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Inventory to the Jean Wittenberg Collection, 1940-1945
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Access Points
  • Introduction to the Jean Wittenberg Collection

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Jean Wittenberg Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1940-1945
    Collection number: XX020
    Creator: Wittenberg, Jean, collector
    Collection Size: 3 manuscript boxes 1.25 linear feet)
    Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Abstract: Pamphlets and serial issues, clandestinely issued in German-occupied Belgium during World War II, relating to the Belgian resistance movement
    Language: French and Flemish.

    Administrative Information


    Collection open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Jean Wittenberg Collection, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Access Points

    World War, 1939-1945
    World War, 1939-1945--Belgium
    World War, 1939-1945--Underground movements
    Belgium--History--German occupation, 1940-1945

    Introduction to the Jean Wittenberg Collection

    In 1944, shortly after the liberation of Brussels, an exhibition of the Belgian clandestine press was organized at La Maison du Peuple de Schaerbeek, a suburb of Brussels. The Maison du Peuple is commonly known as the seat of the socialist party. The exhibits were chiefly made up with clandestine periodicals circulated during the occupation by the leftish elements. I noticed at that time that the most important contribution to the exhibition originated from a certain Jean WITTENBERG, a socialist propagandist.
    I succeeded in getting in touch with Mr. Wittenberg and was allowed to investigate his collection which was grouping as much as 71 different clandestine periodicals. Mr. Wittenberg finally agreed to sell his entire collection to the Hoover War Library for Belgian Francs 10.000.- viz about $230.
    Mr. Wittenberg's personality is quite fascinating: In December 1940 he was already selling 14 different clandestine papers. He was arrested in January 1942, tortured and jailed by the Gestapo. Six months afterwards, he was liberated owing to lack of evidence. He soon resumed his clandestine activity and did not hesitate to hide two Jewish children in his Brussels home. But in June 1944 he was again arrested and sent to a concentration camp in Northern France from where he escaped on August 3rd.
    More detailed information on Jean Wittenberg and his war adventures may be found in this file, viz: two articles of the Belgian daily paper Le Peuple Oct. 13 and 14, 1944, and a few pages of personal memoirs Jean Wittenberg wrote at my request.
    Jean Wittenberg being a socialist propagandist his collection is exceptionally rich in pamphlets, cartoons, periodicals circulated during the German occupation by the leftish elements:
    To consult the collection, please use the inventory prepared by Jean Wittenberg himself.
    The periodicals have been grouped according to political tendencies and not according to alphabetical order.
    The figures in red pencil match with the figures labeled on each file.