The Weidner Collection at Stanford University
The Weidner Collection is housed with the European Collections of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. The Weidner Collection includes the personal correspondence, papers, and documents of John Weidner; a wide array of additional materials related to the Dutch-Paris Line; historical artifacts, such as Weidner’s United States Medal of Freedom and other awards and citations; and recorded interviews with survivors and rescuers. Much of the material in the collection was gathered by Weidner himself after World War II and was later organized by historian Alberto Sbacchi and others. Materials in the Collection are in English, French, and Dutch, and fill 96 manuscript boxes, 12 oversized boxes, 1 card file box, and 9 motion picture film reels. A partial inventory of the Weidner Collection is now available online.
The Weidner Collection is open to scholars conducting research on Weidner and the Dutch-Paris Line. The John Henry Weidner Foundation for Altruism retains the intellectual property rights and copyrights to the Collection. Inquiries about conducting research using the Weidner Collection should be directed to the Hoover Institution. All inquiries about copyrights and permissions for use of Weidner Collection materials should be directed to the Weidner Foundation.
The Weidners in Wartime: Letters of Daily Survival and Heroism Under Nazi Rule, by Janet Holmes Carper (Weidner Foundation Books, 2020)
The Weidners in Wartime is the intimate story, told in their own words, of a family separated by war. Despite the dangers of writing under the inspection of censors, their letters paint a vivid portrait of decent human beings fighting valiantly to maintain their courage, their humor, and their faith during one of history’s darkest hours. It so happens that one member of the family is also a leader of the resistance, whose heroic actions to save fleeing refugees will make him a hunted man and one of the greatest rescuers of World War II.
Through these never-before-published documents, expertly selected, translated, and introduced by Janet Holmes Carper, readers will encounter the daily lives of an “ordinary” but remarkable family bound together by their deep love for each other and by their prolific correspondence across great distances. The frequently unvarnished words of the Weidners (including John; his spirited younger sisters, Gabrielle and Annette; his stalwart parents, “Papa” and “Mama” Weidner; and his fiancé and soon-to-be bride, Elisabeth Cartier) provide a unique window into historical events that continue to resonate in the present. Jean’s secret resistance work is barely alluded to in the family’s letters. What emerges instead are the distinctive personalities, voices, and moral characters of the Weidners as they face the harsh realities of the war with as much bravery and good cheer as they can muster.
“It is rare that such living testimony survives for posterity. … This is an original and priceless contribution to history.”
—From the Foreword by Marie-Claire Rolland
No Ordinary Heroes: TEDx Talk by Tanja Magaš, March 2019
Chair of the Weidner Foundation Board, Tanja Magaš, shares the story of the Dutch-Paris Escape Line in a March 2019 TEDx talk in Sarajevo. She challenges listeners to follow John Weidner’s example of selfless service to others. In addition to her leadership role with the Weidner Foundation, Magaš has over a decade of experience working in financial services between New York, London and Dubai. She holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School, an MA in International Relations from the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Political Science and Philosophy from Columbia University.
The Escape Line, by Megan Koreman (Oxford University Press, 2018)
Through funding from the Weidner Foundation, and with exclusive access to the Weidner Collection, historian Megan Koreman spent nearly a decade researching and writing The Escape Line. The book tells the detailed history of one of the most important rescue operations of World War II for the first time.
“The author is a deft narrator, drawing on original documents and survivors’ accounts, and despite the grim realities of living in Nazi-occupied territory, there are enough lighter moments to give readers a well-rounded perspective. There is an enormous amount of detail…An invaluable account of genuine heroism in the midst of one of the most terrifying episodes of human history.”
—Kirkus, starred review