ועידת התביעות
Claims Conference

 

המכון ליהדות זמננו ע"ש אברהם הרמן
The Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry



Holocaust Oral History Collection


The Catalog


Anders' Army Defectors in Eretz Israel (Project 220)

Due to an agreement signed between the exiled Polish government and Joseph Stalin in August, 1941, all Polish nationals in the USSR were allowed to apply for a unit formed by General Wladislaw Anders. Thousands of Jews joined, many of whom deserted between 1942-1944 while the army was encamped in Iran, Iraq and Eretz Yisrael. This project examines their motives, when and how they deserted,  treatment of deserters by the Yishuv, their absorption into the Yishuv, and their integration into the Jewish Brigade and the Israel Defense Forces.
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Belgian Jews active in the underground and the rescue of Jewish children from Germany and Austria to Western Europe and their subsequent absorption (Project 27)

Jews in the Underground in Belgium: interviews with people active in the Belgian underground during World War II emphasizing personal contacts with the underground movement, the activities of the Jewish Council in Belgium, setting up of the Comite' de Defense des Juifs; financing of activities, underground press and propaganda, contacts with other Jewish groups, contacts with the authorities, attitude of the church. Interviews with people who organized the rescue operations. The project also deals with the children's absorption in their adoptive countries.
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Bricha (Project 4)

Research project dealing with the mass movement of Jews out of Eastern Europe to Central and Southern Europe, and its political consequences. The organization of underground routes, through which large numbers of Jews were brought into Displaced Persons Centers in Europe and "illegal immigration" into Palestine.
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Child Survivors In Israel (Project 241)

This collection of interviews were conducted as part of research for a doctoral dissertation at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem at the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry. The interviewees all live in Israel and survived the war as children. The interviews were based on a life-story approach, where interviewees were asked to relate their life stories. They were non-structured interviews and lasted between one to three hours. The dissertation was published as a book entitled "Finding their Voice: Life Stories of Child Survivors of the Holocaust in Israel (Sussex Academic Press,2005).
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Cultural And Educational Life In Theresienstadt (Project 34)

The project examines the work of teachers, youth leaders and artists in the Theresienstadt ghetto and in the family camp in Auschwitz, the activities carried out in the children's block, and the variegated cultural life developed in the ghetto. One of the important aspects of this project is the conception of the purpose of this education as seen by those who taught the children in Theresienstadt and in Auschwitz.
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Fascist Italy and the Jews (Project 96)

The object of this project is to examine the rescue of Jews in Italy during the Holocaust by Italians, and in particular by members of the clergy. With regard to the clergy, the central question is whether they engaged in rescue work on their own initiative or if they were directed to do so by the church hierarchy.
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Fate Of Belorussian Jewry During The Holocaust (Projects 51 & 223)

This project describes the life of the Jews of Belorussia during the period of the Nazi conquest: the attitude of the population to them; the Jewish community of Minsk ghetto and outside; methods of rescuing Jews; the partisans camps; the attitude of the partisans to the Jews among them. The interviews include evaluation of the role of the Jews in the war against the Nazis.
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Forced Labor Camps under the Nazi Occupation in Tunisia (Projects 36 & 154)

During the six months of Nazi occupation in Tunisia (Nov. 1942-May 1943) every Tunisian Jew between 18-28 years old was sent to forced labor camps. Description of life in these camps.
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German Jewry, 1933-1945 (Project 175)

This project examines German Jewry under Nazi rule in the 1930s and Jewish immigration to Palestine. Examines Jewish reactions to persecution, organizations, changes in attitudes, links with foreign countries and emigration.
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Holocaust – Individual Interviews (Project 160)

Holocaust survivors talk about their experiences and how they managed to survive.
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Holocaust Survivors In The United States (Project 84)

Holocaust survivors in the United States speak about their experiences during the Holocaust.
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Illegal Immigration from Italy and France, 1945-1948 (Project 43)

In the aftermath of the Holocaust, over 100,000 Jewish refugees attempted to illegally enter Palestine despite British immigration restrictions. Sixty six illegal voyages were organized between 1945-1948 sailing from Mediterranean ports mainly in Italy and France.  Over half were stopped by the British patrols who interned the captured immigrants in camps in Atlit, Cyprus and Mauritius. The majority of these refugees were only to immigrate to Israel, after the establishment of the State.
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Jews born in German speaking countries ("Yekkes") - 50/60 years after their Aliyah (Project 234)

These 40 selected interviews are based on a project consisting of almost 200 interviews with Jewish immigrants born in Germany and Austria (some also in Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Romania). Although these olim were well integrated into local Hebrew culture, they have preserved a sophisticated German language as was typical for the educated classes. Main topics concern their past in Europe, experiences with Antisemitism, concrete reasons for their emigration, their linguistic and cultural identity then and now, and their attitude towards present-day Germany and Austria. The project was initiated by Prof. Anne Betten (Eichstaett/Salzburg), assisted by Dr. Kristine Hecker (Bologna) and Dr. Miryam Du-nour (Jerusalem). The interviews were digitized at the Institut für Deutsche Sprache (Mannheim). Main sponsors were the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the Catholic University of Eichstaett and the University of Salzburg. The University of Salzburg financed a university excursion in 1998, during which participants conducted 22 interviews.
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(Jews from the Areas Annexed to the USSR in World War II (Project 101

