The World Jewish Congress New York office records. Series B (Political Department)

Language of Description
Alt. Identifiers
  • 2006.71
  • RG-67.006M
1 Jan 1919 - 31 Dec 1977, 1 Jan 1940 - 31 Dec 1969
Level of Description
  • English
  • Other languages
EHRI Partner

Extent and Medium

164,759 digital images, PNG

141 microfilm reels, 35 mm

19 CD-ROMs, 4 3/4 in.


Biographical History

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) is an international organization founded by resolution of the First World jewish Congress, which took place in August 1936 in Geneva. The organization goal is to defend the political, social, and economic rights of Jews throughout the world. Its governing bodies were elected at the First World Jewish Congress: the executive committee headed by Stephen Wise (also the organization’s chairman), an administrative committee, headed by Nahum Goldman, and a central council headed by Louis Lipsky. At the first session of the executive committee, Sept. 6, 1936, it was decided to establish regional offices of the WJC in Geneva, New York, and London, and a central bureau in Paris. The central bureau coordinated the WJC’s work, collected information on the situation of Jews in various countries, published materials, and also lobbied at the League of Nations. In 1940, with the Second World War under way, the central bureau was transferred to New York, and a European office was established in London.

Archival History

American Jewish Archives


Files of the Political Department (Series B) of the WJC in New York City. Originally established in 1936 under Nahum Goldmann and Marc Jarblum in Paris, the Political Department was charged with the protection of the basic rights and freedoms of Jews in the political and diplomatic fields. Conditions resulting from the rise of Hitler, however, created for the Department the additional task of obtaining political relief for refugees. Following the move of the WJC's main office to New York in 1940, Maurice L. Perlzweig was named director of the Political Department. In 1947, Perlzweig became permanent representative from the WJC to the United Nations and Robert S. Marcus took over as political director. Following Marcus' death in 1951, Perlzweig resumed direction of the newly renamed Department of International Affairs and United Nations (New York Branch) and continued in that capacity until his retirement in 1974. The New York branch of the Department of International Affairs concentrated on the western hemisphere, while the London branch (directed by Alexander L. Easterman) covered the eastern hemisphere.The World Jewish Congress records was donated to the American Jewish Archives by the World Jewish Congress in 1982. All materials donated prior to 2002 have been arranged and described in the American Jewish Archives inventory. Series B (Political Department) of the collection was microfilmed and sent to the United States Holocaust Museum in 2006. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum International Archives Project transferred the collection to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives in Apr.2006.

Scope and Content

Contains records of the Political Department represented the WJC with governments and international organizations such as the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and the Council of Europe. Records relate to the departmental activities reflected antisemitism, human rights, migration, minorities, genocide, statelessness, prosecution of war crimes, relations between Christians and Jews, peace and disarmament, reparations, the situation of Jews in specific countries (notably the USSR and North Africa). Contains also papers of three persons: Maurice L. Perlzweig, Robert S. Marcus, and Oscar Karbach ( personal materials, alphabetical files of special assistance cases for persons seeking assistance with immigration/visa problems during the years 1946-1948, correspondence and publications). Materials in this series include correspondence, reports, memos, publications, releases, mimeographed materials, and submissions.

System of Arrangement

Organized in four sub-series: 1. Executive Files; 2. Office Files; 3. United Nations Files; 4.World Jewish Congress Submissions to the United Nations and Other Agencies. Arrangement is thematic

Conditions Governing Reproduction

Copyright Holder: American Jewish Archives


Corporate Bodies



This description is derived directly from structured data provided to EHRI by a partner institution. This collection holding institution considers this description as an accurate reflection of the archival holdings to which it refers at the moment of data transfer.