This website outlines the history of Jewish people in America from the arrival of the first immigrants in New Amsterdam in 1654 to the present day. It was created by the Commission for commemorating 350 Years of American Jewish History (2004), created through the cooperation of four research institutions: the American Jewish Historical Society; the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives; the Library of Congress; and the National Archives and Records Administration. The site provides short narrative histories of the community with primary source excerpts for different periods, which would serve either for reference or teaching. For scholars, students and those interested from among the general public, the site offers an online essay with lecture and book excerpts entitled Historiography of American Jewish History. The site connects to multimedia digital archives, based on the holdings of the Truman Presidential Museum and Library, and related to the 50th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel, 1948-1998. Other parts of the site include online exhibitions, such as Great Voices in Reform Judaism, which uses sound clips, images and full-text resources. There is a general illustrated historical timeline; an exhibition review; a calendar of socially, communally and academically oriented events; and further information on related conferences, links, bibliographies and instructions on how commuities can chronicle and submit their own histories to the Commission.
The website "The Central Board of Jewish Communities of Greece is an excellent resource which provides an overview of the remaining and historical Jewish communities of Greece and former Greek lands. The site uses frames and is fairly easy to navigate. There is a useful overview of the history of the Greek communities, which is illustrated with several images. There are also links to other websites of Greek Jewish organisations. The site focuses on the history of the Jewish communities, beginning with the first Greek Jew - Moscos, son of Moschion the Jew described on the site as "a slave identified in an inscription dated approximately 300 - 250 B.C." There were early Jewish communities in Patras, Corfu, Salonika (Thessaloniki), Corinth, and Lepanto among other places. They were mainly Romaniote Jews, who were later joined by some of the Sephardic communities. As part of the site the communities of Athens, Thessaloniki, Larissa, Volos, Chalkis, Trikala, Ioannina, Corfu, and Rhodes are featured. An interesting resource for all those studying Jewish Studies, Greek Studies or history.
This website is the home page of the official archive, library and museum of Dachau concentration camp which, in its time, held more than 200,000 prisoners from over thirty countries. Events in the camp are related here through historical photographs and short written passages in English and German. The camp was built in 1933 as a new kind of prison for political opponents of the regime, such as communists, social democrats, trade unionists and some liberals and conservatives. Other groups were subsequently imprisoned there, including Jews, homosexuals, gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses and priests. After the 'Night of Broken Glass' (Kristallnacht) on 9-10 November 1938, more than 10,000 Jews were sent to Dachau. The site treats the wartime history of the camp very briefly, touching on the treatment of slave labour, prisoners of war, and Jewish prisoners. It notably does not give any prominence to the medical experimentation that took place at the camp. Essential statistics are posted: well over the 30,000 who were recorded dead perished there; and over 67,000 people were still imprisoned there upon liberation. There is a virtual tour of the camp from the years when it was operating. For more in-depth information, researchers in Holocaust Studies should look to the subpage on the archive associated with the camp, which briefly describes archival holdings of written documents, over 5,000 photographs, posters, plans, objects and some 800 films. Details on German memorial publications of documents are provided, with some compiled versions translated into English and French. The site also gives directions to the camp, information for visitors and tours (especially visiting teachers and students), brief details on current exhibitions and contact information. There is a straightforward but good links page, notably to other concentration camp memorial sites.
This is the home page of eForum Zeitgeschichte Österreich (contemporary history of Austria). The site proclaims to be the first and only e-journal on contemporary history which is based in Austria. The journal specifically aims to showcase the research of younger academics and posts articles and reports on conferences, as well as book reviews. Online editions go back to the first issue posted in 2001. Profiles of authors are provided. A table of contents within each issue gives abstracts of every article. Topics included here under the general term of Austrian Contemporary History are diverse, embracing fields from Jewish History to Cultural Studies. Under the heading Werkstatt, the site provides an additional forum for debate on, and exploration of, further historical research projects and proposed thematic problems. The site also publishes full-text reviews under the heading Rezensionen. There is a useful list of links of innovative German-based academic Internet projects; archives and libraries; and historical institutes. A virtual guestbook confirms the usefulness of the site for younger academics working on the Contemporary History of Austria. At the time of last review, the most recent entries ran up to 2005.
