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Survivors' Return to Life - Part 1

Using Our Print Materials


In the video, "Survivors' Return to Life - Part 1", ISHS staff member Sheryl Ochayon presents the story of the survivors, from the moment of liberation to their experiences searching for family members and loved ones. Ms. Ochayon discusses the magnitude and complexity of liberation as a bittersweet moment for most survivors, their attempts to return home and try and locate relatives - often all gone - and the postwar anti-Jewish attacks, dilemmas, and hardships. The materials discussed in this video are available on our website and in teaching units produced by the ISHS.

Sheryl Silver-Ochayon is a staff member at the International School for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem

  • Part 1: Survivors' Liberation and Return to Life
  • Part 2: Liberated but Not Free
  • Part 3: What Now? Where To?

This is the first of a two-part video dealing with the topic of liberation and return to life. For Part 2, click here.

  • More

    Archival footage and photographs:
    - Yad Vashem Photo Archive.
    - Yad Vashem Film Archive.
    - Yad Vashem Archives - The Oral History Section
    - Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

    Material and quotes from:
    - Abba Kovner, ‘Scrolls of Fire’ in the study kit Return to Life - The Holocaust Survivors: From Liberation to Rehabilitation, produced by Beth Hatefutsoth, Tel Aviv; Ghetto Fighters' House, Kibbutz Lohamai Hagetaot; Yad Vashem, Jerusalem; Tel Aviv, 1995.
    - The Anguish of Liberation - Testimonies from 1945, edited by Y. Kleiman and N. Springer- Aharoni, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1995.
    - Yad Vashem Archive

    Every effort has been made to locate the copyright holders to obtain the appropriate permissions and apply the correct attributions. If you have any information that would help us in relation to copyright, please contact us at

    Film produced by Mikooka Productions -

Further Pedagogical Considerations

  • Contextualize the tragedy of the Holocaust within time - accentuate that for survivors, the “story” doesn’t end with the end of World War II.

  • Raise the immediate dilemmas survivors faced after the War: Can we carry on living? Where to go? Can we find meaning in survival? etc.

  • Highlight this initial postwar period as the beginning of the process of grappling with the future.

Teaching aids