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AJC offices - New York

Film | Accession Number: 1996.166 | RG Number: RG-60.5070 | Film ID: 4600, 4601

FILM ID 4600 -- AJC NY 162-168
Claude Lanzmann interviews an American Jewish Committee (AJC) employee at the New York City office. During the interview the employee acts as a guide, taking Lanzmann on a tour of the building housing the AJC, which is comprised of several departments. The guide explains the main functions of the departments they pass: the Public Education and Information Department, the Foreign Affairs Department, the Domestic Affairs Department and the Library. Overall, the AJC is concerned with maintaining the rights and freedoms of Jews and other minorities. Lanzmann comments that the AJC appears to be a very powerful organization.

The guide takes Lanzmann to the Fundraising Department of the AJC. The AJC fosters cooperation with other non-Jewish groups for the mutual goal of freedom and security of all people. Lanzmann points out how this focus on human rights aligns with the sign on the front of the building, which reads, "Institute of Human Relations." By helping non-Jews, as well as Jews, the AJC helps all minorities improve their human rights. 03:44 At the time of the interview, the AJC was approaching its 75th anniversary. The AJC developed and expanded at a tremendous pace after the Holocaust. The guide and another woman tell Lanzmann about the AJC records, which include information on antisemitism, AJC's work before and during the creation of the state of Israel, and the resettlement of Holocaust survivors.

FILM ID 4601 -- AJC NY 169-172
[Audio is difficult to hear over background noise] The guide takes Lanzmann to AJC's computer room where a monthly and a quarterly magazine are produced. The modernity and efficiency of the AJC facilitates the completion of their important work, including communication with subscribers and members. The guide tells Lanzmann that she came to the United States as a small child before the war and her family perished in Poland. 05:33 In the Wiener Oral History Library, Lanzmann is introduced to the Director, Irma Krantz. Krantz tells Lanzmann how the Oral History division strives to represent as many different aspects of American Jewish life as possible through its recordings.

The guide next takes Lanzmann to the Brownstein Library and introduces him to Sima Horowitz, the Chief Librarian. Since its inception in 1939, the library is primarily concerned with contemporary American Jewish issues. A collection of contemporary antisemitic material consists of antisemitic books written in Braille and "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" printed in several different languages as recently as 1975. Horowtz shows Lanzmann a book originally printed in 1936 for very young children as a propaganda piece in English by an organization called "The White Power Publications" in the United States. The book had wide circulation throughout the organization and was donated in 1976. The library also contains newspapers, periodicals, and radio addresses from the Middle East and Russia associated with contemporary antisemitism.

Event:  December 1978
Production:  1985
New York, NY, United States
Created by Claude Lanzmann during the filming of "Shoah," used by permission of USHMM and Yad Vashem
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 22:02:47
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