'Folk Literature of the Sephardic Jews' is a multimedia online archive of ballads and oral literature in Judeo-Spanish. The collection was amalgamated between 1957 and 1993 by Samuel G. Armistead, Joseph H. Silverman, and Israel J. Katz. Site visitors can listen to initial transcriptions or entire recordings from an online audio archive of ballads (RealPlayer needed). Users gain access to them by means of lists sorted either by date or place of recording. Lyrics are helpfully displayed as the recording plays. The site also offers a linked list of known ballad titles as well as a linked catalogue of folk literature genres other than ballads under the following categories: endecha; liturgy; lyric song; proverb; story; vocabulary; and wedding song. In most instances, English translations are not provided. There is a search engine available, and contributors are named in an alphabetical list with their countries of origin ranging from Morocco, Greece, Turkey and Israel. The site also includes short introductory essays about history and forms of Sephardic oral literature, and the oral literature of the Hispanic world more generally. These include short bibliographies. Unfortunately, this outstanding resource could have been greatly enhanced by more detailed explanations of the historical and cultural context and significance of these ballads within Jewish, European and Mediterranean history. Nonetheless, this resource provides important access to a dying tradition, and should be of great assistance to scholars working in the field.
The site aims to disseminate information about the non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust, which number over 5 million. The author of the site (Terese Schwartz-Pencak) is widely published on the subject, is the daughter of Holocaust survivors, and has converted to Judaism. The site features extracts from Nuremberg trial documentation and an excellent page of links to resources on the Holocaust. Individual stories of survivors along with pictures and images enhance the site. Those given a voice here, Afro-Europeans, Roma and Sinti, Poles, Homosexuals, the disabled, and Jehovah's Witnesses, are among those frequently by-passed by Holocaust histories. The site is of use to those seeking an individual insight into the Holocaust and those who were both victims and heroes.
'Isaac Bashevis Singer' is a 2004 online exhibition and information website from the Library of America. It is devoted to the life and work of Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer, author of 'The Magician of Lublin' and other novels and short stories. There is an illustrated biography, a transcription of a roundtable discussion, a short note on the difficulties of translation, and a 1978 interview with Singer. There is a calendar of the centennial events in 2004. The body of the website is a Flash-only online exhibition of sixteen images of Singer, his notebooks and published works, with scholarly descriptions. The website also has a selected bibliography and filmography.
The Jewish Internet Guide is an extensive, selected and annotated collection of online Jewish resources, arranged by subject area. While the site has a vast wealth of links that will be of interest to the public, with topics ranging from aliyah to personals pages, there are also links here that researchers and teachers will find useful. Although the site is fundamentally a links portal, the material here and the annotations are substantial enough to merit researchers' attention.
Thus, the site offers quick access to resources related to: museums; libraries; art galleries; professional scholarly associations; newspapers (including some historical newspapers); anti-Semitism; rare Judaica and Hebraica and rare book dealers; academic studies of the Torah; electronic journals; publications in Hebrew and on Hebrew; hypertext versions of Jewish classical texts; Yiddish sources and related sites; dictionaries; libraries and archives; political matters; education; the performing arts; think tanks; traditional Jewish Studies programmes and related institutions; Women's Studies and feminist theory; and Palestinians and the peace process. A collection of sites has been published in book form, available for sale on the site, and has undergone several editions.
This is the website of the Jewish Museum in New York City, which is devoted to over 4,000 years of art and Jewish culture. As well as all the necessary information about the Museum, such as location, contact details, and opening times, this site makes available a number of online exhibitions. Within these is the companion to the exhibition Frida Kahlo's Intimate Family Picture; Camille Pissarro: Impressions of City and Country; and Dateline Israel: New Photography and Video Art, which documents life in Israel. Of interest also will be the site's Making Connections in Art and Jewish Culture, which explores the Museum's collections interactively. It traces the interconnections between over 60 works, from ancient artifacts to contemporary art and television clips. The site's collection overview may be searched or browsed, and details of current and forthcoming events and exhibitions hosted by the Museum, such as the New York Jewish Film Festival, are provided. This is a rich and diverse museum website which is sure to interest scholars of Jewish studies, art and literature.
