The Testimony Project, of the Holocaust Survivors Centre which is run by Jewish Care, has now been in existence for over sixteen years as Lesley Urbach explains.
We have a small but dedicated group of volunteers, who are trained and supervised, who carry out interviews for the Project. The interview usually takes place at the interviewee’s home and is recorded onto a digital recording machine. These “Testimonies” record the life stories of Holocaust Survivors and refugees and try to reflect the full and broad life of the interviewee, giving a detailed description of that person’s life from early memories of kindergarten up to the present encompassing the effect that the Holocaust has had on their life.
These recorded interviews are primarily for the Survivor and his or her family but in addition, where permission has been given, the recordings are copied and lodged with a bona fide museum or library such as the National Sound Archive of the British Library; the Wiener Library or any other preferred by the interviewee. Once filed, the interview can be accessed by researchers studying the Holocaust and so provide a first-hand account of the rise of Nazism in the 1930s and the shocking events which then unfolded.
The value of these eye-witness accounts is immeasurable both in terms of trying to help us understand the unimaginable, and so attempting to learn for the future, and rebutting Holocaust denial.
We are keen to interview people who can give these eye witness accounts whether they came to Britain before the Second World War or afterwards