Philip Friedman

Philip Friedman’s (1901–1960) scientific publications and his teachings at University laid the foundations of academic Holocaust Studies.

© Yad Vashem Photo Archive, Jerusalem. 5339/571
Philip Friedman, place and date unknown.

He was born in the Galician town of Lemberg and studied History and Jewish Studies in Vienna. In 1925, he completed his doctorate on the struggle for equality of Galician Jews. Following the completion of his degree, Friedman published his academic writings and worked as a teacher in Łódź and Warsaw. At the beginning of war, he returned to his birthplace, where he spent the war years in hiding.

© Wiener Library Collections
Friedman’s "This is Auschwitz!", one of the first collections of reports and documents about the crimes which had happened there, published in 1945.

Friedman was the only member of his family to survive. After the liberation, Friedman became chairman of the Central Jewish Historical Commission in Łódź. In 1945, he published To jest Oświęcim (This Is Auschwitz), the world’s first collection of reports and documents on the concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz. Other monographs followed. Friedman also taught at university and supported police investigations against perpetrators. After his deposition at the Nuremberg trials he did not return to communist Poland. Instead, he focused his time on teaching and educating Jewish refugees in displaced person camps in Germany. In 1948, he emigrated to the USA with his second wife Ada Eber. He taught Holocaust Studies at Columbia University. Until his death, he published several more books in different languages

© Yad Vashem Photo Archive, Jerusalem. 1427/223
A meeting of the Jewish Historical Commission in Łódź, 1945. Friedman (at the head of the table, middle) was the head of the institution. On his left side, Nachman Blumental (standing) and Rachel Auerbach (looking at the camera) can be seen.