The Online Wiener Archive

Wiener TAU Online Archive

The digitization project of Wiener library in Tel Aviv University, was initiated in 2015, and gives access to thousands of documents kept in the library’s archive.

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Wiener's archive collections


The Alfred Wiener documents collection

The documents were collected by Dr. Wiener and his assistants from the early 1930s, during the war and its aftermath, until the late 1970s. As they constitute the library’s core, these documents were the first to be digitized and accessible online. They include the correspondence and decrees of various Nazi agencies, documents from concentration camps, and documentation of the activities, the life and the fate of Jewish associations, communities, and individuals before, during and after the Holocaust.


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Research files: research conducted by the JCIO and the Wiener Library 

These files are the results of research enquiries the JCIO (Jewish Center Information Office) in Amsterdam, and later the Wiener Library in London, received and compiled during the war. The material was culled from books, periodicals and press cuttings, to form reliable documentation on specialized subjects. The files have been arranged under broad subject headings.


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Biographical press cuttings (1945-1970S)

The biographical files (close to 3,000) are arranged in alphabetical order and include information about different persons, mainly non-Jews, in the post-war world: political leaders, politicians, philosophers, writers, scientists, high ranking officers (including Nazis) and more, in Israel, the USA and different European countries. The documentation was gathered between 1945 and 1970s. It includes material from periodicals and press cuttings. Some files include biographical information from other sources.


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The Key to the Mystery

The Key to the Mystery, or Clé du Mystère, was a virulently anti-Semitic pamphlet, in the shape of a 32-pages booklet, published in Canada in French and English, and distributed in several countries in Europe in the 1930s. Adrien Arcand, the leader of the fascist Canadian paramilitary organization “Blue Shirts”, edited and published the pamphlet. By quoting distorted versions of texts written by prominent Jews, the Key aimed to prove the authenticity of the theories put forward in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It accused the Jews of a worldwide domination plot and of communism. The collection contains the original booklets in French and in English, material about other anti-Semitic publications, and correspondence between the Jewish Central Information Office and the South African Jewish Board of Deputies. The folder also contains background research in German, compiled by Dr. Eva Reichmann from the JCIO. It comprises a copy of each article in the booklet, analyses of the main theses as well as sources cited and used, and written refutations based on verification and use of various material.


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The Nazi Justice collection 

The Nazi Justice collection provides information on the judiciary of the Third Reich and hundreds of trial transcripts. One part of the collection (Box I) contains registers of convicts, laws and regulations, information on judges and attorneys, a detailed report of executions in Brandenburg (from October 1944 to April 1945) and a list of Nazis who had been active in Auschwitz.

The other part (Boxes II to IX) contains trial transcripts in alphabetical order, mainly from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, from 1942 to 1945. Alleged crimes range from illegal slaughtering of animals to listening to hostile radio stations.  Most trials were either held in a German “Special court” (Sondergericht) or in the “People's court” (Volksgericht).

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Carl Schmitt – The Confidential File

This collection contains the contents of a confidential dossier on Carl Schmitt, a prominent German jurist, political theorist, and ostensibly loyal member of the Nazi Party. At the time at which the Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführer SS – SD Hauptamt put together this dossier, documenting a campaign aiming to discredit Schmitt, he was considered the most outstanding legal scholar of National Socialism. He served on the leadership council of the Academy for German Law, was chairperson of the Committee for State and Administrative Law, member of the Prussian State Council, editor-in-chief of the Nazi journal for lawyers, and president of the Association of National Socialist German Jurists.

The dossier is composed of letters, reports, newspaper clippings, telegrams, and handwritten notes, all of which seek to prove that despite Schmitt’s recent outspoken anti-Semitism, he was an untrustworthy opportunist rather than a faithful National Socialist. Comments on Schmitt’s work, examining his writings from the 1920s up to 1932, highlight that before the Nazi party came to power, he did portray Jewish authors in a positive light and that his thinking was more closely associated with Catholicism than National Socialism.

The Carl Schmitt - The confidential File collection  »

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United Restitution Organization (URO): [circulars] Rundschreiben 1961-1973

The collection contains circulars (“Rundschreiben”) that the main office of the United Restitution Organization in Frankfurt/Main sent out to the various offices of the organization between 1961 and 1973. The circulars detail judgements of the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) on claims of Holocaust survivors to individual indemnification for damages caused by Nazi persecution. Each circular is prefaced by a summary of the court’s decision and its significance for the jurisprudence of personal indemnification, which in Germany was regulated by the Federal Law on Compensation for Victims of National Socialist Persecution (Bundesentschädigungsgesetz). In addition, the circulars contain the entire decisions of the Supreme Court on which they report. The judgments provide vivid depictions of the fate of Nazi persecutees during and after the Second World War, of the broad spectrum of damages persecution caused its victims, and of the protracted legal proceedings in which they had to engage to claim compensation.

