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INVITATION TO PRESS CONFERENCE "Witnesses of the Shoah": Advancing Holocaust Knowledge in Schools

Presentation of Project with More than 50,000 Video Testimonies on May 12th, 2009

№ 104/2009 from May 04, 2009

Within its new project "Witnesses of the Shoah. The Visual History Archive in School Education" Freie Universität Berlin opens up access to more than 50,000 video testimonies of survivors and of witnesses to the Holocaust especially to schools in Germany. The goal is to sustainably integrate the biographical accounts into classroom teachings about National Socialism. Supported by Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin Foundation (DKLB), this project is based on the “Visual History Archive” of the Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education at the University of Southern California (USC). As the first institution in Europe Freie Universität has been providing full access to this largest historic video archive in the world to researchers since 2006. Media representatives are very welcome to attend the first presentation of the project on May 12th, 12-1 p.m. During the press conference first project results and services for school education will be presented.

The press conference will take place in Room L113 at the seminar center of Freie Universität (Otto-von-Simson-Str. 26, 14195 Berlin).

The following individuals will present information on the project:

- Prof. Dr. Ursula Lehmkuhl (First Vice President of Freie Universität Berlin),

- Prof. Dr. Nicolas Apostolopoulos (Leader of the project and Director of the Center for Digital Systems, CeDiS, at Freie Universität Berlin),

- Kim Simon (Interim Executive Director and Director of Programs, USC Shoah Foundation Institute),

- Dr. Martin Lücke (Instructor and Research Associate, Department of Didactics of History at Friedrich Meinecke Institute of Freie Universität Berlin) and students who have worked with the archive,

- Inge Borck (Survivor of the Holocaust, who gave an interview for the archive in 1997 in Berlin).

Freie Universität advances research and education efforts regarding National Socialism, the Holocaust, and forms of memory with extensive multi-media archive projects. With the support of the DKLB foundation, CeDiS implements the expansion of the “Visual History Archive” for secondary education. This includes the creation of a German version of the  user interface of the digital archive, currently only available in English. Furthermore, transcripts of about 2,000 interview hours, an integration of interactive web 2.0 features within the platform, and further education for teachers as well as new classroom materials will be available. A specially equipped seminar room at Freie Universität enables students from Berlin and Brandenburg to work with the archive in class with guidance from experienced researchers and instructors.  A DVD series is being developed for use in schools nationwide.

Contact and Accreditation:

We kindly ask journalists for accreditation via email:

  • Katja Egli, Center for Digital Systems (CeDiS) at Freie Universität Berlin,
    Public Relations, Tel.: 030/838-52775, Mobile: +49 (0)170/7818424,

Further Information: