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Dina Abramowicz

After surviving the Holocaust, Dina Abramowicz reconstituted her rich cultural heritage as the formidable head librarian of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. Abramowicz attended Yiddish and Polish gymnasia before earning a master’s degree in philosophy and Polish literature in 1936. During the Nazi occupation, she worked as a librarian in the Vilna Ghetto, and when the ghetto was liquidated, she escaped from the transport train and became a partisan. On arriving in the US in 1946, she became a librarian first at Smith College and then at YIVO, serving as assistant librarian from 1947–1962 before becoming head librarian for twenty-five years. She resigned as head librarian in 1987 but continued to serve as a reference librarian for YIVO until her death. During her tenure, she vastly expanded the library’s collections and was regularly sought out by scholars for her prodigious memory regarding Yiddish literature, children’s literature, the Holocaust, and modern Eastern European Jewish history and culture. She published a wide variety of bibliographies, book reviews, and scholarly articles, and was honored with a number of awards for her work as a librarian.

More on Dina Abramowicz
Date of Birth
May 8, 1909
Place of Birth
Date of Death
April 5, 2000

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Dina Abramowicz." (Viewed on February 19, 2019) <>.


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