An oral history archive to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

From the British Library:

British Library Holocaust recordings launched online

Marking Holocaust Memorial Day, the latest collection added to the JISC funded Archival Sound Recordings website provides a new tool for Holocaust research and education, available online from the British Library.

Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust documents the moving testimonies of Jewish immigrants to Britain, many of whom survived Nazi concentration camps. Over 440 hours of life story recordings explore 66 personal experiences of persecution across war-torn Europe and the impact of the Holocaust, covering:

Anti-Semitism before the Second World War

Ghettos and concentration camps

Resistance and liberation

Searching for family in the aftermath

Building a new life in Britain

The legacy of the Holocaust

The Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust resource will also support primary and secondary education, supplementing the study materials and lesson plans provided by the British Library’s Learning team’s Voices of the Holocaust package.

The testimonies now available are drawn from a major oral history programme The Living Memory of the Jewish Community which between 1987 and 2000 gathered 186 audio life story interviews with Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and their children. It was initiated by National Life Stories based in the British Library’s oral history section and funded by a number of organisations including the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation, the John S Cohen Foundation and the Porjes Charitable Trust.

The collection joins a growing range of oral history recordings on Archival Sound Recordings, which makes selections of music, spoken word, and environmental sounds from the British Library Sound Archive available online. Recordings can be accessed from British Library reading rooms and are available for free to licensed UK higher and further education institutions. In addition, over 2000 recordings, including Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust, are available to the public via the website.

UK higher and further education librarians can email to request a free licence.

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