In the 1980s, a number of groups and organizations in Canada began to record the testimonies of Holocaust survivors for future generations. The Government is working with the community to find ways to preserve survivor testimony as an invaluable tool for Holocaust education.
Recorded Collections (in alphabetical order)
The collection is made up of 12 Azrieli Series Short Films. A portion of each film also shows the authors reading an excerpt from their published memoir, combined with animation and narration, to bring the accounts to life. The films are supporting material for the Azrieli Series of Survivor Memoirs.
Canadian Jewish Congress Charities National Archive
The collection includes 75 interviews on VHS and audio tapes and is currently being digitized. At present, the collection is only accessible to researchers.
Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre of the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada
The collection, located in Winnipeg, includes 15 audio testimonies from the 1970s and 49 video testimonies from the late 1980s. The majority of the collection is available to the public through the Centre.
Kleinmann Family Foundation
The collection, located in Montréal, consists of approximately 25 interviews. The interviews address experiences during the Shoah. Access to the testimony is available on request, and a limited number of interviews are available online.
Life Stories Project (Concordia)
The collection of 50 new digital interviews with Holocaust survivors is part of a broader project examining memories of mass violence and displacement. Some of the testimonies are currently available on the Citizenshift website. Additional testimonies will be available in the future.
March of the Living
The collection includes memories of Holocaust survivors recorded at various Holocaust sites across Europe. The first recordings were filmed in 1988, and new recordings are filmed every year. Selected portions are available online.
McMaster University provides access to the University of Southern California Shoah Institute’s Visual History Archive collection. The collection contains nearly 52,000 survivor testimonies, including almost 3,000 from Canadians. The collection can be accessed by McMaster students and staff through the University Library.
McGill University Living Testimonies
The collection consists of 115 testimonies, which are being updated from analog to digital. Once digitized, they will be accessible through the McGill University library.
Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre
The collection consists of 515 videos. The collection was initiated in 1989, and the recording of new testimonies is ongoing. A small number of videos are available to the public through the website and Citizenshift. Researchers, students and teachers may request further access.
Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre
The collection contains approximately 400 testimonies. The testimonies are available to the public by appointment and can accessed through the library and resource centre located in Toronto.
Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre
The collection contains approximately 200 digital and analog recordings. The collection was initiated in 1981, and testimonies continue to be recorded. The majority of the testimonies are available in person to researchers for research or education. A number of the testimonies are also available at the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonials at Yale University.
Written Collections (in alphabetical order)
The collection of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs includes 35 published books — 22 in English and 17 in French — as well as over 170 unpublished memoirs. The published books are available free of charge to libraries and educational institutions or can be purchased from the website.
Concordia Unpublished Collection
The collection consists of approximately 50 unpublished memoirs written by Montreal-based Holocaust survivors between 1986 and 2005. The texts are held at Concordia University in Montréal. The memoirs are also available online.
Holocaust Literature Research Institute
The collection is located at the University of Western Ontario. It includes 315 books with specific links to Canada in approximately 30 languages. It also includes an online catalogue of annotated bibliographies of survivor testimonials, with more than 3,600 entries searchable by 25 categories.
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