The areas that were annexed include: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, East Poland, North Bukovina and Besarabia from 1939-1941. Among those interviewed are central figures in the administration as well as Jews who were active in communal life, education, culture, politics and religion.
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Jews from Hungarian Labor Camps taken into Soviet Captivity in World War II (Project 141)

These interviews discuss the circumstances surrounding the Soviet arrest of Jews in Hungarian labor battalions, conditions in Soviet camps and their attitude to the captives.
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(Jews in the Baltic Countries During WWII (Project 12

Focuses on Jewish participation in Lithuanian and Latvian Units of the Red Army and partisans, and on resistance in the ghettos.
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Jews in the Czechoslovak Army in World War II (Project 72)

This project shows the participation of Jewish volunteers in Czechoslovak army units fighting in the Soviet Union, the Middle East, France and England and in the National Uprising in Slovakia, during World War II. Many of the interviewees were officers who took part in the battles.
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Jews in the Yugoslav Partisan Movement during World War II (Project 64)

This set of interviews describes the integration of Jews into the Yugoslav Partisan Movement. It also examines whether they suffered from anti-Semitism. Attention is given to the unsuccessful attempt to establish an independent Jewish Partisan unit. Finally it discusses the fate of Yugoslav Jewry during the Holocaust.
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Jews of Libya (Project 187)

The project deals with Jewish education in Tripoli and the integration of Jewish students into the local education system while continuing supplementary traditional religious education within Jewish clubs such as Ben Yehuda and Hatikva which were supported by the Jewish community, Rabbis were used as teachers and judges. The interviews also discuss activities of Zionist youth movements and their contribution to aliyah at the end of WWII in cooperation with Israeli emissaries.
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Jewish Chaplains In The US Army (Project 119)

Jewish chaplains serving in the US Army played a major role in the rehabilitation of European Jewry at the end of the Holocaust. They helped in concentration camps and D.P camps after liberation. They served as the liason between the Army and the refugees and cooperated with the Jewish Brigade.
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Jewish Underground Activities In Slovakia (Project 8)

Research project collecting information on Jewish underground activities in Slovakia during World War II. People interviewed include members of the Jewish underground movements and officials of the Slovakian Jewish community.
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Jewish Underground Movement in the USSR in the 1930s and 1940s (Project 129)

Zionist activity was outlawed in the USSR; nevertheless these activities continued and many activists were punished with imprisonment and exile. In these interviews, Zionists who were sentenced in the 1930s and 1940s talk about their experiences after finally making Aliyah in the 1970s. This project was conducted jointly with the Center for Research and Documentation of East European Jewry.
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Kindertransport Association Oral History Project (Project 265)

The Kindertransport was an organized rescue effort that took place during the nine months prior to the outbreak of WWII. The United Kingdom took in nearly 10,000 predominantly Jewish children from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland and the Danzig. In the 1990's, the Kindertransport Association videotaped oral histories of Kinder and their rescuers, and have collected photographs, documents and memorabilia for future use by researchers and historians. In these interviews, the participants talk about their home life before Adolf Hitler's rise to power, their parents' decision to send them on a kindertransport, the journey to England, their experiences in England and their lives after the Holocaust.
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Rescue Of Jewish Children In Hungary (Project 176)

This project describes the involvement of Jewish youth movements and voluntary organizations in the rescue of children from Hungary. Examines the relations with non-Jewish organizations and the role they played in rescue activities.
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Rescue Of Jews Via Spain And Portugal (Project 1)

The project examines the objective possibilities of Spain and Portugal to rescue Jews and the extent to which the countries of the Iberian Peninsula, encouraged by the Allies, utilized these possibilities. It also deals with the activities of Jewish organizations in Spain and Portugal and with the organized activities of the Jewish underground movements in France and Holland
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Rescue of Soviet Jewry via Teheran (Project 170)

This project contains the accounts of members of the Yishuv who were involved in the efforts to save Jews from Nazi-occupied Europe by way of Teheran, Iran. Describes the sending of parcels to Jewish refugees in the USSR; discusses the "Children of Teheran", the organization of the Eretz-Israel Office in Teheran and activities of the Joint Distribution Committee.
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Resistance In The Bialystok Ghetto (Project 110)

Members of pioneering youth organizations in the Bialystok Ghetto recall the events leading to the revolt and the role played by Mordechai Tenenbaum.
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Resistance Movement In The Cracow Ghetto (Project 188)

Interviews with people who were active in Cracow during the occupation, mostly former underground members. This project deals with two underground organizations, "Akiva" and "Hehalutz Halohem", their links with the PPR (Polish Communist Party) and with the center of the ZOB (Fighting Jewish Organization) in Warsaw.
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Struggle in Poland for the Return of Jewish Children from Non-Jewish Environments after the Holocaust (Project 68)

During the Holocaust many Jewish children in Poland were hidden and saved by Catholic individuals or institutions. After the war, individual Jews and Jewish organizations sought out these children in order to return them to Judaism. These interviews describe the life of the children in hiding, the post war search and the problems involved and methods used to bring back the children.
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The Jews of Greece before, during and after the Holocaust (Project 146)

These interviews, conducted in both Greece and Israel, examines the Greek Jewish community in the 1930s and its fate during Nazi occupation. Interviewees represent the communities in Athens and Thessaloniki as well as smaller communities around the country.
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Zionist Movement In Romania During WWII (Project 173)

This project was part of a research project on the Zionist movement in Romania from 1933 to 1944. Interviewees include Zionist . leaders, members of the underground, and activists who rescued Jews from Romania.
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Oral History Department The Hebrew University of Jerusalem