TABLE OF CONTENTS


Search Full Inventory

Introduction

Insitutional Sketch

Scope and Content Note

Arrangement

Restrictions

Related Material

Administrative Information

Series/Subseries Scope and Content Notes

Series A. Central Files. 1919-1976.

Series B. Political Department/Department of International Affairs and United Nations. 1919–1977. (bulk 1940s-1960s)

Series C. Institute of Jewish Affairs. 1918-1979.

Series D. Relief and Rescue Departments. 1939–1969. (bulk 1940-1950)

Series E. Culture Department. 1943–1974.

Series F. Organization Department. 1942–1976.

Series G. Administrative Departments. 1936–1979.

Series H. Alphabetical Files. 1919–1981. (bulk 1940-1981)

Series I. Publications. 1942–1971.

Series J. Non-Print Materials and Miscellaneous. 1930–1982.

Search Terms

A Collection Overview to the World Jewish Congress Records. 1918-1982. (bulk 1940-1980).

Manuscript Collection No. 361



Introduction

Repository: The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives
Creator: World Jewish Congress
Title: World Jewish Congress Records
Dates: 1918-1982
Bulk Dates: 1940-1980
Quantity: 488.4 linear feet (1221 Hollinger boxes)
Abstract: Collection containing the files of the New York office of the World Jewish Congress, 1918-1982, with the bulk of materials dated between 1940-1980. Records include cables, correspondence, memos, minutes, photographs, press releases, publications, reports and research files. Subjects include: WJC organization, antisemitism, Israel, Jewish unity, Jewish rights, Jewish communities, Holocaust-era and World War II relief and rescue, Jewish-Arab relations, Soviet Jews, and Zionism. This collection also contains some material from the American Jewish Congress.
Identification: MS-361
Language: Collection material in multiple languages.

Insitutional Sketch

The World Jewish Congress ( WJC) was established in 1936 under the leadership of Stephen S. Wise and Nahum Goldmann. Instrumental in its founding were the American Jewish Congress ( AJC), established in 1918, and the Comité des Délégations Juives ( Committee of Jewish Delegations), which was founded in 1919. The Comité des Délégations Juives was an ad hoc committee initiated by the Zionist Organization and established for the sole purpose of representing Jewish interests on behalf of all Jewish communities worldwide at the Paris Peace Conference following World War I. The Comité was also interested in the foundation of a permanent “worldwide Jewish organization which would be recognized by Jews and non-Jews alike as the Jewish representative body for the problems of the Diaspora.” 1

The first preparatory meeting for the World Jewish Congress, called the First Preparatory World Jewish Conference, took place in Geneva in August 1932. After two more preparatory conferences, in 1933 and 1934, the First Plenary Assembly formally established the World Jewish Congress in August 1936. The purpose of the new organization was to unify Jews and strengthen Jewish political influence in order to assure the survival of the Jewish people. The creation of a Jewish state was part of that goal.

As Nazism took hold of Europe and the situation for Jews grew increasingly worse during the 1930s, the need for a representative body to support Jewish interests became evident. Even before the 1936 Plenary, the Preparatory Committee, often represented by Nahum Goldmann, began dealing with Jewish problems in Europe — such as establishing contacts with governments and the League of Nations; leading an economic boycott against Germany; organizing rescue and relief efforts for Jews in Nazi-controlled territory; and investigating and documenting the condition of Jews in Europe. Once the WJC was founded, with headquarters located in Paris and another European office in Geneva, its main activities focused on the situation of European Jews. Among the WJC's activities were efforts concerning Jewish rights, antisemitism, and immediate relief (both political and economic) and rescue efforts. The WJC also concentrated on security for Jewish refugees and victims of the war. The WJC leadership began planning for post-war activities as well, including indemnification and reparations claims against Germany, as well as punishment of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

With the outbreak of war in September 1939, the Paris office was moved to Geneva to facilitate communications with Jewish communities in Europe. Then, in the summer of 1940, with most of Europe overrun by the Nazis, the main headquarters of the World Jewish Congress were moved to New York to share office space with the American Jewish Congress while a special office was set up in London. At the end of the war, the emphasis of the WJC's activities shifted to rebuilding European Jewish communities. These activities included assisting displaced persons and survivors of the Holocaust, advocating restitution and reparations from Germany, and assisting in punishment of war crimes. Another main focus was the World Jewish Congress's involvement in the creation of the State of Israel and working toward the prevention of future catastrophes like the Holocaust.

Many of the same activities, now relating to reconstruction of Jewish communities and support for Israel, continued into the 1980s. The WJC continued to champion the rights and safety of Jews worldwide — for example for North African and Soviet Jewry — but the struggle for Jewish rights expanded to include a fight for human rights. Work for reparations claims for Holocaust survivors continued into the 1970s and was revived in the early 1990s. The WJC has played an important role in the adoption of principles regarding crimes against humanity and assisted in the punishment of war criminals. The organization has worked with governments, the United Nations, Jewish and non-Jewish organizations (such as the Red Cross and Christian churches), as well as Jewish communities throughout the world to fulfill its purpose “to assure the survival, and to foster the unity of the Jewish people…” and “to cooperate with all peoples on the basis of universal ideals of peace, freedom and justice.” 2

As the WJC adjusted its activities to meet changing needs various departments were created or disbanded. Political, legal, organizational, and research departments were created around 1936 in the European offices, and some of the same personnel who worked in these offices immigrated to the United States to work in similar departments when the WJC moved to New York during the war. At the New York office in the 1940s, the major departments were: Political Department, Institute of Jewish Affairs (research and legal work), Relief and Rescue departments (under various names), Department for Culture and Education (or Culture Department), and Organization Department.

As relief work decreased late in the 1940s, the Relief and Rehabilitation Department was discontinued, but remaining relief work was handled by the Relief Desk of the Political Department. At the Second Plenary Assembly in 1948, the Executive Committee of the WJC was split among three major offices: New York, London, and Israel, but the New York office continued as a leading office for global, as well as Western Hemisphere, activities. The Political Department was split between the London and New York offices, and the Culture Department was headquartered in London, with a branch office in New York. The main office of the Organization Department was moved from New York to Geneva in 1960. For more detailed information on the major departments of the New York office, see the series descriptions for the collection.

