For centuries, pamphlets provided those who produced them with a quick, inexpensive method for disseminating news on contemporary issues. Informal booklets printed on cheap paper, the purpose of pamphlets was to quickly spread the word about current events of importance. Much like present day blogs or online activist sites that communicate via email, pamphlets seek to inform their audiences and to urge them to action.
As events in Europe unfolded during the years 1933-1945, hundreds of pamphlets, produced by scores of organizations, were published in several languages. Reports of the oppression of Jewish citizens in Germany appeared almost immediately after the Nazi party rose to power in 1933. As persecutions increased inside Germany, and later in occupied Central and Eastern Europe, pamphlets took on an ever increasing note of desperation.
The pamphlets that were featured in this exhibit contradict the claim that no one knew what was happening and that information about the suffering of millions throughout Europe was not available. Written and distributed by representatives of labor organizations in England, relief committees in Palestine, Jewish organizations in England and the USA, and occupied Europe’s governments-in-exile, these pamphlets are powerful reminders that information was available. They are evidence that efforts were made to raise awareness regarding the impending slaughter of European Jewry, but that their calls to action were not enough to stop the annihilation of millions.