British Library launches 'Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust' online

20 Jan 2015

This week, to co-incide with Holocaust Memorial Day, the British Library is launching Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust, an online resource giving worldwide access to 289 audio interviews with Holocaust Survivors.

nullThe interviews are a vast collection of powerful accounts of the Holocaust from Jewish survivors living in Britain and that now, thanks to this new project, have been digitised and made available for anyone to listen to online.

The hundreds of testimonies now available online at British Library Sounds are drawn from two major oral history projects, Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre Testimony recording project, which ran 1993-1998 and the Living Memory of the Jewish Community, a project run by National Life Stories at the British Library 1987-2000.

With over 1,000 hours of recordings, this is one of the largest collections of Holocaust testimonies in Europe. All but a handful of the 289 interviews have searchable content summaries and have been clustered into themes such as camp experiences, Kindertransport, ghetto life and resistance to enhance access for researchers. 

Generously funded by the Pears Foundation and the Brian and Jill Moss Charitable Trust this digitisation project has opened access to all of these important testimonies to audiences worldwide.

Dr Rob Perks, Lead Curator of Oral History at the British Library commented;

“This is a unique collection, one of the largest and most extensive collections of Holocaust survivor testimonies in the UK, and also one of the largest in the world. The British Library has been at the forefront of ensuring these voices are captured since the work began in the 1980s. This project has helped to expand access to the collection, making testimonies accessible online and searchable, and ensure they can be accessed by future generations, benefitting schools, graduate and postgraduate study, historians and researchers, family, local and amateur history enthusiasts and the general public.”

Aviva Trup, Manager of Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre said;

“We provide social, emotional and practical support to Holocaust Survivors. For many of our members leaving their legacy to ensure people never forget the Holocaust is extremely important to them. We support survivors who want talk about their experiences to tell their stories.  We are delighted, that through our partnership with the British Library, that these important survivor testimonies are now going to be widely available to all”.

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