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Virtual Panel: More than Parcels
March 9 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
This event is organised as part of the Holocaust Letters exhibition events series.
The Wiener Holocaust Library, in partnership with the Holocaust Research Institute at Royal Holloway, University of London, is delighted to host this panel of contributors to the recent publication, More than Parcels: Wartime Aid for Jews in Nazi-era Camps and Ghettos, who will reflect on the availability and significance of relief packages and other mail to prisoners in this important, under-researched aspect of Holocaust history.
Edited by Jan Lánícek and Jan Lambertz, More than Parcels explores the horrors of the Holocaust by focusing on the systematic starvation of Jewish civilians confined to Nazi ghettos and camps. The modest relief parcel, often weighing no more than a few pounds and containing food, medicine, and clothing, could extend the lives and health of prisoners. For Jews in occupied Europe, receiving packages simultaneously provided critical emotional sustenance in the face of despair and grief. Placing these parcels front and center in a history of World War II challenges several myths about Nazi rule and Allied responses.
First, the traffic in relief parcels and remittances shows that the walls of Nazi detention sites and the wartime borders separating Axis Europe from the outside world were not hermetically sealed, even for Jewish prisoners. Aid shipments were often damaged or stolen, but they continued to be sent throughout the war. Second, the flow of relief parcels—and prisoner requests for them—contributed to information about the lethal nature of Nazi detention sites. Aid requests and parcel receipts became one means of transmitting news about the location, living conditions, and fate of Jewish prisoners to families, humanitarians, and Jewish advocacy groups scattered across the globe. Third, the contributors to More than Parcels reveal that tens of thousands of individuals, along with religious communities and philanthropies, mobilized parcel relief for Jews trapped in Europe.
Jan Lambertz, applied researcher and historian at the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
Jan Láníček, Associate Professor of modern European and Jewish history at the University of New South Wales in Sydney
Pontus Rudberg, historian and researcher in modern European and Jewish history at the Hugo Valentin Centre, Uppsala University
Katarzyna Person, Associate Professor at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw and editor of the complete edition of the Ringelblum Archive
Dan Stone, Professor of Modern History and Director of the Holocaust Research
Institute at Royal Holloway-University of London
Event guidelines for those joining online:
- The Library will send you a Zoom link and joining instructions via email prior to the event. Please check your junk email folders.
- Please try and join 5 minutes before the event start time and we will let you into the room (do try and bear with us if this takes a few minutes).
- If you would like to ask a question during the event, please type your question into the chat function, and we will endeavour to answer as many questions as possible during the Q&A. Your webcam will not be seen during this event.
- The event will be recorded for the Library’s YouTube channel and will be shared at a later date.
Holocaust Letters is curated by Christine Schmidt and Sandra Lipner, with advisory by Dan Stone, for the Holocaust and Genocide Research Partnership (HGRP), an initiative of The Wiener Holocaust Library and the Holocaust Research Institute at Royal Holloway, University of London.Book now
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