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Libraries incorporate video testimonies in 17th annual Holocaust Memorial Vigil

Dates: March 25, 2009 - March 30, 2009

Contact: Louise Greenfield


For 17 years The University of Arizona campus has paused to remember the past and impact the future by honoring the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust. As in years past, a 24 hour continual name reading will echo throughout our desert campus. Beginning on Wednesday, March 24 at noon on the UA Mall the Holocaust Memorial Vigil, sponsored by the UA Hillel Foundation, will also include discussion groups, films and presentations. Among the films shown this year are first-hand Holocaust survivor and witness video testimonies; the testimonies are part of the broader Visual History Archive of the USC  Shoah Foundation that contains nearly 52,000 visual history testimonies. Among the 52,000 testimonies are first-hand accounts from Jewish survivors, homosexual survivors, Jehovah’s Witness survivors, liberators and liberation witnesses, political prisoners, Gypsy survivors, and war crimes trials participants. A subset of the complete archive is housed at the University Libraries.

UA librarian Louise Greenfield, in consultation with the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies, recently identified a subset of 56 testimonies recorded in Tucson from 1995 – 2005. These 56 testimonies representing approximately 112 hours of recording were recently acquired from the USC Shoah Foundation, an acquisition made possible with funding from the Rabbi Marcus Breger Memorial Library Endowment established by Liba and the late Seymour Feuerstein.

The use of testimony has powerful implications for the future study of the Holocaust; the first-hand accounts make real the suffering, tragedy, and will to survive against all odds. At any educational level – K-12, higher education, or in-depth research – archived testimonies offer insight and perspective that that recounts the past and will continue to inform the future. 

Borrowers can check-out testimonies from the Libraries’ entire collection through Express Retrieval service. UA faculty and graduate teaching assistants teaching a course offered on the UA main campus may request additional videos be streamed for course use at http://eres.library.arizona.edu/eres.