The website of the "Jewish Museum of Greece" is in English and provides information on the museum, its opening hours, its collections, and on the Jewish community of various lands that have been known as Greek. The Museum was established in 1977 in Athens, from artifacts salvaged from the WWII, including those formerly confiscated by the Bulgarians from the Greek Jews of Thrace. The site provides an interesting brief insight into the collection which boasts over 7,000 objects - material evidence of 2,300 years of the Jewish community (Romaniote and Sephardi) in Greece. They include: sixteenth-century marriage certificates; traditional Tikkim; a Shofar; traditional costumes; and a level devoted to the Jewish Holocaust. Considering the rich array of exhibits, this site could have been a lot more comprehensive. However, as it is, it provides a brief snapshot of useful information as well as links to other sites on the Jewish communities of Greece.
The website of Joods Historisch Museum (the Jewish Historical Museum), provides information about the collections, exhibitions, and other activities of this Amsterdam museum. The museum has around 11,000 works of art, ceremonial items, and other objects relating to Jewish history and culture, while the museum's resource centre has a further 43,000 documents, books, photos, and audio and visual items. Information about many items is available via a searchable catalogue on the website (however, it does not seem to be easily possible to browse this catalogue, making it most useful for those users searching for something specific). Also offered on the site are visitor information, details of past and present exhibitions, and a children's section including educational resources. The website is available in Dutch and in English.
The website 'Kindertransport Association' is the homepage of this non-profit organization for people who were sent as children from of Austria, Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia to Great Britain to escape Nazi oppression and genocide. Many members of the KTA or their descendants are now citizens of the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Israel and Australia, among other countries. The site claims that the Kindertransport [transport of children] saved the lives of some 10,000 children. Yet this "small part of Holocaust History" is highly significant. The KTA is currently mandated to educate and inform subsequent generations about this event. Some members can be contacted via the KTA to give public lectures on the subject. A travelling exhibition, 'The Kindertransport Journey: Memory into History,' has a virtual counterpart on the site. Unfortunately, the reproductions of images from the original exhibition cannot be enlarged online. A few short essays on the site give the history of the transport; and another page provides bibliographic information, links lists, names of relevant films, and other details that will help researchers. The site also gives information on the activities, reunions and conferences of formal and informal chapters of the KTA in the United States, Canada and Great Britain. The site accurately conveys survivors' concerns with the current historiographical transition, in which those with direct experience with the Second World War are giving way to historians.
The KZ Mauthausen-Gusen info-pages is a website devoted to the history of the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camps in Sankt Georgen an der Gusen, Austria, not far from Linz. It is presented and maintained by the camps' memorial committee. According to a remark from one of the survivors, Gusen was one of the least-known camps and its group was the worst component of the Mauthausen complex of more than forty camps. The Gusen camps were involved in aircraft production in the connected 'Bergkristall' underground factories. Gusen included Gusen I in Langenstein, Gusen II in St.Georgen/Gusen and Gusen III in Lungitz; these were in operation from 1941 until American troops liberated them on 5 May 1945. Over 37,000 Jews and prisoners of war died there, which was "nearly one third of all the victims that died in the forty-nine concentration camps all over 'Austrian' territory." The names of specific inmates who worked on the construction of underground installations are listed on the site along with their nationalities. The site's timeline of Gusen's history reveals the bureaucratic banality upon which these terrible crimes rested, as well as Gusen's epidemics, slave labour and brutal conditions. The number of prisoners in the Gusen camps near the end of the war hovered around 24,000 people. The site provides a further history of Gusen and its underground factory complexes (some of which still exist to the present day but are not yet open to the public). This more recent history includes the building, in the late 1950s, of private housing developments on terrain formerly covered by Gusen I. More in-depth history is given on the site's subpages. Among these is an account of the liberation of the Gunskirchen camp, hidden in a forest south of Gusen, along with a link to a contemporary American pamphlet with photographs documenting the liberation. There is also information on the gas chamber at nearby Hartheim Castle. A bibliography will interest researchers in Holocaust Studies, as will the links page. The site has its own search facility and a what's new page with summaries of the committee's latest updates.
