Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Survivor Testimonies from Wisconsin

Marianne Wason from the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust recently shared a remarkable resource. The Wisconsin Historical Society has collected, digitized, and indexed the audiotapes of complete oral testimonies by 24 witnesses and survivors who settled in Wisconsin.

Oral Histories: Wisconsin Survivors of the Holocaust is significant for several reasons:
  1. The testimonies are complete and unedited (although there is an area on the site for listening to brief excerpts).
  2. The compilers have assembled brief topical indexes for each interview.
  3. (and most impressive for researchers) Every interview is accompanied by a complete written transcript.
  4. The audio as well as the transcripts can be downloaded (audio as MP3, transcripts as PDF).
Interestingly, these interviews were conducted between 1974 and 1981, which predates most items in the video collections of firsthand testimonies. By contrast, the collection initiated by Steven Spielberg and housed at the Shoah Foundation Institute dates to the mid-1990s. The Fortunoff Archive at Yale dates to 1979.

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