Holocaust Survivor Presentation & Holocaust Memorial Exhibit To Be Held at UCSD's Geisel Library For UCSD Hate Free Week

Survivor presentation and DAVKA exhibit are part of Holocaust Living History Program

April 16, 2009 – As part of the Holocaust Living History Workshop, sponsored by the UC San Diego Libraries and the Judaic Studies Program, and in honor of UC San Diego's Hate Free Week (the week of April 19), San Diego Holocaust survivor Agathe Ehrenfried will share her personal story with the public on April 19. In addition, a multimedia exhibit tracing the lives of ten Holocaust survivors and their families will be exhibited from April 16-28 in the Social Sciences & Humanities Library on the main floor of Geisel Library.

The April 19 presentation will feature Holocaust survivor Agathe Ehrenfried, born in Rákosliget, Hungary, who survived Mühldorf, Kraukau-Plaslow, and Ausburg concentration camps, as well as the Auschwitz II-Birkeneau death camp. The event, which will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the Great Hall at UCSD's Eleanor Roosevelt College, will also include a discussion of the Armenian Genocide by Yehig Keshishian, Armenian Assembly Western Office Director, and a panel of UCSD students, representing various campus organizations, who will discuss their experiences of racism and stereotyping on the UCSD campus.

DAVKA, The Survival of a People, is a traveling exhibit of photographs, videos, and professionally recorded oral histories that illuminate the lives and personal trajectories of San Diegans (and their families) who survived the Holocaust. The exhibit is set up as a maze of oral and visual histories, focusing not on retelling the story of the Holocaust, but on what happened to the survivors and their families in the aftermath of the war. The installation evokes universal questions and, at least partially, suggests answers about the human spirit. DAVKA was originally created for the 2006 San Diego Jewish Book Fair, under the auspices of the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture of the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, Jacobs Campus.

Several survivors who have participated in the UCSD Holocaust Living History Workshop are featured in the exhibit, including Rose Schindler, Gussie Zaks, and Fanny Krasner-Lebovitz.

The last presentation of the Holocaust Living History Workshop during spring quarter will be held on May 12, when Hanna Marx and Gerhard Maschosky will recount their experiences during the Holocaust. Marx, born in Hamm, Germany, survived the Riga Ghetto and Stutthof and Riga-Kaiserwald concentration camps. Maschosky, born in Elbing, Germany, survived Müldorf, Nuendorf, Auschwitz, Auschwitz III-Monowitz, Uberwüstegiersdorf, and Gelsenkirchen concentration camps. Their presentation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. in Geisel Library's Seuss Room.

The Holocaust Living History Workshop is an educational outreach program designed to preserve the memory of victims and survivors of the Holocaust. At the presentations, members of the campus community and the public will have the opportunity to meet the survivors and hear their stories, as well as learn about other survivors' testimony from the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive, which includes the personal stories of more than 50,000 survivors of the Holocaust. All presentations are free and open to the public.

The UC San Diego Libraries are one of only three university libraries on the West Coast to have access to the USC Shoah Foundation Institute Visual History Archive, founded by film maker Steven Spielberg, to document the stories of Holocaust survivors for his movie, "Schindler's List." In 1994, Spielberg established the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, a non-profit organization, to collect and preserve more than 52,000 firsthand accounts—recorded in 56 countries and 32 languages—of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust. The foundation became the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education in 2006.

The Holocaust Living History Workshop, launched in 2007, aims to teach the history of the Holocaust through two methods of face-to-face contact, both with Holocaust survivors and their children and through the Visual History Archive. Student volunteers have received special training on how to search through the testimonies in the massive Archive, and then teach survivors and their families—from multiple generations—how to use the database. These families can then use the archive to conduct their own searches in order to learn about other people, and in some cases relatives, who had similar Holocaust experiences.

The archive of 52,000 digital oral histories recorded by Holocaust survivors and other witnesses is the foundation for the Holocaust Living History Workshop, a program that has brought together UC San Diego students, San Diego holocaust survivors, and their children. The Workshop, which was established to expand the usefulness and the impact of the Archive, has proven to be a powerful tool for discovering family history and preserving memories for survivors, their families, and members of the community.

The Visual History Archive can be accessed by members of the public from any computer on the UC San Diego campus.

To find out more about UC San Diego's Holocaust Living History Workshop, contact Marina Triner (lib-mtriner@ad.ucsd.edu or 858.534.7661) or go to: http://orpheus.ucsd.edu/sites/hlhw Interested members of the public are also invited to attend one of the weekly Visual History Archive training open-houses, held on Wednesdays from 5-7pm in the Geisel Library Electronic Classroom (Room 274).

The UC San Diego Libraries, ranked among the top 25 public academic research libraries in the nation, play an integral role in advancing and supporting the university's research, teaching, patient care, and public service missions. The nine libraries that comprise the UCSD Library system provide access to more than 7 million digital and print volumes, journals, and multimedia materials to meet the knowledge demands of scholars, students, and members of the public. Each day, more than 7,300 people stream through one of the university's nine libraries. The Libraries' vast resources and services are accessed more than 87,500 times each day via the UCSD Libraries' Web site.

We aim to bring together local students, teachers, community members, area Holocaust survivors and their families through the use of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute's Visual History Archive. The Workshop also hopes to demonstrate to UCSD undergraduates the value of this resource.

The Visual History Archive is an important source for learning about the Holocaust because it contains over 52,000 videotaped testimonies by Holocaust survivors and other witnesses, recorded in 56 countries and in 32 languages. About half of them are in English. Although each of the interviews lasts from one to four hours, they are all heavily indexed by names, places, groups, events and subject keywords, making searches on the Archive simple, specific and efficient. This database therefore has the potential to contribute greatly to a student's understanding of the Holocaust.

Media Contact

Dolores Davies
Director of Communications & Engagement