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Web-Based Digital Collections
- Adolf Eichmann
- Released in March 2000 by the Israeli State Archives, the memoirs of Adolf Eichmann offer a chilling, though self-serving, account of the workings of the Nazi's "Final Solution." Although most scholars dismiss the diary as an attempt by Eichmann to defend or exonerate himself while on trial for his central role in the Holocaust, the manuscript was still sealed in the Israeli archives for 39 years. It was made public at the request of Deborah Lipstadt, a professor at Emory University, who, along with her publisher, Penguin Books, is being sued for libel by David Irving, a British historian whom Lipstadt characterized as a "dangerous spokesman" for Holocaust denial. Under Britain's libel laws, the burden of proof is on the defendant, which means that Lipstadt must discredit Irving's position by demonstrating that he has willfully ignored or distorted the facts. Due to the complicated nature of the trial, it has been heard without a jury, and closing arguments are scheduled for March 13. The Nizkor Project, one of the largest online repositories of primary documents related to the Holocaust, is dedicated to combatting Holocaust denial and has made available the full text of the diary, False Gods, (in German only) in .txt, .rtf, and MS Word formats. Users can also learn more about Eichmann at Nizkor's special section on him. [Internet Scout Project]
- Hitler's Unwanted Children: Children with Disabilities, Orphans, Juvenile Delinquents and Non-Conformist Young People In Nazi Germany
- The Nizkor Project has recently posted a fine paper by Sally M. Rogow, Professor Emerita of the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia. Rogow's paper carefully examines the Nazi state's attitudes and actions towards children who did not measure up to the party's social and biological criteria. [Internet Scout Project]
- Holocaust: Primary Documents (from EuroDocs)
- Part of the EuroDocs project at Brigham Young University, this page contains a well-selected directory of links to primary source materials for the history of the Holocaust, with an emphasis on German materials. Please note that many of these online collections have not been translated into English.
- Life After the Holocaust: Stories of Holocaust Survivors After The War
- This particular collection features interviews with six Holocaust survivors who came to the United States after their experiences. With a somber background of harvest-colored leaves on thin branches, the site presents narratives organized into one of several themes, including "Speaking Out", "Faith, Guilt and Responsibility", and "Arriving in New York". Each interview is intercut with narration that helps explain the background of each survivor's story, which helps unfamiliar listeners with the context of each experience.
- National Socialism and World War II: Primary Documents (from EuroDocs)
- Part of the EuroDocs project at Brigham Young University, this page conveniently assembles a large directory of links to primary source materials for the history of Nazi Germany. Please note that many of these online collections have not been translated into English.
- Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals, 1933-1945
- "This online exhibition examines the campaign of persecution and violence against the homosexuals of Germany" from 1933-1945. Provides both a general historical overview as well as a timeline built around the experiences of Bauhaus artist Richard Grune. Includes a bibliography and related links. From the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. [Librarians' Index to the Internet]
- Nazi Propaganda (Pre-1933 Material) and 1933-1945 Material (from Calvin College, Michigan)
- A large-scale translation project headed by Randall Bytwerk, Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences at Calvin College, this online archive collection includes essays, pamphlets, speeches, cartoons, posters, flyers, and other materials. The work of major Nazi leaders like Joseph Goebbels is well-represented here, as well as official publications of the Nazi Party. Citations to the original German language sources is provided for all translations. The collection can be searched or browsed.
- Nazis, Eugenics, and the T-4 Program (1920-1950) [from the Disability Social History Project]
- Brief page describing the "T-4" program of extermination carred out against children and adults with disabilities. Includes related links and a bibliography.
- Nuremberg Trials Project - A Digital Document Collection
- The Harvard Law School Library has approximately one million pages of documents relating to the trial of military and political leaders of Nazi Germany before the International Military Tribunal (IMT) and to the twelve trials of other accused war criminals before the United States Nuremberg Military Tribunals (NMT). The documents, which include trial transcripts, briefs, document books, evidence files, and other papers, have been studied by lawyers, scholars, and other researchers in the areas of history, ethics, genocide, and war crimes, and are of particular interest to officials and students of current international tribunals involving war crimes and crimes against humanity. [Librarians' Index to the Internet]
- Versailles Treaty
- The complete 1919 Treaty of Versailles. Linked in are other Internet resources connected to the treaty such as maps, photos, and cartoons. [Librarians' Index to the Internet]
- Voices of the Holocaust
- Presented by the British Library, Voices of the Holocaust consists of personal, oral testimonies gathered from Jewish men and women who came to reside in Britain. These testimonies are true stories told by Holocaust survivors that depict life during this horrifyingly tumultuous time. The testimonies are divided into six main categories -- life before the Holocaust, ghettos and deportations, the camps, resistance, liberation, and testimonies by Edith Berkin.
History Unfolded: U.S. Newspapers and the Holocaust
In the 1930s, what could the average American citizen learn about the Nazi persecution of Jewish individuals and other minorities from reading American newspapers? How did the U.S. press report on these atrocities? How did American domestic politics, social movements, and prejudices influence press coverage? The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has launched the History Unfolded project to facilitate exploration and conversation around these important questions. The museum has invited researchers and students across the United States to collect and digitize U.S. newspaper articles to include in the museum's growing online database. In Spring 2018, these archives will be incorporated into an exhibition about Americans and the Holocaust. Meanwhile, visitors to this website can learn how to participate in the project or browse through the articles currently in the database. There are a number of Teacher Resources here, including a detailed lesson plan and links to online newspaper databases that will help history instructors facilitate classroom research projects.
The Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum
This elegant and moving site from the Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum tells the stories of six survivors of the Holocaust. By putting a human face to the horrific numbers - between 1941 and 1945 more than 70,000 Jews and Roma were murdered in Latvia - the site brings the realities of life and death in the Latvian ghettos into startling focus. The experiences of these individuals, told through poignant combinations of image and text, include a dockworker who saves Jews from certain death, a Jewish woman who carefully records her experience for later testimony to the Allied forces, and a young boy who survives the concentration camps to find a new life in America. Readers are encouraged to scout the MAP tab on the landing page, where Google Street View images from present-day Riga are juxtaposed with images and oral histories that recount the experience of the Ghetto, street by street. In all, these innovative features work to bring this terrible period to life with the words of those lucky enough to live through it, and bring a sobering new perspective to one small piece of an international human tragedy.
The Secret Annex Online
The Anne Frank House has crafted this interactive tour of Anne Frank's secret hiding place that is altogether moving, profound, and wonderful. First-time visitors should look over the About the house area for an introduction to this very famous domicile. Next, the Who's Who area provides a multimedia introduction to the eight people living together in the secret annex. Visitors can even Enter the 3D House for a first-hand look into this living space, accompanied by audio stories and descriptive excerpts from Anne's diary. Finally, The outcome area contains a number of short video clips, including oral histories with Otto Frank, about the arrests of Anne and those who shared the space with her.
Some Were Neighbors (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)
How were so many people murdered in the Holocaust? It is a grim question, and it is explored with great sensitivity and insight in this digital exhibition created by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Designed to complement an in site exhibit, the materials here include photographs, oral histories, and other documents that look at the different roles played by teachers, workers, policemen, and teenagers during this period in world history. The Religious Leaders area contains moving newsreel footage about the role played by Ukrainian Orthodox bishops during this period. The site also includes a For Educators area, complete with lesson plans and resources, such as links to the Holocaust encyclopedia and bibliographies. Additionally, the site contains a glossary and a detailed timeline.
Oral Histories: Wisconsin Survivors of the Holocaust from the Wisconsin Historical Society
After the conclusion of World War II, over 140,000 Holocaust survivors came to settle in the United States. Over 1,000 of them ended up in Wisconsin, and their stories survive online courtesy of the work of archivists at the Wisconsin Historical Society. Between 1974 and 1981, these archivists interviewed 22 survivors and two American witnesses. They collected 156 hours of audio and 3,400 transcribed pages, and this website offers all of these materials, in their entirety, for the first time. The subjects covered within these interviews are extensive, and they include conversations about the conditions in the concentration camps, the fates of their families, emigrating to the United States, and Wisconsin's Jewish communities in the mid- and late-20th century. Visitors can choose from any of the 24 testimonies, listen to brief excerpts, and also check out the lesson plans and activities here.
USC Shoah Foundation Institute
The goal of the University of Southern California's Shoah Foundation Institute is "to overcome prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry-and the suffering they cause-through the educational use of the Institute's visual history testimonies." On their homepage, visitors can watch testimonies from Holocaust survivors and others, along with learning more about their "Featured Resources". These resources include the Education Portal, which brings together lesson plans for teaching about the Holocaust and guidelines for using primary documents in the classroom. Scholars and others will appreciate the "Scholarship & Research" area which includes information on upcoming conferences, research stipends offered through the Institute, and events. Also, it is worth noting that the site also has many resources in other languages, including German, Spanish, French, Italian, Polish, and Russian.
Letters to Sala: A Young Woman's Life in Nazi Labor Camps
For those who survived the Holocaust, talking about that time can be a difficult, and, sometimes, impossible endeavor. In the early 1990s, Sala Grancraz Kirschner was preparing for a major surgery, and she decided the time was right to tell her daughter about her experiences. She gave her a red cardboard box that contains a wide range of letters written in Polish, German, and Yiddish that chronicled her experiences in seven different Nazi forced labor camps. Over a decade later, the New York Public Library created this website in order to complement an in situ exhibit at their main branch. Visitors to this site can learn about Sala's life before the war, her time at Geppersdorf (a labor camp in Germany), and the Nazi postal system. With detailed essays, interspersed with her letters and other primary documents, the site is a wonderful testimony both to her perspicacity and a fine way to learn a bit more about the experiences of a unique individual.
Simon Wiesenthal Center: Multimedia Learning Center Online
The Simon Wiesenthal Center has done the Web-browsing public a great service by placing this extremely comprehensive and authoritative multimedia archive online. Online since 1999, the Multimedia Learning Center provides access to some of the past virtual exhibits sponsored by the Center's Museum of Tolerance (including a fine one dedicated to Polish Jews), a host of teacher's resources, and a helpful frequently-asked-questions area. The FAQ area may be most helpful for students, as it contains an interactive glossary of the Holocaust, a timeline of the Holocaust, and answers to 36 commonly asked questions about the Holocaust. The special collections area of the site contains a number of relevant primary documents related to the Holocaust, though it should be noted that the majority of them are available only in German and Hebrew.
Remember Me: Displaced Children of the Holocaust
"The United States Holocaust Museum (USHM) has worked on a number of important projects, and this might be one of their most moving. Working with the archives of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), they have digitized approximately 1100 photographs of children who were displaced or orphaned as a result of the persecution carried out by the Nazis and their collaborators. The intent of this project is 'to identify these children, piece together information about their wartime and postwar experiences, and facilitate renewed connections among these young survivors, their families, and other individuals who were involved in their care during and after the war.' Visitors to the site can browse the photos by name or just by viewing the gallery as they see fit. The site also includes a 1945 BBC radio broadcast seeking relatives of displaced children and a section with updates on the project's progress." [Internet Scout Project]