This is the website for the Language and Culture Archive of Ashkenazic Jewry (LCAAJ), which consists of more than 5,700 hours of audio interviews with Yiddish speakers collected between 1959 and 1972, from numerous locations in Central and Eastern Europe. These interviews map the Yiddish speaking population on the eve of the second World War and were conducted with the aim of building a dialectological atlas of Ashkenazic Yiddish across Europe. More than 100,000 pages of accompanying linguistic field notes are also archived. The tapes have not been transcribed, except for a selection included in the EYDES (Evidence of Yiddish Documented in European Societies) project. They are gradually being re-recorded and transferred to a digital medium. The visitor to these Web pages can listen to actual recorded samples from the original project and consult dialectological maps of Yiddish speakers throughout Europe. Instructions are provided on how to use the archive, and how to access the paper and audio recording collection, maintained by Columbia University's Rare Book and Manuscripts Library. There are also links to the archive contents, its history and preservation, as well as to Yiddish language and culture sites. LCAAJ is an excellent resource for linguistics and more general Jewish/Yiddish studies alike.
Founded in 1973, the Ontario Jewish Archives collects and preserves historical materials related to Jewish life in Ontario, Canada. The site briefly describes the archive's holdings of these materials as: manuscripts; minutes, correspondence, publications, financial and cemetery records of Jewish organizations; personal papers; diaries; invitations; posters; newspapers; photographs; films; architectural drawings; sound and video recordings of interviews and important events; and selected artifacts (badges, trophies, memorabilia). The archive also collects contemporary items in anticipation "of their future historical importance." Unfortunately, this is a very limited site, with contact details for the archivist available and opening hours listed -- but no online exhibitions or detailed catalogues of holdings to give site visitors an idea of the extent and value of the archive's significance for members of the general public or for researchers in the field of Jewish History.
Responses to the Holocaust : A Hypermedia Sourcebook is one of the few websites that explicitly addresses the intellectual impact of the Holocaust. It is basically a defunct site, having not been updated since 1995 and thus there are a number of broken links; nonetheless, its content is unusual and significant enough to merit scholarly attention and it should prove a fertile starting point especially for undergraduate and graduate students. Fields covered by the site include literature, literary criticism and film. There are essays here on films which explore the legacy of the Holocaust. Literary criticism, following Theodor Adorno, questions the ability of literature to 'represent' extreme events whose nature lies outside the realm of aesthetic or even basic linguistic expression. At the same time, philosophers such as Hannah Arendt, Emmanuel Levinas and Jean François Lyotard have all taken the Holocaust as a starting point for their ideas, notably in terms of individual responsibility and of Postmodern Philosophy. From this, the site takes us to a paper on the second generation melancholia of Art Spiegelman's MAUS. But by far the most intriguing and least explored of these influences, however, lies in the realm of Information Technology. There is a good essay here by Robert Leventhal which posts pictures of the Hollerith machine, an early computing prototype which was used by the Nazis to process victims' information and was produced by a subsidiary of IBM. Leventhal presents the actual machinery and technical expertise – whether in terms of computing, engineering, science or medicine – which ensured the practical implementation Holocaust, and points to pressing and increasingly relevant questions on the institutionalized intermingling of information, science, technology and the state. The fact that many of the legacies of the Holocaust have become banal and unrecognised aspects of daily life testifies to this genocide's impact on modern culture, but also to its position as a breaking point not merely in Western, but in world, consciousness.
