Fonds BC1556 - South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation Collection

German Reich identity card, Mina Boettigheimer, Germany Postcard commemorating the annexation of Austria into Germany (Anschluss) Palestine Immigrant Certificate of Sara Sapyraite Palestine Immigrant Certificate of Sara Sapyraite Palestine Immigrant Certificate of Sara Sapyraite Letter from the Record Publishing Company to Dr. Hillel Schulgasser, Orange Free State Letter from the Record Publishing Company to Dr. Hillel Schulgasser, Orange Free State Werner Teichner, South Africa, to Nelly Sarah Teichner, Lublin, Poland Werner Teichner, South Africa, to Nelly Sarah Teichner, Lublin, Poland Mrs. R. J. Budlender, Durban, to Mrs. F. Freegard, Leeds, England
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Reference code

ZA UCT BC1556

Title

South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation Collection

Date(s)

Level of description

Fonds

Extent and medium

The South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation (SAHGF) Collection comprises 35 archival boxes with a volume of 315 000cm3. These boxes are stored in two locations: 33 boxes in the Special Collection stacks in the Oppenheimer store and 2 boxes in the Cold Room. There are also 2 oversize folders in the Special Collection stacks in the J.W. Jagger Library and 41 museum objects in Strong Room 3. The material itself is arranged into 29 sections.

Name of creator

(2007-)

Administrative history

The South African Holocaust & Genocide Foundation (SAHGF) was established in 2007 by the Board of Trustees of the Cape Town Holocaust Centre. It provides the educational and philosophical direction for the three Holocaust Centres in South Africa: the Cape Town Holocaust & Genocide Centre, the Durban Holocaust & Genocide Centre and the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre. Each centre serves as a space for memory and learning, to serve as a memorial to the victims of Nazism; to teach about the consequences of prejudice, racism, antisemitism, xenophobia and homophobia; and to promote an understanding of the dangers of indifference, apathy and silence.The SAHGF raises historical awareness of the Holocaust and other genocides across the world and uses the platform to focus on human rights issues in contemporary society. Through these efforts, the SAHGF aims to help address the issues of racism, antisemitism, bigotry and marginalization which still plague post-Apartheid South Africa, and to promote social activism.

Name of creator

(1952)

Administrative history

BACKGROUND: RABBI ISRAEL MILLER FUND FOR SHOAH EDUCATION, RESEARCH AND DOCUMENTATION
(Taken from the Claims Conference website: http://www.claimscon.org/about/history/)

"Through its contributions to leading institutions that have expertise in Holocaust research, education, and documentation, the Claims Conference seeks to help ensure that future generations learn of the Holocaust. As the Shoah recedes from memory to history, it is crucial that future generations have available the records, photos, and other materials that institutions are still able to assemble today. It is also crucial that the history of the Holocaust is preserved and presented in a way that is meaningful and accessible to generations who will not be able to meet survivors first-hand."

HISTORY OF THE CONFERENCE ON JEWISH MATERIAL CLAIMS AGAINST GERMANY
(Taken from the Claims Conference website: http://www.claimscon.org/about/history/)

"In response to calls from Jewish organizations and the State of Israel, in September 1951 Chancellor Konrad Adenauer of West Germany addressed his Parliament: '…unspeakable crimes have been committed in the name of the German people, calling for moral and material indemnity… The Federal Government are prepared, jointly with representatives of Jewry and the State of Israel…to bring about a solution of the material indemnity problem, thus easing the way to the spiritual settlement of infinite suffering.'

"One month after Adenauer’s speech, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, co-chairman of the Jewish Agency and president of the World Jewish Congress, convened a meeting in New York City of 23 major Jewish national and international organizations. The participants made clear that these talks were to be limited to discussion of material claims, and thus the organization that emerged from the meeting was called the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany—the Claims Conference. The Board of Directors of the new Conference consisted of groups that took part in its formation, with each member agency designating two members to the Board. The Claims Conference had the task of negotiating with the German government a program of indemnification for the material damages to Jewish individuals and to the Jewish people caused by Germany through the Holocaust. On September 10, 1952, after six months of negotiations, the Claims Conference and the West German federal government signed an agreement embodied in two protocols. Protocol No. 1 called for the enactment of laws that would compensate Nazi victims directly for indemnification and restitution claims arising from Nazi persecution. Under Protocol No. 2, the West German government provided the Claims Conference with DM 450 million for the relief, rehabilitation and resettlement of Jewish victims of Nazi persecution, according to the urgency of their need as determined by the Conference. Agreements were also signed with the State of Israel."

