Saturday, December 04, 2021

The Refugee Map

The Wiener Holocaust Library in London has released a new interactive map highlighting the stories of refugees escaping antisemitism and persecution in Europe. The map uses historical records, including photographs, identity papers and diaries, to help reveal the journeys of refugees forced to flee their homes because of Nazi persecution and antisemitism in the years before, during and after the Second World War. 

The Refugee Map includes the harrowing stories of hundreds of refugees who were forced from their homes by the rise of fascism in the 20th Century. If you select a marker on the map you can read the personal stories of individual refugees. These accounts are often accompanied by video interviews, family photographs, diary entries or copies of personal documents. 

The 'Overlay' section of the map also includes the option to overlay a number of routes taken by individual refugees while attempting to evade capture by the Nazis. One of these routes shows the journey taken by Alfred Wiener - the founder of the Wiener Holocaust Library. 

Alfred and his family fled Berlin for Amsterdam in 1933. Then in 1938, after the events of Kristallnacht, Alfred moved to London. His wife and three daughters were to follow Alfred to London but became trapped in Holland due to the German invasion in May 1940. During his journey Alfred Weiner did manage to move the Library of the Jewish Central Information Office from Amsterdam to London. 

During World War II, the organization became known as Dr Wiener’s Library. The Wiener Holocaust Library is now Britain’s leading center of Holocaust and Genocide studies and has one of the world's largest collections of material relating to the Nazi era. 

You can listen to audio recordings made by Jewish survivors of the Holocaust on the British Library's Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust.

If you want to learn more about the history of the Nazi persecution of Jews in European cities then you might also be interested in:

  • Jewish Warsaw - a mapped account of the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw
  • Walk Among Memories - a virtual tour of the Riga Ghetto by the Riga Ghetto and Holocaust in Latvia Museum (unfortunately because of Google's extortionate map fees this map is now plastered with ugly error messages)

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