- Ina Remus

References
1. Unity in Dispersion: A History of the World Jewish Congress, World Jewish Congress, New York, 1948, p. 28.
2. Constitution of the World Jewish Congress, Adopted at the Plenary Assembly of the World Jewish Congress June 27 – July 6, 1948 at Montreux, Switzerland, Article 2; Box A42, Folder 8. World Jewish Congress Records, American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Scope and Content Note

The World Jewish Congress collection consists of the records of the New York office of the organization. The material spans the years 1918 to 1982, but the bulk of the documents range from the 1940s to 1970s and reflect the activities of the office in New York. The records reveal crucial information about the Holocaust. However, the material is not limited to this period. The collection illustrates areas that were of special interest to the WJC at one time or another. For example, early records, preceding the founding of the organization, contain information about its establishment. This material stresses the importance of the WJC's position in representing world Jewry and documents the need for the WJC's foundation. (Series A.) Later material consists of information relating to post World War II issues, including the creation of the state of Israel as well as reconstruction of Jewish communities in Europe, war crimes, reparations, and restitution issues. The 1221 boxes of material represent a wide array of historical themes connected to the Jewish experience worldwide. The New York office records do, however, clearly reflect the interests of the WJC's American leadership.

The collection yields a depth of material that, in relation to the study of the Holocaust, will not revise history. However, it will most likely shed more light on it. Much of the material covering the Holocaust period deals with the situation in Europe and the WJC's involvement in relief and recovery actions. The material also demonstrates how the WJC leadership involved itself in obtaining information about the situation in Europe, and, at the same time, tried to disseminate this information and influence the United States government to take action on behalf of European Jewry.

For example, the collection contains much documentation which illuminates that the WJC was more pro-active than scholars have previously held. Its leadership urged the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, to take on a leading role in publicly denouncing the Nazi regime and to promote political and military actions against Nazi Germany if Germany did not refrain from further persecution of European Jews. There is much evidence in the collection suggesting that the WJC was the driving force in initiating a meeting between Roosevelt and national Jewish representatives on December 8, 1942. At that meeting representatives from a diverse spectrum of Judaism delivered a twenty-page memorandum detailing the deteriorating situation of European Jewry, broken down by country. Accompanying this document are drafts, press releases, memoranda, and correspondences, relating to its content. According to this material the WJC was instrumental in drafting the memorandum. (Boxes C 89/9, C 89/10, D 115/12, H 278/4, and H 293/5.)

Along the same lines, the collection contains much documentation about the WJC's efforts to gather information about the European situation. All of this material emphasizes the main goal of the WJC: to inform the New York office of the desolate circumstances in Europe and urge the United States political leadership to take action in helping ease the hardship of the European Jewish community.

Another example are the many telegrams that the New York office received from the European offices (mostly the British office). These telegrams clearly indicate the level of knowledge the WJC had of the situation in Europe. Among these telegrams is the "Riegner Telegram" dated August 29 th 1942. (Box J12/22.) This famous document is the first known communication informing the Jewish community of the Nazi's planned implementation of the "Final Solution," the systematic destruction of European Jewry. The telegram was intercepted by the United States State Department, because of its unsubstantiated content matter. The "Riegner Telegram," including letters and telegrams relating to it, demonstrate the United States' political position in 1942. In terms of the WJC's exchange of information, there are various telegrams that were sent to the New York office specifying the circumstances of the European Jewish community as early as late 1941 and early 1942. The collection also contains early records documenting mass deportations and the deterioration of the situation of Jews in Europe. (See especially reports, telegrams, memoranda, and letters in boxes A 5–11.)

Series A also contains correspondences of the WJC Executive, among them Stephen S. Wise and Nahum Goldmann. Their communications shed more light on the structure of the organization and their personal influence upon and involvement with the WJC.

The WJC was heavily involved in relief and rescue work during and after World War II. Series D holds the records of the relief and rescue departments and contains in-depth information about the WJC's various activities in this area. For example, many documents show that the WJC contributed heavily to efforts in helping Jews emigrate from Europe. (See specifically records, affidavits, correspondences, and certificates of the Immigration Division in boxes D 15–45.) These documents show, for example, that the WJC tried to respond to requests from family members asking for help for their relatives in Europe. The WJC approached the United States government about these individual cases. Records in this series also document the WJC's engagement in aiding refugees — before, during and after the war — and in supplying Jewish communities with clothes, food and other essentials throughout the war. (See materials relating to the Rescue Department, boxes D 104–116 as well as boxes D 83–92.) Several boxes in Series D contain lists of survivors and victims. (Boxes D 49–57.) Series D also contains post-war relief documents, reports, correspondences, which demonstrate how the WJC tried to assist displaced persons. (This material is located throughout Series D.)

After the war the WJC was especially active in trying to secure restitution for Holocaust survivors and their heirs. Series C holds a large number of records which demonstrate the WJC's involvement in this area. (See especially correspondences, reports, and memoranda in boxes C 228–301.) The WJC was also particularly involved in the persecution of war criminals and war crimes. WJC officials were engaged in identifying and finding war criminals and in their subsequent indictments. (Boxes C 150–228.) Other post World War II activities included collaboration with the United Nations ( UN). As a matter of fact there is ample documentation which could establish that the WJC was actively responsible for helping draft UN resolutions in relation to war crimes, racial discrimination, and missing persons. Numerous reports and material concerning the UN is located among records located in Series B. (See boxes B 79–146 for correspondence, reports, statements, and memoranda.)

Series H consists of alphabetical files. Unlike the other series of the WJC collection, Series H is strictly organized in alphabetical order. It comprises significant information about many topics, divided by country or location. For example, this series holds numerous documents that show the WJC's involvement in the reconstruction of many Jewish communities after Word War II and all the issues connected to that. The series also contains valuable information that complements records relating to various topics in other series of the collection. For example, Series H includes documents dealing with refugees, restitution issues, Zionism, and much more. (To search this particular series, go to each country or location listing and check these portions according to topical interest. For instance, to look for restitution issues referring to Germany, go to the section “Germany” in the series and then look for related documents.)

Non-print materials, mostly photos, are filed in Series J. Series J contains numerous boxes filled with photos of unidentified and identified child survivors. WJC conferences and personalities are also subjects of the picture collection. Furthermore, photos of buildings, atrocities, and ceremonial occasions reflect the diverse involvement of the WJC. This series also holds oversized maps and some recordings of WJC activities.

