The Dr. Nathan Eck Collection, holocaust researcher, 1938-1976
Dr. Nathan Eck was born in Janow, Poland, 19 March 1896. He was a Gordonia youth movement activist and a Zionist activist, as well as a teacher, educator, writer, editor and Holocaust scholar. Dr. Eck served in the Austrian Army from 1915-1918 and earned the degree of Doctor of Law at the University of Vienna in 1922.
He wrote articles that appeared in the "Lemberger Togblatt" in 1912, in the "Wiener Morgenpost", Unser Ruf, 1920-21, in "Folk un Land, Lodzer Tageblatt, Wiadomości Codzienne" (Yiddish-Polish) in 1923-25, and cooperated in the publication of three volumes of the Hebrew Yearbook, 1937-39.
Wanted by the Gestapo, he left Lodz in November 1939 and moved to Warsaw. There he participated in cultural and mutual self-help activities along with Itzhak Katzenelson and Menachem Kirschenbaum. As a member of the Tekumah organization, he helped promote the Hebrew language, and served as editor of Gordonia's newspaper, "Dvar HaTse'irim". He was also the founder and principal of the Tarbut Jewish High School.
Dr. Eck escaped to Czestochowa on August 20, 1942, and from there to Zaglebie. In 1943, he received a Paraguayan passport and attempted to leave Poland as a foreign citizen. However, he was arrested and deported to the Vittel camp in France. In May 1944, he jumped from the deportation train to Auschwitz and escaped to Paris, where he remained in hiding until the end of World War II.
In 1945, he visited the United States.
Dr. Eck worked for the weekly newspaper, "Unser Vort", and was the co-editor of Itzhak Katzenelson's "Dos Lid funem Oysgehargetn Yidishn Folk (the Song of the Murdered Jewish People), which was published in Paris, 1946-47.
In 1948 he made immigrated to Israel and began his Holocaust research. At the same time, he wrote articles for "Der Tog", "Yiddishe Kempfer", "Tsukunft", "Hadoar", "Jewish Social Studies", "Die Goldene Keyt", "Das Vort" and "Niv Hakvutzah". Additionally, he served as editor of the Yad Vashem "Studies" research journal in 1954, with Arieh Leon Kubovy.
Dr. Nathan Eck died in Tel Aviv on 22 February 1982.
The documentation mainly deals with research on various aspects of the Holocaust period in Poland and France. There are research papers, testimonies, newspaper clippings, correspondence and documentation concerning the emigration of Jews to Latin American countries. Outstanding documentation in the collection:
- Draft of Dr. Nathan Eck's memoirs, Paris, June-July 1944;
- Undated draft of descriptions and memoirs from the WW II period in Lodz, Warsaw and Vittel;
- Testimonies regarding the persecution and murder of Jews and the uprising in the Sobibor extermination camp;
- Articles, essays, research papers and drafts of articles regarding the historical, psychological, cultural and sociological aspects of the Holocaust, 1945-1970;
- Drafts of articles for Yad Vashem publications, 1956-1960;
- Research papers and reports regarding historical aspects of the Holocaust, 1955-1961;
- Correspondence with various organizations and bodies, 1940-1945;
- Correspondence between Dr. Nathan Eck and international Jewish organizations, relief organizations, authors, survivors and Holocaust scholars containing reports, protocols, and more dealing with the history of the persecution and destruction of the Jews in German occupied Europe, rescue efforts and publications regarding the subject, 1956-1976;
- Correspondence regarding the publication of research articles in the Yad Vashem "Studies", 1963-64;
- Official Yad Vashem documentation;
- Testimonies of Holocaust survivors and an excerpt from the indictment against Wehrmacht Major Fritz Wilhelm Oskar Fischer;
- Testimonies written by survivors, and notes taken during interviews or conversations with the survivors; many documents are undated, and not all the authors are indicated;
- Documentation and correspondence regarding the rescue of Jews through the use of foreign travel documents;
- Index of documents regarding the rescue of Jews through the use of visas or passports from various countries;
- Documentation regarding Jewish emigration, travel documents and HICEM activities;
- Documents related to efforts to rescue Jewish inmates in various concentration and transit camps through the use of foreign, especially Latin American, travel documents;
- Lists of Jews who were entitled to obtain passports and citizenship certificates from the consulates of Haiti, Honduras, Paraguay, Peru and El Salvador;
- Article regarding the activities Jewish relief organizations (HICEM, HIAS, ICA and Emigdirect);
- Press clippings in French, German, Yiddish, English, Hebrew and more collected by Dr. Nathan Eck, 1943-1970;
- Documentation regarding the persecution of the Greek Jews during the Holocaust;
- Index of the Silberschein Archive, list of abbreviations; instructions regarding the translation of the diaries of Adam Czerniakow.
Description of the files are available on IDEA ALM system at Yad Vashem Archives reading room
JL according to the RG description in the YV computerized catalogue