“Historical Meaning Beyond the Personal”: Survivor Agency and Mediation in the Wiener Library’s Early Testimonies Collection

“I am still so completely under the impression of your terrible suffering that every word that I could thank you with for this [report] seems inadequate….You have thus demonstrated that you have faced up to a moral task, which, as I hope, carries a reward in itself: You have helped to ensure that your experiences Read More

Cooperation of Rescue Organisations in Vienna: An Eyewitness Report

Introduction The following document is part of The Wiener Library’s collection entitled ‘Eyewitness reports regarding the November Pogrom’, consisting of 365 eyewitness testimonies collected in the days, weeks, and months following the November Pogrom of 1938, alternatively known as ‘Kristallnacht’ or the ‘Night of Broken Glass’. At the time, Alfred Wiener, the German-Jewish founder of Read More

Visualising Methodology in The Wiener Library’s Early Testimonies’ Project

Introduction “We all have a duty to fulfil towards our past,” implored Dr Eva Reichmann, former Director of Research at The Wiener Library, in a short front-page appeal in the journal of Association of Jewish Refugees in Great Britain in 1954. Reichmann’s impassioned article launched the Library’s ambitious effort in the mid-1950s to record testimonies Read More

Death Blows Overhead: The Last Transports from Hungary, November 1944

Introduction In the morning of November 6, 1944, a column of civilians set off on the highway stretching westwards from Budapest to Vienna. All of them were Jews, mostly middle-aged and elderly women and men, forcibly mobilised by the Hungarian far-right Arrow Cross government to build fortifications on the eastern frontier of the collapsing Nazi Read More

Murdered on the Verge of Survival: Massacres in the Last Days of the Siege of Budapest, 1945 Part II

Part II: The Profile of the Perpetrators   Introduction Part I of the present blog post provided the readers with an overview of one of the last and bloodiest crimes committed by Hungarian extremist Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest at the very end of the war. The documents presented included post-war testimonies of eyewitnesses and Read More

Murdered on the Verge of Survival: Massacres in the Last Days of the Siege of Budapest, 1945

Part I: First-Hand Accounts Introduction The diverse and multilingual nature of Holocaust-era records is clearly exemplified in the case of the historical sources pertaining to the Holocaust in Hungary. Despite large-scale wartime damage and intentional destruction, millions of Holocaust-era archival records survived in Hungary. Due to the subsequent border changes, the documents on the Holocaust Read More