What is the Worldwide Shoah Memoirs Collection?
The Worldwide Shoah Memoirs Collection is an international collection in electronic form of previously unpublished or unavailable memoirs written by Jewish survivors of the Holocaust.
Why is the Claims Conference involved?
Since 1951 the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany has been the principal organization working to secure compensation and restitution for survivors of the Holocaust. More than 500,000 Holocaust survivors in 75 countries have received compensation payments as a result of the work of the Claims Conference. Through its allocation grants, the Claims Conference also works with the social service organizations assisting survivors and with organizations engaging in Holocaust research, documentation, and education throughout the world. We therefore are able to bring together all the relevant institutions and to be in contact with most survivors or the families of survivors everywhere.
Who is chairing this effort?
Elie Wiesel is the Honorary Chairman of the Worldwide Shoah Memoirs Collection. Oversight of this initiative rests with the Memoirs Committee of the Board of the Claims Conference.
What other organizations are involved?
Joining the Claims Conference in this effort are Yad Vashem, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Mémorial de la Shoah/Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine, the Jewish Historical Institute, and the Holocaust Survivors Memoirs Project. In addition, museums, archives, educational and research institutions, survivor organizations, and Jewish organizations and communities all over the world are becoming associated with the project. See the list of partner organizations and the list of associated organizations.
How do I submit a manuscript to the Worldwide Shoah Memoirs Collection?
Authors or rights-holders should submit their manuscripts in electronic form (Microsoft Word) in any language together with a signed author release and summary information concerning the manuscript. If no electronic version can be created, then a typed version can be submitted. Unfortunately handwritten manuscripts cannot be included. Please see the instructions on how to submit a manuscript.
What guidelines are there for the contents of submitted memoirs? Will my manuscript be automatically accepted for inclusion in the collection?
There are no specific guidelines for the contents of submitted memoirs other than that they should be Holocaust-related to some degree. Inclusion of manuscripts in the collection will be determined by historians and other experts reviewing all submissions.
Are there any costs associated with the submission of manuscript? Will I as an author have to pay any fees?
No. There are no author fees or institutional costs associated with the submission of a manuscript to the Worldwide Shoah Memoirs Collection.
Will my manuscript be published by the Claims Conference?
It is not our intention to duplicate publishing efforts. We are trying to collect the many memoirs that for various reasons are not likely to be published in usual book form but that are nonetheless important to preserve and to make available. Ways in which memoirs may be made publicly accessible, after appropriate review, are under discussion.
Will I earn any royalties by submitting my manuscript?
Will I continue to be able to publish my manuscript elsewhere?
Yes. Authors or rights-holders submitting manuscripts to the worldwide electronic collection will be able to access their manuscript and will be entitled to withdraw it at any time and/or to publish it wherever and however they wish.
What if I already submitted my manuscript to the Holocaust Survivors Memoirs Project?
We are writing individually to all authors who submitted manuscripts to the Holocaust Survivors Memoirs Project that have not been published to encourage them to submit them to the Worldwide Shoah Memoirs Collection.
What if I already submitted my manuscript to an archive or library?
Our main concern is that all previously unpublished or unavailable memoirs be identified and preserved. Memoirs that have already been submitted to a reputable archive or library presumably will be so identified and preserved. But if you retain the legal right to submit your manuscript elsewhere, we will be pleased to receive it as well for the Worldwide Shoah Memoirs Collection.
Who will have access to my manuscript?
Authors or rights-holders submitting manuscripts to the worldwide electronic collection will be able to access their manuscript and will be entitled to withdraw it at any time and/or to publish it wherever and however they wish. Documents in this electronic collection will also be made available to appropriate organizations and individuals to assist them in their critical work of research and documentation of the Shoah. Ways in which memoirs may be made publicly accessible, after appropriate review, are under discussion.
Can I receive help in writing my memoirs?
Authors in need of technical assistance are encouraged to turn to family members, friends or others for help when compiling or preparing their memoirs for the Worldwide Shoah Memoirs Collection. The Claims Conference is unable to provide financial assistance for this purpose.