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The Holocaust: Rescue and Relief Documentation in the National Archives

John Mendelsohn
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Vol. 450, Reflections on the Holocaust: Historical, Philosophical, and Educational Dimensions (Jul., 1980), pp. 237-249
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1042573
Page Count: 13
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The Holocaust: Rescue and Relief Documentation in the National Archives
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Abstract

The National Archives is a major center for the study of the Holocaust. Records on the subject are scattered throughout its vast holdings in several locations and no general finding aid exists. Researchers have explored the records of the killing and the destruction of nearly six million Jews in some detail, but have neglected records dealing with rescue and relief attempts. Hence this article focuses on the latter topic by delineating where in the National Archives one may find such documentation. Foremost are the records of the War Refugee Board, which was created in early 1944 to provide avenues of rescue and relief to the Jews in Nazi-controlled Europe. Other records concern the emigration of Jews from Nazi Germany, the Evian Conference and the subsequent Schacht-Rublee negotiations, the Haavara agreements on emigration to Palestine, and the trip to Havana and return of the S.S. St. Louis. There are many other records, including those on the deals the SS was willing to make by trading Jewish lives for needed commodities. More articles that present overviews of significant segments of Holocaust records in the National Archives are needed for a comprehensive introduction of these holdings to researchers.

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