US archive of pre-Holocaust images of European Jews made available to the public, researchers

The Associated Press
August 26, 2014 05:57 PM

In this photo from the late 1920s to early 1930s provided by the International Center of Photography, sunlight streams into a Berlin railway station. This image is part of a large archive of Roman Vishniac’s work that the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has begun to digitally share with the International Center of Photography. Vishniac was a Russian-born Jew who immigrated to Berlin in 1920. As an avid photographer, he documented the ominous rise of Nazi power and its effect on everyday Jewish life in Central and Eastern Europe. (AP Photo/International Center of Photography, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Roman Vishniac) MANDATORY CREDIT: INTERNATIONAL CENTER OF PHOTOGRAPHY, UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM, ROMAN VISHNIAC

NEW YORK, N.Y. - A vast U.S. archive of photographs of pre-Holocaust Eastern European Jewish life is being made available to the public and researchers.

The International Center of Photography in New York and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday announced the joint creation of a digital database to facilitate access to photographer Roman Vishniac's archive.

Vishniac was a Russian-born Jew who moved to Berlin in 1920. He documented the rise of Nazi power and its effect on Jewish life in Central and Eastern Europe.

The International Center of Photography said it believes the project "represents a new model for digital archives" and it's excited to bring Vishniac's collection to a wider audience.

"Our shared goal is to make the images available for further identification and research, deepening our knowledge of Vishniac's work and the people and places he recorded in his images," said the centre's executive director, Mark Lubell.

The database includes all of Vishniac's 9,000 negatives, most of which have never before been printed or published.

The photography centre and the museum are asking scholars and the public to help identify the people and places depicted in the images.

The Holocaust Memorial Museum's director of collections, Michael Grunberger, said he hoped Vishniac's work would inspire new generations to learn more about the late photographer and Holocaust history.

"This project will introduce many people to one of the 20th century's pre-eminent photographers while greatly increasing our understanding of his subjects," Grunberger said.



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