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Preserving Survivors’ Memories

Lecture by Literary Studies Scholar Prof. Dr. Geoffrey Hartman on November 20, 2012, in Berlin

№ 343/2012 from Nov 14, 2012

The American literary studies scholar Geoffrey Hartman will hold a lecture on November 20 in Berlin on the topic of eyewitness reports and remembrance. The title of his talk will be "A Future Memory: Holocaust Testimony and Media Witness in an Era of Genocides." It is the initial event of an international conference on "Preserving Survivors’ Memories – Digital Testimony Collections about Nazi Persecution History, Education and Media" to be held in the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. The conference is being organized jointly by the EVZ ("Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft") Foundation, Freie Universität Berlin, and the USC Shoah Foundation. Hartman’s lecture will be given in English with simultaneous translation. The lecture is open to the public and there is no charge, but advance sign-up is requested.

Born in 1929 in Germany, Geoffrey Hartman is one of the initiators of the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University that was founded in 1979. The international collection contains more than 4,400 video testimonies by now. Early on Hartman, a pioneer of oral history, pointed out the multi-layered dimensions of audiovisual testimonies, which are to be recognized as an independent narrative genre. In his lecture Hartman will discuss the significance of these video testimonies of an unprecedented experience in the context of the digital and medial world of the present and future generations.

The conference will be held November 20–22 in the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. It is intended as a platform for international experts to exchange information about their experiences with the development of digital collections pertaining to National Socialist persecution and the management of the relevant audiovisual sources.

Time and Location

  • Tuesday, November 20, 2012, 6 p.m.
  • Haus der Kulturen der Welt, John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, 10557 Berlin


Veronika Sellner, EVZ Foundation, Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 25 92 97 49, Email: 

Further Information

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