We’re delighted to welcome Ph.D. candidate, Miriam Schulz, to discuss her research on the Wiener Library’s Documents Section 532 –– the archive of the as yet unknown, first Jewish historical committee documenting the Holocaust in Eastern Europe.
In November 1939, a group of 60 Jewish journalists and writers, refugees from recently occupied Poland, founded the collective Komitet tsu zamlen materialn vegn yidishn khurbn in Poyln 1939 (Committee to collect materials on the destruction of Polish Jewry 1939) in still independent Vilnius. Without delay, they embarked on a mission to gather documents and eye-witness accounts about the destruction of Polish Jewry since the German invasion on September 1, 1939. Miriam Schulz will present the history and legacy of this committee. By contextualizing its efforts withing the historiographical tradition of Eastern European Jewry (khurbn-forshung), her findings contribute to our understanding of Eastern European Jewish resistance during the Holocaust and reveal the interconnection of Vilnius’ Komitet to communal archives and documenting efforts in the later ghettos––both in spirit and personnel-wise. Additionally, the archive in its digital form will be inaugurated.
Miriam Schulz (MA, Holocaust Studies, 2014) is a Ph.D. Student of Yiddish Studies at Columbia University, New York. She is also a research assistant for the project “Protecting Memory : Preserving and Memorializing the Holocaust Mass Graves of Eastern Europe” as well as the project “A Comprehensive History of the Jews of the Soviet Union“ of NYU’s Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies. Her pioneering study on “The Committee to collect materials on the destruction of Polish Jewry 1939” was published in German by Metropol-Verlag in October 2016 and includes the Yiddish to German translation of the Committee’s six bulletins. As part of the print publication, the bulletins have also been published digitally and can be accessed alongside Schulz’ translation.