Holocaust Living History Workshop Launches "Journeys, Memories, Echoes" Series for Fall

The University of California, San Diego Holocaust Living History Workshop (HLWH) will present a new workshop series for the 2013 fall quarter called "Journeys, Memories, Echoes." HLWH, sponsored by the UC San Diego Library and the university's Judaic Studies Program, will host two "Journeys, Memories, Echoes" events during fall quarter as part of the HLHW's ongoing efforts to broaden understanding of the past and to foster tolerance. At the events, which are free and open to the public, attendees will have the opportunity to hear about the experiences of local Holocaust survivors, witnesses, and others, and to learn about the Visual History Archive, the world's largest database of Holocaust testimony. All events will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Seuss Room in Geisel Library, except for the Oct. 16 event, which will be held in the Geisel East Events Room, 1st floor. Refreshments will be served.

October 16—Marianne Burkenroad-Schweitzer: "The Mischling Experience"

The first talk in the fall series will be held on October 16th, featuring Marianne Burkenroad-Schweitzer, a resident of La Jolla. "The Mischling Experience" is Marianne's account of growing up as a "half-Jew" or Mischling in Nazi Berlin. The granddaughter of baptized Jews on her father's side, Marianne was raised as a Christian, and for a long time, was unaware of her Jewish ancestry. Her close friendship with an avid supporter of National Socialism who happened to be a spy for the Gestapo, would soon land the family in trouble. Marianne's older sister was arrested for conspiracy to commit high treason, and was sent to a concentration camp. Her father suffered a similar fate during Kristallnacht. The outbreak of war forever divided the family, with some members staying behind in Germany and others leaving for England, and subsequently the United States.

November 6—Hidden Letters: Documenting the Destruction of Dutch Jewry

The November 6 workshop is dedicated to an exploration of the fate of Dutch Jewry under the Nazis. Hidden Letters: Documenting the Destruction of Dutch Jewry, is based on a book full of hidden letters edited by Deborah Slier-Shine, a best-selling author and editor, and Ian Shine, M.D., an author. Discovered by accident during demolition work in Amsterdam in 1997, the dozens of letters and postcards were written by an 18 year-old Dutch-Jewish boy by the name of Philip "Flip" Slier and document the ongoing destruction of Dutch Jewry as well as the courageous acts of Dutch Gentiles. The editors spent seven years researching Flip's final years, a journey that took them from the Dutch forced labor camps of Voigt and Westerbork to Sobibor in Poland.

The UC San Diego Library is 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 50,000 firsthand accounts of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust. The foundation became the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education in 2006.

Launched in 2007, the HLHW 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 HLHW, 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, which includes the testimonies of Holocaust survivors from 40,000 specific geographic locations in languages ranging from Bulgarian and Greek to Japanese and Spanish, can be accessed by members of the campus community and the public from any computer on the UC San Diego campus.

For more information about UC San Diego's Holocaust Living History Workshop, contact Susanne Hillman at hlhw@ucsd.edu or 858-534-7661. More information can also be found at: http://libraries.ucsd.edu/hlhw. Training in the use of the Visual History Archive is available for individuals and groups upon appointment.


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Media Contact

Dolores Davies
Director of Communications & Outreach

858-534-0667
ddavies@ucsd.edu