The British Library has put online the moving and often disturbing testimonies of Jewish migrants and refugees to the UK, many of whom survived Nazi concentration and labour camps.
Over 440 hours of life story recordings explore 66 personal experiences of persecution across war-torn Europe and the impact of the Holocaust.
The issues cover Anti-Semitism before the Second World War; Pre-war refugees and the “Kindertransport”; Ghettos and concentration and labour camps; Survival in hiding; Resistance and liberation; Searching for family in the aftermath; Building a new life in Britain and The legacy of the Holocaust.
Besides providing academic researchers the world over with access to valuable source material, the Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust resource will also support primary and secondary education, supplementing the study materials and lesson plans provided by the British Library’s Learning team.
The testimonies now available are drawn from a major oral history programme – The Living Memory of the Jewish Community – which between 1987 and 2000 gathered 186 audio life story interviews with Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and their children.
It was initiated by National Life Stories based in the British Library’s oral history section and funded by a number of organisations including the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation, the John S Cohen Foundation and the Porjes Charitable Trust.