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The Judge Hadassa Ben-Itto collection

The collection contains the documents collected by the late honourable Judge Hadassa Ben-Itto during years of research for her book The Lie That Wouldn't Die: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It tells the story of those who forged the document, distributed it around the world and used it as an anti-Semitic weapon. It also sheds light on the activities of those who exposed and disproved it, with special emphasis given to the two major trials, both initiated in 1934 by Jewish communities, in Switzerland and South Africa, against local Nazi distributors of the document.

The collection includes various types of sources: protocols from court hearings, investigation reports, letters, and newspaper clippings. Particularly noteworthy are the documents originating from Georges Brunschvig's private archive, who later became President of the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities (SIG) and represented the plaintiffs at the trial. These documents include, among other items, those collected during the research conducted by lawyers in Russia, Germany and France.

The digitization of the collection was made possible thanks to the generous contribution of the French Friends of Tel Aviv University.


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The Protocols of the Elders of Zion

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion – or Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion - is an anti-Semitic forgery, detailing in 24 chapters the "Jewish plan" to take over the world. The fake document is a compilation from various sources, issued in Russia by Sergei Nilus in 1905, and since then, published in various languages around the globe.

The collection includes documents on the origins and the development of the myth.


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The Bern Trial, 1934-1935

The trial, held in Bern, Switzerland, between 1934 and 1935, was the result of a legal action taken by the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities (SIG). The plaintiffs sued and won against the Bund Nationalsozialistischer Eidgenossen (BNSE) which distributed anti-Semitic pamphlets, notably "Die zionistischen Protokolle", during a meeting held by the National Front and the Heimatwehr, on June 13, 1933, in the Casino of Bern.

This collection includes documents on the public and legal campaigns before and during the trial.


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The Grahamstown Trial, 1934

The trial, which took place in 1934 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, was the result of a four-page document printed in the weekly newspaper Die Rapport, allegedly stolen from the Western Road synagogue in Port Elizabeth and signed by its Rabbi Abraham Levy. The document, forged by Harry Victor Inch, was based on the notorious anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and presented an alleged local Jewish conspiracy to attain domination over South Africa as part of a larger international plot. Rabbi Levy sued the leaders of the Nazi group "Grey Shirts Movement" for distributing the forgery and won the trial.

The collection contains the full court transcript and the verdict of the trial.


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The Ludwig Dische papers: Bukovina’s Jewish history

The Ludwig Dische papers address the history of the Bukovina before 1918, when Czernowitz was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Dr. Dische was the chairperson of the Committee for internal affairs (“Communicates Evreilor”) of the Jewish community in Czernowitz, Bukovina, in the war years from December 1941 to March 1944, when the Soviet army re-occupied the city. The collection contains letters, drafts, bulletins, pictures, prints, newspapers clips, and information about well-known Jews from Czernowitz, as well as Dr. Dische’s personal papers. Dische gathered these materials after the Second World war, apparently for his personal research about Jewish life in the Bukovina.


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Jewish life and antisemitism before WWII

The Jewish life and Anti-Semitism collection consists of booklets, pamphlets and articles published in Europe during 1820-1940.

One part of the collection contains sources that provide an insight into Jewish life in Europe up to 1933. It includes statutes of Jewish schools, synagogues and welfare organizations, and Jewish calendars, sermons, commemorative speeches, celebrations, anniversary texts, and songbooks.
The other section comprises anti-Semitic texts that were self-published, printed by nationalistic or right-wing publishing houses, and later by National Socialist publishers or their affiliates. The publications elaborate on what they present as negative Jewish economic, cultural and political influences, such as communism and socialism. They repeat common Anti-Semitic stereotypes and reflect the atmosphere of their times.

Beside those anti-Semitic publications, the collection also presents anti-anti-Semitic material written or compiled by various Jewish organizations, e. g. the Verein zur Abwehr des Antisemitismus, as an active reaction against the anti-Semitic arguments.


The digitization of the collection was made possible thanks to the generous contribution of the Claims Conference - Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, EVZ - Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future, BMF - German Federal Ministry of Finance. 


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Anti-Nazi resistance and opposition

The "Anti-Nazi Resistance and Opposition" collection consists of pamphlets, flyers, and booklets published across Europe during World War II. These publications document the atrocities committed by the Nazis and by their collaborators, and were originally aimed to unite the oppressed populations in spiritual and armed resistance.

The opposition to the Nazis was led by people from different social backgrounds: peasants, workers, teachers, business owners, as well as aristocrats. Most operated underground, and individuals often sacrificed their freedom or even their own lives to ensure the production and distribution of these materials.


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Supported by the Claims Conference - Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, EVZ - Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future, BMF - German Federal Ministry of FinanceL’Association Française de l’Université de Tel-AvivLa Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah, and with the assistance of Yad Vashem - The World Holocaust Remembrance Center.

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