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USSO 286Y The Holocaust and Local History

Research guide for University Seminar with Prof. Sean Martin.

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Cleveland History Online Resources

These online reference and primary resource collections may contain material relevant to a research project that addresses the history of the Cleveland Jewish community.

Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

Cleveland Memory Project (*includes the Cleveland Ethnic Heritage Collection)

Cleveland Digital Library: Virtual Cleveland History

Western Reserve Historical Society

In additional to our Case Libraries holdings, primary resource documents can also be accessed at the Western Reserve Historical Society, a University Circle institution very close to the Case campus.

Students can access the Historical Society and its library free of charge by swiping their Case ID card in the WRHS museum store.  The library staff will help students register and begin using library materials.  Please note, however, that these materials are not available for checkout and cannot be taken out of the library.  Photocopying may be an option, but it is not free of charge.

WRHS Hours: Thursday - Saturday, 10:00am to 5:00pm

WRHS Library Website

University Circle Map and WRHS Location


Below is a partial list of topical primary resource selections from the WRHS library collection. 

Additional materials on the Holocaust are also available in the collection of the Cleveland Jewish Archives at Western Reserve Historical Society.


Holocaust Survivors


American Jewish Committee Holocaust Project Records. Transcripts of 23 interviews of Northeast Ohio Holocaust Survivors. 1973-1975. MS 4582


Ayduth Lachayim (Witness to Life). Transcripts of experiences of Holocaust survivors now in Cleveland. 1981. MS 3928


Holocaust Videotape Archives Project. National Council of Jewish Women, Cleveland Section. Film Accessions #51, 52 and 55 (129 interviews). Summaries of some interviews can be found at D810 J4N277.


Mokotoff, Gary.  How to document victims and locate survivors of the Holocaust.  Teaneck, NJ: Avotaynu, 1995.  D804.3 M716.


Messinger, Tibor. It Must Never be Forgotten. Cleveland, 1987, typescript memoir. F34ZSL J5M58a


Journal of Testimony. Literature of the Holocaust Seminar. Cleveland Heights High School. Interviews with 22 Holocaust survivors. Cleveland Heights, 1975.   F34ZSL J5C5


Kol Israel Foundation.  Anniversary books.  Each contains some biographical information about survivors. Cleveland, Ohio: 1981, 1989 and 1994.   F34ZSL J5K82.


Rybak, Rywka. Rywka Rybak: A Survivor of the Holocaust. Cleveland, Ohio: Tricycle Press, c1993. DS135 P763R98


Voices from the Holocaust, edited by Sylvia Rothchild. 1981 Oral histories of survivors from the William E. Wiener Oral History Library of the American Jewish Committee. New York: New American Library, 1981. D810 J4V88.


The War at Home


Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland Records, 1916-1961. Includes information on Cleveland Jewish casualties in World War II, refugee information, and information on Germany and the Nazis in Cleveland newspapers. MS4563


The Jewish Independent (English-language newspaper)


The Jewish Review and Observer (English-language newspaper)


League for Human Rights Records, 1934-1945. This organization, led by Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, promoted a boycott of German goods and attempted to disseminate accurate information about the Nazi regime. Restricted collection, permission required for use (see Associate Curator for Jewish History). MS 3632


Platt, Ivan. The League for Human Rights: Cleveland Jewry’s Fight against Nazism, 1933-1946. Cleveland State University MA Thesis in History, 1977. F34ZSL J5P71


Abrams, Sylvia. Searching for a policy: attitudes and policies of non-governmental agencies toward the adjustment of Jewish immigrants of the Holocaust era, 1933-1953, as reflected in Cleveland, Ohio. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Case Western Reserve University, 1987.  F34ZSL J5A16


Die Yiddishe Velt (The Jewish World, Yiddish-language newspaper)


Holocaust Education 


Days of Remembrance, April 18-25, 1993: a planning guide for commemorative programs. Washington, D.C.: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 1993.   D804.3 D275


Stadtler, Bea. “The Test,” a text on the Holocaust for the young student.  Cleveland, Ohio, typescript, 1973. BM105  S777.