The WJC collection is historically significant because it casts light on many aspects of twentieth century history. Most importantly, the WJC collection contains valuable information about the Holocaust. It holds a vast amount of documents which are unique and will help explain what went on in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s. Even more so, the records contain information about the United States Government and how it dealt with the situation. The records show the U.S. government's response, its policies, and its actions. One important aspect of the collection is its significance for Holocaust restitution. The WJC collection contains valuable documentation, including property records and records relating to cultural reconstruction (especially Series E), which have been used by various restitution organizations. However, the collection also includes records referring to topics that have not been specifically addressed. Since the collection holds documents ranging from the early part of the twentieth century to the early 1980s, there is ample documentation on a variety of historic themes of the century.

For detailed information on the collection's contents, please consult the series description at the beginning of each series.

- Ina Remus

A partial listing of major subjects dealt with in the collection include: anti-Semitism, human rights, Jewish communities in various countries, Jewish displaced persons, Jewish-Christian relations, immigrants and immigration, Jewish culture, relations with governments and non-governmental organizations (including the United Nations and the Red Cross), restitution, reparations, Jews in Germany, Soviet Jewry, World War II, western hemisphere Jewry, Zionism, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.


Arrangement

This collection is arranged in ten (10) series:

Series A. Central Files. 1919-1976.
Series B. Political Department/Department of International Affairs and United Nations. 1919-1977.
Series C. Institute of Jewish Affairs. 1918-1979.
Series D. Relief and Rescue Departments. 1939-1969.
Series E. Culture Department. 1943-1978.
Series F. Organization Department. 1942-1976.
Series G. Administrative Departments. 1936–1979.
Series H. Alphabetical Files. 1919–1981.
Series I. Publications. 1942–1971.
Series J. Non-Print Materials and Miscellaneous. 1930–1982.

Restrictions

Terms of Access and Use

The World Jewish Congress Records are open to all users. The original manuscript collection is available in the Barrows-Loebelson Reading Room of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives.

Property and Literary Rights

Literary rights are retained by the World Jewish Congress and its designees. Literary rights may also be retained by specific creators of materials.

Questions concerning rights should be addressed to the Executive Director of the American Jewish Archives. For more information see the American Jewish Archives copyright information webpage.


Related Material

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Archives

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) Archives houses one of the most significant collections in the world for the study of modern Jewish history. Comprising the organizational records of JDC, the overseas rescue, relief, and rehabilitation arm of the American Jewish community, the archives includes over 3 miles of text documents, 100,000 photographs, a research library of more than 6,000 books, 1,100 audio recordings including oral histories, and a video collection. To search the JDC Archives' text-collections, click here.


Administrative Information

Alternative Forms of Collection

The World Jewish Congress Records are available on microfilm and may be borrowed via interlibrary loan.

Preferred Citation

Footnotes and bibliographic references should refer to the World Jewish Congress Records and the American Jewish Archives. A suggestion for at least the first citation is as follows:

[Description], [Date], Box #, Folder #. MS-361. World Jewish Congress Records. American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Provenance

The World Jewish Congress Records were donated to the American Jewish Archives by the World Jewish Congress in 1982 and delivered in June, 1983, with a small supplement received in 1987. Two boxes of Maurice L. Perlzweig's files were received from his son, Robert Perlzweig, in 1983. One folder of material pertaining to the WJC China section (1946-1947) were received from Ms. Rena Krasno in February, 1995. All materials donated prior to 2002 have been arranged and described in this inventory.

Processing Information

Processed by Ronald Axelrad, Kenton Jaehnig, Ina M. Remus, Kathleen L. Spray, and Anna K. Truman; March 2002

Sponsor

The processing and inventory of the World Jewish Congress Collection was made possible by three grants. The first, in 1983, from the Aaron W. Davis Foundation; the second, in 1987, from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Washington, D.C.; and the third, in 1999, from the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Acknowledgments

The greatest pleasure in completing any project — particularly one the size and complexity of arranging and describing the records of the World Jewish Congress — is the opportunity it gives to thank all the persons who were involved in its completion.

This list, of course, is lengthy. Thanks should go first to those who helped bring the World Jewish Congress Records to the American Jewish Archives. For many years the records had resided in less-than-ideal conditions at the Morgan Manhattan Storage warehouse on 87 th Street in New York City. A group of leaders from both the World Jewish Congress and the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion became concerned about the rapidly deteriorating condition of these records. Together these leaders had the foresight not only to rescue the collection and save it from almost certain destruction, but to sense the importance and potential of the material, both for research and as a symbol of the spirit and resolve of the Jewish community. This group worked for many months and in many venues to secure the collection, transfer it to the American Jewish Archives, and gain funding for its maintenance — thereby preserving the material for future generations.

This group of persons includes, but is not limited to, Gerhart Riegner, Doris Brickner, and Elizabeth Eppler of the WJC; together with Alfred Gottschalk, Paul Steinberg, and Abraham Peck of HUC-JIR.

Next, it is right and appropriate to thank those institutions who so generously funded the work of this project. Specifically, the Aaron W. Davis Foundation; the National Endowment for the Humanities; and the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati (and particularly its chairman, Benjamin Gettler). Special thanks also must go to Joy Rothenberg and Joan Porat for their efforts and assistance in securing funding vital to the success of this project.

Dr. Gary P. Zola, Executive Director of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, supplied the vision — and energy — to not only imagine, but pursue, previously unconsidered possibilities for the World Jewish Congress collection (as well as contemplating the consequences of doing nothing). Long after the initial processing of the collection was complete — when most of us were content to accept the status quo — Dr. Zola urged all of us to think creatively to find ways to improve access to these important materials.

Everyone who has worked at the American Jewish Archives since 1983 has contributed in some way to this project. Special thanks must go first to Fannie Zelcer, Chief Archivist of the American Jewish Archives from 1958 to 1989, who guided the initial processing of the collection. Sincere gratitude and acknowledgment go next to the following AJA staff: Devhra BennettJones, Christine Crandall, Betty Finkelstein, Lisa Frankel, Katie Goff, Morton Goldberg, Ruth Kreimer, Fredric Krome, Eleanor Lawhorn, Melinda McMartin, Elise Nienaber, Phil Reekers, Camille Servizzi, Dorothy Smith, and Jackie Wilson. Also deserving thanks are dozens of student assistants, each of whom made an important contribution to the success of this project. Of these, special note should be given to Rachel Schwartz and Emily Walsh.

Deepest thanks, however, must go to the archivists who performed the actual arrangement, description, cataloging, and preservation of the World Jewish Congress collection. When this collection arrived at the American Jewish Archives in June 1983 the records were in total disarray, stuffed into rusting and dilapidated filing cabinets. Inside the cabinets the papers showed years of neglect, being tattered, dirty and disorganized — many lying loose without folders or binding. There was no discernable organization or guide to the contents. As a result, the archivists who processed this collection performed not only the rigorous intellectual and conceptual work of organization and arrangement, they often had to do back-breaking physical labor as well.

The processing of this collection spanned a period of twelve years and consisted of two distinct phases. The initial phase covered the years 1987–1989 and was funded through the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities. This project had the goal of establishing a minimum level of physical and intellectual control over the collection. The first archivists to work on the collection, Ronald Axelrad and Kathleen Spray, did just that. They transferred the files from their original filing cabinets to acid-free boxes and folders; organized the collection into a coherent intellectual order based upon its provenance and original order; labeled boxes; weeded some duplicate materials; and performed basic conservation measures. Most importantly, Axelrad and Spray wrote the first-ever finding aid to the collection — a one hundred page box list — that due to the obvious limitations under which the archivists worked provided adequate, if not always efficient, access to the collection.

The collection remained in this arrangement for ten years. And while the work of Axelrad and Spray was an unqualified success, everyone involved in the project knew more work was needed to get the collection into prime condition. But lack of available funds was always the roadblock to additional work.

Enter Gary P. Zola. When Dr. Zola became Executive Director of the Marcus Center in 1998, finishing the work on the World Jewish Congress collection became a top priority. Through Zola's devotion and effort additional funding was obtained through the largesse of the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati. With the Foundation's generous support two new archivists, Anna K. Truman and Kenton Jaehnig, together with a historical consultant, Ina M. Remus, were hired to finish what Axelrad and Spray had begun.

Truman, Jaehnig and Remus not only refined and expanded the existing intellectual control and arrangement of the collection, they went beyond processing and began to discover and identify the many hidden resources and research potential of these records. When their work was completed two years later, they had created this 400+ page, folder level descriptive finding aid — while also discovering many important and heretofore unknown documents and opening a new era of historical research at the American Jewish Archives.

Our debt and our thanks to these five is immense. It is not possible to overstate the scope and depth of their work. Not only did they take on a task from which many would flee, they performed their duties with a devotion that was both professional and inspirational. Watching them, hearing their concern in discussions and meetings, and seeing daily examples of their commitment to the job at hand is a tribute not only to the American Jewish Archives and the Jewish community, but also to scholarship and to the highest aims of the archival profession.

In a sad and bitter irony, neither Ron Axelrad nor Kathy Spray are with us now to celebrate this moment. Ron Axelrad passed away in 1999. Kathy Spray died in 2000. Yet this collection, in its final form, is an ongoing tribute to Kathy and Ron and their memory. It is to them now that we, their colleagues, dedicate this inventory.

Finally, it is fitting to close with a tribute to our beloved founder, benefactor, mentor, and teacher, Dr. Jacob Rader Marcus. It is because of Dr. Marcus that the American Jewish Archives exists and it is he who is the inspiration and source of all that we do. In thanks to him, and on behalf of all who have and who will utilize this finding aid and be glad, we say now to Dr. Marcus — as he often said to us — “future generations will rise up and call you blessed.”

Kevin Proffitt
Chief Archivist
American Jewish Archives
Cincinnati, Ohio
March 2002

Series/Subseries Scope and Content Notes

Note: Click on the series/subseries title to see a detailed inventory for that grouping. These inventories are large files and may take a few moments to load. A PDF version of the full inventory, including detailed box and folder listings for all series/subseries, is available here.

