CU Receives Huge Collection of Holocaust-Era Material


The University of Colorado has received an extensive collection of Holocaust-era documents, books and photographs from the daughter of a prominent Holocaust collector and researcher, Harry W. Mazal.

The Mazal Holocaust Collection is deemed as the world's largest privately owned Holocaust archive. It is the third most significant collection in the U.S. New York and Washington D.C have exclusive holocaust museums in the country.

The esteemed collection comprises of more than 20,000 books, 500,000 documents, pamphlets, and other rare materials, including original transcripts of the Nuremburg trials.

"This acquisition will transform CU-Boulder into a global center of scholarship on the 20th century Jewish experience," Professor David Shneer, the Louis P. Singer Chair in Jewish History and director of the Program in Jewish Studies, said in a statement. ".....CU is now one of the only places in the world to be able to demonstrate how global Jewish life continued and flourished in the United States after World War II."

Working with numerous volunteers, Mazal, a retired Mexico City businessman, accumulated the collection. After his death in 2011, his family donated part of the books from the Mazal Library to the new Texas A&M University-San Antonio. The rest of the library, including the cherished archive and limited edition books, were donated to Archives and Special Collections at the CU-Boulder's University Libraries and the Program in Jewish Studies.

"The Mazal Holocaust Library was everything to Harry," said daughter Aimee Mazal Skillin of Lone Tree, Colo. "It was his heart and soul and he made it his mission to debunk Holocaust deniers. His archive material was vast and CU has the capability to maintain, restore and share these valuable resources with the world."

Steven Leigh, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said that the collection will enhance scholarship and support research initiatives in a wide range of disciplines and programs. The archive will help students and researchers examine Judaism and the Jewish experience through religious, cultural and social movements in America; various philosophies of Judaism and Jewish organizations from the late 1940s to the present.

The Mazal Holocaust Collection will be housed within the Archive of Post-Holocaust American Judaism. The university hopes to make the collection available to the public by the end of 2014.

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