This site is devoted to the collections related to exile at branches of the German national library, notably the Deutsches Exilarchiv in Frankfurt am Main and related literature collections at the Deutsche Bücherei in Leipzig. Exile in this case refers to a relatively new field of scholarly enquiry into the culture, literature and history of people, especially Jews, who fled Germany, Austria and other parts of Europe leading up to and during World War II. The site primarily gives information on archival holdings (files, private papers and special collections, letters and manuscripts). These holdings will be of particular interest for historians, as they include the records of exile organisations such as the American Guild for German Cultural Freedom; the Emergency Rescue Committee of New York; old BBC broadcasts; deutschsprachiger Autoren im Ausland, London (1953 - 1990) (German-speaking authors abroad, London); Deutscher PEN-Club im Exil (1933 - 1940) (the German PEN club in exile); Club 1943, London; and Schutzverband Deutscher Schriftsteller in der Schweiz (Association for the protection of German writers in Switzerland). Private papers are listed alphabetically according to authors' names, and feature a great range of professionals: writers; artists; scientists; academics; doctors; jurists; journalists; and linguists. Private collections on more famous exiles include: Albert Einstein; Heinrich Mann; Thomas Mann; Franz Werfel; Arnold Zweig; and Stefan Zweig. The printed collection also holds newspapers, books and other materials. Exilpresse Digital is a good subsite on exile newspapers. Of connected interest here are subpages on the Anne-Frank-Shoah-Bibliothek and the Börsenvereinsbibliothek for Frankfurt am Main nach 1945 (the Library on the stock exchange group at Frankfurt after 1945). The site gives further information on access to collections, contact details, exhibitions and related publications.
The website Sobibor: the Forgotten Revolt commemorates the most successful revolt of prisoners within the Nazi concentration camp system during World War II. It took place at the Sobibor camp in Poland on 14 October 1943. The site's content is based upon the personal experiences and research of Holocaust survivor Thomas 'Toivi' Blatt, who escaped from Sobibor during the revolt. Copies of historical documents, drawings and photographs accompany a narrative of events, including some background on the Nazis' 'Final Solution'; the construction of the camp; a list of transports into the camp, with cities of origin and numbers of prisoners, where known; the assembly line procedures that led to extermination in the gas chambers; and the planning and execution of the revolt itself. 320 Jews escaped across a minefield into the forest after a shoot-out with SS guards; many were caught and killed, with only 53 final survivors. Nazi retribution "under the code-name Erntefest (Harvest Festival)" came 20 days after the revolt, in November 1943, when 43,000 Jews were killed in six days at different camps. Pictures and profiles of both the surviving Jews and of Sobibor's leading Nazis are posted. But researchers will perhaps be most interested by transcripts of interviews conducted by the site's author, Blatt: one interview was conducted with one of Sobibor's former SS commanders, Karl Frenzel, in Germany in 1984; another was conducted in Rostov, U.S.S.R. in 1980 with Alexander Pechersky, leader of the revolt. Blatt outlines his further work advising on memorials of the some 250,000 Jews and 1,000 Poles who died at Sobibor. He also posts information on his books and the award-winning 1987 television film, "Escape from Sobibor."
'Tamid' is the scholarly journal of the 'Societat Catalana d’Estudis Hebraics' (Catalan Society of Hebrew Studies), published in Catalan (with English abstracts) since 1998. Each volume brings together research publications of the members of the society, related to different historical periods: Biblical-Talmudic period; medieval ages; and modern age. Articles usually focus on the philological and historical study of documents, but the journal also publishes Catalan translations of documents and articles on certain relevant topics within the field. Some topics covered include: the concession of freedom to a Jewish slave in 1450; a bibliography of the bibliographies on Maimonides; and Jewish inhabitants of Barcelona and the maritime commerce with the Oriental Mediterranean sea. The journal will be of interest to those working in the field of Catalan Studies and/or Jewish Studies.
The Literature section of the online Teacher's guide to the Holocaust, provides a practical guide to Holocaust literature for educators, researchers and students. Part of a broader site, these pages outline the scope and diversity of literary writing related to the Holocaust. Divided into seven sub-sections, these pages cover: writing by victims; survivor testimonies; accounts of resisters; narratives about rescuers; texts which offer an insight into the cultural, social and political context in which Nazism grew and gained momentum; and a selection of literary and critical reflections which have emerged since. Some of these address the moral issues facing contemporary society in the aftermath of the Holocaust, whilst others focus on commemorating victims and survivors. A final sub-section provides a collection of pedagogical resources which includes: a glossary; discussion topics; student handouts; detailed bibliographic material; and a sequence of lesson plans. Whilst these materials are designed for teachers within an American educational context, the detailed overview the section provides will also be useful to those teaching and studying within Further and Higher Education in the UK, offering as it does an accessible and reliable grounding to Holocaust literature.
