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.