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Networks of Refugees from Nazi Germany

Continuities, Reorientations, and Collaborations in Exile


Edited by Helga Schreckenberger

This volume focuses on coalitions and collaborations formed by refugees from Nazi Germany in their host countries. Exile from Nazi Germany was a global phenomenon involving the expulsion and displacement of entire families, organizations, and communities. While forced emigration inevitable meant loss of familiar structures and surroundings, successful integration into often very foreign cultures was possible due to the exiles’ ability to access and/or establish networks. By focusing on such networks rather than on individual experiences, the contributions in this volume provide a complex and nuanced analysis of the multifaceted, interacting factors of the exile experience. This approach connects the NS-exile to other forms of displacement and persecution and locates it within the ruptures of civilization dominating the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Contributors are: Dieter Adolph, Jacob Boas, Margit Franz, Katherine Holland, Birgit Maier-Katkin Leonie Marx, Wolfgang Mieder, Thomas Schneider, Helga Schreckenberger, Swen Steinberg, Karina von Tippelskirch, Jörg Thunecke, Jacqueline Vansant, and Veronika Zwerger

Various Authors & Editors

Slavic Judaica in the YIVO Library
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

IDC is happy to announce it is making available the YIVO Library's Slavic Judaica collection on microfilm. The collection consists of approximately 350 books and pamphlets in the Russian language, from the Library's Vilna and Elias Tcherikower collections, and includes some very rare, unusual and ephemeral books, pamphlets and offprints.
Most of these publications were printed in Central and Eastern Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries (all of them before 1940, and most before 1917). They deal with such topics as Jewish religious traditions, Jewish history, the struggle for equal rights in Tsarist Russia, social and political movements, Jewish community organizations, intergroup relations in Russia and Poland, anti-Semitism, and emigration to America.

The Tsarist Russian Empire was the incubator for a number of political and social developments that have had a profound and enduring impact on world history and on the history of the Jewish people in the 20th century. Not only did the 1917 Bolshevik revolution (with its global implications) take place in Russia, but Zionism and the labor movement also flourished in the impoverished and persecuted Jewish communities of the Russian Pale of Settlement.
Because of the political disruptions of the 20th century (wars, revolutions, mass emigration, and Soviet totalitarianism), access to the published and unpublished documentary legacy of Russian Jewry has always been very limited. Libraries and archives within the former Soviet Union were essentially closed to foreign (and most local) researchers, and Judaica collections were often relegated to cellars and warehouses, in a completely chaotic state. While access to ex-Soviet repositories has improved since the late 1980s, much work remains to be done to make their collections truly accessible. For that reason, specialized collections in libraries outside the former Soviet republics assume a particular importance for scholarship.

Vilna collection
The books in the Vilna collection have been the property of the YIVO Library since the period when the YIVO Institute was located in Vilna (now Vilnius, Lithuania), from 1925 until 1940. During the Nazi occupation (1941-1943), the Vilna YIVO library was confiscated and shipped to Germany, where it was to have been incorporated into an anti-Semitic research center headed by the Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg. These library materials were recovered near Frankfurt am Main and returned to YIVO, now located in New York, in 1947. Many of the microfilmed volumes are stamped "Sichergestellt durch Einsatzstab RR," meaning that they were "secured" by the Rosenberg task force. The Einsatzstab's activities throughout Europe have been documented in the book, The Rape of Europe, by Lynn Nicholas (New York: Knopf, 1994). The postwar rescue of YIVO's looted library and archives is discussed in the book, From That Place and Time, by Lucy S. Dawidowicz (New York: W. W. Norton, 1989).

Elias Tcherikower collection
Elias Tcherikower was one of YIVO's founders and until his death in 1943 was head of the Institute's Historical Section. A native of Poltava, Ukraine, his massive personal library is especially strong in Russian-language Judaica, emphasizing Jewish history and the political status of Jews in Russia. Tcherikower collected many of his books in Russia and the Ukraine, and the Tcherikower library and archive followed its owner from Kiev to Berlin to Paris, where the collection was hidden during World War II. Tcherikower and his wife escaped from occupied France to New York and after the war his books and manuscripts were found and bequeathed to YIVO.

Unique research materials
The Russian Judaica in YIVO's Vilna and Tcherikower collections includes some very unusual and ephemeral books, pamphlets, and offprints. The pre-1917 imprints (about 90% of the total group) deal with such subjects as Jewish religious traditions, Jewish history, the struggle for equal rights for Jews under the Tsarist regime, political movements among Jews in Russia (e.g., Zionism, socialism), Jewish community organizations, Jewish-Christian relations, anti-Semitism (including some works reflecting anti-Jewish viewpoints), and emigration to America. This portion of the collection is exceptionally rich, and a high proportion of the titles in it is likely not to be found in any other American repository.

German Refugee Historians and Friedrich Meinecke

Letters and Documents, 1910-1977


Gerhard A. Ritter

The book deals with the relationship between Friedrich Meinecke, who is often considered to be the leading German historian of the first half of the twentieth century, and several of his students who, after the Nazi seizure of power, were forced to emigrate because of their Jewish descent or their political views. The letters published here to Meinecke from Hans Rothfels, Dietrich Gerhard, Hajo Holborn, Felix Gilbert, Hans Rosenberg, and others show these scholars' deep respect for their old teacher, but also their growing distance from his historical interests and methods. In a period of struggle between democracy and Nazi dictatorship, the letters address the problems of emigration and remigration, German-Jewish and German-American identity, and historiography in both Germany and the United States.

Emil J. Gumbel

Weimar German Pacifist and Professor


Athalya Brenner

Emil J. Gumbel (1891-1966) began his career simply as a professor of mathematical statistics in Heidelberg, but he is most remembered as a political activist militantly advocating for pacifism during the complicated and volatile times of the Weimar Republic in Germany. As a Jew with left-wing socialist and democratic sensibilities, he was exiled to France and later America. Ironically, the same writings on political terror and politicized justice in Nazi Germany that caused his ostracization saved his life. A courageous man, Gumbel spoke out passionately against the Nazis and came to symbolize a 'one-man party' at the center of controversy in German academia. His intellectual and moral vigor never waned, and despite his significant scientific contributions, it is his legacy of political ideology that endures for later generations to learn from. This biography chronicles the public life of a man not entirely part of the political or the academic world, but who has earned his place in history nonetheless.

Carol Zemel

camp tourism. Over one million tourists visited Auschwitz in 2017. 9 Quoted in R.M. Vaughn, “Using Art to Rethink the Legacy of Nazi Germany,” The Walrus , October 27, 2017. 10 . 11 Werner Wolff (1911–2002) emigrated from Germany to New York in 1936; he

Irena Veisaitė

Tolerance and involvement


Yves Plasseraud

Irena Veisaitė is held in deep esteem throughout her country. This volume is an attempt to relate the difficult journey of her remarkable life against the backdrop of the complex history of Lithuania and its Litvaks (Lithuanian Jews).
After being rescued by Christian Lithuanian families and having survived the Holocaust Irena Veisaitė devoted herself to study and creative work. She was a memorable lecturer, respected theatre critic, associate film director, and also founder and chairman of the Open Society Fund (Soros Foundation) which made an invaluable contribution to the process of democratisation in Lithuania.
Irena Veisaitė made it her life’s work to speak up for dialogue and mutual understanding and believes that even in the most difficult circumstances it is possible to preserve one’s humanity. Having lived through some of the major atrocities of the twentieth century, her insistence on the need for tolerance has inspired many.

"The Tragic Couple"

Encounters Between Jews and Jesuits


Edited by James Bernauer and Robert Aleksander Maryks

The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) has become a leader in the dialogue between Jews and Catholics as was manifested in the role that the Jesuit Cardinal Augustin Bea played in the adoption by the Second Vatican Council of Nostra Aetate, the charter for that new relationship. Still the encounters between Jesuits and Jews were often characterized by animosity and this historical record made them a tragic couple, related but estranged. This volume is the first examination of the complex interactions between Jesuits and Jews from the early modern period in Europe and Asia through the twentieth century where special attention is focused on the historical context of the Holocaust.

Joey Orr

Maria Eichhorn’s installation of books acquired unlawfully from Jewish ownership, presented recently in the 2017 Documenta 14 in Kassel, Germany, in which the artist displayed books looted during the Nazi era. These books were identified by researchers who examined the Berlin Central and City State

Maya Balakirsky Katz

donning a Bavarian Jaegerhut , a short-brimmed green felt hat with its distinguishing feather, which he wears throughout the remainder of the film, even in his insect guises (fig. 14). On a satirical level, the Jaegerhut confronts the nationalist symbolism of the Nazi party with recourse to Germany’s

Catherine M. Soussloff

. Jewish identity may be said to organize the historical negativity of Soutine in art history: paintings ordered and a life narrated according to the facts of a birth in a Belorussian stetl to an untimely death in Paris at the time of the Nazi occupation. Margaret Olin has argued similarly regarding