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Photo Archive

Coordinator: Reut Ben Israel

The Photography Archive comprises documentation of the pre-Holocaust Jewish world: the community institutions, youth movements, and family photos taken during the Holocaust, photographs of Jewish communities in Europe after the Holocaust, Aliyat Hanoar, photographs of the Eichmann trial, memorial sites, as well as chronological documentation of memorial assemblies in honor of the Holocaust that have taken place at Massuah since 1964.

The archive comprises an exclusive collection of photographs documenting the atmosphere of the Hanoar Hazioni and Akiva Zionist youth movements, as well as organizations and their prominent members: the Haoved Hazioni movement, the Progressive Party, the personal archives of the late Moshe Baisky, the late Yitzhak Artzi, the late Moshe Kol, etc. The archive comprises some 30,000 photographs, some individual, and others collected in albums. The photographs were mainly deciphered by the people who handed them in.

The archive serves researchers, curators, students and the general public. The exhibitions held in the Massuah Museum are based on the unique archival collections.

Photographs Collection From Vilette d`Anton

A collection of photographs from the children’s home in Villette-d'Anthon

After the end of World War II, a castle in Villette-d’Anthon, near the French city of Lyon, became the site of a children’s home, which belonged to the Hanoar Hazioni movement. Dozens of children, the majority war orphans, were brought to the home.

The Massuah Archives houses a unique collection of photographs of these children, as well as documents and certificates. In many cases we do not know who the children are or what became of them. Others were identified by the archives’ staff with the kind help of the “children” themselves, who came to us and identified themselves and their friends.

In November 2010 Shlomit Tamir visited the archives. She came in order to collect research material relating to the life story of her mother, Hava Margolin. She knew that her mother had spent time in the children’s home, and therefore visited our archives. While viewing the photographs, Shlomit fixed her gaze on a photograph of two children wearing festive clothing, who were looking straight into the photographer’s eyes. The photo was part of a similar collection, and it was clear that they had been taken by a professional photographer. However, it was not clear whether the photos had also been taken in Villette-d’Anthon. Shulamit’s visit resolved all doubts: she phoned her mother who well remembered the occasion and even described in detail the dress she was wearing. This was a photograph of Hava and Yaakov, her younger brother.

Another group of photographs from the children’s home can be found on the website in Yona Weiss’ story, see Family Story.

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