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Archives

To take our survey on access to Holocaust-related archival material, please follow the links below.  The survey is available in four languages:

English

Français

Deutsch

Русский

If you are interested in promoting this survey at a conference, within your institution, or to others who may be able to contribute, you can use these flyers available in English, French, German, and Russian.

The Multi-Year Work Plan on Archival Access (MYWP-Archives) will assess the state of access to Holocaust-relevant materials as defined by the MYWP-Archives Working Definition of Holocaust-Related material as held by archives located in IHRA member countries.  It will focus on the legal, physical, and material obstacles that confront scholars and researchers who utilize Holocaust-relevant documentation. 

The project consists of five phases, beginning with an assessment of researchers’ experiences at archives across the world, including those in IHRA member countries. 

The Multi-Year Work Plan on Archives is an appropriate and important undertaking for the IHRA because it will further discussion on archival access for scholars, researchers, governments, and the public.  Moreover, it will inform our knowledge of those archives and archival collections that remain inaccessible for use by the public and by scholars, as well as promote discussion on legal restrictions that affect the use, copying, and public presentation of the material evidence of the Holocaust.

Members of the Steering Committee on Archival Access

Chair: Dr. Robert J. Williams, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Dr. Karel C. Berkhoff, NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Dr. Haim Gertner, Yad Vashem

Annemiek Gringold-Martinot, Jewish Historical Museum Amsterdam

Dr. Oula Silvennoinen, University of Helsinki

Holocaust-Related Materials

Holocaust-related materials must have their origin in the period from the end of the First World War, extending forward to the close of Displaced Person camps in the 1950s, and must pertain to the legal, political social, economic, and cultural status of groups that became subject to state policies and persecution during the core period of 1933-1945. Exceptions to these temporal parameters include materials from Holocaust war crimes trials; testimonies about the Holocaust and its deniers; Holocaust commemoration and memorialization; asset and compensation-related materials; and records that are part of larger collections yet remain relevant to Holocaust history.

Types of materials include, but are not limited to:

  • Textual records, including but not limited to government documents, legal proceedings, institutional records, personal papers, diaries, memoirs, and correspondence
  • Electronic copies, facsimiles, casts, microfilm, and photographic reproductions;
  • Works on paper, including but not limited to broadsides, announcements, advertisements, leaflets, posters, and maps.
  • Audio and video interviews;
  • Books, pamphlets, manuscripts, and transcripts;
  • Musical recordings and scores; and
  • Originals and copy prints of photographs, photographic albums, transparencies, and photograph negatives.

Materials relevant to study of the Holocaust inform a wide range of subject areas, the most important of which relate to the systematic and state-sponsored murder of approximately six million Jews and approximately a half million Roma in Europe and North Africa by the Nazi regime and its collaborators, that is, the Holocaust. In addition, such materials inform a wide range of related subject areas. Consequently, for the purposes of data collection, this project seeks to

  • Prewar communal life of victim groups in those areas of Europe and North Africa affected by the Holocaust;
  • The Nazi rise to power in Germany and the rise of fascism and ethnically-oriented ideologies and policies in other European states;
  • Nazi racial "science" and the propaganda campaign against Jews, Roma, and other groups targeted by the Nazis prior to the start of the Second World War and the Holocaust;
  • Nazi anti-Jewish policy in the 1930s;
  • The flight of victim groups from Nazi-occupied Europe;
  • Refugee communities in various countries;
  • The response (or lack thereof) of the international community to the rise of Nazism and the persecution of Jews and other targeted groups;
  • The policies and practices of Nazi occupation;
  • The roundups, deportations, and murder of European Jewry;
  • Mass shootings as conducted by Einsatzgruppen, other German units, indigenous police, auxiliary units, and collaborators;
  • Ghettos, concentration camps, labor camps, and killing centers;
  • The fates of Poles, Roma, homosexuals, Jehovah's witnesses, the mentally and physically handicapped, Soviet prisoners of war, political enemies, and other groups targeted during the Second World War;
  • Persecution of and by indigenous populations in Nazi-controlled and Nazi-allied Europe.