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Kay Andrews Witness

Kay Andrews Witness Memories in the Classroom: Challenges and Opportunities of Visual History Testimony

The need to ‘remember’ the events and victims of the Holocaust is not a new theme. Before the Second World War ended, numerous Jewish individuals and groups sought to record and remember the genocidal events they were enduring (Young 1993, Zwieg 1987). In the post-war era those who survived set about creating Yizkor Books 1 , an attempt to remember life and experience before, during and after the war (Soo et al 2008). In the 1 Yizkor is the the Hebrew word for remember. These books varied in format but generally tried to record the names and stories of communities across Europe murdered during the Holocaust. immediate years after the war, ‘remembering’ was usually the domain of those who had survived and suffered. There was little interest from historians or others in delving into the personal memories of those who survived; instead, the focus was on Nazi records and Allied documentation. It is also fair to say that during the 1950’s and early 1960’s, social history and oral history was not mainstream, and survivor memories were deemed unreliable. It was perceived that history was constructed through documentary sources (Kushner 2006). Since then, changes in the perception and use of oral history have led to an increased interest in personal 29 HOLOCAUST EDUCATION IN PEDAGOGY, HISTORY, AND PRACTICE

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