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Judaica Europeana Jewish collections online
Europeana 1914-1918

On the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, Europeana created a thematic portal which displays digital collections of material from national libraries and other partners as well as objects contributed via crowd sourcing.

The collections contain books, newspapers, trench journals, maps, music sheets, children’s literature, photographs, posters, pamphlets, propaganda leaflets, original art, religious works, medals and coins. This material reflects the experiences on all sides of the conflict including different ethnic, linguistic, social and religious communities, and those opposed to the war. It enables new interpretations of history that go beyond traditional military history and include artistic and cultural reinterpretation of the experiences of 1914-1918.

photo of Private Horne

Private Charles Horne

Charles Horne joined up, under age, in 1916. He was completely deaf but could lip read perfectly. Initially he served in the Irish Fusiliers and later transferred to the Jewish Legion, the 38th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers. He was wounded at Gallipoli and was stationed at Bir Salaamin, Palestine in 1919. After demobilisation he spent two years in South Africa and then returned to London, married and worked in the family tailoring business. Contributed via Age Exchange as part of the Children of the Great War project at a collection day at RAF Hendon, UK.

photo of Private Horne and his family

Charles Horne (left, in kilt) with family.
photo of Bialystock school
Mendele’s Kindergarten and Community School, Bialystok, 1918.

JDC First World War era records in Europeana

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s 1914-1918 collection has been published in Europeana via Judaica Europeana and the DM2E project. This historic collection dates from the establishment of ‘the Joint’ in 1914, when three U.S. organizations were created to respond to the needs of Jewish populations affected by the outbreak of World War I and came together to form the Joint Distribution Committee for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers. Highlights of the collection include:

  • Assistance to Jewish refugees
  • JDC activity to assist and to help repatriate prisoners of war
  • Eyewitness reports and assistance provided in Europe; notable locations include Bialystok, Cracow, Kovno, Monastir, Salonica, Vilna, and Warsaw
  • The creation of local European Jewish “help committees” through which JDC channeled funds
  • Cooperation with governments, foreign Jewish organizations, and nonsectarian agencies to transmit emergency funds and provide food, clothing, and shelter to Jews in need
  • Remittance lists of aid sent to relatives overseas, which are of great genealogical importance.
First World War JDC records
Editor: Lena Stanley-Clamp, European Association for Jewish Culture, London
with contributions from the AthenaPlus project; Center for Jewish-Moroccan Culture, Brussels; Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw;
JDC Archives, New York; YIVO Institute, NY; Leo Baeck Institute, NY. | Contact us | Subscribe to Judaica Europeana Newsletter
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