80 years ago in the night of November 9-10, 1938 Nazi Germany unleashed terror on its Jewish citizens. The ‘Reichskristallnacht’ marked the beginning of the Nazis’ implementation of their ‘final solution’, the annihilation of the Jewish population and with it the destruction of Jewish culture and civilization. In this post we look at the society, the Soncino-Gesellschaft as an example of the rich Jewish culture which was destroyed by Nazi Germany. Continue reading
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The Chadwyck-Healey Liberation Collection, 1944-1946, which consists of books and pamphlets in French on the Second World War, the Occupation and the Liberation, has become a major part of the French Special collections at Cambridge University Library. In 2014 the Liberation collection comprised 600 volumes, but it now includes over 3000 items. Over the years, staff from the Collections and Academic Liaison and the Rare Books departments have contributed to the processing, cataloguing and promotion of the collection, including Sophie Defrance, Sophie Dubillot, Josh Hutchinson, David Lowe and Clara Panozzo Zénere. We are now very pleased to be able to recruit a new cataloguer who will be in charge of cataloguing the last 1000 books of the collection!
The collection, donated to Cambridge University Library by Charles Chadwyck-Healey, started in 2001 with the purchase of the photographic album by Jean Éparvier, À Paris, sous la botte des nazis, Éditions Raymond Schall, 1944 (Liberation.a.33), and is very rich in illustrated books. In 2014, for the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of Paris, the collection was the focus of a Cambridge University Library exhibition: Literature of the Liberation, the French Experience in Print, 1944-1946 (see Cam.b.2014.25).
A new exhibition of Russian literary publications featuring handwritten dedications has opened today in the Library’s entrance hall and online. Out of the shadows : post-1917 Russian emigration rediscovered has been curated by Vera Tsareva-Brauner of the University’s Slavonic Studies Section. Vera found the first of the dedications while researching Nobel laureate Ivan Bunin, an unearthing which led to the five other inscriptions being brought to light again. It is wonderful to be able to celebrate these re-discovered treasures.
The six dedications (three by Bunin, one by Teffi, two by Tolstoi)
The exhibition marks the centenary of the start of the Russian Exodus. Following the revolutions of 1917, as many as three million people fled their native land, among them many of the best representatives of early 20th-century Russian culture. Most of the émigrés, including the writers Ivan Bunin, Aleksei Tolstoi and Nadezhda Teffi fled to Western Europe, where their determination to preserve their cultural heritage saw the effective creation of a Russia Abroad. The books which feature in the physical and online exhibition and which have never been shown before have original autographs by Bunin, Teffi, and Tolstoi.
The books will be on display in the Entrance Hall until 30 November 2018. The permanent online exhibition can be accessed here: https://exhibitions.lib.cam.ac.uk/outoftheshadows/
Vera Tsareva-Brauner and Mel Bach
The final items have recently been added to the Revolution : The First Bolshevik Year online exhibition. I am extremely grateful to the students and librarians who provided many of the captions. Amongst the latest additions is a book which contains a written dedication by the White commander Petr Vrangel’ (commonly Wrangel) – a fascinating re-discovery.
Глубокоуважаемому Николаю Николаевичу Шебеко – повесть о крестном пути тех, кто вынес на чужбину и верно хранит национальное русское знамя. Ген. Врангель
To the esteemed Nikolai Nikolaevich Shebeko – a tale about the via dolorosa of those who brought out to a foreign land and faithfully preserve the national Russian flag. Gen. Wrangel
Shebeko had served as a diplomat under the tsar and fought with the Whites. By the time this book, on the Russians in Gallipoli, had been published in Berlin in 1923, Shebeko had settled in France. Wrangel had led the southern White forces and remained a hugely significant figure in emigration. He eventually moved to Belgium, via Yugoslavia where he founded ROVS, the Russian All-Military Union which served to unite émigré officers and soldiers and which attracted a great deal of Soviet state interest. Soviet involvement was certainly suspected in Wrangel’s death in Belgium in 1928 at the age of 49.
Wrangel’s writing proved quite a challenge to decipher, certainly for me. Sincere thanks go to Richard Davies of the Leeds Russian Archive who provided a transcription with little apparent effort and much-appreciated speed.
A higher-resolution image of the dedication can be found here: https://exhibitions.lib.cam.ac.uk/revolutionthefirstbolshevikyear/artifacts/a-trace-of-wrangel/