Jan 10, 2009

the value of archives

I sat shiva for a friend's father this week, and was once again reminded of the importance of activist archives. The man who died had been part of the armed resistance against the Nazis in World War II, but many people there mourning hadn't heard of partisans, or at least not until James Bond played a role remarkably similar to the life of Simon Trakinski in a little movie called Defiance. I remember visiting Polish ghetto sites and concentration camps and being shocked to learn of the many rebellions, escapes, and armed uprisings. My education about Nazis and concentration camps had always only represented defeated, bewildered victims.

Fortunately, an archivist has been hard at work documenting the Jewish Partisans (blowing up railway lines!), and recording the stories of those still living.

Other valuable archives include:

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