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 The Library's unique collection of over one million items includes published and unpublished works, press cuttings, photographs and eyewitness testimony.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.
London 1938: Defending 'Degenerate' German Art

London 1938: Defending 'Degenerate' German Art

  • 13 June — 14 September 2018 *on now

The Wiener Library’s summer 2018 exhibition explores the history and context of an exhibition held in 1938 at the New Burlington Galleries in London entitled Twentieth Century German Art. 2018 marks the eightieth anniversary of this exhibition, which was the most prominent international response to the Nazi campaign against ‘degenerate’ art. It remains the largest display of twentieth-century German art ever staged in Britain.The show featured over three hundred examples of modern German art, by exactly those artists who had faced persecution in Germany: the exhibition in London in 1938 was an attempt to defend them and their work on a world stage.

The Wiener Library’s exhibition tells the story of the Third Reich’s campaign against ‘degenerate’ art and this response in London in 1938. The exhibition features a number of the original artworks from the New Burlington Galleries’ exhibition, including works by Emil Nolde and Max Slevogt, presented with the stories of their lenders in 1938. The show will also include items from The Wiener Library’s unique archival collections.

Admission

Free admission, no booking required

Mon-Fri: 10am-5pm
Tue: 10am-7:30pm

Free exhibition and archive tour Tuesdays at 1pm

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/London-1938

The Deserted Room by Karl Biedermann

Putting History in its Place: The Spatial Exclusion of Jews in Nazi-era Berlin

  • 19 June 2018 2-3:30pm *on now

Drawing on examples from over 150 oral history testimonies, as well as other personal memory sources, this talk illustrates how accounts from Holocaust survivors can shed new light on the ways that the spaces of everyday life changed for Berlin’s Jews under the Nazi regime. Focusing on the neighbourhood and the home as spaces of analysis enables historians to engage directly with the redefinition and destruction of sites that once provided a sense of belonging to many of Berlin’s Jews. By targeting these spaces and slowly demarcating them as either Aryan or Jewish, the Nazi regime defined in spatial terms who belonged—and who did not—to the new national community (Volksgemeinschaft).

Recounting the changes to their immediate spatial environments, Holocaust survivors emphasize that the impacts of the Nazi regime and antisemitism writ-large were not hidden away; they were highly visible processes that were manifested in everyday spaces across the city of Berlin. By engaging with the complex postwar afterlives of spaces hidden in plain sight in narratives about Berlin’s Nazi past, scholars can put history in its place—in the neighborhoods, on the streets, and outside the front doors of apartments in the city many German Jews once considered home.

Admission

Free admission, registration required

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=398

Images from the "Entartete Kunst" exhibition, Munich, 1937

The Institutionalisation of German Modernism and the Ensuing Backlash in the 1920s and 1930s

  • 28 June 2018 6:30-8pm

This talk introduces the patterns of public/private collecting, dealership and patronage during the Wilhelmine period (prior to 1918) but focuses on the Weimar era. After the First World War, state promotion of modern German art was consolidated, particularly under Ludwig Justi (1876-1957), director of the Berlin National Gallery. In 1919, he founded the Galerie der Lebenden (Gallery of the Living) in the Kronprinzenpalais (Crown Prince’s Palace) and forged links between modernism and progressive ideas of nationhood. The talk traces the fate of Justi and the Kronprinzen collection, as well as the implications for German-Jewish patrons and dealers, subsequent to the Nazi accession to power in January 1933. It examines the official campaign against modernism that climaxed in the “Entartete Kunst” ("Degenerate Art") exhibition in 1937.

Admission

Free admission, booking essential.

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=389

Karl Hofer, Seated Female Nude, oil on canvas, 1927.

The Loss and Recovery of so-called Degenerate Art

  • 4 July 2018 6:30-8pm

Richard Aronowitz-Mercer (European Head of Restitution, Sotheby’s) will talk both about his work in provenance research in the setting of an international auction house and about his encounters with examples of so-called ‘degenerate art’ over the last twenty years of work in this field: works that were either taken out of museums during the 1937-1938 Degenerate Art Action or that were looted from private collections both because their owners were Jewish and because they were works by the Moderns.

Admission

Free admission, registration essential.

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=390

Poster for the exhibition Twentieth Century German Art, New Burlington Galleries, 1938. © Tate, London 2017.

The International Reaction to the 'Degenerate' Art Campaign

  • 12 July 2018 6:30-8pm

The National Socialist exhibition of “Degenerate Art” in Munich was visited by over two million people during the summer of 1937. Abroad too, the show made headlines, widely reported across the French, British and American press. This talk will explore the attempts made in the following months to counter this attack on German modernist art. The most important of these: the exhibition of Twentieth Century German Art, which took place at London’s New Burlington Galleries in the summer of 1938. In particular the talk will explore the vital role of German émigrés in this ground-breaking exhibition, both as organisers and as lenders.

Admission

Free admission, registration essential

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=391

‘As much as I have an accent in my language, I have an accent in my painting’: Émigré Artists in Britain after 1933

  • 18 July 2018 6:30-8pm

This lecture will look more closely at the experiences of the (mostly German-Jewish) émigré artists who came to this country both before the 1938 New Burlington Galleries exhibition and after it, examining not only their achievements and their legacy, but also the challenges - not to say obstacles - they faced on their arrival. The title for the lecture is prompted by a retrospective comment made by Berlin-born artist Harry Weinberger: “As much as I have an accent in my language, I have an accent in my painting… In German art in our century, expression and feeling comes into it a lot. Whereas mainstream art in Britain is more good taste and playing down feelings. The majority of English people find my painting too emotive, too direct. English art is refined understatement.” While there is undoubtedly an element of truth in this claim, is it not perhaps too neat an over-simplification?

Admission

Free admission, registration essential.

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=396

Hermann Gutmann's 1941 diary © Naomi Levy

The Shifting Policy of British Internment and Deportation, 1939-1940

  • 9 October 2018 6:30-8pm

Joint event with the Second Generation Network

Why were German and Austrian Jewish refugees interned? Why were so many deported out of the country? Roger Kershaw, who has written extensively on the subjects of immigration, emigration and aliens, will talk about the policy of internment during the Second World War and the invaluable family and political research resource that is The National Archives.

Naomi Levy, whose German-born father, then Hermann Gutmann, was deported to Australia on HMT Dunera, will talk about his experience of internment there based on his 1941 Diary. Does your family also have a Diary or other memorabilia connected to British internment during WWII? If so, please do bring it along as there will be an opportunity to share and chat following the talks.

Admission

Free admission, registration essential.

Website

https://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/Whats-On?item=399

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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