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The Wiener Library - Microfilm collection

 Collection
Identifier: x MfW ... (see individual series)

Scope and Content Note

The Wiener Library in London is one of the world’s leading and most extensive archives on the Holocaust and Nazi era. Formed in 1933, the Library contains some of the earliest primary sources on National Socialism. The Library’s unique collection includes published and unpublished works, press cuttings, photographs and eyewitness testimony.

The Leo Baeck Institute offers the core of this rare collection to its readers on microfilm. The microfilm collection is composed of the following six series: Periodicals, Books and Pamphlets, Document Archives, Nuremberg Trials Archive, Biographical Archive, and Press Archives. In addition, the Center for Jewish History offers on-site access to the digitized version of Wiener Library's Eyewitness Accounts collection/Testaments to the Holocaust.

Dates

  • 1687-1979

Creator

Language of Materials

This collection is in German and English.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

See the Arrangement section for information about accessing the materials.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:

Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011

email: lbaeck@lbi.cjh.org

Historical Note

Alfred Wiener, the founder of this collection, was a prominent member of the Centralverein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens (C. V.) (= Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith) from 1919 on. As early as 1925, he described the National Socialist Party as the most dangerous threat for Jews in Germany. In 1928, he took a lead role in establishing the “Büro Wilhelmstraße” of the C. V. to document all Nazi activities and publish anti-Nazi material in order to alert the world to the magnitude of the threat. In 1933, Wiener fled for Amsterdam and, with Prof. David Cohen, set up the Jewish Central Information Office to collect and disseminate information about events in Nazi Germany. In 1939, Wiener emigrated to London, transferring the collection to Manchester Square and making it available to British government intelligence departments. The library soon became known as "Dr. Wiener’s Library" and the name was adopted. After the war, the Library’s academic reputation increased and its collecting policies were broadened. Today, the Wiener Library holds one of the largest specialized collections on the subject of modern Jewish history with special reference to Nazism, Fascism, and anti-Semitism. In 1979-1980, the holdings of the Wiener Library were microfilmed and these microfilm reels were apportioned between the Leo Baeck Institute New York and the New York Public Library.

Extent

1020 Reels

Abstract

The Wiener Library in London is one of the world’s leading and most extensive archives on the Holocaust and Nazi era. Formed in 1933, the Library contains some of the earliest primary sources on National Socialism. The Library’s unique collection includes published and unpublished works, press cuttings, photographs and eyewitness testimony.

Arrangement

Arranged into 7 series. For Series I - VI, follow the links to access the LBI library catalog for more information about each series. These series are microfilmed and can be accessed in the Center for Jewish History Reading Room. For Series VII, follow the link to access the online database (restricted to on-site access in the Center for Jewish History Reading Room).
  1. SERIES I: PERIODICALS -- A collection of 629 periodicals published between 1840 and 1970, the bulk between 1918 and 1950, predominantly comprised of National Socialist publications, anti-Nazi foreign publications, German post-War publications, and Jewish publications from the Nazi era, especially from German-Jewish communities.
  2. SERIES II: BOOKS AND PAMPHLETS -- A collection of about 5,000 books and pamphlets published between 1687 and 1962, the bulk between 1840 and 1962, relating to Jewish life and anti-Semitism from the late 17th to mid-20th centuries, Judaica literature, Christianity, the rise and fall of the Third Reich, the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany, the Jewish Holocaust during the Second World War, German reunification, fascism, Zionism and the Middle East. These materials had a variety of publishers, including the Nazi Party, anti-Semitic groups, academics, Jewish organizations both inside and outside of Germany, foreign observers, pro- and anti-Facist groups, and Jewish exiles in foreign countries.
  3. SERIES III: DOCUMENT ARCHIVES -- A collection of about 2,000 documents representing the bulk of the unpublished archival holdings of the Wiener Library, including personal papers and memoirs and organizational records (1880-1967). Material includes Jewish organizational meeting-minutes, SS and Gestapo documents, eyewitness accounts, memoirs and court testimonies, leaflets, posters, and large bodies of correspondence. Most of the material documents the persecution and murder of Jews in Europe in the Nazi period, with some material after 1945 documenting the continued existence of anti-Semitism in the world. The material mostly originates from Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe, but also from non-occupied nations around the world. A detailed inventory for this series is available in the reading room.
  4. SERIES IV: NUREMBERG TRIALS ARCHIVE -- A collection of hundreds of mostly unpublished photostats, prosecution and defense documents, trial proceedings, judgements and briefs connected with the trials of Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg, focusing on crimes against Jews (1933-1948).
  5. SERIES V: BIOGRAPHICAL ARCHIVE -- A collection of biographical clippings, including 2,000 names, each with their own file (1933-1979). Individuals represented include Jewish personalities mostly from Germany and Austria, but also from elsewhere in Europe, in the period of Nazi Germany and after. Additionally, there are files on individual Nazi persecutors, such as those on trial in Nuremberg and in war crime trials after, and on non-Jews who suffered under Nazism. The bulk of the material comes from post-war German-language newspapers. A smaller portion comes from Nazi-era German-language newspapers, as well as from British newspapers and other European-language publications during and after the Nazi period. In addition, some material was copied from archives, mostly within Germany, such as correspondence and official documents. Finally, this collection contains a small amount of booklets and brochures, mostly published post-war.
  6. SERIES VI: PRESS ARCHIVES -- A collection of thousands of press clippings from newspapers, journals, pamphlets, posters, fliers, and other public documents (1933-1979). The clippings come from a variety of international papers, including but not limited to Jewish presses, Nazi presses, community and national papers from both inside and outside Germany, publications for Jewish refugees and exile communities abroad, and both pro and anti-Nazi political groups outside of Germany. A detailed inventory for this series is available in the reading room.
  7. SERIES VII: EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS / TESTAMENTS TO THE HOLOCAUST -- A collection of about 1,200 searchable personal accounts of Holocaust survivors, along with photographs, propaganda materials, limited circulation publications, and rare serials, that provide personal insights into antisemitism and persecution in Europe from the pre-1933 era to the survivor's post-War fates. This series is only available as an online database, called Testaments to the Holocaust. This database can only be accessed on-site in the Center for Jewish History Reading Room.
Title
Guide to the Wiener Library - Microfilm collection, 1687-1979
Author
Processed by LBI Staff
Date
© 2012
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

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