The destruction of European Jewry during the Second World War is among the most documented and discussed events in human history.
Acknowledging the testimony of survivors allows us to truly grapple with the historical, moral and philosophical questions that confront us when we study and teach about the Holocaust. Institutions such as the Sydney Jewish Museum were established by survivors and have given centrality to their voices and memories.
In one sense their voices are from the grave – their testimony bears witness to an atrocity that they were not supposed to survive.
In 2018 living survivors are scarce, but new technologies allow visitors to hear their voices and memories. Beyond teaching, commemoration and representation of the Holocaust, one crucial question for museums, educators, academics and psychotherapists is what purpose is served by survivors sharing their memories, reliving and possibly transmitting their trauma?
An esteemed panel that includes Clinical Associate Professor Michael Robertson, Dr Avril Alba, Dr Ari Lander and Ms Jacqui Wasilewsky will discuss this key question. Panel members will explore oral history, how the testimony of Holocaust survivors is used today and the problems, questions and opportunities it presents to people grappling with the legacy of the Holocaust.
This event was held on Thursday 6 September at University of Sydney.
Image credit: Holocaust survivor Lena Goldstein. Photographer Katherine Griffiths. Sydney Jewish Museum Collection.
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