I volunteer at the Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide. I give tours of its exhibition space as well as its archives. Tours are free and open to the public every Tuesday at 1pm.
The tour focuses on the history of the library and highlights from its collections. Dr. Alfred Wiener was born in Potsdam, Germany in 1885. He was a scholar in Arabic Literature and decorated German solider in WWI. He because he was a patriot, the rise of anti-semitism in Germany after WWI inspired him to make his fell Germans aware of where organisations like the Nazi-party were headed. Along with his colleagues in the Jewish Central Information Organisation (JCIO), Wiener collected and documented history as it was happening. He and his family were first forced to flee to Amsterdam in 1933. When Germany invaded the Netherlands Wiener took most of his collection and to London where the library is today.
The highlights include a colouring book used to recruit Hitler Youth and the letters of Alice Fink, a young woman who had to leave her family behind in Berlin. The library views itself as a place of contemporary history. Not only is the Holocaust relevant today, but so is the study of genocide. For example, you can find the stories of children from Darfur here as well.
This is only a brief summary of an amazing collection and the brave people that put it together. To learn more take the tour, or come to one of there many (mostly free) community events. Click here for details.
It is open to researchers of all backgrounds and interests.
Image courtesy: The Wiener Library on Twitter