This collection was purchased in 1997 through the generosity of the following donors: Michael J. Leffell ’81 and Lisa Klein Leffell ’82, the Sheftel Family in memory of Milton S. Sheftel ’31, ’32 and the proceeds of the Carole and Michael Friedman Book Fund in honor of Elisabeth “Lisa” Friedman of the Class of 1985
The collection contains books, pamphlets, magazines, guides, journals, newspapers and screenplays related to Jewish history, German history, World War II, and the Holocaust. Of the at least 3,600 volumes, valued at approximately $300,000, 60% are in English, 30% in German, and 10% in other languages including Yiddish, Hebrew, French, Spanish, Dutch, Polish, Italian, Czech, Croatian, Norwegian, and Russian.
The English-language materials are comprised of 13 boxes that document the pre-, post-, and mid-war attitudes largely from an American perspective. In total, 70% of English language materials are from the post war period while 20% are from during the war and the remaining 10% predating the 1930s. Series one, entitled “Antisemitic Materials,” contains 233 volumes of antisemitic propaganda mostly made up of small pamphlets made for American audiences. Notably, this series contains a collection of The Dearborn Independent, also known as The Ford International Weekly, a weekly newspaper established by Henry Ford which disseminated his antisemitic beliefs.
Series two, “Holocaust materials,” is made up of 93 volumes mostly, though not exclusively, from the post-war period. The materials from the period during the Holocaust include magazines, newspapers, and pamphlets many of which attempt to explain the rise of National Socialism. The post-war Holocaust-related materials are made up of books, including memoirs and academic literature, as well as programs from Holocaust memorials and sites. Series four offers a broad sweep of “Jewish history” with materials dating back to the late-nineteenth century. This section contains documents from the American Jewish Labor Council, books teaching the history of Jews in various countries, and pamphlets advocating for Zionism or assistance for Jews in occupied Europe.
Series five, “Post-war Germany,” contains reports, pamphlets, and books that grapple with what to do with Germany after the war. This includes everything from American treatment of defeated Germany as well as pamphlets explaining West Germany’s reaction to the Eichmann Trial. Series six, “The Second World War & International Resistance,” deals largely with mid-war international (though mostly American) resistance to the Nazi regime. Resistance in this sense encompasses everything from documenting concentration camp horrors to publicly rejecting Hitler and advocating for his defeat.
Series eleven recounts the history and experiences of migrants, refugees, and displaced persons in the post-war era. This series largely revolves around the documents and books collected by Freidl Reifer, director of Unitarian Service Committee's casework department (1948-1949) and Regional Representative in Chile for United HIAS Services (1960+).
Of the German-language materials, 80% are from the time period during war with most being pro-Nazi or from a Nazi perspective. The materials that are in others languages, a large percentage of which are in Yiddish and French are mostly (90%) from the postwar period. Of those, 70% constitute the period before 1950, thus giving insight into the immediate post-war period.
Kline Collection – Courtesy of The Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts.