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Wiener Library

Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad (microfilm): Henriques archive


Reference code(s): GB 1556 WL MF 52

Held at: Wiener Library

Title: Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad (microfilm): Henriques archive

Date(s): 1943-1960

Level of description: collection

Extent: 64 reels

Name of creator(s): Henriques | Lady | Rose | 1889-1972 | social worker


Administrative/Biographical history:

Rose Henriques was born in London in 1889, the daughter of James Loewe, a well-known figure in Jewish communal life. Her brother achieved standing as Reader in Rabbinics at Cambridge University.

Rose Loewe came from a comfortable middle class background and had a love of music, performing regularly on the harmonium at her local synagogue in St John's Wood. She studied piano in Breslau. Returning at the outbreak of the First World War, she met Basil Henriques, who persuaded her to join him in a venture to establish a Jewish boys' club in the East End of London. The Oxford and St George's Club dominated the lives of the couple for decades. Rose initially took charge of the girls' section, eventually managing the boys' section as well when Basil went off to do his patriotic duty. The couple married in 1916.

They lived on the premises of their club from which base they undertook a wide range of welfare work involving not only youth work but mother and baby welfare, help for the aged and the promotion of education, participation in Jewish religious life and in the arts. Eventually Berner street, on which the home was situated, was renamed Henriques Street in her honour.

The Nazi persecution of Germany's and Europes's Jews roused the interest and compassion of Rose at an early stage. In 1943 she found the opportunity to become actively involved in planning for the end of the war by joining the Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad (JCRA) which was formed by the Joint Foreign Committee of the Anglo Jewish Association and the Board of Deputies of British Jews. The JCRA had as one of its chief goals the establishment of the Jewish Relief Unit (JRU)- an active service unit carrying out welfare work among the surviving remnant of European Jewry in Germany. Rose Henriques served as head of the German department of the JCRA. She was part of the second team to arrive at Bergen Belsen after its liberation and based herself at the nearby town of Celle.

Rose Henriques remained preoccupied with welfare work in displaced persons' camps until 1950 when Bergen Belsen was closed and most Jewish DPs emigrated to Israel or to the USA.

In the post-war era Rose Henriques became actively involved in the British ORT organisation (ORT are the Russian initials of the Society for Spreading Artisan and Agricultural Work among Jews). She also served as chair of the British Society for the Protection of the Health of Jews; established work rooms for the elderly in East London; presided over the League of Jewish Women, the Association for the Welfare of the Physically Handicapped; the Whitechapel Art Gallery and the Jewish Research Unit.

When Basil Henriques was knighted in 1955, Rose became Lady Henriques. She died in 1972.


Scope and content/abstract:

Microfilms of the papers of the Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad, 1943-1960, including sub-committees; papers on liaising with Central British Fund for Relief and Rehabilitation of German Jewry; Jewish Relief Unit in the field; co-operation with other organisations including American Joint Distribution Committee, United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration; reports on life for Jews in post-war Germany; reports on conditions in numerous displaced persons' camps including Bergen Belsen; papers regarding restitution; papers regarding anti-Semitism in post-war Germany and papers regarding emigration including to Palestine, USA and UK.


Language/scripts of material: English and German

System of arrangement:

Original file structure retained.

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies can be made for personal use. Permission must be sought for publication.

Physical characteristics:


Finding aids:

Description exists to this archive on the Wiener Library's online catalogue



Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Rose Henriques


Existence and location of originals:

Wiener Library

Related material:

Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad and Jewish Relief Unit: papers (ref: 1232)


Archivist's note: Entry compiled by Howard Falksohn.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: February 2008

Antisemitism | Racial discrimination
Concentration camps | War crimes | Humanitarian law
Emigration | Migration
Jewish emancipation | Liberation movements | Political movements
Jews | Religious groups
Refugees | Migrants
Third Reich | Nazism | Totalitarianism | Political doctrines
War reparations | Conflict resolution | International conflicts
World War Two (1939-1945) | World wars (events) | Wars (events)

Personal names
Henriques | Lady | Rose | 1889-1972 | social worker

Corporate names
American Joint Distribution Committee
Bergen Belsen concentration camp x Belsen
Central British Fund for World Jewish Relief x World Jewish Relief x Central British Fund for German Jewry x Council for German Jewry x Central Council for Jewish Refugees x Central British Fund for Jewish Relief and Rehabilitation
Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad
Jewish Relief Unit
United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration x UNRRA

London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Palestine | Middle East
USA | North America