Series A. Central Files. 1919-1976. [103 Hollinger boxes (41.2 linear feet)]
Scope and Content Note: Contains history of the World Jewish Congress ( WJC), especially prior to 1940. The series includes correspondence and miscellaneous other materials of WJC leaders, together with minutes and records of conferences and committee meetings. The series name, “Central Files”, was adopted from an existing WJC series consisting of executive files and records from conferences and committees. Central Files includes material unrelated to any one specific department. For more material on specific departments see Series B through Series G.
Arrangement Note: This series is divided into four subseries. The bulk of the materials in the first two subseries focus on the 1930s, and most of the last two subseries are dated after 1940.
Subseries 1. Organizational History and Activities. 1919–1970. [8 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Includes correspondence, minutes, publications, and reports related to the organizational and political activities of the WJC and its forerunner, the Committee of Jewish Delegations. Reports on the history and activities of the WJC from before its inception through the 1960s are also included in this subseries. Significant subjects covered include anti-Semitism, relief for refugees, and relations with the League of Nations. More material dealing with WJC activities in Europe during the 1930s can be found in subseries 2 under the Stephen S. Wise/ Lillie Shultz and Nahum Goldmann papers, and under Pre- WJC Conferences and the First Plenary Assembly (1936) in subseries 3.
Subseries 2. Executive Files. 1920; 1931–1975. [32 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Includes records and reports from the files of WJC presidents ( Stephen S. Wise, Nahum Goldmann); chairmen of the Executive Committee ( Nahum Goldmann, Israel Goldstein); followed by the administrative/executive directors of the New York office ( Abraham S. Hyman, Monty Jacobs, Yehuda Ebstein, Greta Beigel). The subseries contains general correspondence arranged chronologically, individual and departmental correspondence, country files, subject files, speeches, and publications.
Subseries 3. Plenary Assemblies, Pre-1936 Conferences and Special Conferences. 1932–1975. [30 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Contains minutes, proceedings, reports, and other materials dealing three pre- WJC conferences together with extensive files for the first six WJC Plenary Assemblies (1936–1975). Also included are materials pertaining to the War Emergency Conference (1944) and the Inter-American Jewish Conference (1941).
Subseries 4. Committees. 1940–1976. [33 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Contains materials pertaining to committee meetings (Office, Administrative, Executive). The Executive Committee files include material from the South American, European, and Israeli Branches of the Executive. Within the files for each committee/branch, materials are arranged chronologically.
Series B. Political Department/Department of International Affairs and United Nations. 1919–1977. (bulk 1940s-1960s) [146 Hollinger boxes (58.4 linear feet)]
Historical Note: The Political Department was established in 1936 under Nahum Goldmann and Marc Jarblum in Paris, the Political Department was charged with the protection of the basic rights and freedoms of Jews in the political and diplomatic fields. Conditions resulting from the rise of Hitler, however, created for the Department the additional task of obtaining political relief for refugees. Following the move of the WJC's main office to New York in 1940, Maurice L. Perlzweig was named director of the Political Department. In 1947, Perlzweig became permanent representative from the WJC to the United Nations and Robert S. Marcus took over as political director. Following Marcus' death in 1951, Perlzweig resumed direction of the newly renamed Department of International Affairs and United Nations (New York Branch) and continued in that capacity until his retirement in 1974. The New York branch of the Department of International Affairs concentrated on the western hemisphere, while the London branch (directed by Alexander L. Easterman) covered the eastern hemisphere.
The Political Department represented the WJC with governments and international organizations such as the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and the Council of Europe. Departmental activities included intervening with individual governments, acquiring and maintaining a special status with the United Nations, appearing before international courts, and educating the public and governments on matters of Jewish interest. These activities are reflected in subjects dealt with in Series B., including anti-Semitism, human rights, migration, minorities, genocide, statelessness, prosecution of war crimes, relations between Christians and Jews, peace and disarmament, reparations, the situation of Jews in specific countries (notably the USSR and North Africa). Materials in this series include correspondence, reports, memos, publications, releases, mimeographed materials, and submissions.
Scope and Content Note: Contains files of the Political Department of the WJC in New York City.
Arrangement Note: Divided into four subseries:
Subseries 1. Executive Files. 1919–1977. [46 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Consists of executive office files of the Political Department. This subseries contains papers of three persons: Maurice L. Perlzweig, Robert S. Marcus, and Oscar Karbach. The Perlzweig papers contain 35 boxes spanning the years 1919–1977 and contains extensive files on the activities of the Political Department during this time. Maurice L. Perlzweig's papers also include personal materials, especially from his career as a rabbi in London (ca. 1919–1940) and Toronto (1947–1949). The Robert S. Marcus papers, 1932–1933 and 1937–1951, are five boxes and include alphabetical files of special assistance cases for persons seeking assistance with immigration/visa problems during the years 1946–1948. The Oscar Karbach files cover the years 1942–1960 and consist of five boxes of correspondence and publications.
Subseries 2. Office Files. 1933–1976. [33 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: A major component of this subseries is correspondence with the WJC's British section and its Political Department director, Alexander L. Easterman. This subseries also contains a large section of files on the American Jewish Congress, the bulk of which covers the years 1950–1960.
Subseries 3. United Nations Files. 1937–1977. [59 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Contains material pertaining to the WJC's work and cooperation with the United Nations. Topics in this subseries include genocide, human rights, missing persons, non-governmental organizations, and Post-War Planning. Noteworthy in this subseries are files on numerous UN conferences, such as the United Nations Conference on International Organizations in 1945. The subseries concludes with a large amount of material on the United Nations General Assembly and its various sessions, commissions and committees for the years 1945–1972, together with records pertaining to the United Nations Economic and Social Council for the same time period.
Subseries 4. World Jewish Congress Submissions to the United Nations and Other Agencies. 1943–1969. [7 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Consists of memoranda, applications and reports prepared by the WJC and submitted to the UN and other agencies. These submissions pertain to issues such as human rights, statelessness, refugees, etc. This subseries consists of eight Hollinger boxes of material.
Series C. Institute of Jewish Affairs. 1918-1979. [301 Hollinger boxes (120.4 linear feet)]
Historical Note: The Institute of Jewish Affairs ( IJA) was established in February 1941, under the leadership of Jacob Robinson (director, 1941–1947) to study the political, legal, and economic position of world Jewry between 1916 and 1941 and then to formulate a post-war policy which would safeguard Jewish rights internationally. After World War II, the IJA continued to study the Jewish situation and to suggest policy under its second and third directors, Nehemiah Robinson (1947–1964) and Oscar Karbach (1964–1973).
