Primary Source Databases & Archives
Below is a list of some of main primary source databases for Holocaust Studies. For databases covering historical news, see Find News.
UMN Archives and Special Collections on the Holocaust
Americans for Human Rights in Ukraine records. Verbatim, unedited transcripts of the trial proceedings for the State of Israel vs. John (Ivan) Demjanjuk in the Jerusalem District Court, 1987-1988. Demjanjuk, a suspected Nazi war criminal, stood trial for operating a gas chamber at the Treblinka camp in Poland.
Amos S. Deinard papers. (Partially digitized) Series 3 of the collection is comprised of pamphlets and publications related to topics that interested Deinard, namely anti-Semitism and Zionism. Some of the titles are from the 1930s-40s and discuss the rising persecution of Jews in Germany under the Nazis.
Association for Voluntary Sterilization records.(Partially digitized) Clippings on sterilization in Nazi Germany and discussion of the impact on Nazi sterilization programs and its effects on sterilization movement in the US.
Esther Winthrop papers. Reminisces on her Greek family, many of whom were lost during the Holocaust. Esther survived the war in Greece hidden and for a time in an orphanage.
David and Genia Levi papers, 1946-1979. This collection consists of the papers of David and Genia Levi, Holocaust survivors who immigrated to the United States in 1950, eventually settling in St. Paul, Minnesota. These papers mostly deal with the Levi's efforts for reparations from the German government.
Flori Loew papers. Contains correspondence (in German) and personal papers during her flight from Germany under Nazi persecution, traveling to Italy and England before settling in Minneapolis.
Fred K Hoehler papers. (Partially digitized) Director, Division of Displaced Persons, United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) 1944-1945. UNRRA related files dating from 1943-1953 document services for and repatriation of displaced persons, including displaced Jewish survivors of the war, as well as genocide prevention, displaced persons camps, and conditions of the Jewish community in Germany.
German Propaganda Collection. The collection includes propaganda leaflets, newspapers, booklets, pamphlets, stickers and postcards distributed by various political parties in Germany, including the Nazi period.
Gisela Konopka papers. Includes a talk given at the University of Minnesota: “Resisting the Holocaust: a personal account,” focusing on Konopka’s formative experience with the Nazi resistance inside Germany, including time spent in a German concentration camp.
Harold C. Deutsch papers. A professor of History who worked as an interrogator of German war criminals at Nuremberg, this collection includes transcripts from Nazi interrogations.
Herman Stein papers. A leader in social work education, he worked with the American Joint Distribution Committee in Europe and North Africa in 1947 to assist survivors of the Holocaust and other displaced persons.
International Social Service, American Branch records. Of interest is materials on the United States Committee for the Care of European Children, Inc., 1945-1956 documenting rescue, transportation and foster care or adoption of children fleeing the war or post-war conditions in Europe. Access Restrictions.
Jewish Community Relations Council records. Records documenting their efforts in providing Holocaust education via Tolerance Minnesota and in leading local Yom HaShoah commemorations.
Jewish Community Relations Council / Anti-Defamation League Holocaust Oral History project records. This collection consists of taped oral histories and transcripts from Minnesota Holocaust survivors and liberators, a project funded by the Jewish Community Relations Council/Anti-Defamation League, which resulted in the publication Witnesses to the Holocaust: an oral history by Rhoda G. Lewin.
Mary Markreich Schwarz papers. Includes passports and documents allowing her to leave Germany in 1938 for Trinidad and Tobago, from where she eventually immigrated to St. Paul.
Max Lowenthal Papers. Includes files reflecting Lowenthal’s sponsorships of numerous European Jews who applied for travel visas during the Nazi rule in Germany and occupation of Poland and Hungary.
Michael Engel oral history. Engel was a Holocaust survivor; was interviewed by Rabbi Jonathan Perlman as part of his own Yom HaShoah project.
National Conference of Christians and Jews records. (Partially digitized) Records document the efforts to reconcile Christian actions during the Holocaust and to commemorate the events of the Holocaust. The records also contain information on genocide treaties, including the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in 1948.
National Italian American Foundation records. Series nine is comprised of materials documenting the organization’s initiative to highlight the efforts of Italian officers to free or protect Jews living in areas occupied by the Italian Army during World War II. Some materials in Italian.
Ollie Randall papers. (Partially digitized) Includes records for the Newark House of New Jersey Fellowship Fund for the Aged, a house that provided shelter and services for elderly survivors of the Holocaust.
Robert O. Meyer papers. Details his emigration to the United States to join the Obstetrics and Gynecology department at the University of Minnesota after his position at the University of Berlin was eliminated in 1935 because of his Jewish ancestry.
Robert Winston Ross papers. Includes papers regarding his 1980 publication So It Was True: The American Protestant Press and the Nazi Persecution of the Jews which explores the theory that American Protestant churches were cognizant of the events surrounding World War II and the Holocaust.
Finding Primary Sources in the Library Catalog
Additional primary source materials can be found by searching the University of Minnesota Libraries' Catalog. Enter one of the terms below and keywords of the event as subject keywords.
- "personal narratives" (Example: "holocaust" and "personal narratives")
- "documentary film"