A vast archive of photographs of Eastern European Jewish life between the two world wars has been made available online to the public and to researchers.
The archive consists of the life’s work of photographer Roman Vishniac (1897–1990), a Russian Jew who moved to Berlin in 1920. Among other things, Vishniac documented the rise of the Nazi party to power and its eventual assault on the Jewish communities of Central and Eastern Europe.
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In 1947, Vishniac returned to Europe to document the aftermath of the war and the plight of refugees and those living in displaced persons camps. Back in the United States, Vishniac continued his work as photographer and scientist and became a pioneer in the new field of photomicroscopy.
The International Center of Photography in New York and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., announced the joint creation of the digital database, to facilitate access to the Vishniac archive.
The database includes all of Vishniac’s 10, 000 negatives, most of which have never before been printed or published.
In addition, the photography center and the museum are asking scholars and other users to help identify the people and places seen in the images.