SEGAL GIFT BOLSTERS SURVIVOR TESTIMONY PROJECT
Museum members Karen and Chris Segal have made a $10,000 gift to the Museum to fund the recording and transcription of local survivors’ testimonies, ensuring their stories can be passed down to future generations.
Between 1994 and 1999, the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation – now the USC Shoah Foundation–The Institute for Visual History and Education – worked with perseverance and sensitivity to locate men and women willing to recount their experiences during the Holocaust for the purposes of compiling a national visual collection of testimonies. More than 2,300 interviewers were also trained to use a consistent interviewing approach, which was designed in consultation with Holocaust historians, psychologists, and experts in the field of oral history. Nearly 52,000 survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust were interviewed during this period, and the Brill Family Resource Center at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center provides access to a Visual History Collection of more than 2,000 complete testimonies of Holocaust Survivors who settled in the Midwest.
Dr. Elliot Lefkovitz, a faculty member of Loyola University and Spertus Institute, was among the interviewers trained in the late 1990s. With the generous Segal gift, Dr. Lefkovitz will record and transcribe the testimonies of individuals that never gave their testimony in the late 1990s and have now come forward. Our institution is working with the USC Shoah Foundation to identify funding for digitalization of these recordings to then incorporate them into the national Visual History Collection and make them accessible to the public.