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The Holocaust

The Holocaust Resource Center

Testimonies

Holocaust Survivors are our main medium for the story of the Holocaust. Their testimonies play a central role in the understanding the events of the Holocaust as well as their significance. Their testimonies often provide the sole source on many aspects of the devastation. Moreover, in contrast to documentation written by the planners and perpetrators of the mass destruction, the testimonies reflect the unique Jewish perspective on the Holocaust. Consequently, survivors' testimonies are clearly an essential source for an in-depth understanding of the Shoah. Testimonials afford us a unique historical source in two central ways: Primarily, as a source it is a first hand historical account of what the witness personally experienced and saw. Secondly, a testimonial provides a retrospective account distanced in time (as opposed to accounts written during the Holocaust). In recent decades, worldwide recognition of the importance of survivors' testimonies has become widely recognized as a central source for understanding the Holocaust. Yad Vashem, almost from its inception, has attempted to gather as many testimonies as possible from Holocaust survivors–not only for the sake of historical research, but also to perpetuate the personal stories. The Yad Vashem archives contain numerous testimonies several thousand of which are on videotape.

Total Sources (by media type):

Testimonies 302
   
Total Sources 302