journal of Modern Jewish Studies. She is a trustee of The Wiener Library and a member of the academic advisory board for the Imperial War Museum's Holocaust galleries.

Admission

Free but prior registration via The Wiener Library website is essential.

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=368

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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