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
New York University Library
70 Washington Square South - 10th Floor
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 998-2636
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