GERM 15 / JWST 37 / COLT 64 Students Explore Holocaust Survivor Archives

For their midterm project, students in GERM 15 / JWST 37 / COLT 64, Nazis, Neonazis, Antifa and the Others immersed themselves in oral history interviews and video testimonies of Holocaust survivors collected in archives such as the Yale Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies and the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive.

On the basis of their research, students reflected on how survivor testimony can help future generations understand the Holocaust. In small groups, they shared their impressions of the interviews they watched, commenting on the power of individual stories to touch and connect with viewers.


As Luca Caviezel, '24 explained: "There's a difference between how we view testimonies and how we read statistics. You can sympathize with so many murdered, but you can empathize with someone having their grandmother taken away in front of them and sent to the gas chamber. Testimonies put the viewer in the moment and make them understand a specific individual victim's memory of what happened."