Ask an Archivist - Women's History Month

Q: Who are some of the most inspirational women found in the AJHS collections?


A: Great question! Two of my favorite women in the AJHS Collections right now are Cecilia Razovsky (P-290) and Lucy Dawidowicz (P-675).

Cecilia Razovsky (1886-1968) worked as a community organizer for immigrants in the 1920s. She was particularly concerned with ensuring that female immigrants had access to information about the citizenship process. In the 1930s, she worked tirelessly to rescue and place German Jewish refugee children in America. She agitated for refugee quota reform throughout the war. After the war, she worked in the Displaced Person camps, reuniting families and arranging visas. She later took on the position of Supervisor of Resettlement and Integration of Refugees for HIAS in 1957 at the age of 70.

Lucy S. Dawidowicz (1915-1990) began her career as a Jewish historian on the eve of World War II. In 1938, She traveled to Vilna to work as a research fellow at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. She spent the war years working as Assistant to the Research Director of YIVO in New York City. After the war, she returned to Europe to work with survivors in the American zone of Germany under the auspices of the Joint Distribution Committee. She also worked in Displaced Persons camps and was involved in the retrieval of stolen books for YIVO. As a Holocaust historian, Dawidowicz published her most famous work, and one of the definitive works of Holocaust historiography, The War Against the Jews: 1933-1945, in 1975.

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