Archival history

This project was made possible through ongoing financial support from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, specifically through the Rabbi Israel Miller Fund for Shoah Education, Research and Documentation.

Learn more about the Claims Conference here: http://www.claimscon.org/

The South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation (SAHGF) runs an archival project to preserve and digitize artefacts related to the history of the Holocaust and the two World Wars. The SAHGF is the umbrella body of the three Holocaust & Genocide Centres in South Africa - in Cape Town (1999), Durban (2008) and Johannesburg (2008). Each of these museums serves as a space for memory and learning, as well as a repository for a range of invaluable and sensitive historical material related to Holocaust history. With the formalization of the SAHGF Archival project in 2015, the SAHGF and the University of Cape Town entered into a partnership and the archive was placed in custody of the Special Collections and Archives of UCT Libraries.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Scope and content

Accruals

The South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation (SAHGF) continues to add material to the collection as they are received by the organisation.

System of arrangement

The material itself is arranged into sections according to the individual or family archives as they were donated to the South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation.

Individual items not in discreet collections are added to the Artefacts Collection (BC1556_A).

Conditions governing access

This collection is the property of the South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Many of the documents in these collections have been transcribed and/or translated. To access these documents please contact University of Cape Town Libraries' Special Collections.

When viewing the physical collection, these documents are interleaved with the original artefacts. In some cases, multiple items of the same genre from the same collection are transcribed and/or translated on the same document. In this case, the single transcription and/or translating document is stored with the first listed item of that genre in the collection.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Oversize: Indicates oversize items which, due to their size, are stored separately from the rest of the collection and usually wrapped in tissue paper and housed in large folders.

Cold storage: Indicates fragile audio-visual material kept in our dedicated cold storage facility. Please note these items need to be requested at least 24hrs in advance to allow proper acclimatization of material to room temperature. You are required to wear gloves while using this material.

Strong room: Indicates museum objects and other large artefacts stored in strong room. Depending on the nature of the item you may be requested to use gloves while using this material.

SAHGF custody: Indicates an item that will remain in the custody of the SAHGF and on display at one of the permanent exhibitions of the SAHGF in Durban, Cape Town or Johannesburg.

Finding aids

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Alternative identifier(s)

Place access points

Genre access points

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Phase 1 material described July-December 2015.
Phase 2 material described January-June 2016.
Phase 3 material described 2017-2018.

Language(s)

  • English

Script(s)

Sources

This inventory is the culmination of research involving a series of interviews, physical arrangement of the material according to type and chronology, as well as archival and desktop research. Between 2011 and 2015, the initial process of physical arrangement was undertaken by Michal Singer with the support of numerous volunteers and interns. (See below)

The formal finding aid was first prepared by Dmitri Abrahams, Brian Michael Müller and Michal Singer in 2015. It is continually updated in its current form by SAHGF Archivists Dmitri Abrahams and Michal Singer with the support and supervision of the UCT Special Collections and Archives.

Archivist's note

The establishment and ongoing work of the SAHGF Archives would not have been possible without the financial support of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, through the Rabbi Israel Miller Fund for Shoah Education, Research and Documentation.

Learn more: http://www.claimscon.org/

Archivist's note

The initial challenges related to the physical arrangement of material was overcoming an enormous backlog of more than a decade. Until the formalization of the SAHGF Archives, artefacts and other historical material was stored at the three Holocaust Centres, respectively. Most of the collection is sourced from the Cape Town Holocaust and Genocide Centre, which opened in 1999 and served as the first museum of its kind on the African continent.

Overcoming this backlog would not have been possible without the support of volunteers and interns, who worked tirelessly to create the current order of the collection, and to research the provenance of each collection.

Accession area