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Summer School: Remembered History

Freie Universität Invites Alumni from Abroad to Work with Filmed Testimonial Interviews with Survivors of the Shoah during Week of July 19 to 24, 2010

№ 242/2010 from Jul 16, 2010

In a summer school at Freie Universität, from July 19 to 24, 2010, 20 international students and alumni will be dealing with the history of survivors of the Ravensbrück concentration camp. The participants from 12 different countries were students at Freie Universität in recent years. They are returning now to evaluate video interviews in the Visual History Archive and to discuss academic work dealing with eyewitness interviews. The Visual History Archive is considered the world’s largest video archive of its kind.

The Summer School of the Visual History Archive is being held for the second time as part of the international alumni program of the Center for Digital Systems (CeDiS), the competence center for e-learning and multimedia at Freie Universität. On the basis of video interviews with survivors of the Ravensbrück women’s concentration camp, the students and alumni will be introduced to academic work with eyewitness interviews. Speakers will present the approaches for working with the interviews from different academic perspectives and will demonstrate opportunities offered by as well as limits of each approach. The work focuses on the different experiences of the persecuted and imprisoned. The program includes excursions to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and the Ravensbrück Memorial.

In 2006, through a license agreement with the Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education at the University of Southern California, Freie Universität became the first institution in Europe to provide direct and complete access to the Visual History Archive. The video archive consists of almost 52,000 interviews with victims and witnesses of the Holocaust. The interviews are in 32 different languages, and 56 countries are represented. The idea for the archive goes back to the director Steven Spielberg. The current digital archive is based on the project he initiated to document eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust.

Further Information

Katrin Plank-Sabha, Public Relations, Center for Digital Systems (CeDiS), Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 838-53705, Email: