Brandeis Alumni, Family and Friends

On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Recalling the Jewish Resistance

January 27, 2021

The Brandeis National Committee is taking critical steps to preserve the history of the anti-Nazi resistance through their Honoring Our History campaign. 

Head shot of Helmut Hirsch in black and white
Helmut Hirsch, pictured here in his 1935 high school graduation photo, was involved in a plot to bomb Nazi headquarters, and it cost him his life. His personal papers were donated by his sister to Brandeis.

Photo Credit: Brandeis Robert D. Farber University Archives and Special Collections

International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27 marks the day in 1945 that Auschwitz was liberated, and is an annual commemoration of the six million Jews and millions of other victims of Nazism who perished in the Holocaust. 

Brandeis University, founded by the American Jewish community in the years following the Second World War, houses a number of collections of Holocaust-related materials that are being digitized as part of the Brandeis National Committee’s Honoring Our History campaign.

These special collections include: 

  • The personal papers of Helmut Hirsch, a German Jew and member of the anti-Nazi organization the Black Front, which plotted to bomb Nazi headquarters at Nuremberg;
  • The Jewish Resistance Collection, containing a range of underground publications and other materials printed by German Communist and French Jewish resisters to the Nazi regime before and during the Second World War;
  • The Spitzer Family Papers, chronicling the lives of a Czechoslovakian Jewish family, most of whom were lost in the Holocaust.

The Brandeis National Committee has launched the Honoring Our History campaign to underwrite the digitization of thousands of materials in Brandeis’ Robert D. Farber University Archives and Special Collections, enabling scholars worldwide to access these unique collections virtually. Your support is invited for this effort to highlight the unique collections of Jewish narratives housed in the Brandeis Library.