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USC Shoah Foundation Institute's Visual History Archive

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The USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education has been working since 1994 to collect and preserve the testimonies of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust. The Institute's Visual History Archive (VHA) contains nearly 52,000 visual history testimonies from 56 countries and in 32 languages. These testimonies are collected and made available to the CEU community through an interface which allows users to search and view the fully indexed visual history testimonies and any additional corresponding data.

People the Institute interviewed: Jewish survivors, Homosexual survivors, Jehovah’s Witness survivors, Liberators and liberation witnesses, Political prisoners, Rescuers and aid providers, Roma and Sinti (Gypsy) survivors, Survivors of Eugenics policies, War crimes trials participants

Laguages of the interviews: Bulgarian • Croatian • Czech • Danish • Dutch • English • Flemish • French • German • Greek • Hebrew • Hungarian • Italian • Japanese • Ladino • Latvian • Lithuanian • Macedonian • Norwegian • Polish • Portuguese • Romani • Romanian • Russian • Serbian • Sign • Slovak • Slovenian • Spanish • Swedish • Ukrainian • Yiddish

VHA includes 1349 interviews in Hungarian, from which 800 interviews were conducted in Hungary.

Each testimony consists of one survivor or witness speaking about his or her life before, during and after the Holocaust. About a week before the videotaping session, the interviewer assisted the survivor or other witness with completing a “Pre-Interview Questionnaire”. This 40- page document was designed to elicit detailed biographical information such as birthplace, education, wartime experience, and information about family members. During the videotaped interview sessions, survivors are guided by questions from the Shoah Foundation interviewer. At the end of the testimony, the interviewee is given the opportunity to display artifacts (such as photographs) and at this time family members are also given the opportunity to speak. These testimonies were recorded on videotape and preserved on digital master tapes. The testimonies average 2 hours in length.

If a testimony you need is not readily viewable on our cache server, it can be requested and uploaded within 48 hours. Use of the Archive requires a one-time registration, allowing you to save searches and projects.

Non-affiliated researchers may obtain on-campus access by appointment.

The VHA requires use of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser.

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