Important areas of investigation for the IJA included anti-Semitic legislation and activities, punishment of war crimes, and restitution for victims of the Holocaust. The IJA researched and published on subjects relating to Jewish life, including problems not entirely Jewish, but related to Jewish problems such as minorities, migration, and human rights. In cooperation with the WJC's Political Department, the IJA (and especially the WJC's Office of Indemnification, headed by Nehemiah Robinson from 1946 to about 1950) produced reports for submission to the United Nations and other bodies.
Scope and Content Note: Contains records of the research division of the World Jewish Congress.
Arrangement Note: Divided into four subseries:
Subseries 1. Executive Files and Correspondence. 1929–1974. [78 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Consists of files of the first three directors of the IJA — Jacob Robinson, Nehemiah Robinson, and Oscar Karbach. Included in the Nehemiah Robinson papers, beginning in box 31, are files pertaining to war crimes and restitution, as well as files pertaining to special inquiries made in reference to missing persons and claims. The Oscar Karbach papers also contain, beginning in box 54, a section on war crimes and restitution that includes witness lists and items relating to witness searches and trial matters.
Subseries 2. Research Materials, Reports, and Publications. 1920–1979. (bulk 1940s-1960s) [71 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Consists of articles and publications focusing mainly on Germany, World War II, the Holocaust, and post-war issues such as displaced persons, restitution, and refugees, etc. The first section of this subseries contains files and drafts pertaining to the manuscript, The Jewish Catastrophe: Its Background and Aftermath. The subseries closes with writings on post-war and Cold War era issues such as anti-Semitism, the Soviet Union, the United Nations, and numerous other topics.
Subseries 3. War Crimes and Retribution. 1918–1979. [79 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Contains mostly country-by-country files pertaining to individual war crime and retribution cases. This subseries contains background materials and related information as well, including files on searches for Holocaust witnesses and witness testimony, together with war crimes trial correspondence. Of particular interest are the files on war crimes and atrocities in individual communities in Poland, as well as the section on the Nuremberg trial proceedings and cases.
Subseries 4. Indemnification. 1939–1975. [73 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Consists of files pertaining to restitution legislation and claims, including property claims, organized by country. The subseries concludes with nearly 25 boxes of correspondence and other materials pertaining to the Jewish Restitution Successor Organization, the United Restitution Organization, and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
Series D. Relief and Rescue Departments. 1939–1969.(bulk 1940-1950) [116 Hollinger boxes (48.37 Linear Feet)]
Historical Note: Material relief activities of the WJC began in April 1940 with the establishment of the Relief Committee for Jewish War Victims ( RELICO) in Geneva under the direction of Adolf H. Silberschein. The purpose of RELICO was to supply food and social aid to Jews in Europe, especially in Poland and France, and to help refugee groups — including those in Mauritius, Tangier, Rhodesia, and Tanganyika. RELICO continued in operation throughout the war years, even after the headquarters of the WJC was moved to New York. In July 1940 a separate relief department was established at the new office under Arieh Tartakower.
The Rescue Department was established in April 1944. Its primary functions were to document and publicize war crimes and atrocities; to devise rescue plans and enlist public and governmental support for action; to prevent deportation of some European Jewish communities; to liberate concentration camps from the Nazis; and to advocate punishment for war crimes. Aryeh L. Kubowitzki, head of the Department for European Jewish Affairs from 1941 to 1944, was named the first director of the Rescue Department, with Kurt R. Grossman as his assistant. In the spring of 1945, the Rescue Department was merged with the Relief Department under Arieh Tartakower and renamed the Relief and Rehabilitation Department. When Tartakower moved to Palestine in 1946, Kalman Stein became acting director of the expanded Relief Department. Stein was succeeded by Kurt R. Grossman in 1947. The Department was disbanded at the end of 1948 and its functions were assumed by the Relief Desk of the Political Department.
Scope and Content Note: Contains files of WJC departments engaged in relief and rescue work. The series includes files from the Relief Department, Department of European Jewish Affairs, Rescue Department, and Relief and Rehabilitation Department. Files of the Secretary-General of the WJC are included among the files of the Rescue Department director, since Aryeh L. Kubowitzki fulfilled both positions..
In the WJC collection, rescue materials were often found interfiled with general Relief Department files. Since the Rescue and Relief Departments were closely related in function and were merged in 1945, the materials of the two were combined into one series.
Series D deals with political, material, and social relief and rescue activities, location of survivors, immigration and migration, refugees, displaced persons, extermination and reaction to Hitler's Final Solution, and relations with international relief organizations (including the UNRRA and Red Cross). Throughout the second world war, the relief and rescue departments at the New York office maintained contact with WJC relief and rescue workers in Europe, especially via WJC offices in London, Stockholm, Geneva, and Lisbon.
Subseries 1 to 5 contain files of the RELIEF (or Relief and Rehabilitation) DEPARTMENT, 1939–1969. RESCUE DEPARTMENT files, 1939–1966, are located in subseries 6 and 7.
Arrangement Note: Divided into seven subseries:
Subseries 1. Executive Files. 1939–1969. [13 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Consists of correspondence of the Relief Department (and includes some material related to the Rescue Department) along with files of the Relief Committee, Arieh Tartakower, Kalman Stein, and Kurt R. Grossman. Also included are files from the Courses on Jewish Social Work, a training program for social workers planning to help displaced Jews in Europe that was sponsored by the WJC in 1945.
Subseries 2. Immigration Division. 1940–1953. [32 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Includes correspondence and reports of Ellen Hilb, Milka Fuchs, and Kurt R. Grossman. The majority of the material deals with applications and affidavits for individual immigration cases, especially for entry into the United States.
Subseries 3. Location Service. 1942–1960. [25 Hollinger boxes]
Historical Note: The Location Service department began as the Refugee Relief Department or Division for Displaced Persons, which was established in October 1942 in New York by the WJC and American Jewish Congress. Later, it was renamed the Personal Inquiry Department (1944–1945), then, finally, the Location Service (1945–1947). Headed by Chaim Finkelstein, the purpose of the department was to trace Jewish survivors in Europe and help Jews in the United States and Europe reestablish contacts. The Location Division was transferred to the AJC Women's Division in February 1947 and discontinued in November of the same year. Activities of the department included compiling and publicizing lists of refugees and survivors and conducting a parcel service. The WJC also established search departments for displaced persons at their office in Geneva (1939) and London (March 1945 to 1955). The Location Service files include lists of survivors, known dead, and inmates of concentration and refugee camps. The subseries also contains correspondence, reports, and other materials pertaining to displaced persons camps and survivors after the war.
Subseries 4. Child Care Division. 1942–1953. [12 Hollinger boxes]
Historical Note: The Child Care Division was created in November 1945 to establish Jewish orphanages in Europe and to place orphans with foster parents or relatives. Directed by Ellen Hilb and Catherine Varchaver, the department's activities included projects to encourage American Jews to communicate with survivors in Europe and offer them material as well as moral support with letters and packages.
