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Jewish Community Relations Council / Anti-Defamation League Holocaust Oral History project records

Identifier: umja0076

Scope and Contents

This collection consists mostly of cassette tape recordings of oral histories and printed transcripts. There is also correspondence, release forms, photographs, contracts, and book proposals.


  • 1945-2000


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

When this project began, started by the Jewish Community Relations Council/Anti-Defamation League, there were no records showing how many Holocaust survivors or liberators resided in Minnesota. In 1982, interviewing began and by 1985 thirty-nine interviews had been completed. In 1986, Rhoda Lewin was asked to edit the transcribed interviews (ranging from 43-185 pages) into three- or four-page "Survivor Packets" that could be used for teaching materials. This then resulted in the publication Witnesses to the Holocaust: An Oral History, which was published by Twayne Publishers in 1990. The final publication includes stories from 44 survivors, 2 Polish Catholic women who were interviewed with the two Jewish friends whose lives they saved, and 14 American liberators. Editor Rhoda Lewin graduated with a PhD in American Studies from the University of Minnesota and worked as an indepentend scholar and oral historian and published multiple books on Jewish history. She passed away in 2012.


4.3 Cubic Feet (13 boxes -- 2 Paige boxes, 1 legal-size Hollinger box, 1 letter-size Hollinger box, 9 cassette tape boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of taped oral histories and transcripts from Minnesota Holocaust survivors and liberators, a project funded by the Jewish Community Relations Council/Anti-Defamation League, which resulted in the publication Witnesses to the Holocaust: an oral history by Rhoda G. Lewin.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was created by the Jewish Community Relations Council and then donated to the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest in the early 2000s and resided in Elmer L. Andersen Library. At some point before 2008, the materials were transferred to the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota. In 2016 the collection was again returned to the Upper Midwest Jewish Archives, the repository for the Jewish Community Relations Council records.

Related Materials

Copies of these oral histories, with transcripts, were also donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This collection is available online -- digitized audio and transcripts for the collection can be found here:

Related Materials

The further records of the Jewish Comunity of the Relations Council include some administrative records related to this project. Found in collection umja0013.

Jewish Community Relations Council / Anti-Defamation League Oral History project records, 1945-2000
Kate Dietrick
August 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Upper Midwest Jewish Archives Collecting Area