Collecting area: East & Central Europe

Kraus, Karl

Karl Kraus Papers

1880-1962 Bulk: 1930-1962
2 boxes 1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 470
Depiction of Karl Krauss
Karl Krauss

Known for his bitingly satirical poetry, plays, and essays, the Austrian writer Karl Kraus was born in what is today Jicin, Czech Republic. At the age of three, Kraus and his family moved to Vienna, where he remained for the rest of his life. He is best known as editor of the literary journal Die Fackel (The Torch), which he founded in 1899 and to which he was the sole contributor from 1911 until his death in 1936.

Gabriel Rosenrauch, a lawyer from Chernivtsi, Ukraine, collected materials about Kraus and his career, including newspaper articles and essays in German, Yiddish, Hebrew, English, and French written between 1914 and 1962. A few of these were written by well-known authors such as Hermann Hesse and Werner Kraft. The collection features personal photographs of Kraus from throughout his life, as well as photographs of his apartment in Vienna. Also of note are the indexes to Kraus’ journal Die Fackel that were composed by Rosenrauch, whose personal correspondence with Kraus archivist Helene Kann is part of the collection.

Language(s): German

Subjects

Kokoschka, Oskar, 1886-1980Kraft, Werner, 1896-1991Vienna (Austria)--History--20th centuryWorld War, 1939-1945

Contributors

Kraus, Karl, 1874-1936Rosenrauch, Gabriel

Types of material

Letters (Correspondence)
Lithuania

Lithuanian Revolution Collection

1973-1991
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1025
Depiction of Sajudis button, ca.1989
Sajudis button, ca.1989

The dissolution of the Soviet bloc after 1989 was hastened in the Baltic republics by mass popular resistance waged through non-violent cultural and political means. In Lithuania, the revolutionary efforts that began in the spring 1988 culminated in a formal declaration of independence in March 1990. After demands to submit to Soviet authority were ignored, the Soviets sent troops to occupy key buildings in Vilnius killing fourteen protesters in the process. In the face of a resilient resistance and international pressure, the Soviets held on to power for several months, until turmoil at home forced them to recognize Lithuanian independence on September 6, 1991.

This small collection contains a selection of publications dating roughly from the time of the Lithuanian revolution of 1988-1991. Along with a series of mostly pro-independence newspapers and magazines, the collection includes some interesting ephemera, including a series of scarce appeals for independence issued by Sajudis and their Latvian and Estonian partners, a pair of buttons, posters, fliers, and pamphlets. Although most of the materials are in Lithuanian, the collection includes a few written in Russian or English, and there are a few items relating to Lithuania reflecting a Soviet provenance.

Gift of James and Sibylle Fraser
Language(s): Litruseng

Subjects

Communism--LithuaniaLietuvos Persitvarkymo sajudisLithuania--History--1945-199

Types of material

Buttons (Information artifacts)Maps (Documents)NewspapersPosters
Macedonian Students

Macedonian Students' Scrapbook

1946
1 vol. 0.15 linear feet
Call no.: MS 262 bd
Depiction of Dancing the hora around a Red Cross flag, 1946
Dancing the hora around a Red Cross flag, 1946

The Red Cross played an important relief role in Yugoslavia, helping the still volatile region recover from the devastation of the Second World War.

The sketches and essays in this scrapbook, accompanied by a handful of photographs, were apparently made by grade school students in Skopje, Macedonia, just after the Second World War. The images depict the city, countryside, and people, with a handful of more abstract designs. Red Cross imagery is prominent throughout. Although the provenance of the album is uncertain, it seems possible that it was assembled to pay homage to the organization’s relief efforts.

