Current Projects

"We are All Witnesses": The Wiener Library's Early Survivor Accounts

A history of a collection and the Jewish women and men who created it

I am currently writing a social history and archival biography of a collection of over one thousand survivor accounts recorded by The  Wiener Library and led by Eva Reichmann in the 1950s. Newly transformed into a digital archival repository, the collection provides a unique opportunity to examine the ideological impetus behind collecting efforts led by Reichmann and other Jewish refugees and survivors involved in the project, to recover continuities in postwar social networks among  survivors and refugees in Britain and abroad, and to examine the collection as a legacy of Reichmann's ideas about Jewish communal defense and memorialization after the Holocaust. It will explore the institutional priorities of the Library as well as the agency of the survivor participants. The book will center the role of women in postwar archives creation and draw out connections between them and the development of emerging narratives about
the Holocaust, exploring the relationship between personal and public memory. Finally, it will also explore how the digital archives of the Library extend and expand the original ideological underpinnings of the archive using technologies unforeseen by the creators. Some of my publications on this project include two blogs for the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure, a chapter titled, “‘We are all Witnesses’: Eva Reichmann and the Wiener Library’s Eyewitness Accounts Collection,” published in Agency and the Holocaust – Essays in Honor of Deborah Dwork (2020), and a chapter (co-authored with Ben Barkow) titled, "Early Holocaust Research, ‘Testimony’ and the Wiener Library" in Crimes Uncovered. The First Generation of Holocaust Researchers, edited by Hans-Christian Jasch, Stephan Lehnstaedt. Metropol, 2019.

Older Jews and the Holocaust

An edited volume, forthcoming with Wayne State University Press, 2025

Co-edited with Dr Joanna Sliwa (Claims Conference) and Dr Elizabeth Anthony (US Holocaust Memorial Museum), this volume in-progress focuses on the experiences of older Jews before, during, and after the Holocaust. It tackles age as a multilayered category of analysis that includes not just biological age but also self-understanding and contemporary social constructs and perspectives on age and the elderly. This book reaches beyond the standard narration that tends to marginalize elderly Jews by highlighting mainly their vulnerability and death to explore how older Jews lived through genocide, navigated the aftermath of the atrocities, and how other actors (individuals, communities, organizations, states) reacted to the situation and needs of older Jews during the Holocaust, as well as to elderly survivors after the war.

The book will both draw upon and contribute to a recent turn in Holocaust studies that zooms in on age, and will explore intersections with other categories of analysis, including gender, sexuality, class, and ethnicity. The goal of the volume is to highlight new avenues of research, emphasize underutilized archival sources, and propel more scholarly and public interest in the crucial but understudied factor of advanced age in one’s prewar, Holocaust, and postwar experience.

Forthcoming with Wayne State University Press, Older Jews and the Holocaust has confirmed funding support for a subvention for open-access publication and for accompanying academic events from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference), the German Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” (EVZ), the German Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF) and the Ernest Hecht Charitable Foundation.

Letters and the Holocaust: Methodology, Cases, and Reflections 

An edited volume, forthcoming with Bloomsbury, 2025

Co-edited with Sandra Lipner, Charlie Knight, and Clara Dijkstra, this volume explores Holocaust-era correspondence, which includes different types of letters: letters written by Jews and non-Jews sent to family and friends in the lead up to the war as their situation was getting worse, letters sent by persecutees from camps and ghettos, letters from refugees, and letters from survivors. Letters are complex yet unique sources that offer a window into how ‘ordinary’ people reflected on their situation, maintained ties with family and friends, and survived. Researchers are increasingly using personal correspondence as sources to write about the Holocaust in a broad sense. However, no book has thus far addressed the particularities of using letters as sources for interdisciplinary research in Holocaust studies.
Forthcoming with Bloomsbury, this book presents different methodological approaches to letters as texts, material objects, from a literary angle and through the history of emotions. It outlines a range of different case studies using letters as sources in practice, which cover the Holocaust and the post-war period in Western and Central Europe, and transnational humanitarian efforts in the UK and North Africa. This book also includes reflections on how letters are used, drawing on the recent Holocaust Letters exhibition at The Wiener Library, and discussions on the positionality of researchers working with family collections. Finally, the book explores a series of short source critiques of individual letters.