Introduction

This list describes archival collections related to genocides around the world, including the Holocaust (Shoah), as well as related commemoration and reconciliation efforts. The Archives and Special Collections department of the University of Minnesota Libraries is located in the Elmer L. Andersen Library on the West Bank of campus; these collections are open to the public and can be viewed, by appointment, in the reading room.

For more information about visiting the Elmer L. Andersen Library, or to search other archival collections, visit lib.umn.edu/special. Please explore the links below for further contact information for various collections.

Genocide

Alexander A. Granovsky papers. (Partially digitized) This rich collection consists of a variety of materials including correspondence, files pertaining to Ukrainian-American organizations and photographs.  Series three contains several files on the Holodomor.

Armenian Cultural Organization of Minnesota records. This collection consists of files and correspondence, records of donations, membership cards, accounting documents and some print (books, newsletters and notecards).  Materials relating to the Armenian Genocide are primarily in box two and pertain to Martyr’s Day and federal legislation in the 1980s to commemorate the Armenian Genocide.  There is also additional material in the unprocessed supplement to the collection.

Information Files Collection. Contains the files of the Center for Genocide and Holocaust Studies, and a personal biography of Gisela Konopka.

Joint Baltic American National Committee records. JBANC represents Baltic-American communities in conjunction with issues related to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.  Materials touch upon victims of Soviet and Nazi crimes and genocide in the Baltic region.

National Social Work Council, National Assembly records. United States, Committee for a United Nations Genocide Convention 1949-1950.

Refugee Studies Center records. Included in this rich collection, which consists primarily of statistical reports, newspaper clippings and files documenting individual ethnic groups’ histories and cultures, are materials relating to the Cambodian Genocide.  Of particular relevance are: series 6, subseries 8; series 7; and series 8, subseries 5.

United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants records. This collection includes a variety of organizational records including meeting minutes, correspondence, project materials and resource files on refugee groups world-wide. There is material on a number of genocides, including the Cambodian Genocide, throughout the collection.  Please consult archival staff for more information.                                            

Voice to Vision. A collaborative project that captures the extraordinary experiences of genocide survivors from different parts of the world. The stories of the survivors are transformed into works of visual art. Each art piece has been created through collaboration with a team of artists and genocide survivors. The project includes art work, narratives, and video documentaries.

YMCA International Work in the Philippines records. The work of the YMCA in the Philippines began in 1898 with the arrival of American YMCA secretaries with the American army in Manila during the Spanish-American War. While the 1920s and 1930s saw significant growth in the Filipino Association (despite the financial difficulties of the Depression), the onset of World War II nearly wiped out of those gains. The invading Japanese attempted to co-opt Association, but the Filipino secretaries refused, insisting that the YMCA was not a political body. In the course of Japanese evacuation of Manila which followed the advance of the victorious army, scores of thousands of the inhabitants of the city were slain by the retreating forces, and in the general holocaust the equipment and the buildings of the YMCA were either completely lost or very badly damaged. In the islands as a whole, seventeen of the eighteen buildings were destroyed.

YMCA International Work in Turkey records. From 1919 to 1922, after the defeat of Central Powers in WWI, Turkey fought a war of independence. On the western front of this conflict was the Greco-Turkish War. In 1922 YMCA secretaries Ernest Otto Jacob and Asa Kent Jennings were in Smyrna as thousands of Greek, Armenian and Jewish refugees were swept into the city by the Turkish army. Jennings succeeded in establishing a hospital for women and children and Jennings and Jacob housed many refugees in buildings along the waterfront. Shortly after the occupation of the Turkish forces a fire destroyed a large part of the city and hundreds of thousands of refugees were crowded on the waterfront. Many drowned, or died from exposure, disease or famine. Jennings persuaded an Italian ship to carry 2,000 refugees to the adjacent island of Mitylene where he secured several Greek merchant vessels for refugee evacuation under the watch of the U. S. destroyer Litchfield. Eventually all Greek merchant ships were placed under his command and with the permission of the Turkish authority and the Greek government in Athens he led the fleet into Smyrna and began evacuating refugees, a process that lasted for a week. Jennings was decorated with the highest of military and civilian awards and was soon after chosen to serve as one of the commissioners for the exchange of prisoners.

Holocaust (Shoah)

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.

Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum records. (Partially digitized) A number of exhibitions touch upon the Holocaust.

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.

Mount Zion Temple Oral History records. (Partially digitized) Includes eight oral histories from Holocaust survivors.

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.

United Way of Minneapolis records. (Partially digitized) Of particular interest is the United States Committee on Care of European Children 1940-1942.

World War Poster Collection. (Fully digitized) Includes German Election posters from 1932 including Nazi posters.

Other Materials

Last Updated: Oct 7, 2020 11:49 AM