Further Research


Baker, Zachary M. Bibliography of Eastern European (Yizkor) Books. New York: Jewish Genealogical Society, 1992.  Z6374 H6B16.


Weiner, Miriam. Jewish Roots in Poland: Pages from the Past and Archival Inventories. New York: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, 1997.  CS877 J4W42


Additional Related Collections


MS. 4889 Beatrix Jessberger

Papers, 1985-1995, 0.20 linear foot

In 1994, Beatrix Jessberger, a pastor from the Katholische Akademie [Catholic Academy] in Berlin, Germany, spoke at the Western Reserve Historical Society about the history of the Bavarian town of Unsleben, the original home of the small group of Jews who settled in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1839. The Beatrix Jessberger Papers, 1985-1995, include the speech made at the Western Reserve Historical Society, newspaper clippings in English and in German about the speech and the history of Unsleben, photocopied articles about Unsleben from German reference sources, and a photograph album of present day Unsleben, including its buildings, landscapes, and tombstones. This collection will be of value to researchers studying the origins of the Jewish community of Cleveland, Ohio, and its original home in Unsleben, Bavaria, Germany.  It will also be valuable to researchers investigating German Jewish migration to the United States in the first half of the nineteenth century, and the effects of World War II and the Holocaust on a small German town. Genealogists whose families have roots in Unsleben will also find the collection useful.


MS. 4956 Morton E. Karp

Collection, 1978-ca. 1980, 0.40 linear foot

Morton Karp (d. 1991) worked as a scrap dealer in Cleveland. For six years during his retirement (ca. 1980), he and his wife Mina collected news articles dealing with anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, the John Demjanjuk trial, Nazism, and neo-Nazi and other “white power” groups in the Cleveland area. The Morton E. Karp collection is of value to individuals studying anti-Semitism, neo-Nazi and Klan activities, prosecution of Nazi war criminals, and Holocaust commemoration in northeast Ohio.


MS. 4998 William Lipman Family

Papers, 1940-1968, 0.20 linear foot

William Lipman immigrated to Cleveland in 1910. The Lipman family correspondence attests to the family’s connection to their country of origin, the immigrant’s need to adapt to different circumstances in foreign countries, and to the ways in which immigrant families attempted to aid relatives financially during World War II. The William Lipman Family Papers, 1940-1968 consist of correspondence, telegrams, and receipts. This collection is of value to researchers seeking information about the Holocaust, immigration, and the role of American Jews in aiding relatives oversees before and after World War II.


MS. 3924 Leon Wiesenfeld (1885-1971)

Papers, 1911-1971, 0.80 linear foot

Leon Wiesenfeld (1885-1971) was the editor of Cleveland Jewish periodicals, Di Yidishe Velt, Di Yidishe Shtime and The Jewish Voice Pictorial. The collection consists of correspondence, legal documents, writings, newspaper clippings, a scrapbook, and a collection of letters to his niece Sandra Amsterdam Lowy from her family in Krakow, Poland, during World War II. This collection will have value to researchers studying the Anglo-Jewish press and the Holocaust.                   


MS. 4986 Hal Hanauer Myers

Papers, 1938-1966 (1938-1954), 0.80 linear foot

Hal H. Myers was born Hans Hanauer to a Jewish family in Karlsruhe, Germany. As a Jew in Nazi Germany, he was victim to heightening abuse during the 1930s. He came to the United States with his brother Dieter in 1941, after having spent time in Camp de Gurs, a French concentration camp. Upon arrival in America, the brothers were eventually placed with Cleveland philanthropists David and Inez Myers. Hans ultimately changed his name to Hal Hanauer Myers. Of particular interest are his Nazi identification card, a brief autobiographical speech given at Congregation Shaarey Tikvah, wartime correspondence with his sister and family, some of which is in German, and notebooks used in the Quaker (American Friends Service Committee) refugee camp to learn English and French.


MS. 5016 Stephanie M. Nettl Traub Family

Papers, 1921-2005, 0.40 linear foot

Relatives of Stephanie M. Nettl Traub lived in Europe and the United States during World War II. The Freedheims, Nettls, and Heitlers corresponded before, during, and after the war regarding immigration to the United States of family members then living in Czechoslovakia.

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