EHRI Newsletter - Second Issue, April 2013

e-Newsletter for Experts in Holocaust Documentation

Welcome to the second issue of the e-Newsletter for Experts in Holocaust Documentation, facilitated and developed as part of the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI). The aim of the newsletter is to share and disseminate knowledge and new insights, and to organize a continuous exchange of knowledge and views between experts in methodological fields of Holocaust research. This newsletter represents an additional complementary networking channel to the Expert Workshop, "Truth and Witness: An International Workshop on Holocaust Testimonies".

We hope you find this issue interesting and resourceful, and we look forward to your feedback.

Issue in Focus - Holocaust Testimonies

Remembering Forced Labour. A Digital Interview Archive - Jan Rietema

Remembering Forced Labour. A Digital Interview Archive“Forced Labor 1939-1945” commemorates the more than twelve million people who were forced to work for Nazi Germany. Nearly 600 former forced laborers from 26 countries tell their life stories in detailed audio and video interviews. The interviews have been made accessible in an online archive at Sophisticated retrieval tools enhance a user-friendly research and a close-to-the-source analysis of the interview recordings.

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The International Database of Oral History Testimonies at USHMM - Neal Guthrie

The International Database of Oral History Testimonies at USHMMThe USHMM online International Database of Oral History Testimonies is the latest version of the Museum’s efforts to provide as much information as possible about the vast and disparate collections of Holocaust oral histories and includes 139 organizations—from museums and universities to local community organizations—in 21 countries, representing at least 115,000 testimonies worldwide.

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Tracing the Memory of Goodness - Irena Steinfeldt

Tracing the Memory of GoodnessThe Righteous Among the Nations program at Yad Vashem is an unprecedented attempt by victims to pay tribute to people who stood by them at a time of persecution and tragedy. With the passing of time, it is becoming increasingly difficult to piece together the stories and substantiate the cases, and we greatly rely on Yad Vashem's extensive repositories and on the sophisticated knowledge tools that enable us to find specific information.

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Testimonies from North-Africa during WWII - Dr. Haim Saadon

Testimonies from North-Africa during WWIIImmediately after the six-month Nazi occupation of Tunisia, its Jewish community leaders published their diaries. The haste to publish the diaries demonstrates a unique message to their community, as if to say, "We have done what we could, we have done what was possible to do during this horrible time we experience with so much incertitude."

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"On Oral and Video Testimony" – Yehuda Bauer

Yehuda BauerYehuda Bauer, a leading authority on the subject of the Holocaust, discusses the importance of oral and video testimony.

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"Remembering Survival" - Christopher Browning

Remembering SurvivalChristopher Browning, the Frank Porter Graham Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, discusses the value of considering a wide range of testimony when conducting historical research.

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Interviewing Survivors and Obtaining Testimony – Interview with Dr. Dori Laub

In this interview with Dr. Dori Laub, a professor of psychiatry at Yale University and himself a child survivor, he discusses best practices in survivor interviews, as well as some of his own experiences interviewing Holocaust survivors.

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The Voice As a Human Document: Listening to Holocaust Survivors in Postwar Europe

In 1946 David Boder, a Russian-Jewish émigré in the United States, travelled to Europe and recorded some 130 interviews with Holocaust survivors in DP camps in France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. In this book review of Alan Rosen's The Wonder of Their Voices: The 1946 Holocaust Interviews of David Boder, Simone Gigliotti provides an overview of project as detailed in the book, and assesses its impact.

This review originally appeared in Yad Vashem Studies 40 (2), 2012. [Used by permission.]

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Testimony and Holocaust Education

  • Using Testimony in Holocaust Education
    Within the context of Holocaust education, testimony – both written and oral – serves as a vital bridge between historical fact and human story. This document explores the potential applications for testimony in the classroom, and outlines guidelines for proper, age-appropriate use.

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  • "Standing at the Intersection"
    USC Shoah Foundation's Director of Education, Dr. Kori Street, presents considerations when using testimony in education: "Working with testimony effectively in the classroom requires that we live at the intersection of critical literacies and the historical content we provide. It also requires that we occupy that space with integrity and great care."

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Against Audism in Interviews with Deaf Holocaust Survivors - Mark Zaurov

When interviewing Deaf survivors, hearing researchers need to have familiarity with cultural issues relating to Deaf people. However, there is still considerable resistance to replacing existing hearing staff members with Deaf interviewers yet to be trained. Such decisions reduce the possibility of obtaining full information and achieving greatest impact. Deaf scholars can communicate directly and easily with their interviewees because they use sign language and share a common cultural background.

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Truth and Witness: An International Workshop on Holocaust Testimonies
- Bridget McGing, Wiener Library

The Wiener Library hosted an international workshop in the framework of the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure in London from 30 April to 2 May 2012. The workshop aimed to explore some of the core issues that exist around collecting, accessing and using Holocaust testimonies. In addition, through a combination of lead papers and roundtable discussions, we explored the future priorities facing this area of Holocaust research and archiving.

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EHRI Workshops

  • The Early Attempts at the Historical Documentation of the Holocaust workshop took place in Budapest on 27-28 November, 2012.

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  • A workshop on Geography and Holocaust Research will be hosted by the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen, Germany on 27-29 May 2013. This workshop will serve as a venue for representatives of various scientific disciplines to exchange ideas, with the goal of providing new incentives for Holocaust research, specifically in the application of geographical methods to the study of the Holocaust.

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Additional Online Testimony Collections

The project European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) is financed by FP7 (the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development) of the European Union.

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