JDC Archives Events in November and December

Please join us at our upcoming programs!

The JDC Archives is offering an array of public programs in November and December, 2019. These events are listed below; please register for each one individually by clicking on its RSVP link.

LECTURE:

The JDC and the Jews of Alsace and Algeria, 1940-1963
Monday November 4, 2019
2:00 P.M. – 3:30 P.M.
Midtown, Manhattan (RSVP is required to receive location details)

This lecture will explore how the Second World War and the Algerian War created unexpected connections between the Jewish communities of Alsace and Algeria. In particular, Lauren Henry will examine the JDC’s role in helping to manage the massive displacements of these conflicts: from the flight of Alsatian Jews to Algeria during World War II, to the migration of Algerian Jews to Alsace after the Algerian War.

Lauren Henry is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of History at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and the recipient of the 2019 Ruth and David Musher/JDC Archives Regional Fellowship. Her research at the JDC Archives concerns JDC’s work in France and Algeria from 1940 to 1963.

RSVP

Second Annual Helen Cohen Memorial Lecture:

Lisbon: Harbor of Hope for Jewish Refugees
Monday, November 18, 2019
6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.
Sotheby’s New York; 1334 York Ave, New York, NY
There will also be an optional tour of the Judaica Collection up for auction at Sotheby’s.

In this lecture, Dr. Marion Kaplan will describe the experience of Jewish refugees, mostly from Germany and Austria, as they escaped from Hitler to live in limbo in Portugal. Jewish refugees suffered anxiety and fear, but also evinced courage and resilience. Helpers included the very poor and very generous Portuguese people, the reluctant Portuguese government, and social welfare agencies, including the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which subsidized needy refugees, found them shelter, and helped them reach safer havens.

We would be delighted if you would join us for wine and cheese after the lecture. There will also be an optional tour of the Judaica Collection up for auction at Sotheby’s.

This public lecture has been endowed by Jerry and Linda Spitzer in memory of his beloved aunt, Helen Cohen. This year’s program is co-sponsored with the Jewish Book Council.

Dr. Marion Kaplan is the Skirball Professor of Modern Jewish History at NYU. She is a three-time National Jewish Book Award winner for The Making of the Jewish Middle Class: Women, Family and Identity in Imperial Germany (1991), Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany (1998), and Gender and Jewish History (with Deborah Dash Moore, 2011) as well as a finalist for Dominican Haven: The Jewish Refugee Settlement in Sosua (2008).

Her newest book, Hitler’s Jewish Refugees: Hope and Anxiety in Portugal, 1940-45, will be published by Yale University Press in 2019. She has edited several other books on German-Jewish and women’s history and has taught courses on German-Jewish history, European women’s history, German and European history, European Jewish history, and Jewish women’s history.

RSVP

LECTURE:

Sardines to the Ghettos: Relief Food Parcels for Jews in Occupied Europe during the Second World War
Thursday, December 12, 2019
2:00 P.M. – 3:30 P.M.
Midtown, Manhattan (RSVP is required to receive location details)

During the Second World War, humanitarian agencies, such as the JDC, and exile governments sent tens of thousands of relief food parcels to Jewish prisoners in the Nazi ghettos and concentration camps in Eastern Europe. The parcels were sent from neutral counties, including Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. The lecture will discuss the organization of the help, the obstacles the humanitarian workers encountered, as well as the importance of the parcels for the incarcerated prisoners. In this way, this lecture addresses a topic that has for a long time been marginalized in historiography and public memory.

Dr. Jan Láníček is a Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. He is the recipient of the 2019 Ruth and David Musher / JDC Archives Fellowship. He is using the fellowship towards his research on humanitarian programs for the Jews organized during the Second World War by the governments-in-exile in cooperation with Jewish organizations.

RSVP

LECTURE:

“The Thread that Binds:” Personal Correspondence and Relief Aid in the Camps of Occupied France, 1940-1944
Thursday, December 19, 2019
2:00 P.M. – 3:30 P.M.
Midtown, Manhattan (RSVP is required to receive location details)

This talk examines how personal aid, particularly correspondence and parcels sent from family and friends, constituted a vital supplement to the inadequate rations and brutal conditions of the camps of the Occupied Zone of France. Thousands of personal letters were sent to and from the camps requesting relief provisions and assistance, forming an integral part of the complex survival strategies of internees. These entreaties and letters mobilized familial, local and international relief efforts, including aid from the Union Générale des Israélites de France (UGIF) and the Rue Amelot Committee, funded in part by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and international humanitarian organizations.

Dr. Stacy Veeder is Visiting Assistant Professor at the College of Charleston, focusing on modern France, Holocaust and genocide studies, and gender studies. She is the recipient of the 2019 Max and Cecil (Steuer) Chesin / JDC Archives Fellowship. She is using the fellowship to analyze the correspondence and memoirs of marginalized and interned Jewish individuals from the camps of occupied France, highlighting their fervent attempts to advocate for the restoration of the rights and voice of themselves and their community.

RSVP