Subseries 5. Committee for Overseas Relief Supplies. 1945–1950. [9 Hollinger boxes]
Historical Note: Established in June 1945 to ship clothing, food, and medicine to liberated Jews in Europe, the Committee was headed by Kurt R. Grossman and discontinued in June 1948.
Subseries 6. Advisory Council on European Jewish Affairs. 1941–1947. [12 Hollinger boxes]
Historical Note: The Advisory Council on European Jewish Affairs was founded in 1942 to establish a united front of European Jewry with regard to common war, peace, and post-war problems. Council membership was composed of delegates from various Representative Committees of European Jewries then present in the United States. The Council's primary goals were: securing maximum aid in the various groups' struggle for democracy; the reestablishment of European Jewry's complete equality of rights as individuals and as citizens; to study the problems connected with the upbuilding of European Jewish life in their respective countries after the war; and collaborating with non-Jewish groups to promote mutual understanding and cooperation.
Subseries 7. Rescue Department. 1939–1966. [13 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Contains Rescue Department records. Included are files of Aryeh L. Kubowitzki and Rudolf Glanz, together with inquiries and locations concerning missing Jews and records of rescue work in post-war Europe.
Series E. Culture Department. 1943–1974. [11 Hollinger boxes (4.4 linear feet)]
Historical Note: The Culture Department in New York was established in March 1945 to assist with reconstruction of the spiritual and cultural life of Holocaust survivors; recovery of cultural treasures and communal archives; and to strengthen the intellectual aspects of Jewish life in the Western hemisphere and Sephardic communities in the Mediterranean area. Several variations of the name of the department are used in the collection, including Education Department, Cultural Department, and Department of Culture and Education.
Scope and Content Note: Contains correspondence of the department directors, Simon Federbush and Wolf Blattberg, together with reports, publications, and other material pertaining to the activities of the New York branch of the Culture Department.
Material in the series includes correspondence of the first director, Simon Federbush (1945–ca. 1950) and the second director, Wolf Blattberg (1950–1958), who joined the department in 1945. After Blattberg's death in 1958, Greta Beigel assumed his responsibilities for cultural work. Included in Blattberg's files is correspondence with the London headquarters of the Culture Department and its director, Aaron Steinberg (1946–1968).
In addition to correspondence, the series contains reports, publications, and other materials pertaining to the activities of the Culture Department in New York, such as the school adoption plan, cultural delegation to Europe and South America, essay contests, relations with UNESCO, book drives, and periodicals. Other materials in the series refer to conferences on Jewish, Yiddish, or Hebrew culture.
Arrangement Note: Divided into three subseries:
Subseries 1. Executive Files. 1944–1959. [8 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Consists of files of Simon Federbush and Wolf Blattberg's correspondence and reports.
Subseries 2. Miscellaneous. 1943–1966, 1971. [2 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Consists of various correspondence, United Nations committee reports, and awards.
Subseries 3. Publications. 1945–1965, 1973–1974. [1 Hollinger box]
Language Note: Many of the publications in this subseries are in Yiddish.
Scope and Content Note: Consists of publications regarding Jewish life and culture.
Series F. Organization Department. 1942–1976. [36 Hollinger boxes (14.4 linear feet)]
Historical Note: The department was originally established in Paris, ca. 1937, under Baruch Zuckerman to increase membership, strengthen relations with and between affiliates, maintain contacts with branch offices, and improve the image of the WJC with its affiliates. When rescue activities diminished in the late 1940s, the Organization Department also inherited responsibility for the European Advisory Council.
After the WJC headquarters moved from Europe, Zuckerman became the first director of the Organization Department in New York, ca. 1941. In February 1946 Zuckerman was succeeded by Isaac Schwartzbart, who continued as director until 1960 when the department was moved to Geneva and came under the direction of Gerhart M. Riegner, who carried the title, Director of Coordination. At that time some Organization Department files, especially correspondence from 1958–1960, were sent to Geneva and, as a result, are not included in this series.
Scope and Content Note: Consists of of files of the Organization Department while it was based at the New York office of the WJC during the 1940s and 1950s.
Materials in Series F. reflect the following activities of the Organization Department: fundraising (until May, 1946); producing reports on WJC activities for affiliates and on the situation of Jewish communities world wide; organizing commemorations (notably for anniversaries of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising) and celebrations; preparing for plenary assemblies and conferences; and maintaining relations with other Jewish organizations.
Included in the series is correspondence with or about communities; records concerning commemorations, conferences, and affiliation; together with mimeographed materials (“stencils”) in the form of reports, form letters to affiliates, and memos to the Office and Executive Committees.
Arrangement Note: Divided into three subseries:
Subseries 1. Executive Files. 1942–1976. [8 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Correspondence and reports for Issac Schwartzbart, Robert S. Serebrenick, and Saul Sokal. The files in this subseries deal with individuals, organizations, departments, subjects, publications, and countries.
Subseries 2. Office Files. 1944–1973. [24 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Consists of office correspondence and files regarding the Organization Department's work throughout the world. The subseries begins with general correspondence arranged chronologically, followed by files on individuals, organizations and departments, countries, topics (including conferences and commemorations — notably Warsaw Ghetto uprising anniversaries), reports, and publications.
Subseries 3. General Files. 1946–1960. [4 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Consists of general correspondence files of the Organization Department. These files are arranged chronologically from June 1946 through 1960, when the department moved to Geneva.
Series G. Administrative Departments. 1936–1979. [79 Hollinger boxes (31.6 linear feet)]
Scope and Content Note: Contains records pertaining to the operation and administration of the New York office of the World Jewish Congress.
Arrangement Note: Divided into six subseries:
Subseries 1. Public Relations. 1939–1979. [5 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Consists of correspondence, press materials, biographies, and obituaries produced by the New York office of the World Jewish Congress and the American Jewish Congress. The subseries also contains files from the WJC's London office as well as its South American office. A large portion of this subseries is composed of files of Moises Glikowski, a World Jewish Congress staff member who served as a translator for Spanish and Yiddish materials and also as a WJC liaison for South American issues and events. The final portion of the subseries consists of biographical materials — including obituaries — for World Jewish Congress personnel and for leading Jewish personalities of the time. Some materials in this subseries are in Spanish and Yiddish.
Subseries 2. Press Releases. 1936–1977. [27 Hollinger boxes]
Language Note: Contains material in many languages other than English, including French, German, Spanish, and Yiddish.
Scope and Content Note: Consists of press releases, news bulletins, and news surveys of the American Jewish Congress, World Jewish Congress, and Office of Jewish Information. The subseries includes a large run of the World Jewish Affairs news bulletin, as well as files of the World Jewish Congress Information Department in London.
