The World Jewish Congress New York Office. Series D. Relief and Rescue Department

Language of Description
Alt. Identifiers
  • 2006.214
  • RG-67.011M
1 Jan 1939 - 31 Dec 1969, 1 Jan 1940 - 31 Dec 1950
Level of Description
  • English
  • Other languages
EHRI Partner

Extent and Medium

2,444 digital images, TIFF

131 microfilm reels, 35 mm

16 CD-ROMs, 4 3/4 in.


Biographical History

The World Jewish Congress (WJC), an international Jewish representative organization, was formed in 1936. The Organization Department of WJC was originally established in Paris, ca. 1937, under Baruch Zuckerman to increase membership, strengthen relations with and between affiliates, maintain contacts with branch offices, and improve the image of the WJC with its affiliates. When rescue activities diminished in the late 1940s, the Organization Department also inherited responsibility for the European Advisory Council. In July 1940 the headquarters of the World Jewish Congress was moved from Geneva, Switzerland, to New York City, N.Y., due to World War II. Instrumental in its founding were the American Jewish Congress (AJC), established in 1918, and the Comité des Délégations Juives (Committee of Jewish Delegations), which was founded in 1919. Throughout the war, the departments in New York maintained contact with WJC relief and rescue worker in Europe, especially via WJC offices in London, Stockholm, Geneva, and Lisbon. Relief activities of the WJC began in April 1940 with the establishment of the Relief Committee for Jewish War Victims (RELICO) in Geneva under the direction of Adolf H. Silberschein. The purpose of RELICO was to supply food and social aid to Jews in Europe, especially in Poland and France, and to help refugee groups including those in Mauritius, Tangier, Rhodesia, and Tanganyika. RELICO continued in operation throughout the war years, even after the headquarters of the WJC was moved to New York. In July 1940 a separate relief department was established at the new office under Arieh Tartakower. The Rescue Department was established in April 1944. Its primary functions were to document and publicize war crimes and atrocities; to devise rescue plans and enlist public and governmental support for action; to prevent deportation of some European Jewish communities; to liberate concentration camps from the Nazis; and to advocate punishment for war crimes. Aryeh L. Kubowitzki, head of the Department for European Jewish Affairs from 1941 to 1944, was named the first director of the Rescue Department, with Kurt R. Grossman as his assistant. In the spring of 1945, the Rescue Department was merged with the Relief Department under Arieh Tartakower and renamed the Relief and Rehabilitation Department. When Tartakower moved to Palestine in 1946, Kalman Stein became acting director of the expanded Relief Department. Stein was succeeded by Kurt R. Grossman in 1947. The Department was disbanded at the end of 1948 and its functions were assumed by the Relief Desk of the Political Department.

Archival History

American Jewish Archives


Source of acquisition is the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA), the World Jewish Congress New York Office records. Series D. Relief and Rescue Departments. Records were donated to the AJA by the World Jewish Congress in 1982. All materials donated prior to 2002 have been arranged and described in the AJA inventory. The collection Series D, Relief and Rescue Departments 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 August 2006.

Scope and Content

Contains records relating to social relief and rescue activities, location of survivors, immigration and migration, refugees, displaced persons, extermination of Jews, reaction to Hitler's Final Solution, and relations with international relief organization including the UNRAA and Red Cross. Seven sub-series of World Jewish Congress New York Office records, Series D contains the following files: 1. Executive files, 1939-1969: The majority of the material deals with applications and affidavits for individual immigration cases; 2. Immigration Division, 1940-1953: Includes correspondence and reports of Ellen Hilb, Milka Fuchs, and Kurt R. Grossman. The majority of the material deal with applications and affidavits for individual immigration cases, especially for entry into the United States. 3. Location Service, 1942-1960: Includes lists of survivors, known dead, and inmates of concentration and refugee camps. Also materials pertaining to displaced persons camps and survivors after the war; 4. Child Care division, 1942-1953: Established in November 1945. Materials related to the establishment of Jewish orphanages in Europe and the placement of orphans with foster parents or relatives; 5. The Committer for Overseas Relief Supplies, 1945-1950: Established in June 1945, to ship clothing, food and medicine; 6. Advisory Council on European Jewish Affairs, 1941-1947: Founded in 1942 to present a united front of European Jewry; composed of delegates from the various representative committees of European Jewries then present in the United States. Includes some files of the Rescue Department; 7. Rescue Department, 1939-1966: Includes the files of Leon Kubowitzki and Rudolf Glanz, and inquires and locations concerning missing Jews and records of rescue work in post-war Europe.

System of Arrangement

Arranged in the following sub-series: 1. Executive Files, 1939-1969; 2. Immigration Division, 1940-1953; 3. Location Service, 1942-1960; 4. Child Care Division, 1942-1953; 5.The Committer for Overseas Relief Supplies, 1945-1950; 6. Advisory Council on European Jewish Affairs, 1941-1947; 7. Rescue Department, 1939-1966. These files include copies of materials also found in RG-67.035M: 1997.A.0235, Selected Records of the World Jewish Congress New York Office. Series D. Sub-Series 3, Location Service, 1938-1947.

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.