BUCHENWALD 30: Hugh Schwartz

Hugh SHugh is my younger brother.  Unfortunately a bad case of sibling rivalry has led him to do some pretty outrageous things including writing very disturbing things, claiming that I hate my father and am out to destroy Hugh.  He has also charged me with theft and being mentally ill. None of that is true, but his covert complaints to the University of Washington forced the University to ask me to revise the logo of THE Ave.

This is annoying but much more important is the  terrible fight over my father’s legacy of pictures and letters taken and written during the liberation of Buchenwald.  These pictures legally belong jointly to my sister, my brother and to me.  They also belong to the public and especially to the still living survivors, American soldiers who entered the camp and the inmates they found.

My goals are simple, I want the materials given to a proper academic repository or museum so that they can be preserved, digitized, and made available for public access as is the normal practice of universities and museums.  Hugh has used his role as an executor of the estate to take possession of the pictures and lock them in a lawyer’s safe.   He has said he would rather have the materials rot than even allow me to see them again.

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  1. 1

    Sorry to read about this internal struggle. The pictures in question, while very personal. would most certainly serve the public interests in that the brutal and insane legacy of Nazis must be kept visible for no other reason than to make sure it never arises again or with any population. There is a new generation which only see this madness of 20th Century in Steven Spielberg movies, if that.

  2. theaveeditor #

    Tx Clarence.

    I am doing all I can to get him to release these but all he does is say he would rather let them rot then come to me. He decided (without discussing it with me) that he wanted them at his alma mater, Brandeis. Though I thought that was not a good choice, I went along because I realized it meant a lot to him. Sadly, even this blew up when Brandeis gave us their usually gift policies, including the assumption that they would take the copyright with the items and administer that under normal university rules for open access. This led Hugh and my sister to object that they would not even give these things to Brandeis unless my access was limited to use without publication .. what they call “commercial” publication. Of course all publication is commercial. Brandeis can not take that responsibility and neither can I.

    The worst of this is the picture of a Jewish family with so little pride (what we call yiddishkeit) that they would destroy something like this. We are now just two weeks from Passover … a time when it is so important to realize that the Nazis did not kill us all, some of us fought back. My Dad did this in an especially wonderful way!

    My only resort is to go even more public with this.

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