University of Colorado Gets Largest Private Holocaust Archive
Collection of 500,000 documents will be made available to the public
The late Harry W. Mazal built a 3,000-square foot addition to his San Antonio, TX, home to house his enormous collection of Holocaust documents and materials—the largest private Holocaust archive in the world. Now the impressive collection has a new home: the University of Colorado Boulder. The Daily Camera reports that Mazal’s daughter, Aimee Mazal Skillin, has donated the full collection to the university.
The collection, which encompasses more than 20,000 books and 500,000 documents, pamphlets and photographs—and includes original transcripts of the Nuremberg trials and other war crimes trials—is estimated to be worth up to $1 million.
Skillin explained that her father, who died in 2011 at 74, became passionate about documenting the Holocaust after he discovered he was Jewish in his teens. Mazal was inspired to create the archive in the early days of the Internet, when he discovered the extensive presence of Holocaust denial online.
“(The collection) was about proving that the Holocaust, in fact, occurred,” she told the Daily Camera. “It was about preserving the memory of the children who perished in the Holocaust, and it was about education.”
Professor David Shneer, director of the university’s Program for Jewish Studies, feels the contribution will bolster the school’s focus on post-Holocaust American Judaism. “This is the anchor to be talking about something called post-Holocaust American Judaism,” he said.
Bruce Montgomery, faculty director for CU’s Archives and Special Collections, is working to make the 367 boxes worth of material available to researchers by the end of this year. The university also hopes to make the collection available to the public by the end of the year.
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