In January of 1985 New York University was given an extraordinary
gift. Through the joint efforts of Dr. Debra E. Bernhardt, head
of NYU's Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, and Martin Lapan, then
Executive Director of the Jewish Labor Committee, 850 boxes of
the historical records of the JLC were transferred to the
Archives. This vast collection, a total of more than three
million pages of documentation and ten thousand photographs,
posters, and graphics, records the work of the Committee from its
founding in 1934 through the early 1980s.
For several years the Archives' staff has been at work
cataloguing and microfilming the earliest portions of the JLC
collection -- preserving for scholarly use a rich and unique
record of the American Jewish labor movement's anti-Nazi
activity, support of Underground resistance movements, and aid to
Holocaust survivors. Research use of the collection has already
given us new insights into Holocaust history, and altered our
understanding of American Jewish responses to the rise of Nazism.
This exhibit presents a portfolio of a hundred photographs and
documents from the JLC Collection. The text has been adapted
from an article by JLC archivist Gail Malmgreen, originally
published in Labor's Heritage (October 1991). The exhibit's seven
pictorial sections take the viewer on a chronological journey,
from the origins of the JLC, through its anti-Nazi activity of
the 1930s, to early rescue efforts and wartime assistance to the
anti-Nazi Underground, and then examines three aspects of postwar
aid and reconstruction. A final section offers a bibliography of
resources for further study.
To learn more about the Jewish Labor Committee Collection at the
Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University, and to
inquire about research use, please contact us at:
Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
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