Then and Now is an online exhibition which is a subsite of Remember.org. This exhibit shows artworks by former inmates of the Auschwitz concentration camp and juxtaposes the rendered scenes of camp existence with photographs of the camp as it now stands. Users can click on the images to flip back and forth between the image 'then' and the image 'now.' The startling contrasts would particularly serve as a teaching tool. The current lonely and barren scenes in the camp testify to a key problem that teachers and researchers of Holocaust Studies confront: namely, that the physical skeleton of the camp remains a mute wreckage of history which is stripped of its essential human element that told the true story. This exhibition seeks to replace that missing element in a clear way. The exhibition is based on 24 years of study by writer and photographer Alan Jacobs and his son, Jesse, who together photographed the scenes to match reproductions of original art pieces provided by the Auschwitz Museum Archive in 1979. Of particular note is the basement of interrogation Block 11 in Auschwitz, the horror of the prison inside the prison; thus the site comments: "If Auschwitz was the end of the line either for gassing or for forced labor, Block 11 was the end of the line at the end of the line." The exhibition gives an idea of the camp's conditions, from the comment that prisoners of war, especially the Soviets, were treated so terribly that they sometimes resorted to cannibalism to stay alive, to the extremely limited toilets, washing and sleeping facilities. This exhibition reveals that camp life became a struggle to preserve these basic aspects of human existence (eating is not depicted) in the face of all attempts to eradicate them.
This is the website of the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education. Its collections were brought together by the Survivors of the Shoah Foundation, which was established by Steven Spielberg during the filming of 'Schindler's List.' Between 1994 and 1999, the foundation collected some 52,000 testimonies of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses, including liberators, from 56 countries in 32 languages; about 90 per cent of the survivors are Jewish, the rest are "Jehovah's Witnesses, Sinti and Roma, homosexuals, political prisoners, and survivors of eugenics policies." The site states that the testimonies have been primarily collected for the purposes of education in order to inform students about the Holocaust as well as other genocides and to combat racism and prejudice. Altogether, the testimonies make up 120,000 hours of video which are searchable on this site. The Shoah Foundation has made several award-winning films based on its testimonies, as well as CD-ROMs for educational purposes; the site also describes the Foundation's ongoing educational projects. For researchers in Holocaust Studies, it is worth noting that, while some short video excerpts and the testimony catalogue are available online, the site does not provide immediate access to the videos. The catalogue offers information on witnesses, such as city and country of birth, religion and wartime experiences. In the autumn of 2005, the Shoah Foundation became part of the University of Southern California, where researchers can make appointments to gain direct access to the collection. Procedures for gaining access are provided on the site, although online instructions seem to be aimed primarily at institutions and teachers; there is, however, a Visiting Scholars Fund to support graduate students and post-doctoral researchers who wish to consult the archive.
This is the home page of the Centre for Research on anti-Semitism (ZfA) at the Technical University of Berlin, which was founded in 1982. The site opens with a list of the Centre's current lectures and colloquia and a link to its newsletter, available online in full-text versions running back to 1996. A Forschung subsite outlines the main concerns and research aims (Aufgaben und Forschungsschwerpunkte) of the Centre as the interdisciplinary study of German-Jewish History and the Holocaust. The ZfA also focusses on contextual issues surrounding racism and xenophobia, such as changing economic and social conditions and immigration. Geographically, the Centre deals with Germany, Austria, East-Central Europe and the Baltic regions; it has also addressed the plight of other minorities, such as the Roma. Topics for special research projects and conferences have included: Anti-Semitism in Italy and Germany in comparison, 1870-1914; the history of concentration camps; exile and emigration to the fifth continent; German-speaking musicians in exile in Australia; solidarity and help for the Jews, 1933-1945; the rescue of Jews in National Socialist Germany, 1933-1945; and the murder of the European Jews and German society, 1941-1945. Latest projects are outlined in detail on a special subpage. The Forschung subsite also lists a chronology of the main events related to the founding and functioning of the Centre, going back to 1978. Other subsites provide information on holdings in the ZFA's library and archive; a wide range of ZFA publications; course offerings; affiliated academics; and an association for friends of the ZFA. Of particular note is the ZFA's Jahrbuch für Antisemitismusforschung (Yearbook for Research on Anti-Semitism); the site gives the journal's contents and abstracts.