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National Socialism Collection

 Collection
Identifier: AR 119

Scope and Content Note

This is a constructed collection made from several individual items and smaller collections pulled together over more than two decades.

The bulk of the collection stems from 1933-1945, and the materials include clippings, correspondence, government and police records, memoranda, reports, minutes, awards, personal identification papers, transcripts of speeches and a radio broadcast, Jewish stars, songs, poems, photographs, manuscripts, teaching materials, and ephemera.

Highlights of the collection include original signatures of Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler, fabric for Jewish stars, complete issues and clippings from Der Stürmer, and the front page of the Ostasiatischer Lloyd, a National-Socialist newspaper in Shanghai, lamenting the death of Hitler.

Also included are published and unpublished essays on National Socialism written after WWII, widely representing Vergangenheitsbewältiging, the coming to terms with this chapter of history.

Dates

  • 1920-1992
  • Majority of material found within 1933-1945

Language of Materials

The collection is in German and English with a few items in French and Hebrew.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open to researchers.

Access Information

Readers may access the collection by visiting the Lillian Goldman Reading Room at the Center for Jewish History. We recommend reserving the collection in advance; please visit the LBI Online Catalog and click on the "Request" button.

Historical Note

The National Socialist German Workers’ Party (German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, abbreviated NSDAP), known in English as the Nazi Party, was an extreme right-wing party led by Adolf Hitler from 1919-1945.

After Germany’s defeat in World War I, economic hardship and political instability provided favorable conditions for the rise of Hitler and the Nazis, who promised to restore pride to the German nation.

Hitler became Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933. After fire was set to the Reichstag on February 28, 1933, a state of emergency was declared which gave the executive branch the power to bypass the parliament. Over the next few years, the Nazi government took control of major legal, cultural, and educational institutions in the process of Gleichschaltung or "coordination." During this time, the civil rights of Jews and other non-Aryans were increasingly limited as they were excluded from intellectual, professional, cultural, and everyday life.

In March of 1938, Germany took over Austria. In the fall of 1938, Hitler threatened war unless he was allowed to annex Sudetenland (part of Czechoslovakia) without intervention from other powers, and, in the Munich Agreement, the leaders of Britain, France, and Italy acquiesced.

The night of November 9, 1938, known as Kristallnacht or the Night of Broken Glass, saw the widespread destruction of synagogues as well as Jewish homes and businesses.

World War II officially started when Hitler invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Jewish ghettos were created in Poland, and Jews from all parts of the Reich were sent to them. Einsatzgruppen were sent out to commit mass murders of Jews and other groups considered undesirable by the Nazi regime, including persons with disabilities, the Roma people, homosexuals, and communists.

The Wannsee Conference was held in January of 1942 to discuss the Final Solution to the “Jewish question” and agree upon plans for the deportation and extermination of the Jews of Europe. Death camps went into operation shortly thereafter and approximately six million Jews were killed.

Hitler’s regime collapsed in the spring of 1945. Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945 during the Battle of Berlin, and German forces surrendered unconditionally to the Allies in early May 1945.

References

Hildebrand, Klaus. Das Dritte Reich. 2nd Edition. Munich, Vienna: R. Oldenbourg, 1980.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. "Introduction to the Holocaust." Holocaust Encyclopedia. Retrieved 4 March 2013 from http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005143.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. "Third Reich: An Overview." Holocaust Encyclopedia. Retrieved 4 March 2013 from http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005141.

Extent

1 Linear Feet (2 boxes + 10 oversized folders)

Abstract

This is a constructed collection of materials on National Socialism in Germany made from several individual items and smaller collections pulled together over more than two decades. The bulk of the collection stems from 1933-1945. Materials include clippings, correspondence, government and police records, memoranda, reports, minutes, awards, personal identification papers, transcripts of speeches and a radio broadcast, Jewish stars, songs, poems, photographs, manuscripts, teaching materials, and ephemera.

Physical Location

B 28/2

Other Finding Aid

An online finding aid for the oversized materials in this collection was created in 2009. Since these oversized materials were incorporated intellectually into the current finding aid, the 2009 finding aid has been replaced by this one.

Digitization Note

This collection was digitized in its entirety. Digital images from box 2 folder 22 and the oversized clippings from 1947-1992 are available onsite only.

Related Material

The Leo Baeck Institute Archives and Library hold extensive materials related to the National Socialist era and the Holocaust. Other partners at the Center for Jewish History also hold a great deal of materials on these topics.

Other archival materials related to National Socialism can be found at the National Archives (e.g. the Collection of World War II War Crimes Records, 1933-1949), the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Stanford University’s Hoover Institution Library and Archives, among many other institutions.

Separated Material

All correspondence between former LBI staff and donors formerly held with the materials donated was removed to donor files. Where contents of these letters added context to the materials donated, the original letters were kept in the folders and copies were removed to donor files.

A photocopy of a published version of the “Richtlinien für den Sportbetrieb von Juden und sonstigen Nichariern” was removed. The original can be viewed online as part of the Digitales Archiv Marburg / Hessisches Staatsarchiv Marburg.

Copies of the following books and manuscripts were removed from the collection and can be accessed via the LBI Library or LBI Archives Microfilm Collection.
Clippings from the following newspapers were removed: Jüdische Rundschau (1933: issues 27, 45-46, 53, 60, 63; 1937: issue 90) and Der Israelit (January 16, 1930). These items can be viewed online at Compact Memory: Internetarchiv jüdischer Periodika.

Processing Information

The current finding aid was created out of two constructed collections, the National Socialism Collection (AR 119) and the 1933-1945 section of the Jews in Germany Collection (AR 1441), each of which had been put together from individual items and smaller collections over the course of more than two decades. Although the items were taken out of their original order and context, their informational content and uniqueness still hold value for potential research. They have thus been kept in this constructed collection in the interest of making them discoverable and accessible.

During processing in 2013, materials were flattened, duplicates were removed, fragile items were placed in Mylar sleeves, and materials were placed in acid-free archival folders where necessary. Physically separated materials such as photographs and oversized materials have been incorporated intellectually into this finding aid.
Title
Guide to the National Socialism Collection 1920-1992 (bulk 1933-1945) AR 119
Status
In Progress
Author
Processed by Leanora Lange
Date
© 2013
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Sponsor
Described, encoded, and digitized as part of the CJH Holocaust Resource Initiative, made possible by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

Contact:
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States