German Historical Institute London

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Refugee Voices / Holocaust Testimonies

Refugee Voices

Refugee Voices is a major audio-visual archive for the study of the Holocaust and the history of German refugees to Britain during and after the Second World War. The project was commissioned by the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) and directed by Dr Anthony Grenville and Dr Bea Lewkowicz.

Through filmed interviews Refugee Voices provides insights into the life stories of 150 survivors of the Nazi persecutions in Germany who found refuge in Britain. All interviews can be watched in one of the library’s reading rooms.

“All interviews have been fully transcribed and catalogued enabling a researcher to be able to see an interview and then to read a transcript of the words spoken in it, or vice versa. For ease of reference, both the films and the transcripts are time-coded, making it possible to locate specific passages with a minimum of effort.

Accompanying the collection is a comprehensive database, containing an index of the interviews and details of the interviewees and their life stories. The interviews have been catalogued with 44 separate categories including place of birth, parents' details, manner of emigration, prisons/camps and profession. This provides a wealth of information to researchers, who can easily locate information relevant to a multitude of specific areas of interest, such as Kindertransport, domestic servants and internment on the Isle of Man as well as interviewees from specific places such as Berlin and Vienna.

Each interview is accompanied by still shots of photos of family members and friends, places of importance for the interviewee and of other items or documents of special significance in the interviewee's life. These filmed photographs, artefacts, and documents provide a rich source of images for educational or documentary purposes.” (From the project description)

For more information click here: http://www.ajr.org.uk/refugeevoices

AJR Information

The Association of Jewish refugees has also made the entire back catalogue of its journal AJR Information, stretching back to the first edition in January 1946, available online at http://www.ajr.org.uk/pdfjournals

“First published in January 1946 as AJR Information, the AJR Journal is a unique collection of literature which chronicles the story of the Jewish refugees from Nazi oppression, their traditions and customs as well as their strong cultural identity. The Journal tells their story in real time, and covers in great detail many historic post war events – from the Nuremberg Trials to the Declaration of the State of Israel, the Hungarian revolution and the fall of the Berlin Wall – all from the perspective of the refugees from Nazi oppression.” (From the project description)

Voices of the Holocaust

Rare interviews with Holocaust survivors from the immediate aftermath of the Second World War can now be accessed online at http://voices.iit.edu/

“In 1946, Dr. David P. Boder, a psychology professor from Chicago's Illinois Institute of Technology, traveled to Europe to record the stories of Holocaust survivors in their own words. Over a period of three months, he visited refugee camps in France, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany, carrying a wire recorder and 200 spools of steel wire, upon which he was able to record over 90 hours of first-hand testimony. These recordings represent the earliest known oral histories of the Holocaust, which are available through this online archive.” (from the Voices of the Holocaust Website)

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