Gift of Joel Halpern
Language(s): Macedonian

Subjects

Students--MacedoniaWorld War, 1939-1945--Macedonia

Types of material

Scrapbooks
McNeal, Robert Hatch, 1930-

Robert Hatch McNeal Papers

1955-1986
8 boxes 4 linear feet
Call no.: FS 079

Robert H. McNeal, a renowned expert on the history of the Soviet Union, joined the University faculty in 1969 and served as the head of the History department from 1971 to 1975. McNeal wrote authoritative works on Soviet leadership, contributed to the World Book and a number of other reference works, and taught many History courses on Russian and Soviet history. His work, however, came to a tragic end in 1988 when his car was broadsided pulling out of a gas station near Princeton University. Born in 1930 in Newark, New Jersey, McNeal earned his B.A. From Yale University in 1952, his M.A. from Columbia in 1954, and Ph.D. from the same school in 1958.

Representing mainly his work as a teacher at the University of Massachusetts, McNeal’s papers include lecture notes, ordered alphabetically by topic as well as several folders of research and article manuscripts on Pushkanen. Also included in the collection are two years of professional correspondence from 1968-1970, biographical sketches and photographs of important historical figures, and several Soviet Christmas cards from the 1950s.

Subjects

University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of History

Contributors

McNeal, Robert Hatch, 1930-
Obrebski, Joseph, 1907-1967

Joseph Obrebski Papers

1923-1974
48 boxes 24 linear feet
Call no.: MS 599

A student of Bronislaw Malinowski, the Polish ethnographer Jozef Obrebski was a keen observer of cultural change among eastern European peasantry in the years before the Second World War. After working with the resistance in Warsaw during the war, Obrebski went on to do additional ethnographic research in Jamaica (with his wife Tamara), taught at Brooklyn and Queens College and C.W. Post University, and from 1948-1959, he was senior social affairs officer with the United Nations. He died in 1967.

The Obrebski collection consists largely of ethnographic data collected by Obrebski in Macedonia (1931-1932), Polesia (1934-1936), and Jamaica (1947-1948), including field and interview notes, genealogies, government documents relating to research sites, and ca. 1000 photographs; together with correspondence (1946-1974), drafts of articles, analyses of collected data, and tapes and phonograph records, largely of folk music; and papers of Obrebski’s wife, Tamara Obrebski (1908-1974), also an ethnologist and sociologist.

Language(s): Polish

Subjects

Anthropologists--PolandEthnology--JamaicaEthnology--MacedoniaEthnology--PolandPeasantry--MacedoniaPeasantry--Poland

Contributors

Obrebski, Joseph, 1907-1967

Types of material

Photographs
Plenzdorf, Ulrich, 1934-2007

Ulrich Plenzdorf Collection

1970-1979
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 978

An East German screenwriter and playwright, Ulrich Plenzdorf was born into a Communist family in the working-class Kreuzberg district of Berlin in 1934, settling in East Germany after the war. Abandoning his undergraduate studies in philosophy at the University of Leipzig, Plenzdorf worked as a stagehand at the DEFA film studio while studying at the film academy in Babelsberg. His breakthrough as a writer came with the play Die neuen Leiden des jungen W (1972), which enjoyed enormous success internationally, selling more than four million copies in 30 languages. A year later, he followed up with the popular film, Die Legende von Paul und Paula (1973), and his popularity as a writer continued through unification. Plenzdorf died in Berlin on Aug. 9, 2007, at the age of 72.

This small collection includes research files on the screenwriter Ulrich Plenzdorf assembled by Albert R. Schmitt, a professor of German at Brown University. In addition to an early edition of Die neuen Leiden and a mimeograph copy of an English translation by Herbert Lederer, the collection includes a handful of letters and a few pieces of ephemera from early productions of Die neuen Leiden, along with reviews and scholarly articles of Plenzdorf’s work.

Gift of Barton Byg, June 2017
Language(s): German

Subjects

Dramatists--Germany (East)Plenzdorf, Ulrich, 1934-2007. Neuen Leiden des jungen W.Screenwriters--Germany (East)

Contributors

Schmitt, Albert R.

Types of material

EphemeraPosters
Ring, Hans Joachim

Hans Joachim Ring Collection of East German Cinema

1945-1990
10 boxes 4.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 566
Depiction of Bummi
Bummi

Born in Germany on Aug. 4, 1934, Hans Joachim Ring was a film enthusiast with an encyclopedic knowledge of German cinema. During the Second World War, movie theatres became a refuge for the young boy, whose family was forced several times to flee due to Allied bombing. The hardships of post-war life cemented the role of film in his life and as he grew older, he became an ardent collector of materials relating to film.

The Ring Collection includes hundreds of programs, fliers, and handbills published by the official East German film distributors Progress Film-Vertrieb and the Deutsche Film Aktiengesellschaft (DEFA) and sold to patrons at theatres. This extraordinary assemblage includes several hundred programs covering the immediate post-war period (1945-1950) and hundreds more relating to films released up to and beyond the end of the Communist era. Offering insight into the evolution of graphic design in East Germany and the marketing of film, the collection is one of the largest of its kind in the United States.

Acquired from Ann Langevin, May 2008
Language(s): German

Subjects

Children's films--Germany, EastMotion pictures--Germany, East

Contributors

Deutsche Film AktiengesellschaftProgress Film-VertriebRing, Hans Joachim

Types of material

Fliers (Printed matter)HandbillsPrograms
Rosellini, Jay

Jay Rosellini East German Book Collection

ca.1960-1990
ca.190 vols. 15.5 linear feet
Call no.: RB 032

A scholar of East German literature and cultural politics, Jay Rosellini completed his doctorate at Indiana University in 1976, and held faculty positions at MIT and Purdue before becoming Professor of German and Humanities at Suffolk University in 2001. His writings include monographs on the writers Volker Braun and Wolf Biermann and a study of the right-wing tradition in German literature from the Romantic era to post-unification. Rosellini retired in 2017.

The Rosellini Collection contains novels, poetry, and drama from East German writers, primarily from the 1960s to 1989.

Gift of Jay Rosellini, June 2017
Language(s): German

Subjects

Authors, German--Germany (East)Germany (East)--History

Types of material

Books
Samizdat

Samizdat Collection

1955-1983
12 boxes 6 linear feet
Call no.: MS 404

In the mid-1970s, the Center for the Study of New Russian Literature in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at UMass Amherst began collecting the self-published and underground literature of the Soviet Union as a means of documenting social and political dissent in the Communist state.

The Samizdat collection includes writings in several genres — chiefly fiction, poetry, drama, and literary, social, and political criticism — in handwritten, photocopied, and printed form, as well as photos, a passport application for Mikhail Baryshnikov, and memorabilia from an American production of one of the plays in the collection.

Language(s): Russian

Subjects

Underground literature--Soviet Union
Shapiro, Leon

Leon Shapiro Papers

1939-1985
15 boxes 8.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 127

Historian, author, Professor of Russian and Soviet Jewish History at Rutgers University, who helped arrange the escape of Jews from Europe during World War II and was active in several organizations concerned with the emigration of Soviet and Eastern European Jews to Palestine. Papers include biographical materials, correspondence, legal documents, writings, lecture and research materials, statistical data in the world Jewish population before and after World War II, oral history transcripts, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, and four photographs.

Subjects

Europe, Eastern--Ethnic relations--History--20th centuryIsrael--Emigration and immigration--HistoryIsrael--History--1948-1967Jews, Soviet--History--SourcesJews--Europe, Eastern--History--SourcesJews--Migration--HistoryJews--Population--HistoryJews--Soviet Union--History--SourcesOccupational training for Jews--History--SourcesPalestine--History--1929-1948Romania--Emigration and immigration--HistoryRutgers University--CurriculaRutgers University--FacultySoviet Union--Ethnic relations--HistoryWorld ORT Union--History

Contributors

Shapiro, Leon

Types of material

Oral historiesPhotographs