Subseries 3. Distribution. 1940–1972. [29 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Contains material collected by the World Jewish Congress's Distribution Desk. The Distribution Desk was responsible for duplication and distribution of information within the WJC in New York office. The first portion of this subseries consists of correspondence, arranged alphabetically by the name of the correspondent. Following the correspondence is a large collection of chronological mimeographed materials (“stencils”) which consist of press releases and official notices released by the World Jewish Congress. Concluding the series are cables and cable sheets, containing important correspondence of WJC officials during the years 1940–1972.
Subseries 5. Administrative Materials ( Knopfmacher, Kate). 1945–1967. [3 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Consists of files pertaining to the administration of the WJC's New York office and its Administrative Secretary, Kate Knopfmacher. It contains cable sheets, correspondence, memos, questionnaires, staff lists and directories, and union contracts, primarily for the years 1945–1955.
Subsereis 6. Finance. 1943–1967. [11 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Consists of bookkeeping and financial records for the organization, including fundraising campaigns in the United States and worldwide. These records contain information pertaining to the finances of many, if not most, of the departments and functions of the World Jewish Congress, giving context and information on the organization's financial history as well as its internal operations.
Series H. Alphabetical Files. 1919–1981. (bulk 1940-1981) [392 Hollinger boxes (156.8 linear feet)]
Scope and Content Note: Consists of of materials collected by the WJC's New York office. The material in this series deals with regions, countries, and communities throughout the world, as well as with organizations and issues of interest to the WJC.
Created by WJC staff, Series H has a diverse provenance, with materials from various departments filed together under the subseries headings. Some material in the series pre-dates the establishment of the WJC, but the bulk of the material spans the years 1940–1981.
In addition to Monty Jacobs, the names of several persons figure significantly in this series, including: Gerhard Jacoby (Germany), Gerhart M. Riegner (Switzerland), Marc Turkow ( WJC South American office, Argentina), Samuel Bronstein (Canada), and Hillel Storch (Sweden).
Arrangement Note: Divided into four subseries. Within each subseries the material is arranged alphabetically by country, region or organization, and is loosely arranged chronologically thereunder. The four subseries are as follows:
Subseries 1. Alphabetical Files, A–Z. 1919, 1924–1929, 1931–1981. (bulk 1940s-1960s) [370 Hollinger boxes]
Subseries 2. Monty Jacobs International Files. 1949, 1953–1957, 1959–1973. (bulk 1960s) [2 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Contains alphabetically arranged international files of Monty Jacobs, Press Director and Executive Director in the 1950s and 1960s.
Subseries 3. Publications. 1930, 1937, 1940–1951, 1953–1956, 1959–1969, 1974. [2 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Consists of publications (Jewish and non-Jewish, WJC and non- WJC), from various countries and organizations. There are also one or two subject files. Additional publications are scattered throughout the other subseries, but these publications were maintained as a separate subseries to preserve their provenance, as they were kept in that manner by WJC staff.
Subseries 4. International Alphabetical Files — Correspondence and Clippings. 1949–1981. (bulk 1952-1981) [18 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Consists of alphabetically arranged files on countries and regions. These materials were received by the American Jewish Archives from the WJC in 1987, several years after receipt of the main collection.
Series I. Publications. 1942–1971. [19 Hollinger boxes (7.6 linear feet)]
Scope and Content Note: Contains general WJC periodical publications of the New York office not related to specific departments. See respective series for publications of individual departments. Publications from other branches of the WJC and from WJC sources can be found in other series filed by source of publication, topic of primary interest (such as event or person), or as filed by the WJC.
Please note that the Daily Digest of Congress Activities was later renamed Congress Digest. Following the issues of Congress Digest is a large subject index for this publication for the years 1950–1952 and 1965–1967.
Arrangement Note: Arranged in an alphabetical listing of titles. Periodicals written in languages other than English are noted in parentheses in the box and folder listing.
Series J. Non-Print Materials and Miscellaneous. 1930–1982. [12 Hollinger boxes, 1 oversized box, and 5 card file boxes (7.2 linear feet)]
Scope and Content Note: Contains photographs, sound recordings, artifacts, and oversized maps.
Arrangement Note: Divided into two subseries:
Subseries 1. Photographs. 1930–1974. (bulk 1940s-1960s) [5 card file boxes and 10 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Consists of photos of families, adults, and child survivors. This subseries is further sub-divided, primarily by subject matter, according to categories established by the WJC archives. Photographs in this series are primarily unlabeled and portray persons, functions, places, and events associated with or of interest to the WJC. Subseries 1. Photographs, contains mostly photographic prints, but also includes negatives, microfilm, mats for newsphotos, and related documents. The microfilms (located at J15/14) duplicate documents dealing with the Holocaust in Bulgaria and Budapest. A few photographs are related to material located elsewhere in the collection.
The first sub-division, Protection Photos, contains small (app. 2" × 3") portraits of children and adults. The protection photos were submitted to the WJC for inclusion with requests for protection documents (i.e., U.S. or South American visas, Palestine certificates). Child Survivor photos portray European children (and some adults) in 1946 and 1947; most are identified by name. The Child Care Division of the Relief Department used the photos in its Foster Parents Plan, Adopt-A-Family Plan, and Correspondents' Service programs.
Another sub-division, Atrocities and Desecrations, includes photographs of people, events, and documents relating to the Holocaust, as well as desecrations of synagogues and evidence of other anti-Semitic actions in Europe, Algeria, and South America from the 1940s to the 1960s. Photos of French Resistance fighters and Polish refugees are included in this category.
The remaining sub-divisions are: Buildings, Ceremonial Occasions, Conferences, Children's and Nursing Homes, Demonstrations, General, Personalities, and War Criminals. The Personalities category includes photos of WJC personnel and friends, visitors, and speakers at meetings; it is arranged alphabetically by name.
Subseries 2. Sound Recordings, Artifacts, and Oversize Materials. 1942–1982. [3 Hollinger boxes]
Scope and Content Note: Consists of reel to reel audiotape, cassette tapes, and records of meetings and speeches. Also contained in an oversized box are posters, maps and photographs.
The recordings include speeches given by Stephen S. Wise, Nahum Goldmann, and Maurice L. Perlzweig; WJC and UN meetings; a radio broadcast about rescue activities of Count Bernadotte; and communications on Israel. The reel-to-reel tapes and most of the records were duplicated onto cassettes in 1988.
The artifacts consist of badges, ribbons, 4" × 6" flags, and souvenir folders from WJC conferences and plenary assemblies held from 1944 to 1975.
The oversize materials contain maps of Europe showing the locations of concentration camps (dated 1942 to ca. 1945), handmade posters from displaced persons camps (ca. 1945 to ca. 1947), an Office of War Information poster dealing with discrimination (1943), and a reprint from a magazine concerning the Holocaust.

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Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the American Jewish Archives's online catalog.

Contributors

Goldmann, Nahum -- 1894-1982
Perlzweig, Maurice Louis -- 1895-1985
Robinson, Nehemiah, -- 1898-1964
Wise, Stephen Samuel -- 1874-1949

Subjects

Antisemitism
Holocaust survivors
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
Jews, Soviet
Restitution and indemnification claims (1933- )

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